Creating Positive Customer Impressions to Grow Your Marine Business

Dubai Boat Show 2016

marketing planUse your team as customer experience ambassadors to help build your boating business

Did you know that . . .  YOU make the difference to each and every customer that you come into contact with?

The reality is that when you are serving a customer, you are representing your company; YOU are the brand ambassador for your organisation. Your customer will not be interested in whether there is a manager, a Board of Directors or a CEO in the business, all they want in that moment is a great experience, and that opportunity is down to YOU.

Remembering this is vital during each and every interaction with your customers and especially important when you are greeting your customers when you are working at your marina reception desk.

There is a well-used phrase that I expect you are familiar with: “first impressions count”. Research suggests that people make up their mind about another human being within the first 30 seconds of meeting them, so you have around half a minute to make a positive impression on your customer.

Clearly, the physical environment has an impact on you customers’ perception of your business, however it is the personal (human) interaction that makes the real difference.

Making that first (and lasting) positive impression is really easy and straight forward and yet very often, we forget the basics, maybe because of a long list of tasks that we need to work through, deadlines to achieve, or perhaps we’re just having a difficult day.

Customer Experience Ambassadors

Your role as a ‘customer experience ambassador’ in your business is to always greet your customers with a genuine and authentic smile, ask questions and listen to how you may be able to help your customer, and then to deliver their requirements and needs as appropriately, speedily and efficiently as you can.

Remember, when your customer receives a great experience, this can lead to free marketing through personal endorsement, as the customer is likely to tell eight to ten friends or colleagues about their experience. This could provide your business with potential additional customers who will be keen to visit your outlet (or website) and experience the excellent service they have heard you have provided.

Whatever your boating business, physical or on-line, it is really helpful to be able to look at your business through your customers’ eyes to understand what they are experiencing and how it is likely to be making them feel.

An easy way to do this is to ask either a friend or colleague whom you know (and your colleagues in your business don’t know), and who you also know will give you honest feedback to visit your outlet or website as though they were a genuine customer. Ask them to tell you about their first impression and their experience of your business – what they saw, what they heard and how they felt throughout the visit.

Positive first impressions with your team resonates with customers and is often key to growing your marine business.

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Geoff Langston

Founder and Managing Director at GL Connects
Geoff Langston is a Director of GL connects, customer experience development experts. Their approach is to develop leaders, managers, teams and individuals through tailored programmes that are designed to change and embed positive behaviours and attitudes. Geoff has been working extensively in the leisure marine industry for many years, delivering workshops for the BMF including the Intermediate and Advanced Marina Managers programmes. He also works with many leisure marine businesses including marinas, retailers, boat manufacturers, marine engineers and marine clothing suppliers.