How many of us have got in the car and hit the road as the customer. Stood in a lengthy queue at the end of a long, longgg… day of driving, to check-in to the holiday park. As you stand there waiting, the customers in the front of you are discussing with the receptionist; the weather, roads, local attractions etc… then the receptionist takes a phone call and spend 5 minutes taking a booking. All of this is happening while you know that mayhem and possible anarchy is taking place in the car with your partner and children.
I don’t know about you, but I have also had that phone call from the park / resort we are driving to, asking us (in that very short tone) where are we as the office is shutting at 6pm and they make it sound like we are running late to check-in with a parole officer.
I have also had the privilege to be the other side of the equation. A couple years ago I was the ICT Manager of one of the largest holiday park owner / operators in the Australia, in this role I was part of the operations leadership team. In every meeting the same issue was raised, controlling the largest operational expense to operate a property, that being labour. Also on every meeting agenda there was a heading “Park of the Future” where we discussed what we see as being the park of the future and how technology can help.
After trialling products by other manufacturers that were supposed to help, that were supposed to be cutting edge, it was found that they were completely the opposite, they were clunky, they didn’t have the operator or the customer in mind and they ended up being decommissioned.
Time for Change
At the recent Caravan Industry Association of Australia conference, I was proud to released to the market our self service kiosk product that we have built from the ground up (both hardware and software). The kiosk has been designed with both the operator and customer in mind.
The kiosk allows the customer to check-in, checkout, book, pay outstanding balances and receive their keys, all without having to step foot into the office.
For the property owner/operator, this technology enables them to reduce the operating expenditure by reducing the front of house labour spend, it interfaces directly with the Property Management System (eg RMS and Newbook). Additionally it provides the property with the ability to increase occupancy and revenue by accepting same day bookings and check-ins 24/7.
For the customer, through the use of technology we improve customer service by speeding up the booking and check-in processes significantly.
I am keen to discuss and demonstrate this, and other products which we have in development, with all forward thinking property owners and operators.