Tuesday, December 13, 2016


(1:00) There are times when I read things online that make my head hurt. Recently, I ran across a company that sells "Management Response Templates" - just fill in the blanks for a professional response to your customer reviews.

(0:54) No, No, No. That is never a good idea. It's wrong on so many levels.

(0:51) First, common courtesy dictates that if a boater takes the time to write about his experience at your marina, then you owe him the time to write a sincere and personal response.

(0:47) But not only is a canned response a disservice to the boater, it is a disservice to you as well. Often there are little gems hidden in an honest boater review that will go missed if you choose to treat your task as a quick checkoff item. Taking the time to write a personalized response requires you to truly understand the point of the boater's review.

(0:38) In addition, writing that response could require you to do some soul searching and analysis of your marina's strong and weak spots. You should never avoid that opportunity.

(0:34) And honestly, most of us can spot an insincere and false reply from a mile away. That includes the boater who wrote the review, as well as all of the boaters who will come along later and read your response.

(0:29) Finally, assuming you manage to squeak by and convince everyone that you did craft your response properly, do you believe you are the only business who may have purchased these canned templates? What happens when someone sees the same response at another business or later with yours?

(0:21) I understand that for many writing a Management Response is difficult but like any important task you undertake, a shortcut will never work. You need to work at developing the skill.

(0:16) Practice writing your responses. It's OK to write and rewrite and maybe rewrite again. Have someone you trust critique it for you. Over time you will develop a style that works for you and become more comfortable responding.

(0:10) Need more help? Don't hesitate to check out how other marinas have responded to their reviews. Learn from what you like and don't like about the responses. But make sure your response is your own.

(0:05) Do not take this task lightly. It is important. And done well it will bring you more business.

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