Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How to Recover

(1:05) We've all been in that position when things go wrong. It might have been as a consumer or as a business or, most likely, you've been in both situations. My most recent one was with Subaru.

(0:59) A brand new car with an electric window stuck in the down position and the nearest service center an hour and a half away. We ultimately worked it out, but my initial interaction with customer service was beyond disappointing.

(0:53) It is never about something going wrong, we all know that will eventually happen. It is how you recover and even win a customer for life.

(0:49) I ran across an article in Forbes by Micah Solomon, who stated, "Every company needs a customer service recovery framework, a sequence of best practices for interacting with, and turning around, upset customers. ... in the heat of the moment, with so much emotion flying around, it’s hard for even the most seasoned and even-tempered customer service professionals to do their best–unless preparations have been made and a structure put in place ahead of time."

(0:36) I couldn't agree more. My Subaru customer service rep became flustered when I refused to accept the response, "There's nothing more I can do." The rest of the call went poorly.

(0:31) What can you do to prepare your staff to handle that inevitable unhappy customer?

(0:29) Micah Solomon suggests the acronym AWARE:

Acknowledge: Acknowledge the situation and apologize sincerely.
Widen: Learn more about the situation by probing for what the customer is specifically upset about; encourage and assist the customer in explaining what’s gone wrong from the customer’s point.
Agree: Spell out the agreed-upon solution to your customer, as you understand it. Commit to exactly what you will do to resolve the issue, and by when.
Resolve: Take care of the issue as promised. Follow up with the customer to ensure all is well.
Evaluate: Examine the error with an eye toward identifying systemic issues and chokepoints. Strive to learn from the error and, where appropriate, make it a part of staff training and systems.
(0:08) You can read Micah's full article on the Forbes website here: 
Thanks A Latte: How To Fix A Customer Service Failure, Per Starbucks, Marriott And Me

(0:06) Having a plan in place, along with staff training can turn a customer disaster into a success story. Don't leave your success to chance.

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

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Suprise Me

(0:54) There is no better way to procure a positive review than to do something totally unexpected. Surprise me, in a positive way, and I will reward you with invaluable word-of-mouth marketing.

(0:49) The Red Head crew has moved on land for a few months while Red Head receives a makeover. Our biggest challenge was finding a place to live that would allow two dogs. We were lucky to find a house through Airbnb, blocks from the beach and near a dog park. As so often happens with a boat, we were delayed and arrived at the house a few days late.

(0:40) According to the Airbnb rules, we were not entitled to a refund. That was fine. It was what we agreed to. So I was most surprised when the owner of the house emailed me offering to let us stay several days beyond our checkout date to make up for it.

(0:33) I was surprised. And very pleased. The understanding of our situation and the generous offer will most definitely impact the review I will write.

(0:29) How can you surprise boaters?

(0:27) It's often the little things that can have the biggest impact - small touches that are out-of-the-ordinary, special, or memorable. They don't have to cost much. I imagine the house we are renting was free for the days offered and therefore, the cost to the owner was minimal. However, it is not the price that impresses me, it's the thoughtfulness.

(0:17) Take a moment to think about what you might be able to offer boaters that they will remember in a special way. We've had morning muffins delivered to the boat, a clubhouse or outdoor area made available for a transient potluck or docktails, and found complimentary shampoo in the showers. Once, we had a marina owner make an appointment and loan a car for an emergency vet visit.

(0:05) Be considerate of my needs and go beyond the expected and you will be rewarded with positive reviews.

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

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

More Marina Reviews

(0:55) It's not possible to overestimate the importance of boater reviews. Study after study shows that unbiased, honest reviews from consumers have a huge impact on the products and services that are selected.

(0:47) I have frequently addressed how to increase the number of boater reviews you receive. It is critical to your success that you not only have positive reviews. You need lots of positive reviews. A large number of boater reviews will provide credibility to your ratings, will offer a way that your happy customers can be your best sales people, and will help to minimize the impact of an occasional negative review.

(0:35) Never hesitate to ask boaters to leave you a review. If you have followed the advice from previous Minutes on how to prepare your marina to ensure positive reviews, you can do this with confidence.

(0:27) Now it is even easier for boaters to leave you reviews. The new ActiveCaptain website allows boaters to access the Live Map from any platform that can connect to the internet - Mac's, PC's, Smartphones, Tablets. The boater chooses.

(0:19) By eliminating the requirement for Flash, we have eliminated the restriction that only permitted Live Map access on Mac's and PC's. Of course, boaters can still write reviews using the many apps that support the ActiveCaptain data. The choices are almost endless.

(0:11) There has never been a better time to boost boater reviews for your marina. Take time now to polish your offerings, train your staff, and ask boaters to write a review. The boating community wants a good marina to be successful. Remind them that the best way they can ensure your success is to write an honest review.

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