Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Manage Expectations

(1:01) The single most important thing you can do to ensure a positive boater review is to manage boater expectations. I've said this before but can't repeat it enough, a negative review typically happens when a boater's expectations are not met.

(0:55) It is critical that you are able to set realistic expectations. Ones that you can actually meet. While that may sound simplistic, it can often be quite challenging.

(0:51) A boater's expectations are based on two factors: what you communicate about your offering, and what the preconceptions might be about your offering.

(0:47) The first is something you have a fair amount of control over. Be honest, accurate, and clear in your presentation of your marina and its amenities. Do not describe yourself as a resort if you are, in fact, a quaint mom and pop facility. There is a good market for both. Finding the boaters who are looking for what you offer is key. And the best way to do that is to provide a realistic presentation.

(0:37) The second factor, preconceptions, is far trickier. Every boater will come to you with different preconceptions based on their unique experiences. Your marina will be compared to previous stays based on price, amenities, age of facilities, and even the surrounding area.

(0:31) While you can't really manage preconceptions, you can try to understand them and adjust your message accordingly. It is important to know what is accepted practice in your area and for your target customer base. Then determine how you can do better - provide more than the boater is expecting.

(0:24) Keep up with how your competition is evolving. It's not good enough to do your competitive analysis once and forget it. You must check again and again to find out what they are doing new or different or better.

(0:19) Boater reviews can be a good source of information. Make sure you are reading reviews for your marina and for your competition. Seeing what a boater is saying about other marinas can give you insight into how you stack up.

(0:07) The difference between what a boater expects and what you deliver will determine their level of satisfaction and the subsequent review you receive. Manage those expectations well and you will see more positive reviews.

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