As travel starts to pick up, RV park and campground owners around America are starting to consider how they should prepare for peak season.
However, getting set for Summer looks a little different in a post-Covid world. Below, you’ll find our top tips for reopening your RV park this season with the new normal in mind.
Make sure you’re being seen
In 2021, Social Media isn’t just a way to share memes. Actually, it’s never been more influential. App use is exploding because of lockdown measures around the world. An exponential increase in the number of people online at any given hour means a HUGE opening to get your brand image out there and into the minds of potential customers.
According to Ambassador, 71% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand or business to others if they have a positive experience with it on Social Media. As a result, your online Social Media presence isn’t just crucial in terms of brand image, but also for awareness, word of mouth, and ultimately, bookings. Before Summer, make your mark on the social space by posting more frequently, taking advantage of platforms you might not already use (like Instagram), and experimenting with paid ads and promoted content.
Read our full blog on Social Media here.
Spruce up your website and Booking Engine
Ah… a website refresh; one of those tasks that has taken up a permanent position on many businesses’ priority list but gets neglected time and time again. Now, there are no excuses! While you’re closed for Winter, plan for peak season and get to work on optimizing your Booking Engine. Don’t forget that it can take 3 to 6 months for any changes you make to have a tangible impact on SEO – there’s no time like the present!
Here are some tips:
- Go through your website and Booking Engine from start to finish, just as if you were a customer, and investigate any mishaps, dead ends, or flaws that need fixing as you go along
- Are your images from 2005? It’s probably (and by probably, I mean definitely) a good idea to replace them with current photographs that showcase the very best of your property and its services
- Are your deals and promotions clear to your customers? If not, it’s imperative (especially now) that you highlight any promotions so that potential guests have an even better reason to click BOOK NOW
- Make sure that all your descriptions are clear, relevant, and provide your customers with all the information they need to make their decision
- Ensure your website is user-friendly, with clear menus that are both easy to understand AND navigate
Rebooting your website and Booking Engine might be an ongoing project but, now is a better time than ever to make a start!
Learn more about how to optimize your Booking Engine here.
Perform a site safety audit
Of all the consumer surveys conducted throughout the pandemic, one common outcome stands out time and time again: safety is high on all future travelers’ agendas. Identifying risk within your property is just as significant as implementing new procedures and will assist you in doing so.
Some things to consider:
- Areas where congestion is likely to build up. Tight spaces might unintentionally force people into close contact.
- Places where people tend to congregate like communal BBQ areas or firepits.
- Touchpoints like computer keyboards, door handles, Credit Card terminals etc.
Once you’ve established the risks, making your visitors and staff aware of new rules and procedures is the next step towards providing a safe environment for your future guests.
- Start by planning your policy according to your state’s regulations and making your team aware of the rules they will need to adhere to.
- Keep your guests informed of changing circumstances or send reminders about social distancing using NewBook’s 2-Way SMS feature.
- Provide regular communication through your Social Media channels.
- Ensure your rules, procedures, expectations, and any information on closures or changes to your usual operations are clear by posting signage around your property in high-traffic areas.
Automate, automate, automate (and don’t forget self-service)
Employing automated systems for customer service and support is the key to minimizing the need for staff and reducing your expenditure. Like chatbots or FAQ pages, implementing customer service automation can add up to days saved in a year (and dollars upon dollars of unnecessary staffing costs).
Not only will automated processes naturally save you money, but implementing smart technology, like NewBook Self-Service Kiosks, will also help you improve your customer experience tenfold. More than four in every five travelers say that technology will increase their confidence to travel this year. That means more campers and happier ones.
Here are some ways you can start automating your processes using NewBook:
- Our Paperless Check-In, E-Signature, and Surveys features will allow you to send guests various forms and agreements to sign prior to their arrival or complete during their booking process, like Covid Declarations and Pet Agreements.
- Our Actions feature provides the ability to send guests an SMS asking if they have arrived. If the guest replies YES, NewBook will automatically update their status to ARRIVED within the system, minimizing contact upon check-in.
- Implement new technology like GuestAssist App, NEW.B.I.E AI Chatbot, or NewBook Self-Service Kiosks to reduce staff requirements and provide contact-free service. Our Self-Service Kiosks will allow your guests to check in, check out, manage their booking, view property information and maps, access Wi-Fi codes, and more… all without needing to talk to a staff member.
Check out this infographic for more 2021 travel trends!
Optimize your rates
Start making up for the lost time by using a smart rate strategy to capture those customers who missed out in 2020. With everyone excited to travel more this year, being proactive about pricing your rates accordingly and providing the best value for money should be a significant priority.
First up, put on your marketer’s cap and do a little industry research to determine how your competitors are approaching their pricing post-pandemic. In all likelihood, you’ll notice they’re also trying to gain the attention of eager would-be vacationers with lower rates than usual. But how low is too low?
A quick and effective way to start optimizing your prices (without losing out) is to take advantage of NewBook’s Dynamic Pricing feature. Our Dynamic Pricing tool will automatically adjust your rates based on occupancy levels. Demand will naturally shift from time to time. Rather than keeping your prices static, Dynamic Pricing helps pick reasonable rates that gain you more customers for a lower rate when demand is low and secure maximum revenue when it’s high.