Online reviews can greatly affect how your fishing charter is viewed in the public eye. If you find yourself in the spotlight, isn’t it better if it’s due to positive customer reviews rather than the opposite?
Think of it this way, every online review is a form of advertising for your fishing charter but keep in mind that reviews can go either direction. It can be a good way to make clients aware of your quality services but it can also be detrimental if the review exposes your faults and shortcomings. Good reviews can also lead to repeat customers, referrals and an increase in bookings while negative ones can result in the opposite of all those.
Fishing experience as the main highlight
When one hires a fishing charter and head out to sea, they might envision himself/herself arm wrestling with a mighty and heavyweight champ of the sea only to face the bitter reality of little or no fishing action. The ocean is unpredictable and a scenario like this can happen to even the best of fishermen. There is no assurance that an angler can always catch a fish that’s why a captain should never take on the role of a fortune teller and guarantee the client that he/she will reel in a fish during the trip. To get good reviews, a discerning captain should focus on giving the best fishing experience regardless of the catch. After all, fishing is not solely about catching fish but more about the quality of the experience and the drive to improve fishing skills.
If you want to receive good reviews, it only makes sense that you give anglers a wonderful fishing experience to rave about. Here are some tips that can help increase positive feedback no matter what the fishing outcomes are.
Make online transactions a walk in the park
Modern-day users prefer the convenience of online browsing, making an online reservation, and paying using a credit card or debit card. In line with these, good user experience is inarguably a vital factor in making a positive purchasing decision to make the process a breeze.
You might ask, where do you begin? A good starting point is establishing a quality website that is visually appealing, has seamless navigation, loads fast, contains informative content, secure from phishing and hacks, and features an easy booking and payment system.
By combining these elements, you can give users the ease, convenience, speed, and efficiency that they expect with their online transactions. Satisfied customers are likely to take the time and effort to give your fishing charter a favorable review.
A poor user experience, on the other hand, can discourage people from checking your website and finding business somewhere else. The last thing you want to happen is to lose a potential customer because of a slow, complicated, unsecured, and unreliable website.
Expectation vs. reality
Nothing can be more disappointing than to be presented with an illusion of something very appealing only to receive something inferior and lackluster.
Always present the user with clear and precise packages with the correct prices and explain in detail the things that are and are not included in the package. To prevent disappointments, ensure that the boat they see online is what they can expect in reality and all the equipment mentioned in the package are provided. You are likely to get favorable feedback if you are honest about every aspect of the trip.
Avoid misleading information that can influence your customer to make uninformed decisions. Deceptive advertising such as promising package inclusions you cannot deliver, claiming boat amenities that do not exist, and imposing undisclosed expenses can damage your reputation.
The customer must be aware of the fishing season so that they can have a realistic expectation of what types of fish they can catch during the fishing trip. They should also know about fishing laws that aim to conserve and improve populations of certain species like billfish. For instance, policies like catch and release should be discussed so that they won’t be disappointed if they can’t keep their prized catch. Inform them about regulations that require them to return any fish that did not meet a certain size requirement back to the ocean.
Outstanding service makes the difference!
Novice and serious anglers who feel that they are valued by the fishing charter company are likely to give positive reviews. A good way of achieving this is by keeping their needs at the forefront of your services and providing an excellent customer support that is always on standby to provide important information, help them choose the best package, and answer various inquiries.
The tone of customer support is equally important as people respond well to friendly communication. If you want to win the positive reviews, take time to listen before responding to their questions or offering solutions.
Customers appreciate companies that respond quickly to their queries and do not keep them hanging so always treat every inquiry important and maintain a good time frame for answering each one. Keep in mind that an overdue response might give the people the impression that you are not interested in conducting business.
Remind, meet and greet
A great fishing charter will make it a point to remind the customer when the trip is near through SMS, phone call and/or email to avoid late arrivals and no-shows that can deprive both parties of having a positive fishing experience. Provide them with the exact meeting point to prevent them from getting lost and wasting precious time.
It is also paramount to remind clients to bring all the necessary requirements for the trip such as ID and fishing license (when needed) plus essentials like a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, camera, and others.
Another important thing that some fishing charters neglect is the gesture of giving the anglers a proper welcome at the port. You can avoid this by giving a warm greeting and personally accompanying them aboard the fishing vessel. Make the passengers feel right at home by immediately offering them water, soft drinks, and other refreshments that are included in the package.
Cleanliness counts big time
When you invite a guest into your home, the proper thing to do is to clean your house and make it presentable to your guests. The same thing applies to a fishing charter; thus, the captain should instruct his crew to clean the boat before each trip. Make sure that every section of the boat from the deck, salon, galley, and down to the toilet are clean, uncluttered, and free from unpleasant odor. Dirty surroundings and the fishy smell is a real turnoff.
Oh, captain! My captain!
If you’re fishing for good reviews, you’ll need something really enticing to help you zero in for the catch and that’s none other than a great captain. Needless to say, the captain plays a significant role in how a fishing trip turns out because he is responsible for steering the boat to the best fishing spots; knows the territory and depths; and exhibits good judgement where to throw the anchor and where to tie the ropes when the boat is in a remote site.
The status of captain doesn’t automatically mean that he has what it takes to give clients the best value for their money. Besides, anyone can acquire a captain’s license and own a charter boat, but not everyone can deliver an unforgettable fishing adventure.
There are numerous fishing charters out there and with that kind of stiff competition, a captain should have an edge from the others beginning with his expertise. Anglers will highly benefit from having an experienced full-time captain who has been fishing in the waters for years because he is privy to the best and sometimes secret fishing spots that yield great catches. Experience also gives the captain the ability to predict the waters, understand the fish behavior, and instinctively know the best fishing techniques that work on the targeted fish and current conditions.
A great captain also goes the extra mile to guide newbies who are still learning the ins and outs of fishing. Make lasting impressions on your clients by patiently teaching novice fishers the proper methods to ensure a fun and memorable fishing experience.
There are moments when the fish are simply not biting which can be very frustrating especially for idealistic beginners. They may feel a sense of defeat when his companions have all caught a fish except him. An admirable captain is always there to give encouragement to anglers, especially beginners, who are having a tough time. It’s the captain’s job to subtly hint that process and journey of fishing are far more important than catching a fish and that sometimes fishing can be a hit and miss depending on the season, weather, and water conditions. This way, clients can feel less pressured about the fishing outcome and focus more on the experience.
Another trait of a wonderful captain is his ability to express concern for the passengers. Some fishermen, especially newbies, may be prone to seasickness or show physical exhaustion after a tough battle with a fish. A great captain has a keen eye for things like these and is are always ready to lend a hand. For instance, the captain can offer over-the-counter medication or other natural alternatives to counteract seasickness and advise exhausted fishermen to take some time to rest and recover their energy before resuming fishing.
Bring out the smiles and cheers!
Everyone will appreciate not only a knowledgeable captain but someone with a warm and sunny disposition. The captain, passengers, and crew are going to spend an average of four to eight hours together on the boat, and it’s good to establish a fun and relaxed atmosphere aboard. A warm, friendly, accommodating captain and crew who smile a lot can easily win the hearts of their guests and it won’t take long for them to start getting to know one another, enjoying fishing, cracking jokes, and learning how to improve hook-up ratios.
Until we meet again
As they say, goodbye is not the end. Set yourself apart from other fishing charters that end their contact with the client the moment that they step off from their boat. Giving your customers a great fishing experience is a good benchmark that can lead to repeat business and referrals. Take advantage of this by maintaining ties with them and building a positive business relationship with them.
After the trip, it’s a good practice to send them an email thanking them for using your services and asking them to share their fishing experience. Give your email a personal touch by mentioning something fun and memorable about the trip to inspire anglers to relive the moment by going on another fishing trip. In addition, you can consider enticing repeat customers by giving them a discount or perhaps some freebies on their next trip as a way of expressing your appreciation for the relationship that you have built.
Keep room for improvement
It’s always rewarding to receive positive reviews from clients which you can share on your website to build a great image in the fishing charter business. You might get your share of negative reviews but don’t let those opinions discourage you; instead, think of them as constructive criticisms and use them to further improve your business and satisfy more customers.