As an outdoor property owner or manager, you know the importance of keeping up with the latest trends within the hospitality world. But what exactly are these trends?
Self-service technology has been dominating the world, and with COVID-19 changing the dynamics of customer service across all industries, campers may have different expectations for their experience at your campground or RV park than they had in the past.
The process of embracing the latest self-service trends can be challenging. However, adapting to these trends can give you the edge over your competition and improve the guest experience. Here are the four self-service trends to look out for in 2022.
1. Contactless Check-in/out
All campers deserve an easy check-in process that helps them make the most of their time during their stay. By using an online check-in feature through your self-service campground reservation software, you can allow your visitors to let you know they have arrived, even if your front-desk is closed for the day.
This trend of contactless check-in is here to stay for a number of reasons, including the fact that it’s convenient for everyone, especially during the busy season when more than one camper wishes to check-in or out at the same time. Since campers can access their reservation information on any mobile device, you can have peace of mind knowing that your campers are having a positive experience from the moment they arrive at your outdoor property.
Besides the convenience for your campers, a contactless check-in and check-out process offers reduced manual errors and frees up your staff’s time. You and your team can view who has checked in or out using your campground reservation system without having to interrupt your guests’ stay to verify times or apologize for double bookings.
2. Online Guest Portals
Online portals within a campground reservation system are growing in popularity because they help streamline your operations. Portals that are configurable allow for a unique self-service system in which everyone has what they need exactly when they need it.
Portals can help your guests spend less time on the phone trying to communicate their needs to your staff and more time enjoying their stay. For example, with the right software you could tailor a guest portal to allow your campers to:
- Access information on upcoming events at your campground.
- Manage their reservation.
- Contact you or your staff directly.
To further the guest experience, a guest portal may have customization options to match the look and feel of the portal to your brand’s own colors and design. As more uses for guest portals are discovered, this trend may become one of the biggest hospitality industry trends of 2022.
3. Remote Work Environment
Although not every organization was ready for the remote work trend, new technologies and innovative approaches have made it easier to adjust. This is good news because an estimated 22% of the workforce in the U.S will be working from home by 2025. As that percentage is equal to over 36 million Americans, remote working will definitely be a factor to consider when meeting the needs of your campers.
WiFi Options for Campers
One way to accommodate the needs of campers who have brought their work with them is to offer WiFi packages. Depending on the dynamics of your outdoor property, you could offer free WiFi, or charge a small fee to increase your revenue and still meet the internet needs of your working visitors. Offering free WiFi and access to a faster connection for an upcharge could be a fair compromise to meet everyone’s needs.
A Space for Remote Workers
You can also consider providing remote workers with a secluded space. Layout permitting, a quiet indoor area with seats and WiFi access can help your campers get their work done and get right back to enjoying their stay. Another option is to have an outdoor space that’s easily accessible, has seating, and provides a peaceful outdoor environment. Or, of course, if you have the space, both!
4. Virtual Support
For 24/7 customer service, businesses are looking for online options that don’t require constant monitoring from their staff. This has come in the form of chatbots— artificial intelligence (AI) systems designed to engage with your guests through online channels such as text messages and automated voice interactions.
Customizable chatbots can reduce operational costs and improve the guest experience. These benefits may be the reason that Business Insider has predicted consumers will use chatbots to spend over $142 billion by 2024, as opposed to the $2.8 billion spent in 2019.
When your staff is on the clock, campers can use text messaging services to ask questions or make requests without having to visit the front desk. This also means that staff members can respond quickly to meet the needs of your campers and enhance their experience at your outdoor property.
Adapting To the Latest Hospitality Trends
Self-service trends are here to stay. Although the industry is slowly recovering from the pandemic, guests are always looking for the convenience of self-service options when making a reservation. By adapting to these contactless trends, you can entice campers to book with you and provide each visitor with excellent customer service around the clock.
To learn more about the new guest experience and self-service trends including how to maximize your hospitality technology, access our webinar, and get ready for happy campers.