Why buy the whole cow when you only need a quart of milk? This is the same question that most RV campground owners and operators should be asking themselves about their internally operated reservation systems. Using a cloud-based reservation system has several distinct advantages over internally operated systems… usually a server or computer sitting on a shelf in the back office.
Overall, cloud-based systems are more affordable…. i.e. you only buy a quart of milk versus the whole heifer. But, cloud-based systems spread expensive technical personnel over hundreds of other systems, and allocate those expensive IT maintenance costs among all the users. Moreover, electricity often is purchased in more economical units, or energy use is offset by alternative energy sources, and provided to the cloud-based system at reduced rates that are more cost effective than running independent servers.
Professional cloud-based operators also are generally responsible for providing system patches and system security… yes even the best systems need repairs from time to time due to incompatible software, plugins, bad code, and even hackers. Cloud-based systems also allow users to easily scale their operations and usage more incrementally rather than in step-based functions whereby the independent operator literally goes and buys a new server and provisions it. Usage and resulting service fees can be scaled up or down depending on seasonality, and user demand. Normally, there are also test beds or sand boxes (in the industry language) available to allow new features and functions to be easily developed and tested without impacting on-going operations, reservations, guest services, reporting, and administrative functions.
While some independent operators may feel a sense of loss of control of their operations or data, nothing could be further from the truth. Professional system management prevents loss of data due to natural disasters such as fire or flood or even hacking. Professionally managed cloud-based reservations systems like MySites.com ensure data availability and reliability with professional off-site data backup, storage, and proper climate and environmental controls. It only makes sense to have your RV campground reservation and management system hosted in this manner. While local independent providers, and technicians may not be available 24/7 when you need them, this is never an issue with MySites.com because the campground operator is assured of uptime reliability.
Well, you say…ok… I’m convinced. I’ll move my existing application over to Amazon Web Services or Go-Daddy or Host Gator as examples of cloud-based hosting providers. You can do that, and realize some of the benefits that have been discussed above, but you’d be missing out on several important additional benefits by not using a professionally operated and hosted cloud-based reservation system and particularly one that is focused on YOUR industry.
A professionally managed RV campground oriented reservation and management system such as the one offered by Mysites.com provides all the above cost savings and security you’d expect from pure cloud-based service providers plus a Content Management System (CMS), Keyword Research, Google Analytics, Link Building Strategies, Mobile-Friendly Design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and of course the all-important Social Media Marketing strategies… blogs, reels, reviews, etc. that many RV campground guests have come to not only expect, but search for, rate, share, and mark as favorites.
Your reservation system also needs to have a proper and professional email and SMS systems for confirmations, follow-up, reservation modifications, cancellations, etc. like those we offer at Mysites.com. These important communications features engender guest confidence in your campground and operations. Every user interaction with your site should have an immediate confirmation of the guest’s action…. it can be as simple as “Success! – Congratulations! – Submitted! – Reserved! – Welcome! – Firewood Waiting! – etc.” you get the point. Then, (because you’ve already captured the guest’s cell phone and permission for text messages, and their email address) you may now send confirmation emails and SMS texts further reinforcing the guest’s action, and providing important details, information, etc. that give the guest confidence that you’re running a professional enterprise.
Professionally managed cloud-based reservation systems not only save the campground operator money, but they also ensure better guest service and repeat bookings. Your guest’s vacation should be worry-free. So why create worries or doubts with insufficient guest communications? It’s always better to over-communicate, rather than to leave a guest with doubts, and then have them calling your campground office with basic questions that could have and should have been answered by email or text. And simply put, better guest communications equal fewer guest doubts, and misunderstandings, which lead to fewer cancellations, and therefore more guest revenue.
So in the end, cloud-based reservation systems like MySites.com appear to be a win-win for campground owners… offering lower IT systems costs with better reliability, and generating more guest revenue, which combined equal more profit for you, the campground operator! Please call us today at Mysites.com for a one-on-one discussion to hear how we can help improve your campground’s profits this year and for years to come, and stop getting milked by your current system or provider.