Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Your Hours

(1:02) A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how boaters make their marina selection decisions. I touched on the importance of transparency and accuracy in your pricing. There's another area where you need to be precise - your business hours. This has actually been a pet peeve of mine from way back.

(0:54) In all aspects of your marina, the simpler you make it for me to do business with you, the more likely I am to do just that. Finding out what hours you are open should be trivial and obvious. List your hours under the "Year round or seasonal" item in your ActiveCaptain marker. Have them on your website - I'd suggest putting them on the bottom of every page. Why not include them with your address and phone number?

(0:42) And always include them in your voicemail message for your phone. It never ceases to amaze me when businesses fail to take advantage of their telephone as a sales tool. If I've called, I'm interested. Make it easy for me to know when to call back or come in.

(0:35) Then make every effort possible to keep to your hours. This Minute actually came out of several reviews I saw recently that complained about marinas not being available during their advertised open hours.

(0:30) Put yourself in the boater's shoes. It's 7:40 am, the fuel dock's hours are listed as opening at 7:30 am. I pull up my anchor or leave the slip, maneuver to the dock only to find no one there. The chances are that you have now lost a customer that you had previously won.

(0:22) I am likely to move on to another fuel dock. But even if I have no choice but to wait for you, I will be far less likely to return. The message that you have sent is one of disregard for me, your customer.

(0:16) I know that some of you are highly seasonal. It's fine to indicate that in the off-season hours are limited or variable and to call. Just ensure you check calls and return them.

(0:10) It's the old adage to treat others as you would wish to be treated. Imagine how you would feel waiting outside your local grocery store or gas station after opening hours with no one to serve you. You would probably move on. And that's not good for business.

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