Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Private Messages

(1:00) Lately I have been receiving questions about how to communicate with boaters. Almost always, they come after a marina has received a less than positive review. While, I have addressed various aspects of handling negative reviews in past Minutes, now is a good time to go over the basics of sending a private message to a boater.

(0:52) It is wise to handle your discussion with an unhappy boater out of the public arena. This provides you the opportunity to research the problem and to turn the boater around, or at least to convince him to give you a second chance. Remember, boaters can update a review. It is not uncommon to see a review improve simply because the marina took the time to hear the boater and to understand his problem.

(0:40) Our privacy policy prevents us from revealing a boater's email address. However, there is an easy-to-use solution that allows you to reach out to the boater privately though ActiveCaptain.

(0:35) The ActiveCaptain website provides a capability to send a personal message to an ActiveCaptain user from any review. Personal messages are powerful tools for communicating with boaters in positive ways. Use this capability any time your marina receives a review - thank the boater when the review is positive and work to make things right when it is not.

(0:27) To send a personal message to an ActiveCaptain user, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the Captain name that appears at the top of the review. A pop-up menu will appear.
  2. Select "Send private message."
  3. Enter a message title and the message text in the window.
  4. Select "Submit."
(0:18) The next time the boater logs into the ActiveCaptain website there will be a notification that a message is waiting. Captains may optionally have messages sent directly to their email inbox. It is a good idea to offer a way for the Captain to communicate with you directly by including your email address or a phone number in the message.

(0:10) Remember to keep your communications professional and relevant. ActiveCaptain messaging may not be used to SPAM or solicit users. Arguing or harassing a captain is always bad. Use messaging sparingly and appropriately and it can be a powerful marketing tool.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.