There are over 8,000,000 RV owners in the U.S., and they all have to stay somewhere. But that’s no excuse for not treating every single one as though they are the most important customer in the world. That kind of attitude will propel you to the top of the pile in RV park owners – and reward you with outstanding occupancy and cash flow.
So how do you earn lifetime RV park customers?
It’s not enough that your customer should be pleased. You want them to be so excited about their experience that they tell all their friends! If you think about it, there are only a few things you have to do to over-deliver in an RV park:
- Have an attractive entry. It sets the first impression in the customer’s mind, and validates their idea to stay at your RV park all the others out there. There is no excuse not to have decent landscaping and an attractive sign. And the grass should always be manicured and edged.
- Greet your customer with a smile and a warm, sincere “welcome”. These folks are paying your mortgage, and they sure deserve more than a cold “what do you want?” This ties in to their first impression of their experience.
- Freely dispense travel advice. They are new to the area, and need a laundry list of things to do. And you need to know the times of operation and all the other information a concierge at a hotel can provide. It does not hurt to have a map and flyers to all the attractions handy that they can take with them. Isn’t that what you’d want?
- Check on them again after they’ve connected their utilities and settled in. Make sure everything is going O.K. It only takes a couple minutes, but they really appreciate the customer service – the same as when the restaurant manager checks on your during your dinner.
When There Is A Problem – Solve It
Studies have shown that a customer who is unhappy and then made happy is more loyal than one that never had a problem in the first place. This means that it is extremely important to solve every customer issue immediately and to their satisfaction.
Remember that the alternative to a happy customer is a walking billboard of negative feedback on your RV park. If you want to be successful, having an unhappy customer is just not an option.
When a customer problem pops up, remember the old adage “the customer is always right.” Don’t argue with them, or try to change their perception of what happened. Just fix it and move on. If they come in to pay, and thought it was $20 a night and it’s really $22, then don’t say “O.K. cheapskate, you can’t afford the extra $2?” Instead, say “I’m sorry for the communications error here, $22 has been our rate for the last six months, but I’m more than happy to take the $2 off. We really appreciate your business, and want you to come here the next time you pass by.” You’ve just spent $2 to get a customer for life, and one that spreads the word of how great your RV park is. Isn’t that a bargain?
You can have a long and rewarding career as an RV park owner and never have an unhappy customer. In fact, if you make it priority #1 that every customer is going to leave your RV park 100% satisfied, you will build a virtual army of public relations ambassadors, and your success will never be in question.