The hospitality industry can be a fickle beast. With the public’s expectations consistently changing, business owners need to be quick to adapt in order to stay ahead.
On a recent episode of That Bad Review, I spoke with Geoff Illich, resort manager of the multi award-winning park, Brisbane Holiday Village. Geoff has been around the caravanning and holiday park industry all his life, and in our conversation, his thought-provoking concepts were very much on target.
Here are some points of particular importance:
Meeting Your Customer’s Needs
The thing that Brisbane Holiday Park excels in, is meeting the needs of its valued customers. By consistently interacting either face to face or via social media, Geoff is able to gain important feedback from visitors. Using this, he can define where he can improve to meet their needs.
Property management software, like NewBook, can modernise your park’s client database. Geoff feels that instigating pre-emptive systems and keeping detailed customer preferences on record, is ideal for his returning guest. It allows you to greet the customer with familiarity, attend to special requirements such as dietary or mobility, and add on personalised offers upon their return.
Adapt To Changes
There has been a seismic shift in the way that people within Australia are spending their vacation time. Holiday makers are staying on their home soil, so business is snowballing for holiday parks across the country.
However, with surges like this, means there has been big changes in customer requirements that parks need to meet. “We’ve had to change and adjust a 30 year old village over time, to what today’s times are,” says Geoff. His embracing of change has led to many attentive, modern adjustments within the park. Accessible, speedy Wi-Fi, enlarged lanes for new caravan models, solar powered electrical systems, certified waste irrigation systems, plot expansion, cabin development, fresh paint jobs, modernised amenities, are just a few of the changes that he’s implemented.
Staying abreast of current changes within the hospitality industry is your responsibility. Attend conventions and conferences, keep an eye on social media and revert to customer feedback to increase your knowledge of the exciting changes within the marketplace.
Keeping Up Staff Morale
As someone who understands that happy staff means happy customers, Geoff has applied a few key practices to ensure that his staff members recognise how valued they are. Every day, without fail he thanks his staff for a job well done. This simple act shows he is acknowledging and appreciating his staff. It’s such a small gesture, but hugely effective, and costs nothing. Social gatherings and celebrations are also great mood lifters, as they get the staff interacting and connecting with one another, building upon your work community.
Lastly, communication is imperative. They are an integral part of the proper functioning of your facility, “It’s better to identify if there is a problem, to crack down straight away, rather than let things build up,” so keep things open and transparent with your communication.
Adaptability is necessary in the changing world of resorts and caravanning. By listening to and attending to both your customers and staff needs, you are sure to create a happy environment for all.
Listen to my entire conversation with Geoff here.