CL Booking Launch. | Meet the Trudgians

CL Booking Launch.

Posted by on Jul 16, 2021 in Featured, Reviews | 0 comments

CL Booking Launch.

Caravan holiday bookings continue to rise, and with interest in Certificated Locations becoming ever more popular, a new website and App dedicated to CL site bookings has recently been launched. I had a brief conversation with Ted Howard-Jones one of the team of people behind this new venture to get more information about the new system.

 

 

Hello Ted, so first off introduce yourself
Hi Dan, well, I’m a farmer who has diversified my small farm and one of our enterprises is a CL. In a former life, I was in marketing and app development.
6 years ago I helped to set up the CL Owners Group (a self-support group) and last July I set up the Facebook Group called CL Booking that grew like topsy.
Over the winter I helped organise a series of Zoom meetings for CL Owners to share best-practice among ourselves and talk about how we could improve the customer experience.

So, tell me about CL Booking, What is it and who’s behind it?
The new CL Booking website was really forced on us by the success of the Facebook Group (it grew too big to administer) and Facebook changing the way it ran groups. Twenty CL owners got together and convinced an App Developer to develop a solution. We had a clear idea of what was needed, and he just needed some persuasion in the guise of an up-front financial contribution, so we all stuck some money in the pot (in effect an up-front subscription to a service) and helped him design and test it.

Why the need for another App? Aren’t the CLs already available on the CAMC website?
The CAMC website is OK, but it hasn’t kept pace with the times. There has been no innovation since it was launched and Owners have to go through the club to make any changes such as altering a price or adding a photo. It’s a tedious process. However the key issue was that there was no Enquiry or Booking component on the Club website for CLs. That’s what members had been crying out for and what we sought to remedy.

I registered at launch, and have really enjoyed using the site, but I noticed not all the CLs are on it?
Sadly we can’t force every CL to be on it! They’re all independent businesses, often farmers working long hours and it’s a bit like herding cats, but the good news is that we now have 80 listed and 1 or 2 joining every day. We expect 200-400 of the busier & more popular CLs who are concerned about marketing their pitches to be on the platform in the next 6-12 months. As we all know, there are some very remote CLs that rarely see a visitor who will not be inclined to list themselves, but we believe that CL Booking will be a great resource for CAMC members wanting to book CL pitches.

It’s very easy to use, and allows me to book a site when it’s convenient for me, usually at 11:30 on a Sunday night, does this app make it easy for a CL owner too?
We’ve tried to make the design as easy to use as possible. If they already have online booking the system will automatically update from one to the other. If they don’t then they’ll get an email with the Enquiry and if they accept it, then the booking will appear in their on-line calendar.

What other features of the new site are you most proud of?
It’s easy and quick to search the whole of the UK and find CLs with space for a particular period of time. It also shows CLs that are busy – in case you want to adjust your dates or split your touring between two CLs.. We have recently added a handful of filters and in due course we’ll add more.

Just a final thought. This site and app is really good – but shouldn’t this be up to the club to invest in the Certificated Locations network, and provide members a useable system for booking?
They probably will. We know that the Club would like to do this, but they have had a hard time in the past 18 months and this has obviously slipped down the priority list. In due course they might launch a system that includes CLs, but I’d say it was 2 or 3 years away. In any event, we have a usable system, designed by CLs, for CLs that meets the needs of Members and has already received a very favourable welcome from all concerned.

 

Thank you for your time today Ted, I really appreciate it. The CL Booking website can be found here. It is up and running, registration is free for CAMC members and once registered you can start booking immediately.

 

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