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November 1, 2021
Operational success ... such an ever-elusive term within the hospitality industry. What does it really mean?
It often begins with a commitment to pursuing operational excellence — or vowing to increase your campers’ satisfaction and their “intent to return” by improving your processes, services, and products.
But how do you get started achieving such a feat? The path to operational excellence can seem challenging, but there are a few things you can start doing today to set your property up for long-term success:
Most likely, the first place guests look to learn about your campground or RV park — and even book their stay — is online. They’ll use their favorite search engine to look up reviews about your property on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Facebook, Campendium, and other popular platforms to see what has been shared about their experiences. If you are not actively responding to and encouraging reviews on these platforms, now is the time to start! Engaging in conversations with your visitors on review sites shows you care about the guest experience and improving it.
Let’s not forget about your actual website, which can ultimately make or break a guest’s decision to book a stay. Make sure your hospitality website is mobile-friendly and responsive, has prominent calls-to-action and quick access links, and showcases user-generated content to build trust. Although these are big wins, they’re not the only way to improve your website. Here are some more ways to Leverage Your Site Design to Improve the Guest Experience.
Even after initially attending to reviews and your website, it’s important to keep up with routine updates. Set a reminder to check reviews regularly and establish a long-term plan for continuous improvement updates to your website.
GO EXTRA: Don’t forget that your social media presence can also give visitors a look into your experience, so give your favorite channels a little extra attention!
We often ask guests what they think of their experience, but it can be easy to neglect those who know your property the best: the team that helps run it! Your employees have a deep understanding of your current operations and probably have a few ideas for how it could be improved.
Have an open and honest conversation with your employees about:
Remember, all feedback can be helpful — so be sure to make your team feel comfortable sharing both the good and ugly without repercussions. When you make your employees feel included in the operational success of the property, they’ll be more likely to help you achieve it.
After receiving feedback from both your guests and your employees, the power is in your hands to plan short and long-term improvements for your property. But, where to begin?
Consider conducting a SWOT analysis. If you haven’t heard of it before, SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It is a strategic planning technique businesses use to identify where they’re excelling and some areas their company could improve. For your campground or RV park, this could put you well on the way to achieving your operational goals.
Knowing where your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats lie is extremely powerful, but awareness alone is not enough. You must translate these buckets into actionable steps that lead to improvements.
Initially, gathering all this data can seem overwhelming, but remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. By breaking each action into gradual steps towards realistic goals, you can inch closer to operational excellence.
Did feedback reveal that your guests are looking for more information about the surrounding area? Make a short-term goal to feature local events or popular attractions on your site or social media or provide a sheet at check-in. Did your employees disclose that they have trouble with disorganization at the front desk? Set a short-term goal to clean up the space once a week and keep track of each week you meet that goal.
GO EXTRA: Be sure to set both short-term and long-term goals for your property and gather important buy-in from your employees, who will help to make it all possible. Consider recognizing an Employee of the Month who goes above and beyond to help your team reach a goal or offering them a small, yet thoughtful, prize.
If you don’t have one already, a reservation management system can help your property streamline its processes on the path towards operational excellence. Specifically, you’ll want to seek a reservation and property management system that includes many all-in-one features, so you aren’t working with a handful of disjointed tools and risk interconnectivity issues, errors with staff, and wasted time.
What do we mean by an all-in-one solution? Having a management system that allows visitors to manage their own reservations through a guest portal and automates email and SMS messages can significantly improve your ability to communicate with guests. Other important integrations like including a Point of Sale system, revenue management tools, customer relationship management (CRM), and a built-in Channel Manager can really make a huge difference. Take a look at your current property software and see what’s missing.
Operational excellence isn’t something you can necessarily achieve and leave be; it’s an ever-present commitment to continually improve the guest experience.
If you’re looking for impactful ways to inch closer to operational excellence, download our complimentary ebook, How to Achieve Operational Excellence with a Reservation Management System, to learn more. You’ll be amazed at how much the right property management software can help you reach your goals.