Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Solid 3 Stars

(0:58) I've spoken to marina managers who tell me they only want 5 star reviews. Maybe that's an honorable goal. It's hard not to encourage someone to strive for excellence.

(0:54) But I would also argue that if you're not getting critical reviews now and again, then you're missing an opportunity. And it's not just that none of us are perfect or that boaters have varying needs or even that some people are never satisfied. No, it's that non-5-star reviews can alert you to problems you may have and give you the opportunity to fix them.

(0:43) Three-star reviews are not what I would consider negative reviews. They typically mention positives about their experience and sometimes mention where the customer was disappointed. In fact several of them conclude with "we'll be back." And a returning customer is definitely a positive outcome.

(0:36) To a truly astute marketer, they can clue you into the boater demographics you should be targeting and those you should not. This is critical information that was not readily available before.

(0:31) What I find interesting about 3 star reviews is that they are often where you will see emerging services and amenities that will make up the requirements in the future. I believe this is a critical area that is too often overlooked. Remember, this is not really an unhappy customer, just one that could be happier if only... Understanding the "if only" part will give you your most valuable information.

(0:22) When we began cruising 13+ years ago, courtesy cars and WiFi were an unusual treat. But as more and more marinas began offering these amenities, boaters began knocking a star or two off their reviews if they were missing. They were sending a clear message that these amenities were important, something they would seek out and could lead to selecting one marina over another.

(0:13) I believe that a 3 star review can be the most important review you receive. Next time you receive one, take the time to examine it carefully. Determine why the boater's experience was just OK and not phenomenal. Did you stumble? Fix it. Are you falling behind your competition? Step up.

(0:05) The more you can learn from this valuable boater's feedback, the better you will become and the more business you will have.

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