Tuesday

A Testimonial For RV Testimonials or Why Bother To Write Reviews?

Regarding reviews or testimonials, they are most often given when we are unsatisfied with part or all of a customer experience.   A normal transaction and even those that exceed our expectations, often go unreported.  Now us full time RVers are a different sort and we love to share our hidden and new found RV places but for all the RV travelers and weekenders out there...don't hesitate to take a few moments and summarize your overall experience at each stop on your RV journey.  We like to include many attractions in our reviews as well but leave at least a few words about every Park we visit, no matter how small or large.  

RV Park Reviews
Hidden Valley RV on RV Park Reviews
Imagine yourself traveling in an unfamiliar state or city and searching online for an RV Park to rest for the night and seeing scores of them.  If you have signed on with RV Park Reviews, a forum for reviews administered by RVers themselves, you could know in a moment which one is liked by RVers like yourself. Yes the Park website itself can be invaluable to choose the amenities you want and the features you need but what if your RV peers have the restrooms rated badly or they post the pool as being top rate? If those features are important to you, their comments and reviews can be very helpful in making a decision that will greatly improve your stay in that area.   Other RVers also post helpful hints  on review sites like an easier route to a particular park or and entrance with better clearance, invaluable info if you've got a 13" high fifth wheel.

Guest Rated Reviews
Hidden Valley's Survey Page
There are also survey sites that many parks affiliate with that can be of value to campers and parks alike.  Any RV park is always looking for ways to improve and learn what their guests are thinking.  A wide variety of questions are combined into reports that give parks letter or number ratings that can benefit RVers when planning their travel parks or on overnight stays.


facebook iconFor many, the easiest way to spread the word or voice your thoughts on ANY place is Facebook.  Since you're on there anyway, search for the facebook page of the place you're at and look for a review tab on the left side of their page.  (Note: that's where the tab is now - it used to be on the top and next week it could be on the bottom so just hop around the page till you see it.
Hidden Valley's Review Tab on FB
Hidden Valley RV Park's review Tab on facebook

There are a countless number of sites that record reviews and you'll no doubt like some better than others. Some sites will require you to sign up and get a password while others are even simpler to use.  Each site has a few review rules but they are basically common sense rules banning obscenities and the like.  

Here are a few tips for using and rating accommodations- whether hotels, RV parks or B & B's:
When USING ratings and reviews:
  • ignore one negative rating and one positive one.  This will cull out the employee that was having a bad day and acting out of character OR the RVer who traveled 700 miles in one day and arrived so tired he couldn't be pleased by a free stay and a party in his honor. It will also rule out the RV Park employee or owner who unscrupulously adds a "glowing" review of their own park.
  • Try to look beyond the personal opinions of a submitted review to the reason for a particular comment. For example a review may rate a park only 2 out of 5 but their reason may be that the park had gravel roads. While gravel roads may be the bane of one man's existence, they may be a feature that adds to the country atmosphere to an outdoorsy family.  
When submitting a rating or review: 
  • A number or letter rating can be relative so if using a # try to use one that reflects your overall experience rather than one very positive or negative feature
  • Be as specific as possible regarding your stay and touch on the things that are important to you (those are probably what's important to fellow RVers too). Focus on customer service, reservations, registration, cleanliness and living up to advertised amenities.  For example, if a park does not advertise a pool, a negative comment about having no pool would be beside the point but if they do claim to have one, yet it is full of algae or has some other defect, a complaint would be warranted.
  • Something one guest did at our park really impressed me.  After I sent her a thank you and asked her opinions via our survey or a park review, she replied by email personally with her review. She did this because although she had an overall good experience there was one, "easily fixable problem" as she called it, that she didn't want to mention, fearing that it might taint her otherwise good review.  This was so appreciated because a park operator cannot always know little details that affect every guest even though they want to.  This is the only way, namely if guests are candid about their visit with the park.  
One last thought:  if there's something that bothers you at a park...SPEAK UP.  Don't be afraid to be a "bother."  That's what park staff and managers are there for.  If no one is available visibly or the office is unattended, email the park or call the emergency number.  If your beef is with another park guest, try to have as many details as possible.  What site did they come from or walk back to, what kind of car were they driving, etc. I always tell my guests to call me right away so I can tackle to concern immediately, while it's happening rather than waiting till the next day or later when the party could easily deny the actions.  If the restroom is missing something, give the staff the opportunity to show their willingness to please.  If the WiFi is not working, make a quick call.  Just makes sense, right? Of course, if there are too many instances of "bother," frustration is understandably in order.

So how can writing reviews HELP YOU?  If you had a business that was reviewed, wouldn't you read those reviews and either use them to motivate your staff OR to make changes that would reflect your customers needs and wants?  Of course.  Take away: our reviews can improve OUR and others future experiences with travel destinations and accommodations.

Just GOOGLE any RV Park to get this review opportunity and see reviews
Keep in mind what many guests have voiced to us over the years, that they never would have found us with out seeing our reviews. So reviews really DO matter and they DO help - both travelers, you and the parks themselves.  I'm photo linking a couple more review sites that we and others like to use.  If you have any other thoughts on reviews, review sites or related suggestions, feel free to leave them below in the comments.  And don't forget to make your voice heard the next time you leave an RV Park.  Thanks for reading and Happy Trails.

Hidden Valley on yelp
Hidden Valley RV on yelp
Hidden Valley on Trip Advisor
Hidden Valley RV on Trip Advisor










 







  



Teri Blaschke is the RV Park operator of family owned Hidden Valley RV Park in San Antonio, TX and writer of the park blog “A Little Piece of Country in San Antonio.” Teri contributes to various other blogs with a focus on either travel or social media and how it relates to the outdoor hospitality industry but her passion is serving the RV travel community by providing a memorable RV camping experience and growing the Hidden Valley RV family.  Connect with , Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter@HiddenValleyRV  and our RV Country Daily Magazine
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