After Hours Registration

Discussion in 'Park Management' started by Tamtam, Mar 10, 2016.

  1. Tamtam

    Tamtam
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    We own a park that is open year round, but mainly has Summer season guests. Summer hours are 8am to 8pm. Spring and Fall are 9am to 5pm. Winter is 10am to Noon.

    We are starting the process of doing an update to our after hours registration area, we'd like it to be easy to use and understand. The photos are of the current set up, although it was impossible to get a full picture without showing the park name. I'm looking for advice on how we can improve the process for Guests.

    What works best for you as a Guest to understand and use the registration process?

    Have you used registration areas that were problematic or confusing? How so?

    We would like Guests upon arrival to fill out the registration form and leave it with their payment in the mail slot at the registration area. Instead many Guests grab an envelope that contains the park map/info and registration form and then come to the Office in the morning to register and pay. What do most parks require? What is your preference?

    Any other insight and advice would be greatly appreciated!
     

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  2. Texasrvers

    Texasrvers
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    I know you said you could not post a full picture so maybe this is there, but do you actually tell guests that they must fill out a registration form and leave it with their payment in the mail slot at the registration area. Your photo only lists the park rules to follow. Telling them what they need to do to register would be helpful.
     
  3. Tamtam

    Tamtam
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    The first photo is what we currently have for "instructions". Just ignore my hand blocking out the park name :)

    The second photo is the first draft of the signage we would like to place in this area, it would be approximately 18"x24".

    I'm really curious as to what other parks have and what works or doesn't work from the Guest perspective. We want our area to be user friendly.
     

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  4. Texasrvers

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    From someone who would be a guest, the red sign's instructions are very clear and should be easy to follow. If you would prefer to have the payment included at the time of registration (some people might want/need to leave before the office opens) you could tell guests to include payment or to come to the office in the morning.
     
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  5. Tamtam

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    Thanks! That info helps. We're still working on the exact verbiage for the sign. At this point we mostly would like to encourage more people to at least register with their info and site number.

    The check in envelopes include the registration form which also has our rates and a place to mark if they've included cash or check or to put a credit card number. Sometimes people write that they will pay in the morning. We'll be updating the forms to include a spot for that option.
     
  6. Tamtam

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    Most people are able to navigate our current set up correctly, but we've had several occasions where people have left their registration envelope under the rock that sits on the shelf, back in the box where you get the envelopes or in the comment box. We always get a little chuckle when we find them misplaced!

    Anyways, just one more reason to try to make things more clear.
     
  7. Texasrvers

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    Just a thought: do you get a lot of non-English speaking guests? If so, maybe they do not understand or read English very well. If you need to, you might consider having the instructions in more than one language.
     
  8. Tamtam

    Tamtam
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    I hadn't thought of that before. We get very few people that don't speak English, so I don't really think that's a problem.
     
  9. Fitzjohnfan

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    Here's my thought, and it's going to have a nagative tone, but I don't mean it that way: what do you gain from having them drop the envelope in the mail slot, vs paying and registering in the morning? If you have a good reason (such as "it helps us know right away how many sites are taken"), you may want to state this somewhere in the instructions.

    You may get campers who have just driven several hundred miles in the day and just wants to stop, get hooked up, have dinner and relax. Those people might feel that "as long as I register and pay, what's the difference when". If there's a short explaination, it might increase compliance.
     
  10. Tom

    Tom
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    Am I the only one who caught the rule: "walk your pets anywhere". Wow! I am not sure I've ever seen that before! Kinda nice to read.

    Oh, I don't have any brilliant idea about night registration.
     
  11. westernrvparkowner

    westernrvparkowner
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    We no longer allow after hour arrivals. We used to allow after hours registration using a drop box, but those late arrivals often waited till the morning to pay regardless of the posted policy or they just left without paying. When they waited till morning, they suddenly had a million reasons they shouldn't pay the clearly listed price. "We were only there for a few hours" "We didn't use the water or the power or the cable or whatever", "Yes, we saw the posted price, but it is too high, but it was late and we were sure you would understand that we really only want to pay 50% of that amount",and on and on. On top of that, those few late arrivals were a big disturbance to the rest of the park. Late arrivals seem to lack the ability to arrive and set up quietly. They will circle the park several times in the dark seeking out the elusive "best" site. Since we went to no late arrivals, those problems have ceased. Complaints about late night noise have ended and occupancy has had no notable changes. We have found good things happen when you concern yourself with the entire customer base and not focus on the individual. The fact is, late night arrivals are few and far between, almost all RVers try to be off the road by dark, and you probably won't notice any difference in revenues if you just shut down late night arrivals.
     
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  12. Texasrvers

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    I see how your policy would eliminate a lot of problems and be for the benefit of the entire customer base. However, I would suggest that this policy be clearly stated on your website and on any online reservation form (if you allow it) and that you make sure that when a reservation is taken, the guest is made aware of your policy. Also if you wanted to, I would suggest telling guests with reservations that if they are going to be delayed that they give you a call. At that point you can decide and let the customer know if you will still accommodate their late arrival, and if not, at least they won't arrive thinking they will still get a spot. I'm not trying to criticize your policy, but a little communication can prevent a lot of hard feelings.

    Just out of curiosity, is your park gated, and if not, how do you prevent someone from coming in anyway and taking a spot?
     
  13. westernrvparkowner

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    Yes, we post the policy clearly on the website, in the body of the reservation confirmation and if it is a phone reservation we orally go over it. Also, we call everyone who has a reservation a few hours prior to our closing to check on their travel progress. Should they be too far away, we tell them we will cancel their night without any fee and they should hold up at a park closer to them. Only rarely is someone upset, and we see that as a small price to pay to keep everyone else in the park happy and secure.
    Yes, our parks are gated, but it doesn't take an expensive system. A park can easily get by with a ranch gate that swings across the entry drive. It doesn't have to lock, just show that the park is closed for the evening.
     
  14. drfife

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    We never arrive after dark. If we will arrive near posted closing time we call ahead to let them know. The folks that arrive late and in the dark are usually annoying and make too much noise.
     
  15. Texasrvers

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    Wow, that is really good service to call people who have not yet arrived. Sure sounds like you are doing everything right.
     
  16. TranQuilguy

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    We too no longer take late check in and will help getting them in in case of ,traffic,weather or such.All for the same reasons.
    Good people know their are other RVers and are understanding.99% of our folks are great it is the 1% that make things hard for the others.

    drive safe have a break regularly and keep RVing

    Tom
     
  17. dbnck

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    That is unbelievable. Well, I don't disbelieve you, but it just amazes me that people do that sort of thing. I know it's not the majority of people, but I can't imagine getting that sort of nonsense from even a single person. I have to hand it to those of you who deal with the public, especially in the hospitality industry.
     
  18. NYDutch

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    I can assure you, it can and does happen. In many years of camping and RV'ing, I've been in a number of park offices when similar conversations took place. Some of them pretty heated, although I've congratulated more than one desk clerk afterwards on how calmly they handled the situation.
     
  19. mdcamping

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    Not to go to far off topic, just my opinion but having to deal with the general public in regards to the hospitality/service industry is one of the most underestimated skills out there. My wife's profession deals with the general public and the stories she tells me about that 1% is just shocking. I for one could never do it. My hat is off for the folks that do.

    Mike
     

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