Ensuring Value for Money!
Is it all about price or value for money of your accommodation? What do these terms actually mean? For many it’s only price. Maybe it’s the perceived value that the price offers that determines that positive experience enjoyed in a park that is charging a bit more.
The Issue of Pricing
The issue of pricing is a highly contentious one for many travellers. This is especially so when you consider that the travelling nomad is travelling for prolonged periods of time and often on a limited budget. They also have different needs and expectations to the family seeking a holiday destination.
Money plays a huge part in this. Families tend to go away for shorter holidays and breaks and can often load the credit card if things get expensive – and just get back to work and pay it off. On the flip side, the travelling nomad is on a limited pension or superannuation and therefore needs to budget carefully.
It is therefore not surprising that many make an issue about price. However, is price everything? They say you get what you pay for. That is certainly the case when you see what some of the low priced camping grounds and showgrounds etc are offering.
But is that all there is to it? Would you keep going to a restaurant that keeps dishing up ‘ordinary’ food just because its cheaper than the restaurant down the road that offers a better plate? You may have to tighten the belt in other ways, but to be sure you come away with that sense of satisfaction and pleasure that you have had a great meal is worth so much more than just getting a cheap price!
I suggest it’s the same with caravan parks and the cost of these. We all know (and we hope our guests do as well) that there are costs that caravan parks have to manage, to offer their services at the level the customer demands. It is a business and cannot run as a charity campsite. If it did, the services and quality of delivery would be drastically cut.
Ideal Pricing Range
So where is that ‘ideal pricing range’ for your park? There is no simple formula that can determine your price. There are a host of aspects that need to be considered. Each one needs careful analysis before determining an ideal pricing schedule that will ensure you get more people coming in and not avoiding your park because of your pricing.
Factors Impacting Your Pricing
- Seasonality – Low and High or mostly High
- Traffic volume by month – Are there variations
- Competitor pricing – Pricing of similar sites in parks within 100 kilometres of your park
- The Fixed & Variable costs in your park
- Your location – on main routes or destination (or both)
- Type of audience – Nomads or Families or both
- Your offerings – tailored to your audience
- Variations in Pricing in your park – Do you have premium or basic sites, or seasonal variations
Pricing is one aspect that cannot be seen on its own. Pricing can have a significant impact on a person’s response to the perceived value they experience when they stay at your park. Unfortunately many only experience that Value after they have stayed at the park. This is when it becomes more than just a $$$ issue and more about the perceived value of the experience of the stay in the park or accommodation.
Price vs. Value
Too Cheap / Low Expectations – Low pricing can have a negative impact on guests – although we know that many travelling nomads will always want their stay for next to nothing. However, it can still create a negative perception. A case of ‘You get what you pay for!’ Even in this area you are likely to also get a ‘different’ type of customer creating a less than ideal environment. Personally, I always have a low expectation of what I will get for my low price.
Too Expensive / High Expectations – On the flip side, with a High Price, a guest will demand so much more from you. In fact I would suggest that guests would even want to make sure they get every $ out of their stay. The challenge with a price too high is that guests may avoid your park altogether.
A park I visited not long ago demonstrated that. They had a riverside site for $50 and sites behind their cabins were $35. This was out of season, so the time that travellers are on the road. I asked how well the river sites were being used and the response was, ‘None, they all go behind the cabins because its cheaper’. Maybe at $40 they may have had some takers! Overpricing can have a serious negative impact on your occupancy, especially in these times.
Acceptable Price / Expectations Met = VALUE. This is the key area you should find yourself. On the one hand it’s a good and acceptable pricing for the accommodation offered but the second is even more important, namely Meeting Expectations.
Good Price + Good Value = Returning Customer
High price + Good (or Bad Value) = Mostly never to return Customer
Low Price + Good Value = Customer is winner (Park is losing!)
Low Price + Low Value = Avoid – a strong recipe for a negative review
So what is VALUE?
“A quality or idea that is considered important. Value means: Be worth it. Value is defined as the worth, usefulness or importance of someone or something. This person or thing is considered to be important or beneficial in some way, in other words, valued.”
The key message here is this… “Be important or beneficial in some way”! Its a personal thing – it is how people feel or experience their stay.
So how do you deliver VALUE?
It’s all about ensuring you are giving your guest a positive experience.
- Friendly engagement
- Clean facilities
- Well presented park
- Happy Hour
- Directing into site
- Welcoming reception
- And so much more
Making it work!
So how can you optimally leverage your price and increase your value?
- Ensure your pricing is within the Acceptable Price Range
- Determine what ‘value’ attributes you can provide your guests
- Implement your Value offering and keep monitoring
- Listen to your customers and keep checking reviews – the best place to measure value!
What ‘Value Experiences’ are you offering your guests? Let us know your thoughts on this challenging issue.
We would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.