Whether you manage a large corporate marina or run a smaller mom & pop operation, taking reservations over the phone – a common marina practice – is killing your business and your customers.
Okay, okay: maybe it’s not literally killing your business, but it’s not winning you any new customers, either. If you don’t believe us, ask yourself this: When was the last time you called a hotel or airline to make a reservation? Hospitality experts around the world are arriving at the same conclusion: customer service is paramount to success, and quality customer service doesn’t start with using the phone to initiate the booking process. The same goes for marina operations, as clearly evidenced in the case of Edgartown Harbor, who decided to do away with phones this season. Read what the harbor master had to say in the Vineyard Gazette.
In this day and age, connecting two humans on the phone to exchange requisite information is unnecessary, and in most cases, hugely inefficient for both parties. While a friendly voice on the line can certainly contribute to a positive customer experience, think about the experience you could deliver if the time currently spent gathering personal details, contact info, and payment information was instead spent discussing the customer’s boat, travel plans, and the approach they should take to your marina on an ebb tide? Over the course of a season, does it really make sense for your staff to dedicate valuable hours on the phone taking down information that most customers are more than happy and willing to provide via a secure online form?
This inefficiency is exactly why JetBlue charges $30 should you call them to make a reservation: it is a huge operational strain to have staff manage this process over the phone – so much so that they penalize customers who insist on doing it! Most customers will thank you for providing them with an easier route.
"So you're saying do less work and my customers will thank me?" Trust me, they will! Learn how Dockwa can save your staff time assisting with reservations:
By: Tyler Kneisel
Published on 6/3/16 12:00 PM