Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Turn Uncertainty to Confidence

(0:54) Negative reviews can lead to uncertainty on the part of a boater. This can be true even if most of your reviews are overwhelming positive. It is critical that you turn the uncertainty into confidence using your Management Response.

(0:48) 88% of TripAdvisor users state that reviews impact their choices. When an issue is brought up in a review, it raises a series of questions. Not having answers to those questions can lead a boater to lose confidence in your marina. How can you turn that around? You need to write a confidence-building Management Response.

(0:40) To craft that Response there are several things you need to do.

(0:38) Understand who you are writing to. It is easy to be drawn into focusing on the reviewer. However, your real focus should be on the wider boater population that will be reading the review. You must consider how the information in the review will apply to the average boater, the concerns it might create, and the questions the boater might have.

(0:30) Then you must respond to those concerns and questions in a way that will satisfy your typical boater. Focus on the issues that could have the largest impact on future customers. Provide answers to the questions the review might raise. If you have rectified the issue, or have a plan to do so, make sure to include that in your Response.

(0:22) Let the boating community know you care about the service you offer. Apologize sincerely. Tell them how you plan on improving your service in the future. Build confidence that you take these matters seriously and are working always to be better.

(0:17) Ensure that there is not a pattern developing by closely following your reviews and quickly fixing problems. Boaters will understand that even the best marinas can have an off day. What they care about is how you address it. Use your Response to build confidence.

(0:11) However, your job will be far more difficult if the boater sees the issues repeated in other reviews. The boater might see it as a larger issue which will reduce confidence. In this case it is even more important that you define how you have addressed the problem.

(0:05) We all tend to shy away from uncertainty and the unknown. Use your Management Response to alleviate doubt and you will see more business.

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Zig Ziglar

(0:37) I recently ran across the following ten quotes from Zig Ziglar, a World War II veteran, top rated salesman, and motivational speaker. He also wrote dozens of books spreading his lessons on success to millions of followers. His points are short, sweet, and inspirational. Enjoy!

(0:29) 10. Remember that failure is an event, not a person.

(0:27) 9. You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.

(0:24) 8. People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.

(0:21) 7. There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.

(0:19) 6. People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.

(0:17) 5. Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.

(0:15) 4. If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.

(0:12) 3. A goal properly set is halfway reached.

(0:10) 2. Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.

(0:07) 1. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

(0:05) I am thankful for your support, your friendships, and your inspiration.

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

React Successfully to Failure

(1:15) A major difference between those that succeed and those who do not is how they handle failure. Here are some steps you can take when failure finds you.

(1:11) 1. Own up
Come forward quickly and own up to your mistake. Don't wait for someone else to point it out. This will only compound the problem and can damage your reputation. We all make mistakes and fail, so the defining moment is what you do next. Stepping forward shows you have integrity and the confidence to make it right. Ken Robinson stated, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”

(0:59) 2. Don’t make excuses
Those impacted by your failure deserve an explanation. Convincing them that you understand what happen will help build confidence that you can move forward positively. Avoid making excuses. It will only diminish you. Simply stick to the pertinent facts. Denis Waitley said, "Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

(0:48) 3. Make a plan
Once you understand what went wrong, take that knowledge and use it to create a plan for moving forward. Let boaters know what you have already done and what you plan to do to improve. Include how you will stop the same problems from arising in the future. This shows you have taken your failure and used it to become better. Henry Ford noted, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

(0:36) 4. Look forward
It is easy after one has suffered a failure to retreat and avoid putting yourself out there again. Successful people jump back in armed with the lessons they have learned. True failure is giving up and never trying something new. Robert F. Kennedy stated, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

(0:27) 5. Stay Positive
People who believe that a failure is an event and not who they are will be more likely to take the next move towards success. They will have a more positive outlook on future endeavors. Coco Chanel noted, “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.”

(0:18) 6. Don't Give up
Now take your lessons learned and your positive attitude and use them to move on to your next task. Successful people do not give up but rather keep their eyes on the goal. Winston Churchill said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

(0:10) Next time you stumble or events do not turn out as you planned, don't give up. Instead remember, you can't succeed without failure. I think Winston Churchill says it well, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

4 Principles

(0:57) One of the things I love about writing these Minutes is the feedback I receive from you. Whether it is thanking me, giving a different view, or offering suggestions, I gain so much from every email and comment.

(0:52) I particularly like when I am presented with a different take on an old lesson. Each of us has a unique way of seeing things, of learning, of assimilating. Sometimes presenting a message with a slightly different twist can bring it home. I'm never shy about offering the wisdom of others.

(0:44) I've often written about various aspects of excellent customer service and business success. A business can only survive if it is satisfying the customer. It can only succeed if it is doing that better than the competition.

(0:38) A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link to an article by Tracy Reasoner, VP at Transair about his company's philosophy on success. I liked the concise way he summed up what makes his company successful.

(0:33) Here are the four basic principles Transair abides by:

(0:31) * Show up: Be present and aware. From being on time to being completely aware of your environment, safety is always the No. 1 priority.

(0:28) * Be open: Don’t ignore anything, and be completely open to change. Flexibility allows you to get the job done, no matter the circumstances.

(0:24) * Serve what is true: Take the time to do what is right. Don’t cut corners. Be true to yourself. These tenets will ultimately translate into better service for the customer and the company alike.

(0:19) * Receive the results: Don’t ignore, be defensive or judgmental. Let the results speak for themselves. Take responsibility for yourself and your team.

(0:16) These points may seem simple but truly mastering them is not easy. Some days are rough. Sometimes time is short or customers are difficult. We can all think of an excuse for falling short.

(0:11) Excellent customer service requires intense focus, drive, and a bit of a tough skin. It is important for every business but even more so for a service business such as a marina.

(0:06) There is no doubt that if you can follow these four principles every day, you will have more success. Do it one day at a time, starting today.

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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Did You Know?

(1:04) This week's Minute addresses three common things you may not be aware of, but absolutely should be.

(1:01) Boaters must sync the 3rd party apps.
Boaters love the 600+ 3rd party apps that support ActiveCaptain data. There are many benefits. They include all aspects of the data including special designations for our Partners. They have advanced features such as worldwide nautical charts, route creation, and GPS boat tracking. A favorite feature is offline access allowing boaters to view the data even when they do not have an internet connection.

(0:50) The problem arises when the boater either doesn't know or has forgotten to periodically sync their app with the internet to capture the latest data. I hear about it when there is a discrepancy between the price the boater is seeing on their app and the one the marina is displaying on the website and the boater complains. Next time this happens ask to see the boater's display and check the date associated with the price. All fuel and slip prices have the date that price was entered. If the date is old, the boater needs to sync their data.

(0:36) You can bookmark your fuel page.
As marinas discover the advantages of keeping their fuel prices up to date, we have seen a huge increase in the number that are faithfully responding to the fuel update reminders. Responding to the email is the simplest and fastest way to update your prices. It's a simple one click process and, given that we know the source is reliable, we are able to put the pricing directly into the database.

(0:27) Did you know you don't have to wait for the email to arrive to update your prices? That custom link that goes to your personal fuel update page is always available. You can bookmark that page and use it to update your price any time. This is the perfect trick for those marinas whose price changes frequently.

(0:19) Pay attention to the ActiveCaptain hat.
When a boater checks into your marina wearing a hat, make sure to look at it closely. If it has an ActiveCaptain logo across the crown, pay attention. This boater is going to be writing a review.

(0:14) You see there is one, and only one, way to receive an ActiveCaptain hat. You have to earn it by making contributions to the ActiveCaptain data. And the fastest way to do that is to write reviews. If you see someone wearing an ActiveCaptain hat it means that, on average, they have written at least 25 reviews. Many of our biggest contributors have written hundreds.

(0:05) Make sure you and your staff are aware of these tidbits. These few things can help you in big ways.

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