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Dockscape Launches Online Communication Solution for Boat Yards, Marinas

Dec 2, 2008
December 2, 2008 - Dockscape, a new company that specializes in electronic communications solutions for the marine industry, has launched a powerful, web-based service that helps companies strengthen customer relations and grow their businesses.

Using Dockscape's simple web service, yard and marina operators busy with day-to-day operations can now produce a wide range of professional online communications - from content-rich e-newsletters to customer bulletins and service promotions - with a minimal investment of time. The goal is to help companies keep their customers well informed about their boats and maintenance, as well as the capabilities of the people and facilities that care for their vessels. The end result is to both improve the customer's boating experience and strengthen customer loyalty. Companies using the service report an increased demand for their services. 

"When it comes to boats, the most important relationship a boat owner has is with his or her yard or marina," says Jack Gierhart, a marine-industry veteran and co-founder of Dockscape. "The yard cares for an asset that is truly an owner's passion, and that yard has a wealth of knowledge about how to get the most enjoyment from a boat and keep it in top shape. Owners welcome information and advice from their yards."

According to Gierhart, Dockscape developed its service with busy owners and managers in mind. To create a straightforward process suitable for all types of businesses, the company tested the service with a range of yards -- from large multi-location organizations, to small family-run companies with limited staff and resources. The result is an economical service that removes the technical complexities of developing and managing online communications.

For the Brewer Yacht Yard Group, their customer outreach program with Dockscape helps ensure Brewer customers have the best possible experience on and off the water, according to Rives Potts of the Brewer yards, and will ultimately strengthen their business.

"Everyone's time is precious nowadays, and meaningful communications are critical to keeping our boat owners informed about their boats that play an important part in their lives," says Potts. "In New England, we are fortunate to have four distinct seasons-so up-to-date information, current news, and some fun narratives in our newsletters help keep the boating experience alive and well year-round. It is our way of telling our customers we care, that we are interested in making their boating experience really great. That is our goal."

To produce an e-communication with Dockscape, companies only need to create the messages they want to send to customers; additional content from an expansive database can be added-including timely marine weather alerts and articles on cruising destinations, operations, maintenance, safety as well as equipment reviews. With intuitive guides Dockscape helps companies create their messages, and then manages the details of formatting, assembling, sending, and tracking the communications. The process gives yard managers the ability to quickly produce high-quality communications that look like the work of a full-service ad agency, but at a fraction of the price.

At San Francisco Bay-area yard KKMI, Erica Kaplan has been issuing an e-newsletter to over 1200 customers through Dockscape every other month. "They certainly make it easy to do this," says Kaplan. "The Dockscape service is a very good way to relate to our customers. It tells them, 'We are here when you need us.'"

Ever since Dave Kaiser of the Mattapoisett Boatyard attended a seminar on customer service and learned that over half the customers who part ways with a company do so because of poor communication, he has been focused on improving communications with his customers.

Dockscape has enabled Kaiser to develop a communications program-sending customers periodic newsletters and alerts on preparing for bad weather, upcoming weekend activities, and guidance on seasonal maintenance. The number of customers that open his e-mails is high, averaging 75%.  Not only has Kaiser noted that his customers are hungry for information, but in the short time he has been using the Dockscape service, Kaiser has noted an attitude shift amongst his customers.

"There has been a lot more activity coming across my e-mail, and more calls, asking for our expertise," says Kaiser. "Not that we weren't experts before, but Dockscape has helped boost our customers' awareness and confidence in our abilities."

For more information about Dockscape, visit the company's web site at www.dockscape.com or call 1-888-678-DOCK (3625).
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