The Mac’s Farm is a family-run farm producing free range eggs, and also offering camping facilities.
The Mac’s Farm was finding the process of handling bookings at their campsite complicated and time consuming. With thousands of potential customers seeking accommodation, the family were struggling to cope with demand.
In order to make sure they were able to take advantage of this huge demand, Mac family wanted a new booking system which would streamline the process, making it simpler for both the customer and themselves and freeing them to focus on creating a welcoming place to pitch up.
Identifying their needs
The Mac’s Farm needed a reliable, simple system which would handle campsite bookings, manage pitches and campsite seasons, take payments online and issue refunds. The system needed to include the ability to update bookings and allow customers to select additional extras and select facilities required.
Because the Mac’s Farm is a working farm, the family’s time is valuable, so they needed their online booking system to largely run itself. Bookings, adding new services, and creating accounting reports all needed to be simple, straightforward processes.
Meeting their needs
Because no existing software met the exact demands of the business, we designed a custom booking system from the ground up. As the site is in south downs national park, the current campsite is only open to the public on certain dates during the year. However, with access to the site likely to expand with planning approval it was essential the system we built wasnít limited in its ability to handle complex calendars.
Additionally, because the product itself is subject to change depending on the demands of the farm itself, there needed to be flexibility in what was being booked as well as when. If the owners decided to manage tents one season and caravans and trailers the next then the booking system we built would need to be able to handle it, as well as the addition of seasonal optional extras like winter wood boxes and summer BBQ packs.
Because of these variables, and because we wanted the Mac family to have a system that was straightforward, clear, and versatile, we created an online booking process that is truly made for them. By working with them to understand every quirk of their business, we were able to give them a system that worked exactly the way they needed it to.
How it helped
By having an online system to allow customers to make bookings directly, the Macs have saved hours each week usually spent rooting through emails and updating spreadsheets. The booking system generated £27,244 in sales in its first year, a good proportion of this revenue from the extras that had previously not been offered.
This additional customer engagement is backed up by a versatile calendar system which has allowed the Macs to easily keep track of bookings of all kinds, and to shift their business seasonally from campsite to caravan park and even to wedding venue.