The camping industry is seeing an increase in popularity with automation, and campground owners have begun to seek ways to improve efficiency and guest experience using this innovative technology.
During the all-virtual Canadian Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo 2023 last February 15, Insider Perks Founder & CEO Brian Searl spoke in a session on how automation can help streamline business operations and increase revenue for campground owners, where he cited technology that could help them like AI, online booking, chatbots, and web content.
Improving Efficiency & Experience
In the session, Searl recommended that campground owners identify monotonous, repetitive processes that take up too much time and look for ways to automate them to improve their efficiency and guest experience.
“Almost everything can be automated in your life,” he said, adding that “there’s almost nothing that can’t be automated or streamlined in at least a partial way to make your day easier.”
He said that one of the key areas where automation can make a difference in campgrounds is in the check-in process of guests. Owners can save time, reduce repetitive phone calls, and increase revenue by automating and streamlining it, as well as the billing process.
Searl recommended using software that can manage documents, keep track of tax forms, and provide a resource to access employee information to streamline business operations.
Online Booking Systems
He also suggested online booking systems to gather information about guests and employees, which can be then used to automate tasks like sending out confirmation emails and employee scheduling.
Searl advised the campground owners that collecting data from these systems about guests and employees can enhance their marketing efforts, including loyalty programs, discounts, and promotions.
Owners can focus on more important tasks with the help of automating marketing efforts and alleviating frequently asked questions.
“What this is, [is] a 24/7 customer service representative that can answer almost any question about your resort, can lead people to bookings, can provide them with your phone number, and can display things like maps and photos and almost anything else,” he said.
In addition, the marketing expert recommends using time block software for tracking employee hours and integrating payroll systems. He notes that there are even ways to give employees an app on their phone for clocking in and out.
He also recommended a time block software to help track employee hours and integrating payroll systems. Some programs can even give staff an app on their phones for clocking in and out.
One of the tools that Searl recommended to campground owners looking to integrate different pieces of automation systems is Zapier, a software integration platform.
“There’s a website called Zapier that we use at our company that is basically a way for you to connect two different pieces of software together and do exactly what you’re talking about from an automation endpoint,” he said.
Searl ended the session saying that automating business processes and collecting data can help campground owners be better prepared for the future.
“When it comes to three, six months from now, or even two to five years from now, depending on where you want to go in the direction of your campground, you will be ready by having that data at your fingertips [and] to do that automation instead of scrambling and trying to figure it out later,” he said.
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