This morning I added a new slider image over at my business site, RLC Design. It’s a little tongue and cheek, but it’s also super true.
Last year I developed a very simple, very manageable IOS reservation system for RV Parks, or other businesses that take reservations (motels, hotels, B&B’s). And so far we have sold only one license. Not complaining, I’m actually pretty perplexed. See, every park we’ve stayed at in the past 6 months has not had an automated reservation system. Instead they’ve had paper reservations, 3×5 note cards, giant bulletin boards with multicolored stickers indicating daily / weekly / monthly sites, and other such thrown together systems.
Over that same period of time I have been in park offices where the folks had lost my paperwork and asked me repeatedly, “Are you sure you already paid?” Yes I am, I can even go online with my Smartphone and show you the debit off of my account for my stay with you!
Recently the park I was staying at lost my electric bill (many parks charge electric if you stay monthly), and had no idea what to charge me. So they ate the cost of the electric on my site (very generous). The park office person went through every paper meter reading, and had none for me. Bonus for me, loss for their business.
Our staff isn’t good with computers, and other excuses
Every park I’ve showed the database to has been impressed. But it stops right there at the door. Impressed, but can’t use the system. One park owner told me their staff would never work with the system, even though they wanted it. Another owner told me they weren’t tech savvy and weren’t good with computers. Another park manager was dying for the system after I showed them how it works, but knew the park owners would never pay for a system even if it saved employee time and guest time as well.
I have to ask the question here……. Did computers just come out in the past 5 years or something? I thought they’ve been around longer. I mean, I had a TI-99A that I hooked to a black and white television in the early 80’s (that’s 30 years ago folks). That was my first computer. Heck, every fast food chain in America has computer terminals for ringing people out.
If your reservation system (or lack of system) requires clients to stay on the phone for 10 to 15 minutes while you figure out if there are any open sites 4th of July weekend, you’re doing your guests a disservice. And I think your employees or work campers have other duties that they could attend to if you saved time on your reservations.
Seriously, in total since November I have stayed in 9 parks that took reservations on paper, or something like paper.
Maybe I’m just way too techie and biased….. I mean, personal computers have only been around for 30+ years.