For holiday park operators, we are nearing the time of year when thoughts and priorities turn from ensuring customers are kept happy on site to ensuring your park is maintained and replenished fit for purpose next year.
For many businesses which experience seasonality, there is a natural focus on the “here and now” and this becomes exacerbated when organisations rely on manual processes and human intervention alone in order to keep on top of tasks.
Whilst site management is of course highly important in order to keep your amenities fresh and appealing for future visitors, the focus post-season should not be entirely fixated on it at the mercy of other business areas – we are thinking in particular of customer contact management.
Tracking your customer lifecycle – an ongoing priority year-round
No-one would disagree that keeping in contact with your customers is important to ensure repeat business and advocacy – particularly in a competitive hospitality and leisure industry. If you leave your prospects and customers too long without communicating and reinforcing your park’s offerings, promotions and values this leaves room for your competitors to.
There are different levels of sophistication of customer contact strategies depending on your organisation’s customer profile, sales and marketing strategy and the business processes that enable these ambitions.
It is commercially dangerous for a business of any size to think that customer management is not for them.
Customer relationship management technology and best practice is becoming more accessible and cost effective with the growing popularity of subscription based cloud applications such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Pay for the users and functionality you need without infrastructure overheads.
The real beauty of investing in CRM systems is that your marketing, sales and customer service teams get back control of your customer relationships and no longer react as functions to what needs to be done, week by week. This also means that when your teams are in the thick of it during holiday season that forward thinking or building a future pipeline does not go out of the window, and plans and tactics can be set up ahead of time and analysis can be collected.
How CRM can support the entire customer journey for park operators
We have already discussed how CRM can assist sales and marketing teams plan and execute multi-channel campaigns and promotions and build the booking pipeline for both new and repeat business.
Much more intrinsic to your park is that CRM can support you in mapping and responding to the entire customer journey – from enquiry, to comparison, to booking, to holiday and to referral and repeat stays. It is imperative throughout each customer journey that their experience feels personalised, relevant and consistent, no matter who they are talking to or what channel they are accessing you via.
If we take customer service in holiday parks – how do you know you are doing a good job, and therefore be safe in the knowledge of replicating your approach in future or across different markets or sites? It is important that you provide a relevant feedback loop for your customers – better that they give you their opinion so that you can react, rather than to a competitor or via an online forum. CRM and integrated applications such as Microsoft Social Engagement and Click Dimensions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM can give you this proactive ability to empower your customers and protect your reputation.
Here at Prodware, through our experience with implementing ParkVision – our business management solution for park operators – that much focus (rightly so) surrounds the operational side of running a park. However, we are increasingly conscious of the need for an awareness around providing a better, multiple channel customer experience on an ongoing basis, and that needs to be supported by the right technology. Please contact us for to find out how we can help your park retain the right customer focus, in or out of season.