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July 8, 2020
As travel returns and hospitality businesses ramp up for the summer season, RV park and campground owners and operators need a software solution that supports their recovery by enabling effective marketing communications with guests. Look for a park management system (PMS) with the following tools to help you communicate re-opening dates, COVID-19 precautions, protocols and policy updates, and upcoming promotions at your property.
An email marketing module allows you to create custom email campaigns, filter guest records in order to create targeted recipient groups, and schedule future emails or send them right away. An integral part of email marketing is your ability to access reporting to gauge the success of your campaigns. This reporting should include open and click-through rates, hard and soft bounces, and unsubscribe data.
The ideal communication hub is a centralized messaging center that lives inside of your PMS for efficient communication. From within this message center, you should be able to communicate with current and future guests via email, SMS messaging and chat.
Email: Your business likely retains hundreds or thousands of email addresses from past guests, or those who have signed up for your marketing communications, so it’s important for your PMS to support email communication tools.
SMS Messaging: Some communications are just too urgent to send via email. Your PMS must allow you to reach guests on their phones in case of important alerts. Using a PMS with a message center enables you to send SMS messages that will instantly reach guests in case of last-minute updates to check-in protocol or emergency situations.
Chat: You should be able to exchange real-time messages with guests who need assistance. Using a PMS with a chat feature enhances your accessibility to guests and expedites communication while providing an alternative to SMS and email messaging.
Using a PMS with automated correspondence saves you time and money by enabling messaging to go out at a pre-designated point in time. Automated correspondence is the key to efficient communication when it comes to sending confirmation, check-in, check-out, and receipt messages to your guests. Your PMS should enable you to create these messages as customizable templates that go out automatically during various stages of the guest’s life cycle. In turn, you and your staff are freed up to tend to other business needs to support recovery.
Your PMS provider should offer one final tool to enhance your guest communication: a guest portal. Your PMS should have a “Contact Us” tool in the guest portal for guests to click on and send a message while they’re viewing their stay details. On your end, the message will appear in the message center, and your two-way conversation will then be stored under the reservation record for future reference. In addition to being an efficient communication tool, the guest portal can be utilized by guests to view and print receipts, sign documents, and provide your property with any additional desired information.
Originally Published in Woodalls Campground Management