Posted on 16th Apr 2012 @ 1:23 PM
We all know that customer service today is the number one differentiator between one marina to another (and it's FREE). How do you treat your customers? How do you "wow" them? What separates your service from your neighboring marinas' service, if anything? These are the questions you should be asking yourself because the answers can single-handedly determine how successful your marina will ultimately become.
I became increasingly alarmed towards the beginning of March, 2012 since I had been hearing the same thing from countless Pick a Slip representatives. Calls have been flooding in from boaters trying to reserve boat slips for the season for marinas across all of North America that we are currently marketing. They have been unable to get in contact with the marina they are interested in. The number of calls we have received took us all by surprise and has caused us to look further into the issue. The analytics data that I have compiled makes me question customer service in the marine industry as a whole!
Recent studies held by our analytics team suggest that up to 35% of marinas in North America do not even answer their phone during normal business hours!!! Is this because marina management assumes that if a boater calls once, they'll call again? Our research shows otherwise. Not answering your phone and forwarding customers to an answering machine is unacceptable in todays standards of customer service and for good reason!
It's very easy for marina management to feel frustrated and deflated in todays economy but lets not sacrifice our service! If you call up a marina who stays at capacity season after season you will find that their focus is customer retention which you can only obtain through good customer service. Customer loyalty comes exclusively through their experiences with you. Sure, there are marinas out there who stay at capacity for no other reason than their location but as for the majority of marinas out there, competition is fierce. Why focus on bringing in new customers year and after year when all you really have to do is retain current customers?
I urge you to take a step back and evaluate your own customer service. This isn't always an easy thing to do. There are always things that can be improved when it comes to service so start today by improving how you and your staff interact with your customers.
*If you are a customer of ours you have most likely received several boater inquiry Emails titled "An Interested Boater (Pick a Slip)". In that Email you will find the interested boater's Email and phone number. I highly recommend you call the customer rather than respond in Email. It is much more personal and often times determines the sale since most boaters who fill out the inquiry form fill it out for multiple marinas in their area of interest. Do not let your competition get a leg up on you by calling them back while you slowly respond via Email. Call the boater and get the sale!!!