Technology is changing faster than ever and so are customers’ expectations. In the growing and dynamic parking industry, you need to stay in tune with both. Being efficient in the “new” world of parking means effectively balancing people and technology.
Cars are here to stay. While more than one-third of consumers are open to transportation alternatives, 78% still view cars as the most convenient, 76% view them as most practical for their day-to-day needs, and 58% view them as the most flexible. The average driver spends about 17 hours a year looking for parking spots.
For these drivers and parking industry players, the days of the honor box to collect cash payments, paper hang tag permits and stickers and manual citation books are long gone. Your tech-savvy customers expect a much more streamlined experience, including payment apps, automated parking system kiosks, digital mapping, online booking, virtual permits and enforceable mobile apps. And high-tech management can provide you with real-time performance data to help streamline and improve your operations. But before choosing what new technology to implement, you’ll need to know what you’re trying to accomplish.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some things to consider:
What do you need to improve operations? You want to ensure your people and resources are allocated most efficiently. To do that, make the best use of your talent. That may include supplementing on-the-ground staff with remote help and a call center or merging on-street and off-street maintenance staff.
What do your customers want? Are they interested in loyalty programs? Maybe they are more concerned with eco-friendly solutions that eliminate paper such as virtual permits and QR codes.
Hire a consultant. If you are stumped regarding what you need to do to improve your processes, consider hiring a consultant to collect data and evaluate your operations.
Attend trade shows. You must know what technology exists that will help you accomplish your goals. Which companies are providing it?
What is your scope of work? What is the timeline by which you’d like to see these new services and technology implemented? What deliverables and reports are you expecting at each milestone, and what is the end product?
Whom will you partner with? Conduct research and tap your referral network before choosing a partner. Questions to ask these contacts include:
- How well do they listen to their customers and their customers’ customers?
- Do they offer a pilot program?
- How much experience do they have and how long have they been in business?
Then collect more than one RFP to ensure you choose the most solid partner.
Once the new tech is in place, how will you communicate the changes with your constituents? For example, you’re not going to inform college students through newspapers. Texts, social media, signage and email are all viable options.
Lastly, once you’ve decided what tech to implement, you need to decide how to unroll it and what safeguards to have in place to ensure your customers don’t get confused. Add safety nets, such as opportunities to speak with someone if things don’t work as planned.
We Combine People + Technology to Improve CX
Technology is constantly changing and so are customer expectations. Parker Technology uses a flexible software platform and our customer service center to ensure your operations are efficient and your parking guests get a human connection when they need it most.
Ready to learn more? Contact us today.