An Interview with Colorado Springs’ Parking Manager John Crawford, CAPP

Colorado Springs is known for its natural beauty and urban charm. With a city as unique as this one, visitors and residents alike are always out and about. We had a conversation with the City of Colorado Springs’ Parking Manager, John Crawford, about his experience using the Parker Technology solution.


When John began his role as Parking Manager of the City of Colorado Springs, the municipality was in the process of updating PARCS equipment and transitioning to a 24/7 parking operation. “I wanted a way to be able to efficiently provide customer service, as we were taking on all these new responsibilities,” he said. John was familiar with Parker Technology’s solution. “I reached out to set up [the solution] at all the different gate equipment.”

Since then, parking patrons in Colorado Springs have had access to on-call help around the clock. Prior to partnering with Parker Technology, “there was no way for a customer to call someone under the old system,” Crawford notes. “We were facing poor customer service at various facilities. When we went to the new PARCS equipment, we had the intercoms put in and we were in a place to either have [help calls] directly routed to us, or to use another solution. We opted to go with Parker Technology to improve customer service, to be able to help people right at the point of contact with equipment.”

Solving the On-Street Meter Problem

Crawford emphasized Parker Technology’s integral role in assisting on-street parkers. “The addition of on-street has made a big difference, and I think a lot of cities could use that.”

He believes that incorporating Parker’s solution into the city’s meter system prioritizes the touchpoint with the customer. “If you do not understand how to use a meter by reading the signage, it helps to be able to reach somebody instantaneously and ask their questions or report a problem. It is up to a municipality to add that level of customer service.”

“We now have [Parker Technology] taking over our calls from meters on the street, and we have close to 3,000 meters in the city. When there is a stuck credit card, a question about payment, or a broken meter, that used to just go to a voicemail with our office. We periodically checked it. Now, 24/7, Parker Technology is taking those calls. It has helped a lot, because Parker’s call center knows exactly what to do to direct people on those types of issues. If there is a customer with a more specific problem, they know either to call me or email me depending on the time of day. And normally, we can get parkers right out, even late at night. Before, those customers would have been stuck. We may not have gotten to those customers until sometime in the early part of the week if it was a weekend call.”

Crawford added that Parker Technology assists in the day-to-day operations of meter maintenance by alerting his office when a meter isn’t functioning properly.

“When Parker reports a meter that’s out, we add it to our meter call list,” he shared. “We have people that go out 7 days a week and work on meters. So now, not only does the meter’s electronic system update us, but Parker’s calls and emails about meter problems get added to the morning repair list.”

The Importance of Staffing

Crawford is confident in the City of Colorado’s partnership with Parker Technology, which aids in quick and manageable assistance for parkers. “[Our partnership] has made a big difference for people in need of customer service. 9 times out of 10, we can respond quickly to someone in need of assistance. Before, it could be a day or two before we could deal with that problem.”

“A lot of calls come in,” he said. He observed that the use of Parker’s solution to answer help calls allows for his own staff to focus on other priorities. “Do you want an office staff person who is trained to do finances to be handling the help calls? By using Parker Technology, I can have that staff member in my office doing something they are more familiar with. It is much more efficient to enlist Parker’s help than to hire our own staff members to take calls 24/7.”

“[Parker Technology] lets us know when there are problems, and that is good. When you are having a system issue, shut down for maintenance, or making changes, [Parker Technology] is telling us in advance. That is important.”

A Valuable Two-Way Partnership

“If there is something I want to change about response to calls, I just send it in,” said Crawford. He appreciates the personalization of Parker Technology’s solution to fit the needs of each facility, including his own. “The [CSRs] do an excellent job. 90% of the time, they act exactly as I would. They have learned how I operate, so I have been pleasantly surprised, but they did exactly what I expected them to. I had pretty high expectations initially, and Parker Technology proved them correct.” Furthermore, he is able to closely monitor the customer service activity through the Parker platform.

Crawford also uses the Parker platform to view interactions with customers. “If I have a question about what’s going on with a call, it is nice that I can go back and verify that Parker is offering the best corrective measure to the patron.” He appreciates that he can specify the operating decisions of how Parker provides customer service.

The flexible changes allowed within the solution, as well as the efficiency and accuracy of Parker Technology’s software, have granted Crawford and the City of Colorado Springs a certainty that their parkers will always be able to receive the help they need. “Everything runs very smoothly,” Crawford declared. “Parker Technology does a great job, living up to the expectations I had from the beginning.”

Next Steps

To learn more about how we help municipal parking operations like the City of Colorado Springs, visit our ‘Municipalities’ webpage or set-up a demo to see the Parker Technology solution in action.