Monday, February 27, 2012

Improving Marina Customer Service

How can help Improve marina Customer Service.

In the next few weeks we will look at how can help marinas grow their businesses through using our marina software platform. We have solutions to the key problems that marinas face. One of these problems is customer service.

According to customer service is defined as a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation. which you can find here.

Industry experts and novices alike are ringing the bell of customer service and how it can impact your marina business.
Here Jim Frye give a presentation discussing how customer service will be a key differentiator.
Here James talks about customer service and management.

Back to the definition of customer service. While I agree with the first portion of this definition " a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction", I would like to challenge that definition. I believe that just meeting a customers expectation is not good enough. The customer today is savvy. They have a plethora of tools and options readily at their disposal. Wowing customers should be your goal and eventually your expectation.

Let's take a real world example. I love fishing and boating. I am a marina customer. I take my hobbies seriously and in saying that I just admitted that I like expensive toys to go with my hobby. I especially like to go fishing, and I try to get out on blue water as often as possible. Unfortunately as of this writing it has been more than 2 months! Regardless, I spend money on rods and reels. I feel the need for quality equipment. I'm not saying that I am splurging on Penn International 1000's or anything like that but a $120 shimano reel is a sizable investment for me. I happen to use a "Rod Carrier" which hold 4 of my rods and reels. Let's say I left my rods and reels sitting on the hose rack and drove away from the marina. When a dock hand or receptionist found them there would be no way for them to tell that they were mine. Would it be good customer service to wait until the end of the day to find out if someone came back to get them? Would it be good customer service to put them in the office and wait for someone to realize that they were missing? Would it be good customer service to ask around at the marina to see if someone knew who the rods belonged to? What would your expectations be?

I would expect that the marina would ask the receptionist to call customers that had an activity that morning or the previous day to ask if they had forgotten their equipment.

Do you have a process or software that could allow you to easily see who your customer were that had a request submitted today? How about yesterday?

What if you could get the answer with one mouse click? What if the answer looked like this?


If they didn't do that, if they just put them in the office or clubhouse would that meet my expectations? Would that have exceeded my expectation? No. This brings me to my point. According to the wikipedia definition meeting your customers expectations is customer service but your customers all have a large degree of variance of expectations. How can you satisfy their expectations?

Free up time for your staff to concentrate on customer service?
Let your customers serve themselves?
Save your customers time or give them time back?
Instantly notify your customer(s) of any event?

Why not all of the above?

The marina software platform enables all of these and more. We offer a solution that can free up time for your staff to concentrate on customer service issues by allowing customers to self-serve. your customers can submit their own requests and orders via the internet on any web enabled smartphone, blackberry, tablet or PC. Save your customers time by fulfilling requests such as fueling up or delivering ice, drinks and bait to their vessel. Our marina software enables customers to make requests and your staff to receive these requests immediately on any internet enable device.

As a last note, I want to say that quality customer service is a mindset. Your customers are your most valuable asset. Not only do they provide the revenue to keep the prop turning but they also are a resource that can be farmed. If you know that your customers are spending money for products and services why not get into that game as well if it makes sense for your business. In order to do that you need tools. Tools tht can adapt to your business and your customers needs. We offer that solution.

There are many other ways that can help your business. Please take the time to look at all of the ways we can benefit your marina, marine services facility or customer base. You can see the full listing here.

Until next time,


No comments:

Post a Comment