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July 1, 2021
When traveling in campers and RVs, guests often drive late into the night to avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic and shorten travel time. You know better than anyone that this means campers arrive during all hours of the night...
If you’re like most campgrounds, you don’t have a 24-hour front desk to check-in late-night arrivals. As a result, guests are either barred from entering and move onto the next campsite or they “self-assign” themselves a spot— sometimes in places already reserved for next-day arrivals. Worst still, some try to hunker down for a quick nap and head out without paying, despite your best efforts to lay out clear instructions and dropbox systems...
To avoid these headaches, more and more campgrounds are adopting self-service reservation software — and it’s making late-night check-ins easier than ever!
Here are five big reasons campground self-service booking systems are becoming an increasingly common, expected part of any guest experience:
Since many guests have already used digital booking systems when traveling, there’s little need to worry about the adoption rate. From Airbnb-using Millennials to now-smartphone-confident Gen Xers, 86% of U.S. travelers now consider themselves tech-savvy.
Most of your demographic is ready to make the switch to digital check-ins— and by adopting a self-service reservation system, you are giving them exactly what they’re looking for!
With so many campers rolling in and hoping for vacancy availability the “day-of,” it’s hard to predict your capacity. By encouraging guests to use your online booking system in advance, you’re able to better access your volume and prepare accordingly. Additionally, less staff is needed to man the front desk, saving you money otherwise spent paying workers and freeing up your team’s time to focus on other site activities.
With a self-service campground check-in system, your team avoids the hassles and potential errors associated with last-minute arrivals and you can provide a more personalized experience for guests. For instance, families can more easily book plots next to each other, ensure special requests are met, etc. This is an important opportunity for your guests to opt for upgrade features ahead of time too, like paying for stronger WiFi, reserving spots to participate in campground events, etc.
Let’s not underestimate the power of being able to communicate with guests before, during, and after their stay when using an online booking system either. The guest experience is instantly improved by giving campers the opportunity to control their reservations themselves; meanwhile, your staff can focus on customer service rather than the tedious details of check-ins.
While most campgrounds have the option to schedule trips via phone or online ahead of time, not all have a friendly portal that guests can access at any time, from anywhere. Prospective campers either get a verbal confirmation on a call or they get an email confirming their stay, but if they want to make any changes, they have to get back in touch with your staff.
With a cloud-based booking system, both your staff and your campers are fully empowered to adjust reservations, quickly and easily. Your team can log into one portal to see changes instead of a constant barrage of phone calls, while guests can update their itinerary at any time, from their smartphone, without having to buzz your team during office hours or leaving lost voicemail messages.
The right reservation software should empower you with insights to improve your guest experience and operations at large. This virtual booking system can capture information about your guests' habits that you can use in your future marketing. For instance, if you notice they often visit in the summertime, you might consider offering them a special summer pass for discounted rates— and have an automated email go out to those who qualify.
Or, when guests answer your “Where did you hear about us?” question after check-in, you may notice many heard about you from other guests’ posts or saw your content on social media. This could inspire you to up the ante by posting more photos and videos.
Remember, self-service check-in software is often just a part of (or can easily be integrated with!) a larger property management system— so the world is at your fingertips!
If these five reasons for adding digital check-in to your campground didn’t convince you, we’ve got a few more up our sleeves.
Learn more about the cost of manual mistakes, upsell opportunities, and more by downloading our ebook, Reasons Self-Service Check-in Will Work For You.