A campground reservation system should be unique to campground businesses and should not be lumped into a hotel software offering or be a derivative thereof.
The last time I checked, hotels do not allow guests to take their homes and place them inside their rooms. In addition, if the room is not large enough to fit all the guest’s contents, they cannot readily expand the room beyond the square footage.
Conversely, a campground reservation system, in most cases, would not need food service management, document process flow management, activity scheduling or even room maintenance scheduling.
Albeit hotels and campgrounds are in the hospitality business, it doesn’t mean that all businesses within the same classification will benefit by mirroring each other’s technological capabilities. For example, a campground reservation system needs to ensure that a unit with 4 slide outs isn’t moved into a space where there shouldn’t be any slide outs. Said in a different way, a hotel reservation system most often will not require the age or condition of their guest’s vehicle to book.
It is also valid to say that there is a subsection within the campground vertical that very closely mirrors hotel operations and could benefit from some of the hotel reservation system functions outlined in the second paragraph. However, most campground owners wouldn’t even bother opening those functions because the need just doesn’t exist. These are primarily for destination resorts with 200 sites or more.
So why does it matter if you have a more functions, after all isn’t more better? My answer can be summed up in two words: User Experience.
Also known as “UX” by web designers, it is an integral piece to a great campground reservation system. A good design will be fast, easy to understand and even easier to navigate. Important UX factors involve how many “clicks” must a user make to initiate regularly performed functions, in this case a campground reservation. Do I have to navigate through a sea of pop-ups, tabs windows etc.?
Technology companies that want to do both a campground reservation system and hotel reservation management system are inadvertently sacrificing UX for campground owners because, like the old saying goes, you can be a jack of all trades but a master of none. Even companies like Google didn’t create YouTube, they bought it. YouTube remains doing what it does best which is allowing users to load media and, in some cases, monetize their own content. They didn’t try to modify their platform to incorporate a new way of making money.
What happens when a campground reservation system decides to play for two masters, ultimately it will affect the UX for campgrounds because developers of the software postulate that there is need for certain hotel functions to be included within the campground reservation system as well. Whenever you add functions that most campgrounds do not need, you also increase more menu options, more drop-down selections, more clutter, and more clicks.
Systems that expand past a campground reservation system usually are harder to learn, harder to train on and are more prone to glitches. I say glitches because hotel systems is an extremely competitive industry. Changes to the program are more frequent and are required to maintain your customer base. This inevitably will cause glitches with both the campground reservation system and the hotel system.
MYSites is a completely focused campground reservation system. Call 800-832-3292 to schedule your demo today.