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Managing Unexpected Guest Experiences

By Carl Corder June 13, 2022

We all know the best-laid plans aren’t always executed without a hitch. As a campground owner, you’ve probably dealt with managing unexpected guest experiences a time or two. Let’s be honest: it’s never fun, but it’s essential to delivering the best guest experience possible for all your campers. 

Stuff happens, but when it does, your ability to smooth things over and keep your guests happy is vital to your campground’s reputation. The impacts of a negative review can reverberate far and wide online, so it’s in your best interest to remedy issues before they cause a camper to post a scathing review about your property. 

Managing unexpected guest experiences is as much about prevention as it is about how you handle confrontations with frustrated guests. So we’ve taken a list of some of the most common camper complaints and compiled some tips for preventing those complaints. 

But we’ve also provided some quick tips on handling upset guests when their stay isn’t going as they planned. 

Let’s get comfortable with the sometimes uncomfortable side of owning a campground.

Your staff’s attitude is important. 

One of the major complaints expressed by unsatisfied campers is poor attitudes from campground staff. This one seems easily correctable, but many companies struggle to create a positive workplace culture. 

Creating an engaging environment for your staff will spill over to how they interact with campers. Here are a few ideas for improving employee morale:

Maintain a clean campground.

Other camper complaints include dirty restrooms, unkempt common areas, and, believe it or not, too much mud, sand, and dirt in the campground. While the latter is part of the camping experience, the first two are definitely within your control. 

To reduce unexpected guest experiences in the form of disappointment about your campground’s appearance, here are a few tips: 

Budget for resurfacing. Consider setting money aside to add gravel or concrete surfaces to areas of your campground that are particularly muddy or dirty.

Ensure well-kept utilities.

Bad electrical hookups, dirty city water, and unlevel sites are three more of the top 10 most common camper complaints. And these are some of the basic necessities of a good campground: campers pay for quality services and a safe place to park their RV overnight. 

So you can imagine why poor water quality, unreliable electricity, and a site that leaves you sleeping with your head downhill can lead to negative and unexpected guest experiences. Here are some tips for ensuring well-kept campground utilities: 

Enforce campground rules.

Good campground management goes beyond checking guests in with a smile. You and your staff should maintain a physical presence throughout your campground to ensure campers follow campground rules and, generally speaking, respect their neighbors. 

This requires a balance. Many campers go camping to escape their regular routine and let loose a little. Your task is to create a space where campers can do that while honoring the different schedules and agendas of the other campers they’re sharing a space with. 

Here are some tips to help you accomplish this: 

Create a safe environment.

Campers also want to feel safe when they pull into their campsite. While your surrounding area may be out of your control, you can take a few precautions within the campground property to increase safety.

If things go wrong?

Diligent preparation will reduce the likelihood of unexpected guest experiences, but it may not eliminate them. So here are some tips for handling unexpected guests experiences when they do arise: 

Managing unexpected guest experiences requires patience and dedication to providing the best camping experience possible. We hope these tips provide some new strategies or management practices to consider for your campground.