Parking management in a city like Omaha, Nebraska, is no small task. With the growing population, expansion of the Omaha Airport, and extra parking demand generated by events post-COVID-19, Park Omaha had to find innovative solutions to enhance customer service, streamline operations and improve their bottom line.
Ken Smith, who has been with Park Omaha for a decade, recently became the Assistant Director of Public Works – Streetcar, Parking & Mobility.
Building a Program
When Ken took the helm, Park Omaha faced a daunting financial gap, running a 1.4 million dollar deficit. Through re-envisioning the parking program, bringing multiple divisions under one umbrella and unifying their parking practices. Ken and his team transformed Park Omaha.
Also, due to the growth, Park Omaha plans to expand their number of parking garages from 9 to 27 within the next five years and oversee streetcar operations.
Park Omaha’s growth includes parking garages, on-street parking and third-party options such as Uber, rideshare and bike-sharing services. However, with its newfound revenue and demand, new challenges arose.
Post-growth, one of the most significant challenges faced by Park Omaha was managing the high customer call volume during evening hours. Some staff members found themselves overwhelmed with the volume of customer questions – bringing staff satisfaction to the forefront of concerns.
Driving a Solution
In response to these needs, Park Omaha partnered with Parker Technology in what Ken calls a “Cost-Effective Employee Retention Program.”
“The Area Managers were overwhelmed with off-hours calls coming through the intercoms and after-hours line. One individual indicated that the calls were interrupting his nights, weekends and time with his family. He said that he loved the job but that he may start looking for a new job to cut down on interruptions. Since implementing Parker Technology, our after-hour calls to staff are almost non-existent, which has improved the morale of our employees and those on call.”
Ken Smith, CAPPPark Omaha
For the City of Omaha, Parker Technology’s customer service team began to take calls during high-volume evening hours, and utilizing the solution allowed Park Omaha to be notified when issues arose.
“There is certainly a procedural process that Parker’s team follows. They know when an issue needs to be escalated,” Ken shared.
Ken also noted that Parker Technology’s team has improved employee morale – the reduced workload and fast call resolutions have made a difference and kept turnover low.
Additionally, the negative feedback from customers that Park Omaha received in the past has decreased since implementation. Ken cites that faster response times from the customer service team have contributed to this decline.
A Lasting Partnership
Parker Technology’s customer service team now handles 80-90% of the call volume that previously overwhelmed Park Omaha’s staff, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their operations.
As Omaha continues to grow, Park Omaha’s partnership with Parker Technology ensures that the city is prepared to meet its customers’ demands, without losing the human touch.
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