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Aspira’s solutions are akin to an ERP system, handling revenue generating operations from reservation management, permitting, registrations, vehicle titling, inventory management, down to facilitating closing the books at thousands of disparate locations every night.
In this interview, Mark Trivette, CEO of Aspira, shares some invaluable insights about the organization’s reservation and licensing technology and service solutions, their unique value proposition, and the roadmap for the future.
What are some of the challenges that your clients are facing in the marketplace? How do you tackle those challenges?
As the overall outdoor recreation market is growing, parks and conservation agencies, as well as private campground owners, want their vendors to further help increase consumer participation. We operate ReserveAmerica. com, the largest online marketplace for campground reservations. By aggregating the inventory of our customers, we are able to provide visibility to their inventory of available campsites to millions of potential new visitors each year, helping our clients increase the number of visitors staying in their campground each year.
In the same vein, for our licensing and permitting customers, we undertake various marketing programs and outreach efforts to simplify the hunters’ and anglers’ purchase of hunting and fishing licenses, helping to increase the revenue that states generate. An additional challenge facing our licensing customers is attracting new customers while keeping existing customers active and involved in hunting and fishing. We are unique in that, like with our parks customers, we go beyond being a systems provider and invest in helping to market the hunting and fishing opportunities that our clients offer.
Is there any process or methodology that you follow in order to cater to each and every unique need of your customers, existing or new?
We are a “high touch” organization—from the first time we meet a prospective new client and throughout the life of our relationship, our teams are in constant communication with our clients. We believe in listening to our system users, managers, and consumers and continually asking what we can do to improve, including what new functionality they would like to see. We are consistently innovating and many of our product extensions were the direct result of us communicating with our clients. For example, our Marina Management solution grew out of client requests for integrated solutions across their entire operating spectrum.
At Aspira, we listen, we innovate and we continually invest in the success of all of our clients—and their consumers
We offer support to both our customers, as well as to the end users of the solutions. If a customer has a support need, they can contact our customer support organization through various electronic means—or by phone. We operate with a traditional multi-tiered support organization to triage supWport tickets based on their severity.
We also provide consumer support, which is supporting the end users of the software as they make reservations or buy licenses. This is a critical service for our customers, so we employ our own call center agents versus outsourcing the function. We have support agents geographically dispersed throughout the country, so questions can be directed to local agents who can better address their questions. We have also introduced the ability to handle consumer support cases by text and chat, which is increasingly desirable by consumers in the mobile age.
Can you provide a customer success story where a particular customer approached Aspira with a challenge and how you helped them tackle that?
In some states, the agencies that support the functions of park management and licensing management work very closely together or are a single agency. Historically, the software for these two functions has always been separate because of their nuances, despite having numerous common features, most importantly, the consumer. Aspira is the first and only solutions provider to implement a truly unified solution that supports all outdoor recreation activities in one single platform on behalf of a state or a province. This unified solution provides numerous benefits, the most prominent of which is the data element. It provides the state agency all of the customer behavior data related to outdoor recreation activities in one system, allowing the state to analyze the data and make decisions on how they will adjust to accommodate their customers going forward. Also important, the system is consumer-friendly, allowing consumer interaction with the state via a single login and password without having to remember multiple IDs. Since there is only one system coming from one vendor, the state has fewer relationships to maintain, with one party responsible for everything outdoor recreation-related which streamlines their processes. We launched the system a couple of years ago with two states that are live and experiencing great success today. We are hearing interest from many other states and provinces who have observed the benefits of the unified system in those two states.
What have you envisioned for the future? Are there any footprint expansion plans or any new services or solutions that you are going to come up with?
We will continue to invest across all of our solutions, including mobile applications that make it easier for consumers to access all types of outdoor recreation. New features are already rolling out, such as e-licensing for hunters and anglers.
We are in the process of integrating various day-use and parking-related solutions to enable easy payment and entry to both manned and un-manned locations. These solutions include enabling pre-purchase and redemption of paper or electronic tickets, as well as on-site payment via cash, credit card, or mobile device, and receipt-issuance for proof of payment. These quick entry multi-payment method solutions are particularly useful during peak times.
Another unique feature that we have introduced within the marketplace to more than ten of our customers within the past three months is our data analytics solution, Aspira Insights Manager. It is a reporting tool with a drag and drop type of functionality that allows our customers to do on the fly ad hoc reporting, without needing to consult a database expert on any types of queries. Adoption has been very strong and we are planning to roll out Insights Manager to our entire customer base very soon. These insights are being used to drive business decisions and better serve consumers.
We are now the largest software solutions provider in the outdoor recreation space, with the most customers and the longest history. The significant amount of expertise and longevity within our organization, from the executive team to our call center team and everywhere in between, sets us apart with the ability to service all the customer needs internally without engaging contractors, third parties, or other vendors.