For good or bad, online reviews can make or break small businesses in this day and age. This can be even more prevalent in the RV park and campground industry. Given that a large percentage of the capacity of an RV park at any given time are non-regulars, online reviews become a primary source of research when deciding where to stay.
It should be noted that there is no way to avoid some bad reviews. As an owner, even if you do everything right, you will have patrons that just aren’t happy with their experience, for one reason or another. But the key is to compile many more good reviews than bad. When you have many reviews, it’s entirely forgivable for you to have less than a 5.0-star rating. But, you will want to keep your business in the 4-range for sure – with a focus on the 4.5-and above review average.
How to Avoid Bad RV Park Reviews
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can avoid bad RV park reviews.
Be a Good Host
This is one of the most basic principles of the park ownership business, but it is easy to lose your way. The moment someone new drives onto your property, they will be forming an opinion on your park. And first impressions can go a long way. Is your staff friendly and helpful upon check-in? Remember, individuals and families are often driving long distances before pulling into your property. Making the process of check-in easy with a smile on your face goes a long way. In addition to check-in, keeping the property maintenanced and being available for guest needs that come up will be vital in grabbing yourself a solid review.
Be Transparent with Pricing
When it comes to paying for a vacation, being hit with hidden fees is one of the most frustrating things. Your pricing model should be transparent. It may look good on the books to charge extra fees for essential stay items or amenities, but it will cost you customer perception and ultimately repeat visits and reviews. If you are at a point of needing to charge more per visitor, just change your customer-facing pricing model. Customers will respect a higher-priced park that is worth the stay and has good reviews. But you aren’t going to generate those quality reviews by introducing hidden fees, making the entire endeavor a money loser for your property.
Offer High-Speed Wi-Fi
Offering a high-speed Wi-Fi connection for your RV park may seem counterintuitive to the outdoor nature of an RV park, but it is essential to pleasing guests. Many workers travel while on the job and need to have a connection capable of video streaming – or need to at the very least log in sporadically during the day. Families also appreciate being able to stream shows and movies for nightly downtime. Having high-speed internet is also a great way to get more user shares of your grounds on social media, as campers are very likely to tag your property and share pictures of their vacation at your facility on their social medial. It’s been shown that having high-speed internet improves an RV park or campground’s star rating by up to one full star.
Hold Unruly Guests Accountable
This is one of the most challenging things to do as a park owner, but the reviews will follow if done correctly. There’s no good way to keep loud, obnoxious campers out of your park for multiple reasons. For one, you can’t spot them coming in (or discriminate against them if you could). Often, it isn’t clear that someone is going to be a nuisance until they are settled in. But with families and other park-goers around them, you will get complaints if things get noisy and out of hand with a given group. Doing your best to handle the situation through offering to move them or getting tough if you need to will get you props with the other patrons. Anything you lose from the group being addressed will be paid back to you in repeat customers and good reviews. There’s no better way to spark a positive review than to address an emotional situation for campers that are looking for your help to quiet down some rowdy patrons.
Be Transparent with Your Advertising
Providing pictures from your actual grounds is the only way to go on your website and social media profiles. If you attempt to misrepresent your property, you will be promptly called out by first-time visitors, and a bad review is likely. People want to know how natural your property is in terms of trees and wildlife, how large the stalls are, and how clean the overall grounds and facilities are. Represent them as they are, and you will be pleasing everyone that decides to stay with you. If you feel that your pictures don’t entice people to stay, then you probably need to update your grounds rather than misrepresent it with pictures.
Following some of these simple rules is an excellent start to avoiding any negative online reviews for your RV park. In addition to avoiding negative reviews, having a process of reaching out or encouraging happy guests to leave good reviews is another way to bump up your overall star rating.