Technology and nature have never been as connected as they are today in this digital era, creating incredible opportunities for RV park and campground managers to grow their online visibility, exceed their earnings expectations, improve the way they run their business, and attract more campers.
This opportunity for growth requires that you, as a campground manager, have the right technology at your disposal to help you run your business more efficiently.
We’ll take a closer look at some of the ways that using technology can contribute to the success of your RV park and ultimately help you win over more and younger campers this season.
Use Tech for your Internal Management
By implementing a Reservation Management System (RMS), your campground is equipped with the ability to accept online reservations, an availability calendar to monitor your available space in real-time, and more, so that you can streamline how you manage your campground.
Convenient and Timesaving
When handling reservations manually, someone always needs to be available to check people in, write up bookings, and handle all reservation requests. Usually, this is done over the phone or in person. However, with an RMS you don’t need to handle this process yourself as all bookings can be made and confirmed through the software interface.
If you’re new to this kind of technology, this only involves sharing your campsite availability online and letting people pick and book their dates. Once this is done, the booking will automatically be confirmed and a confirmation email or text message is sent to the guest.
This process isn’t just easy for you as a manager, it also helps attract more of the fastest-growing group of Americans, Millennials (which according to a recent report by the Kampground Association of America (KOA) made up 77% of campers in 2018), to your campground.
While there’s always room for a friendly personal welcome, using an RMS saves you time and allows you to focus on activities that bring in customers, such as marketing your campground.
While it can be challenging to think about changing up your tried and true way of doing business to cater to a larger market, implementing an online interface that shows real-time availability works in your favor.
We live in a world where instant gratification is important to travelers, particularly the younger generation, that make up the majority of campers. These days, people are used to making their bookings online, so it can be a deterrent if they have to wait for someone to get back to them to confirm details or a reservation, especially if they haven’t been to your campground before to know that it’s worth waiting for.
A study in 2017 found that a whopping 88% of Americans prefer to book their vacations online. Therefore, having an RMS in place leads to more campers by default as barriers are removed.
Additionally, some campground reservation software systems, including the RoverPass RMS, lets you accept cash-only reservations with ease. Allowing you to provide a great experience no matter what your guest’s method of payment is.
Lesley Presley, a RoverPass RMS user with a cash-only policy for her campground, uses the system to easily manage aspects of Camp Clearwater’s day to day business. After the addition of the RMS, Camp Clearwater has seen an additional 100 more customers annually.
But even with an online system, you’ll need to check-in campers and take note of incoming guests for the day. However, with all the booking information available in one location, you won’t need to worry about keeping track of multiple pieces of paper or books. Nor will you end up in the situation where the information you need is inside someone else’s head, should they have forgotten to note something down. This is yet another indirect way that using an RMS will help you provide a top-notch experience for your guests and ultimately win more over.
Use Tech to Attract Millennial Campers and Create Repeat Customers
Now, we gave you a pretty good overview of how the use of RMS technology has proven to be an awesome tool for campgrounds to enhance their customer’s experience and increase their occupancy rates, but what are some other ways campgrounds can win campers over? Simple: Embrace the technology that millennials embrace.
Millennials are bridging the gap between nature and technology in this new era and while they only make up 25% of the United States population, they represent 74% of campground and RV park visitors according to the KOA report mentioned earlier.
And with more than 93% of Millennials and Gen Xers owning smartphones, compared to 68% of Baby Boomers and 40% of the “Silent Generation,” according to a 2019 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults, we can safely say that RV parks must improve all aspects of their digital game to get a piece of the new breed of campers.
Easy booking with RMS
Once you’ve changed your old manual system, or the not-so-user-friendly software you’re currently using, over to the innovative, RoverPass RMS, you’ve made the first step toward winning more (and younger) campers. And make no mistake, this is one of the first things you should do, as the data shows that Millennials make up nearly 100% of the ones doing the online booking.
Access Wifi On-Site
The next thing in place should be a wireless network. An overpowering 97% of campers admitted to bringing some sort of technology with them on camping trips, whether that be a cell phone, laptop, or tablet. So, you’ll need internet at your campground.
While many might consider offering Wi-Fi to guests in a nature park to be counterintuitive to the spirit of camping, installing this feature has many benefits. These include being able to offer more online services that will help out customers both during and after the trip.
For example, having Wi-Fi can make it easier for guests to find their exact campsite when they arrive with the use of online maps or directional services within an app.
Although campers are looking to embrace a lifelong relationship with the outdoor lifestyle, Wi-Fi technology is so ingrained in our lives that it’s practically impossible to imagine going camping without at least having the ability to connect to the world, take some pics, and share them on our favorite social media platforms.
Providing this can also be used strategically as that kind of guest-attention can help in marketing your business on social media through user-generated content. The KOA report outlined that when people do go online to access social media while camping, it was mostly to share videos or photos on their profiles.
Embrace Social Media
Going hand in hand with the last point, campers can only help your online presence if you get the ball rolling. Create social media profiles for your campground if you haven’t already done so. No need to have every social profile under the sun. Just 1-2 basic channels that you know your guests spend time in, help tremendously.
You can share user-generated content with your fans, update your guests on the latest events you have going on at your campsite, and more. Social media also provides campers with an easy and immediate way to contact you during their stay.
Access to Reviews
Finally, collect reviews. After campers have checked out of the campground at the end of their trip, technology can provide a platform for you to collect valuable feedback about their experience. Campers can easily leave a star rating and review for others to see. This is beneficial for your campsite or RV park in two ways.
Firstly, it provides social proof that your campsite is worth visiting. Prospective campers will likely read reviews first to see what others who have stayed at your site have to say before making a booking. Secondly, reviews can also help to identify any service issues that you may be unaware of. If a customer points out that they had a great time but something wasn’t working, you now have the insights to take action and fix anything that needs tending to.
So Why Embrace Technology?
In summary, there are far too many benefits embracing technology gives your campground to list in this one article, but switching over to an RMS, adding a wireless network, getting your campground on social media, and accepting reviews are a great way to get the ball rolling and win over your current campers, win over new campers, and bring in the new younger crown of campers.
Ultimately, all of these changes will lead to a better experience for the campground and camper.
Interested in learning more about how technology can advance your camping business? Schedule a demo to see what the RoverPass reservation management system can do for the success of your campsite or RV park!