Like every industry, the marine business is rapidly changing as more and more technology surfaces with the promise of creating greater efficiencies, streamlining workflows and generally staying on top of all the financial activity going on inside the company. Comprising much of that technology are management software systems that handle all the aforementioned, which has been a boon to those who’ve reaped the benefits of their use.
But these days, customers more fickle than ever, largely due to the faster pace of the way business is being done today. Add in the reality that those same customers have easy access to more information than ever, including everything they need to know about all the competitors in the marina industry. The sum total of those factors could spell disaster to marine businesses who haven’t been paying attention to what customers want and need.
That’s why even the best marine software in the world isn’t reaching its full potential unless a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is implemented with the operations of a business. The basics are already outlined in the system’s name in which the customer is the heart and soul of any company. A relationship is the key to successful company growth and management is the power to maintain those customers for life.
And when used properly, such a system can help any marina reap the benefits.
1. Higher Sales
With the realization that customers are the very lifeblood of a company’s existence, one step to garnering greater sales revenues is by further understanding the customer and identifying which ones are more likely to take up your business. This can be done with collecting every bit of data you can find about your customers and focusing on information that’s most pertinent to your company. A high-quality management system like one offered by DockMaster can do the heavy lifting for staffers with near-instantaneous results.
With that knowledge, the sales team has more insight into the preferences of customers than ever before and work out strategies that would directly address their very needs. Customer data should also examine habits, lifestyles, tastes and other attributes that would be valuable for a salesperson in how to interact with such a consumer. The more knowledgeable sales personnel are about their potential clients, the greater the likelihood that an interaction will result in a sale.
2. Greater Profitability
It stands to reason that higher revenues would lead to greater productivity, but if that activity also dramatically increases expenses, the bottom line won’t look as impressive. That’s why a Customer Relations Management system should have clear and concise pillars of support for a better operation strategy.
Those pillars include processes a roadmap designed to foster better customer service interactions. Also included are having the right people who perform with the right methods and behaviors to convert customer interactions into fruitful customer experiences. And equally important are the tools needed to properly manage and implement the necessary information from the collected data.
One of the biggest causes of rising expenses is waste created by pursuing false leads or losing a sales prospect due to not having the right information to properly interact with a customer. But with the pillars in place and properly executed, less company time and office resources are used since staff are more focused on the workflows, direction and goals.
Finally, if the Customer Relations Management system can be integrated into the general management software system, the workflow is not only smoother, but also produces greater efficiencies that can lower those expenses. And that’s where the profit margins really shine.
3. Better Customer Service
Customer service doesn’t begin and end with interaction with the sales staff. In order to provide a customer a rewarding transaction experience, the rest of the company personnel has to be involved as well. A good Customer Relations Management system fully realizes this and with that, should make all that pertinent collected data accessible to anyone who might be in contact with a consumer.
That includes people in marina parts departments, the service people in charge of boat bookings and other personnel who might be required to follow up on a sale. Using that data, combined with their on-the-job expertise from product knowledge to service protocols, means that a customer is dealing with a company where the entire staff is in the know and willing to offer any help or advice when needed.
There’s a side bonus to garnering better customer service, and that’s the customer’s realization that an entire team is available to help when needed, as if the whole company supports that consumer. In short, the customer recognizes that it’s more than a company behind a sale, it’s a family.
4. Greater Customer Loyalty
Landing a customer is one thing, but keeping that consumer is another. That’s where a comprehensive Customer Relations Management system can come in handy. If the customer was satisfied over the initial transaction experience with your company, chances are pretty good that repeat business from that same person will follow.
If the data on that customer is updated, that means sales and support staff have access to even more information on the consumer, which means you can further address additional needs when that individual returns to your business.
All that information is essential when you want to let your customer base know about upcoming sales and new products hitting the marina. If that base is likely to be purchasing more of one type of product over another, you can use that consumer data to highlight the amenities of that inventory that can meet their needs.
Additionally, the staff would know more about that person, meaning that interaction is easier as well. A disciplined staff that follows company procedures built into a Customer Relations Management system will make those interactions much easier with more repeat business among that base. After all, you want to keep that customer for life.
Finally, loyal customers can also be your allies against your competition. No amount of advertising or focus on social media can match the power of word-of-mouth. If your local customer starts bestowing the virtues of your company and colleagues, that boosts the potential for more sales than ever.
DockMaster Software is an industry leading management system for marinas, boatyards, and boat dealerships. DockMaster includes Unit Sales, Prospecting and F&I with fully integrated financial management and numerous integrations with CRM applications, dealer websites and text/messaging services. The Service module includes estimating, labor tracking, and complete parts management with ordering/receiving, subcontractor fulfillment and invoicing. DockMaster Mobile allows technicians to clock on/off jobs from any mobile device. Visual Marina™ management includes storage & billing, occupancy tracking, reservations and dry stack management, including integrations to leading consumer applications for boat rentals, online reservations, concierge/launch scheduling and our new Fuel Integration with FuelCloud. DockMaster also includes Point of Sale, Order Entry with eCommerce and a complete accounting system. Learn more at www.DockMaster.com and follow DockMaster on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Or email email@example.com