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Dear Capt. Heidi & Capt. Mike,
I just wanted to let you both know that I've had a great time yesterday with you guys! I rarely do this, but I'd like to leave you with a little feedback from my own experience and observations from yesterday!
From a personal standpoint, you guys are awesome dive operators and so personable, indeed. For me, it began before I even stepped foot onto your boat--it began with the quick email replies to my questions and most helpful suggestions!
From a business standpoint, your dive operation is quality and very professional, but yet carries an unique "family" touch! This is lacking with many of your competitors. I'm a full-time business and IT professor at a regionally accredited university in Central FL. In my business classes, I always remind my college students that a successful entrepreneurship begins long before the first transaction takes place with the potential client! Customers are willing to give you the business if you give them a reason to do that by setting yourself apart from your competitors. I call that the WOW-factor. Friendly service is another fail-safe way to secure that confidence.
I've had several WOW factor experiences that I've noticed yesterday when I was with you guys. Here are a few such examples ~ From seeing the dive-master help carry Jay's equipment from his truck to the dock and onto the boat, to Heidi's willingness to allow me (a stranger) to rent her personal steel tanks. From Tracy offering me the use of her spare dive computer (it may be her personal dive computer, but she still represents your business), to the way Mike took the time in articulating his responses to different folks all day. Even at the end of the day, from watching Mike help/teach divers to properly clean/rinse their equipment, to Heidi's kindness of only charging me for one tank and not charging me for the wetsuit rental! I am most grateful, indeed.
From an IT standpoint, I always teach that technology integration in business is a vital component to my college students in the Management Information Systems and IT Engineering degree tracks. I've found that it's almost like a type of nomenclature for businesses today to incorporate some form of digitized offering(s) into their business plans!
For you guys, it's a matter of taking the time to capture an individual or group picture or video, and then posting it on your Web presence. For some people such as myself who does not have an underwater camera--having a keep-sake photo from the dive that day was, indeed, a very nice touch! No matter how useful the digital technology may be, successful businesses do not use it simply for its own sake; they should have a solid business reason for implementing technology. Your Website contains a lot of info about what you offer, and a great PR balance of Tanks-A-Lot online. However, it really doesn't let a random person who's just surfing the Net and "shopping" for a dive op know just how wonderful you guys are off-line! It's your quick email/phone returns coupled with your outstanding service on the dock/boat/dive sites that do!
Based upon my own experience and observations yesterday, I'm no longer interested in "trying out" other dive ops in the area. You guys are now my choice of service whenever I want to dive in the Gulf.
Again, many thanks for a great weekend dive! I will be promoting your business from my end and would like to encourage you both to keep giving your clients at Tanks-A-Lot the WOW-factor experience!
Dr. Tony De Souza
I am a Dive beginner and learned to dive in Germany, in Lakes! I had planned a vacation, with diving in Costa Maya, Cozumel Mexico, Key West FL and Clearwater FL. The first dive experience was in Costa Maya. I had never dived from a boat in the ocean, but of course I had learned the 'Big Step in' form of getting off the boat, so what a surprise and shock to learn that we went in from a sitting position backwards off the side of the boot!!!! The ocean was pretty rough that day and it was hard for me to just drop off the side backwards. I did manage it and was amazed at the beauty of the ocean. We had a guide and she was very good. Then the safety stop, oo that was the next shock, we went up to 5m and had to stay at that spot without any help from any lines. Being a new diver, it was pretty difficult. The team was friendly but not personable.
My next dive was supposed to be in Cozumel, unfortunely the harbor was closed because of rough weather, so the dives were cancelled.
Next was Keywest. That was the next shock. I did not have a compass and there is no guide.! In the USA (so I was told) nobody does that. The Captain told us to go North then North west and so on...thank goodness there was a nice guy on the boat who let me tag along with him, or I think I wouldn't have moved from one spot. Also here, there was no anchor line. The dives were nice but we still got lost and had to go up and down to get our bearings.
Then I got to Clearwater....I can't say it enough, it was AWESOME!! Captain Mike, Miss D and Captain Heidi are the best!!!!
First of all, the experience of talking to Heidi and Mike on the phone, they were both so personable and I could feel their excitement through the phone line.
The online experience was just as good.
Then when I got there, they were soooo helpful and friendly. We went out to the first dive and Captain Mike told me 'Don't worry we make it easy for you so you have the best diving experience ever' AND THEY DID. Captain Mike put down the anchor, we went off the back of the boat, around to the front and down the anchor line. How easy it was and how wonderful the diving, I saw so many wonderful things, the best being the nurse sharks and eagle Rays. Miss D was always around pointing out beautiful things.
Then we went up the anchor line, had a very relaxing 3min safety stop on the anchor line, and back to the boat. Even getting back on was fun, with Captain Mike taking video and pics of everybody. There was plenty of water and snacks. All part of the diving experience. He has a toilet on the boat, and let me tell you, when you’re out in the Gulf, drinking lots of water, it's a nice thing to have. I'm haven't gotten the hang of peeing in my wetsuit like others seem to be able to do, so I was thankful for that extra. Every single dive with Tanks-A-Lot Dive Charters was Fantastic. I had originally booked 2, 2 tank dives, but I tried every way possible to go out with them again. And on Halloween it worked out, Captain Heidi went out with us this time (she can only go on the weekends)
she did lots of video and took great pics. We saw a huge Giant turtle and a shy very big Lobster, loads of other great fish and amazing coral.
Up to date Captain Mike's Tanks-A-Lot Dive Charters in Clearwater Florida was my best diving experience ever, I can't wait to go back.