Survey Advantage releases 2008 benchmark report

JAMESTOWN, R.I. — Customer research and loyalty firm Survey Advantage has released its 2008 benchmarks for marinas and boatyards, the company reported in a recent statement.

The report, designed in cooperation with the Association of Marina Industries and the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association, tracks four key areas: facility quality, marine service quality, customer service and boater loyalty.

“We hope this benchmark will help marine service providers understand their competitive position in the market and set goals for expansion and improvement. Marine service providers now have the same customer intelligence the hospitality industry has been collecting for years,” said Survey Advantage President Michael Casey.

The report breaks down customer service into four segments, including responsiveness, reliability, communication and courtesy. Its findings showed that while operations continue to receive high ratings on courtesy, the industry struggles with communication and keeping boaters abreast of service being performed. Also, while slip areas receive high marks, the industry could do better keeping restrooms and shower areas cleaner and continuously stocked, according to the report.

The highest customer service marks were in the marina area and ship stores, with gas docks and service desks receiving lower scores. Customer comments identified temporary or seasonal help as the reason for ill-trained people in lower-performing areas, the report said.

Nine different service quality areas were benchmarked including engine repair and rigging services. The highest ratings came in the hauling and launching areas while sailboat rigging and electronic repairs received the lowest marks.

When looking at boater loyalty, Survey Advantage found that 51 percent of customers promote and refer their provider, 29 percent are passive supporters or not emotionally charged about their provider and 20 percent are at high risk of leaving their provider and spreading negative word of mouth about their experiences.

The benchmark report is published from collective results from operations running with Marine Service CustomerPulse and HealthCheck, two programs offered through Survey Advantage.

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