5 Top Tips For Choosing The Right Caravan Storage Software
Choosing the right software for your caravan storage business is difficult. There are lots of options out there and it's hard to tell at first glance what systems are going to meet your needs the best.
Check out these top five tips for choosing the right software for your caravan storage business:
1. Make sure it includes online bookings and payments. If you don’t already have an online booking system, 59% of customers1 will go to a competitor that does. It's no secret that people simply don’t want the hassle of phoning or visiting your caravan storage site to make a booking. If you aren’t already taking bookings and payments on your website - and a rapidly increasing number of UK caravan storage operators are - you will already be losing out on these customers without even knowing it. They don’t contact you, so you aren’t aware of them. Look for a software product that provides a world-class online bookings and payments solution. If looking at multiple possible solutions, ask to see their existing customer's check-out flow, and (really important) make a booking on one of their customers' websites (don't forget to cancel) and see how well it works for you. You should find it as easy as booking a flight or a hotel on a modern website booking engine, not feel like you've traveled back in time to the late 90's and are trying to order a VHS online!
2. Look for automation of repetitive tasks. Choosing the wrong software solution can mean wasting hours every week on repetitive tasks. For example, look for a software solution that will automatically create and send invoices to your customers, auto-email customers when they make a booking, and even allocate spaces to your customers automatically.
3. Push Payment Methods. Push payment methods are a way of getting paid by customers that allow you to take the money from their bank account rather than wait for them to actively pay you. For most customers, this is a strong preference as it saves them a lot of time. Push payments methods such as Direct Debit or Recurring Card Payments mean the customer gives you the permission to take regular payments. The main benefit, however, is that you save a lot of time as you don't need to (a) process payments manually, (b) wait for customers to send you the payment or (c) watch your bank account so you can reconcile payments.
4. Look for an Easy-to-Use Site Management tool. When setting up and running your caravan storage business, you'll probably want a high quality site map. You'll want an easy way to find customers, look up invoices, view payments, and quickly see how your business is performing against key metrics like revenue, rate per square foot and occupancy. A tool like Stora provides you with world-class up-to-the-second reporting and analytics that will help you successfully grow your caravan storage business.
5. Security. We know how important security is for caravan storage operators and customers. When looking for caravan storage software, look for a system that integrates with world leading gate security systems. Look for a booking system that can carry out automated bank-level ID checks on customers, preferably with a face ID comparison against a government-issued photographic ID. And look for a system that can handle customer contracts, so you aren't left in trouble in the event of a customer issue. Finally, check that it works alongside caravan storage insurance providers so you can properly sell and administer this on behalf of your customers.
There are lots more things to look out for when choosing caravan storage software, including important things like automated price increase (software that can run price increases on existing customers to boost your revenue by 20%+) and auto lock-outs (deactivate customer's gate codes when they haven't paid) but the above five are a good place to start.
1 Results from Booking Live research article.