View Full Version : Are online reservations important?

06-22-2008, 02:13 PM
We would like to know how important it is for your business to be able to accept reservations online. I'm not talking about just getting reservation requests by E-mail, but being able to have a visitor check real-time availability online, book a site automatically by paying a deposit, and having that be reflected in Campground Master almost immediately.

Let us know by voting in the poll -- and feel free to reply if you have more to say! We're working on this for an upcoming version, so feedback now could be very helpful.

06-24-2008, 04:17 PM
I can't begin to tell you how important Online Reservations are! They are an absolute MUST HAVE in todays world! Our users who are computer literate absolutely love to look at the vacancy grid to plan their spots with their buddies, so they are all together.
The office loves it because it cuts down on their phone calls, eliminates most mistakes (the user won't mis-spell their own name), and Campground Master's parsing function can import webpayments as well - provided you have someone in your organization that can do the customizations required.
If your not using Online Reservations feature of the program your missing out in my opinion.

06-24-2008, 06:38 PM
I was leary of offering online reservations as our campground is close to Purdue University. We strive to offer a family setting and do not allow "massive" parties.
We took advantage of a special offer through ARVC and Friend Reservations and set up the online reservation option. To help eliminate potential "partiers" from reserving online, we had Friends set the online requests to be "Pre-Paid" in full and the camper must acknowledge that they understand that we do not offer refunds.
With that said, we have had a few online reservation "No Shows" and they do not ask for a refund!

In todays world, it only makes sense in offering online reservations as the customer can reserve a site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Happy Camping!

06-24-2008, 08:17 PM
I love being able to take online reservations. It allows us to be away from the phone during the off season, and when we are dealing with other guests. We also use Friend Communications. I would love to be able to take online reservations through Campgraound master. I do not like having to remember to download the reservations, and am always worried about overbooking. I have a box the guest has to check acknowleging any really important rules. ie:no tents in the rv sites and the 10PM quiet time.

07-02-2008, 08:44 AM
While we have the capability to take online reservations and we do....I much prefer the personal touch. I want to talk to the client and make sure we are prepared to meet their needs. The online reservation form does not give us the opportunity to know whether they want shade, close to the bathrooms, extra long pull-thrus, or any other special desires. Talking to them gives me that opportunity.

Much of our clientele is long term construction, oil field, pipeline, movie, railroad, or mechanical workers and therefore we cannot reserve for them online...we need to know how long they will be here, the specifics of their rig and their needs, how many others from their company will be coming, if they want to be near their co-workers etc.

We have great pull thrus for the overnighters and again, we want to give them the personal touch. We accept online reservations but ALWAYS follow up with a confirmation of receipt and find out exactly what there needs are. We also have a full time resident manager and can explain to the client what to do if they come in late and who to call if they need anything. That kind of service just cannot be done online.

For the bigger campgrounds, I am sure it is an invaluable tool.....however, in all the years I RV'ed.....I never made reservations online. I always called ....then I got all my answers and KNEW my reservation was accepted with no problems. JMHO

07-05-2008, 02:17 PM
In the years of working reservations, all the parks I have worked at use e-mail as a first contact. When clients asked about trees, length, level site needed, etc. they would get a reply with the proper information and site numbers that might suit them. The on line reservation is made after a second e-mail arrives with the clients CC info.

07-05-2008, 05:14 PM
do you really ask customers to send you credit card numbers via E-Mail? That does not seem safe to me. :eek:

07-06-2008, 02:14 AM
The e-mail software I meant is attached to the CM program and is secure just as though you were booking on line or doing INTERNET banking.:)

07-06-2008, 07:42 AM
Oh I should have known. Thanks for clarifying.

How exactly does the cc processing work through CM. I have my own cc processor separate from the software. I imagine it is essier to be integrated, but is it more expensive? Any feedback appreciated.

07-06-2008, 08:03 AM
I'm not sure exactly what process tworootless is referring to. It the customer is entering cc info in an E-mail, or even on a web form that sends the results by E-mail, that information is not necessarily secure. It's not a matter of whether the web site is secure where it was entered, it's the fact that anything in an E-mail is not secure unless it's specifically encrypted. Don't assume it's secure just because Campground Master picks it up from your E-mail box instead of an E-mail program.

Riverbend - to answer your question abotu cc processing in CM, I'll start a new thread under a different topic

07-08-2008, 08:40 PM
We are looking in to online reservations. Friend Reservations or Webervations? That is the question? What are the pros and cons of the two?

07-08-2008, 08:58 PM
I never messed with either, I'm a big fan of private label.
I use Campground Masters built in function, no third parties! All in house :)
Give it a shot before you dive into a third party solution!

07-09-2008, 08:13 AM
In general, Reservation Friend is much more suited for campgrounds & RV parks (you also get automatic exposure in their affiliate sites), where Webervations is designed for cabins, inns, hotels, etc. with "rooms".

We're recommending Reservation Friend because it will be better supported by Campground Master going forward, with an upcoming interface enhancement (watch for annoouncement shortly).

07-09-2008, 12:38 PM
I have been very impressed with the way Campground Master (ie:Stan) and Reservation Friend have communicated and worked with me to get the online reservations working well for me. Now that the bugs are worked out, it takes only about 10 seconds to download, review and finalize an online reservation.
I am anxiously waiting for the anouncement and what is instore for the future of my online online reservations.

Linda K
02-07-2014, 09:43 AM
We have been thinking about taking online reservations; however, we do not want the campers to pick their sites. We ask for the type of site that they are looking for, but because we want to maximize occupancy, we assign the sites.

Does anyone else handle reservations in the same manner.

02-07-2014, 10:56 AM
That is exactly how i handle it as well. The customer gets to choose the type of site, and there is a memo box if they want to request a specific site, But i choose the exact location. Our sites are all different sizes and configurations. If I allowed the customer to pick their site, they would inevitable be trying to shoehorn a 45' bus into a 40'space. or pick a nice big site, with no view of the southern sky for their satellite. Don't tell the customer it is for maximizing occupancy though. Tell them that you can pick the site that will fit "their" needs the best.