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Your Guide to Parks & Recreation Software: Limitations & How to Solve Them

Spotz June 8, 2022
Guide to Parks and Recreation Software: Limitations and How to Solve Them | Spotz Facility Management Software

A primary goal of parks and recreation software is to streamline and optimize operations. Ideally, it will enhance communication between your staff and your community and enable you to organize operations, improve accessibility, and boost efficiency.

Good parks and recreation software lets you take complex management functions, such as activity registration, ticketing, and reporting, and turn them into something more accessible and user-friendly for both your team and your patrons. 

However, despite their many perks and good intentions, even the best software is not immune to certain limitations. The good news is that you can do something to overcome these limitations. Let’s look at some of the common limitations of parks and recreation software and how you can solve them.

 

Common Limitations of Parks and Recreation Software

 

1. Complicated User Experience

No one tries to make their website difficult for customers to use. But it happens. A lot. Especially in the parks and recreation world, where decisions are made by committees whose expertise may not lie in modern user experience (UX) or user interface (UI) design. And let’s face it, budgets get spent on maintaining gorgeous trails and awesome public programming instead of the latest and greatest software solutions.

Head on over to your parks and rec website and set a timer for how long it takes you to make a reservation for one of your facilities. Go on, we’ll wait! While you’re at it, count how many clicks it takes to make that reservation, and how many forms you have to download. How long until you feel like giving up on the online experience and making a phone call? 

We see this over and over with parks and rec websites. The average number of pages a user has to click through to make a reservation is 16! That doesn’t even include the PDF downloads or “contact us” forms.

A complicated user experience like this affects both your internal staff management and your audience. As you can imagine, your customers likely find the renting or booking process too complicated. Your staff finds managing your data and answering the phones time-consuming and irritating. And who can blame them? They signed up to engage the community and promote their area’s natural resources, not troubleshoot a website or sort spreadsheets.

 

Poor User Experience Can Affect Your Business

Poor user experience with facility management software will spell bad news for any parks and rec organization:

  • Employee satisfaction tanks

  • Individual and team productivity goes down

  • Efficient, reliable service to customers is hindered

  • Customers choose more convenient options (80% of US consumers want speed and convenience!)  

Community members expect it to be easy to reserve a public park facility. But if your website and reservations process is too complicated to navigate, people will go elsewhere. They’ll look up another county, another recreational activity, or another business that makes it easier to rent their space. 

That’s why when choosing parks and rec software, you need to consider its user interface (UI), which should be easy to use and designed to help you, your team, and your patrons meet your individual goals.  

 

2. High Upfront Costs

Good parks and recreation software can be expensive. While many software solutions offer competitive pricing plans, you also need to consider factors aside from the subscription or purchase costs. See if there are additional expenses to take into account, such as fees for IT resources, staff training, add-on features, and other hidden costs like processing fees. 

These costs all add up and bite a sizable chunk out of your budget. 

 

3. Bloated with features

Having enough of the right features can be beneficial, but too many will just slow you down. Especially if they’re irrelevant to the way you rent out your spaces. They make your software unnecessarily more complex and expensive.

For example, if your city is purchasing an all-encompassing city management software, it will come with capabilities that you simply don’t need when you’re managing your facilities. It doesn’t give you a lot of control since you can’t alter it to fit your specific use case. Additionally, its complexity can potentially disrupt your established workflows.

Complex software can affect employee productivity and deter your customers from using your portal to book your space.

 

4. High Training Costs

The more complex your software, the longer it takes to learn. And the longer it takes your employees to learn your software, the more expensive that training period is. 

Additionally, some parks and recreation software companies charge a steep fee to train your staff. (We’ve heard of charges that exceed $10,000 per year!) When you factor in staff turnover on top of upskilling your current team, the cost of your software can get real expensive real fast.

 

5. Lack of Built-in Communication Tools

Where was that last memo from your customer about what they needed for today’s rental? On a sticky note somewhere? An email? Who did they email last? Who talked to them on the phone? Can you even read that message you scribbled down while you were helping someone else?

Sifting through hundreds of emails and keeping track of loose paper wastes too much time and sets your team up for unnecessary errors.

Poor communication frustrates your staff and your customers and reduces the likelihood of customers returning to rent from you. It may also contribute to higher staff turnover. 

 

A Solution for a Better Facility Management and Booking Experience

Using parks and rec software can help you save time and drive revenue for your space—and it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Prior to purchasing parks and rec software, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it mobile-friendly?
  • Is it cloud-based?
  • Is it customizable?
  • Is it intuitive to learn?
  • Are there hidden fees?
  • What does training cost and how long does it take?
  • Does it help or hinder internal communication?
  • Does it add more steps to the reservation process?

With Spotz, you can get a better management experience. Our parks and recreation software is designed to automate reservation requests and facilitate easier and more efficient communication via a cloud-based system.

It helps you showcase the uniqueness of your venue and what you can bring to the table for guests, and help you gain control over your reservation process, improve online customer experiences, and maximize revenue opportunities. If you’re planning to rent a space, Spotz lets you easily communicate with your host and seamlessly pay for your transactions. 

Ready to get started with cloud-based software designed to improve the reservation experience?