So I walk into my friend (that we’ll call Joe)’s office at his yard – he’s a local sailboat dealer and he’s got a bunch of consignment boats out back. It had been a couple of weeks and we talk about going sailing and general business stuff every so often. Great guy, and he’s been in the boating business for nearly 30 years and has seen it all. I always get a few insights when we talk, and hopefully he does from me as well.
This visit was especially enlightening. When I got there, he was parked on a cooler in the office (he leases part of it to a yacht brokerage business that is mostly a garage for the owner’s tournament fishing gear) chatting on the cell phone with what I assumed to be a customer from somewhere up north. He went on and on recommending decent places to store the boat during the winter here in Sunny Florida. Biscayne Bay seemed to be the customer’s focal point, and Joe was urging him to at least stop by his shop and perhaps they could go sailing together and work out some of the kinks in the boat.
This went on for about 20 minutes and I finally became the reason for Joe to cut the call and urge the customer to consider options and they’ll circle back around next week. Whew, said Joe when he hung up. What was that all about? I asked.
Seems the guy had been working with Joe to buy a boat (Joe’s a single line guy and is THE expert in the Southeast) for quite some time, and finally ended up buying one direct from a seller somewhere up north. So what was Joe’s compensation for all the work he did? Exactly. Lots of people in the boating business know the answer to this! Why, Joe, did you spend so much time with this guy, indeed offer to spend lots more? Well, he says, he’s going to tell SOMEbody what a customer service hero I am….
REALLY?????? You mean, maybe REFER people to you?????
I had to laugh. Joe, let me show you how BoaterRated.com works. And let me give you a sneak peek on what we’re cooking up for release any day now……
It’s intuitive to him – and to LOTS of people in service businesses – that word of mouth is the best marketing you can possibly obtain. The internet is the broadest word of mouth you can get, and a great number of people do research on line before they buy stuff – and it’s amazingly inexpensive! BoaterRated.com is the Virtual Dockside, where your customers can sing your praises to the widest audience, and we’ll work with you to manage your referral network and online reputation. And where your potential customers can check you out! Keep your eye out for our new improved features, and most of all – Join us on the Virtual Dockside!