Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Complaints Equal Opportunity

(0:59) The title above is from a quote buried near the bottom of one of those "X things for business success" lists. One of the most challenging things I do is to help marinas who are struggling to deal with a dreaded negative review - especially when it is their first one.

(0:53) There's a common saying among cruisers that there are two types, "those who have run aground" and "those who will run aground." I say the same about marinas and negative reviews.

(0:49) One of the problems with success is that as more boaters come to your marina, you will become more likely to experience a bad review. I say, embrace your success and use that review as an opportunity.

(0:45) Customer complaints are the best opportunity to learn where you are falling short and where you can improve. Of course, it would be best if the complaints came directly to you and not in the form of a public review. That's why I recommend that your Welcome Packet contain a welcome letter encouraging boaters to let you know if something isn't right along with a reliable way to contact you - it works. But be forewarned. When the complaint comes directly to you, handle it well or you will most definitely be receiving a negative review.

(0:31) Take time to focus on any complaints revealed in boater reviews. That includes reviews that are positive, as well as negative. It is not unusual for a reviewer to note an area needing improvement in a positive review. Do not hesitate to reach out to the boater for clarification or more information. You can use the private messaging feature if you do not have a direct way to contact them.

(0:20) Make sure to share all boater feedback, positive and negative, with your staff. Make it a good learning experience. Don't hesitate to call out individuals for praise. Deal with negative reviews about an individual in private, if necessary.

(0:14) Sharing boater reviews with your staff reminds them of the importance of excellent customer service in a very tangible way. It's also a good time to encourage feedback from your staff. After all, they are often the ones on the front line and can alert you to problems before they show up in a review.

(0:06) Never pass up an opportunity to make you, your staff, and your marina better. There is no better source of where and how to improve than the customers you service.

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