b'MODERN MARKETINGHow To Exceed Your Campers Expectations meet and, even better, exceed, our and sincere interaction. In general, my stay I was to meet with prospec-customers expectations.they look to a businessoften the tive clients arriving from overseas.Expectationscanbetricky,too. businessrepresentativethatan- Interested in setting the bar high forSometimes they are built on founda- swers the telephone, greets them in my business, I went about findingEvannetions weand/or our industry mar- the lobby or replies to their online ways to make their trip easy and en-Schmarder keting partnersprovide, including queryfor good advice, reliable in- joyable, and that began with whereadvertising,promotionandbuzz. formation, efficient service and in they would park. Not familiar withOther times they are set for us via so- some cases, empathy.the area, I called the front desk ofcialandinterpersonalchannels. Akeybusinessindicator,cus- mymodestbutperfectlylocatedWhether the picture painted is accu- tomer satisfaction, has everything to inn and asked the manager for rec-Despiteorbecauseofthe rate or over the top, managing your do with expectations. Id speculate ommendations. To my surprise, hecountrysunprecedentedcircum- guestsexpectationsiscriticalto that most of us do business with or- suggestedtheyparkintheinnsstances, the RV and camping indus- your business and the industry.ganizations that we are merely satis- small lot for the day. The tone of mytryisbooming.Notonlyareyou fiedwith.Thisdoesnotmakeus prospective clients visit was imme-welcoming longtime guests and ex- Is satisfaction enough?eager to continue the relationship diately set. My host was kind andperiencedRVers,butchancesare Guests choose to do business with nor inclined to terminate it. How- helpful and, in my eyes, the value ofyouve seen many newbies this sum- you via several channels including ever, if a friend or associate men- mystaywaselevated.Picklesallmer. Each one of them has pulled word-of-mouth referrals, online re- tions a better option, chances are around. into your park with expectations. views,yourwebsite,socialmedia wed be more than willing to defect. On a separate trip to Los Angeles,Definedasanotionofsome- and industry ad campaigns. Regard- Thats the result of mere satisfaction.Calif., I had only an afternoon to ex-thing: a mental image of something less of the avenue, an impression of plore an unfamiliar area and askedexpected, often compared to its real- theirexperienceatyourplaceof Setting,managing expectations my host about the neighborhoodsity, expectations are everywhere. As business was created and filed away So, what does it take to excel in the highlights.HesuggestedItakeaa kid, our folks had expectations of for comparison at a later date.guests mind? Take a few moments stroll and pointed me in a direction.us. As consumers, we have expecta- Itssafetosaythatmostcus- and review how you present yourself I appreciated the advice and set outtions of those businesses we patron- tomers have the same basic expecta- andyourbusinesstotheworld. to see the sights. When I had an op-ize.Asbusinessowners,success tionshonesty, a fair price and good Whileeveryoneunderstandsthe portunity to chat with him later thatultimatelyrestsonourabilityto value, product or service satisfaction value of sizzle, in the end, a tough evening, I mentioned a funky littlesteak is difficult to chew. Be honest trolley car that I had seen that day.with yourself when looking at the ex- With only that prompting, he rattledpectations you are setting. Are they off all the highlights of the area thatrealistic?Doesyourdeliveryalign I had missed including the historicwith the expectations you are set- Angels Flight railway, a couple of ar-ting?chitectural gems, and a historic film-Thescenariosandexpectations inglocationthatwasnottobeyouve created around your business missed, though I did miss it. are like little promises. When man- Gosh, Im sorry I forgot to tell youagingexpectationsbeclearabout about those rang hollow. Thoughyour promises. Work hard to exceed the lodging was provided as adver-themwithnotonlyfirst-timepa- tised, I considered the stay to be dis-tronsbutwithestablishedcus- appointing. tomersaswell.Afriendofmine These examples demonstrate howoften says its easy to gain the first critical you and your staff are in rep-reservation.Makingsubsequent resenting your business. What picklebookings is most likely contingent opportunitiesareyoumissingatupon how you and your park lived your business every daysimple butuptothenotioncreatedintheir meaningful actions and words thatminds eye. Its rarely easy. couldpotentiallyturnafirst-timeJust deliver and youve merely sat- camper into an RV evangelist.isfied. Miss the mark on any of the Here are a few ways to exceed ex-little promises youve made and you pectationswithoutbreakingthemay or may not see that customer bank: again.Over-deliverandyouareaWhen possible start at yeshero. Work to develop relationships Communicate at every level ofThe little things matter your operationYou perform a delicate dance withyour customers, striving to deliver Proving groundwhats been promised while achiev- The way you deliver on expecta-ing more than mere satisfaction. The tions makes a lasting impression, re-basic premise of expectation is sim- sultinginoneofthreeoutcomes:ple: If you offer it, deliver it. But the delight, tolerance or disgust. Exceed-memory-making magic lies in the ing customer expectations may verysimple notion of going the extra mile likely be the determining factor inor as the late restaurateur and moti- theindustrysfuture.Everymovevational speaker Bob Farrell would matters. The power is in the pickle,say, give em the pickle.but I expect you already know that.The concept is silly in its simplic-ity yet extraordinary in its results. Want to know more about mar-Farrells high-energy employee train- keting your RV park or campgroundings encouraged attendees to hand online? Evanne Schmarder, princi-out pickles. Pickles, according to Far- pal and founder of the RV industry-rell, are the little extras that you can specificdigitalmarketingfirmdo to make your guests experience Roadabode Production, has a newstand out. book to help you do just that. Mar-keting YourRVPark/CampgroundWhats your pickle count? Online is available as an ebook atRecently I had the opportunity to your favorite online bookseller or invisitSantaBarbara,Calif.During print at Amazon.com. WCM8 -August 2020Woodalls Campground Management'