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Communicating effectively year-round sets operators up for success in peak season

It certainly has been a unique year in the boating industry. As industries across the country faced their own challenges, the marine industry dealt with shutdowns, then the surge in demand for boats. The industry also saw encouraging trends play out, such as the rise of first-time boat buyers and boat buyers in general getting younger. 

The industry also has been met with the challenge of keeping up with the newfound demand for boats, trying to catch up with their inventory.

With all that’s gone on, it’s amazing to think we’re already quickly heading towards the fall, and with that, the boating season will begin to slow down. 

The priority will now turn to keeping customers coming back for the 2022 season and keeping them engaged with the industry. In order to make all those first time buyers longtime customers, dealers and other marine businesses will have to stay connected with customers. The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas recently shared some tips for staying connected with customers.

Let’s take a look at a few keys to maintaining a strong connection with customers year-round.

Offer a personal touch 

There’s nothing wrong with good old fashioned personal outreach to customers in your offseason. Whether they prefer to be reached by phone, text, email or virtual chat, even one check-in for the offseason can make a huge difference. Use this opportunity to get them excited about next year’s boating season and show them that you care.

Host offseason events, don’t be afraid to go virtual

We don’t know yet what the offseason will hold as far as hosting in-person events, but the good news is, virtual events have become the norm for 2020 and are expected to continue into 2021 to some extent. Whether the event is something as simple as a webinar on preparing boats for winter, or safety measures to take when boating, it gives your business a platform to stay in your customers’ minds.

Share your plans for next season

One major benefit of a seasonal industry is that it gives owners and operators a chance to sit back and reassess where they can improve. How you plan in your quiet periods will factor in to how successful you are when things get busy again. Assuming you and your team are working on ways to improve customer experience in the quiet months, keep your customers up to date on what you have planned.

If you plan on attending conferences and industry shows in the coming months, let your customers know. If you are enhancing employee training to ensure better customer service for next season, keep them posted. By showing that your business is always striving to improve, your customers will see that you’re making the effort to better serve them.

Stay active on social media

Just because things might be quiet, it doesn’t mean you have to be invisible. Spending a reasonable amount of time on your social media efforts can really pay off when the time comes to start selling. The best part is, you don’t have to dedicate a ton of resources and budget to social media marketing efforts. Keeping your brand’s voice active and staying responsive with customers will ultimately help keep you relevant in their minds throughout the year.

Final thoughts

Juggling the tasks that come with communicating with customers can get challenging, particularly if you’re doing so manually. Having the right CRM system in place can streamline customer communication and ensure that your customers remain satisfied and are eager to buy from you again when boating season returns. 


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 and follow DockMaster on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Or email

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