As the season picks up and boaters are already venturing overseas to their favourite cruising grounds, our new Pick a Pier digital membership system is steadily being adopted throughout the network.
The Pick a Pier membership system aims to be agile, accessible, and portable – for both boaters and their marina hosts. Boat owners can validate their membership when making a reservation, prior to arrival, which helps facilitates discount application and easily registers discountable nights, saving additional labour for all involved. Few would dispute that filling in paperwork is a never going to become a priority in terms of the cruising experience!
In the meantime, Pick a Pier is working on a new portal that allows online bookings. The platform has been tailored to TransEurope Marina’s needs and is already being trialled in selected marinas. Eligible berth holders can request digital cards, send reservation requests to marinas, and communicate with marina operators directly.
As the TransEurope members transition into the new format, the Pick a Pier team have been delighted with feedback from marina managers over recent weeks, responding to suggestions to optimise functions that could benefit from being more intuitive, or adding details that enable marinas to better dovetail the system to their operational procedures.
Idan Cohen, CEO of Pick a Pier expressed his satisfaction.
This has all been a wholly collaborative process and we have really enjoyed the challenge. Each marina manager brings a unique vision to the table, individuality being part and parcel of each destination’s charm and identity.
Firstly, in most part due to COVID-19, we have marinas at various stages of engagement. Some are already highly active and have registered their berth-holders, who are now out travelling around the network and using the system. Others have understandably been caught up in a heavy workload brought on by the complications of the pandemic and haven’t yet had time to engage with the platform. Finally, a small group, such as Poole Quay Boat Haven and Port of Poole Marina, who last year welcomed over 300 TransEurope visitors, have progressed to exploring the final stage, one that allows boaters to sign up and request validation from their marinas.
Manager Maarten Desloovere, at VY Nieuwpoort in Belgium, described his experience using the new programme:
Earlier this year, Pick a Pier introduced to a new digital way to register our TransEurope members and visitors. The idea is simple, relieving us of the use of paper cards and allowing us a bit more insight into where our visitors come from. As the COVID crisis took hold however, I worried that the extra workload involved in incorporating yet another system would be one task too many, and you start to wonder why the good old paper-days need to go?
I really wanted to give it a try however, and to be honest, it really is as simple as described. The only thing you need to remember is the site you need to access, to fill in the TransEurope number for a visitor. The system will redeem the nights for you so you do not have to keep count of individual visits and if you have time for analysis, the data can help with operational planning.
As everywhere, we only started receiving visitors recently, but only weeks into the season, 17 of our customers already used the advantage of the TE card for 55 nights. I could then go back to our berth-holders with the good news that they could some €687.5 in total (if we take an average of €25/night -50%). And if they all want to get this advantage, they just have to request their digital card.
We can also see that we have three UK visitors and 2 French visitors from France who used the card, who may well have chosen our marina due to the TransEurope Marinas network advantage. We hope that the quality of our services will encourage them to spread the word to their fellow sailors.
I am sure that in the future, updates and amendments will bring a host of new additional services, but for now, the Pick a Pier membership system is reliably simple and so it is up to us to make the most of it.
Digital transformation in this respect aims to offer boaters and visitors the best and most convenient experience they can have. This includes booking their visits online, advancing the required documentation for each marina online if desired and redeeming member benefits in the most straightforward and effective way, thus facilitating the cruiser experience. Our collective goal is to give our residents and visitors the best service possible to a more personalised, responsive, and efficient service – increasing customer satisfaction and making our jobs easier.