Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Making the Most of Expectations

(1:07) In the past I have written about managing boater expectations for your marina. It is unmet expectations that typically lead to poor reviews.

(1:03) It is also possible to turn boaters' expectations into a great opportunity for your marina. Managing boater expectations is far more than simply avoiding damaging errors. The most successful businesses are those that exceed their customers' expectations in unexpected ways.

(0:55) First, ensure that you always present your marina in a real fashion. Creating your own unrealistic expectations will only set you up for failure. It reminds me of a review I read years ago. The boater stated he was shaving off a star because the bathrooms failed to live up to their claim of having "the best bathrooms on the Chesapeake Bay."

(0:45) No one likes to feel they have been misled. Such a tactic is sure to backfire. Sure you may woo me in the first time but I'm unlikely to be back and more likely to spread negative word-of-mouth and write a bad review.

(0:39) The reality is that doing everything right isn't enough. Accurately taking my reservation, helping to bring my boat safely to your dock, and a friendly greeting are what a boater expects. Accomplishing that will avoid a negative experience and most likely provide a positive experience. But will it offer a memorable experience. The kind of experience that leads to great reviews and lots of word-of-mouth recommendations.

(0:26) You need to understand what is expected or normal for boaters within your area and price range. Then determine how to provide something that goes beyond what is normal. The key here is that you don't need to have some over-the-top amenity or dramatic change. You simply need to exceed what boaters consider normal or standard.

(0:15) Take some time to analyze what is being offered by your competition. An easy way to do this is to read boater reviews for other marinas. This can help you uncover ways your competition is falling short. Then look for ways you can meet unmet needs and improve on what has become "standard fare".

(0:07) Make sure you are creating satisfied boaters. A happy long term repeat customer is a business's most valuable asset. And that starts with the customer's expectations.

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