Assumptions v. Data: Making Better Business Decisions


Assumptions v. Data: Making Better Business Decisions

By Brian Wolff

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” – Sherlock Holmes


It may seem strange to begin a business discussion by quoting a fictional character, but the point Arthur Conan is making for his character is pretty much universal and certainly applies to parking operations. How can you truly know that you are offering a great customer experience or that your operations are well-managed, without data?


Theories without data are merely assumptions. Unfortunately, too many parking owners and operators have no alternative than to operate on assumptions. They have experience managing parking facilities, and they leverage that experience and the assumptions resulting from that experience as fact. But when you base operational decisions on assumptions, it’s like pulling a wagon with square wheels. You may get ahead, but your progress is slow and uncertain. And often, you won’t get to where you need to be.


Data is vital because it informs how your parking operation is being used, and how it is performing. If you understand your parking trends, you can make sensible decisions about how to manage your parking programs.




What About the Customer Experience?

The problem is most owners and operators are focused primarily on utilization data. As important as it is to know who is parking in your facilities, and when, it’s even more important to know how their experience was or what happened if something went wrong. Did they have trouble getting in and out of the garage or lot? Did their payment go smoothly? Did gates and ticket machines work as expected? These are essential issues.


But how do you get this information? You can’t just call your parkers and ask how their experience was. That would be too time and labor-intensive, assuming you even know how to find them.


That’s where your customer service platform comes in.


Customer Service Data

A customer service platform provides a safety net in your automated facilities. When things go wrong, which they inevitably do, your patrons can initiate a call to be connected to a trained professional who can help solve the problem and get them on their way.

Platforms are also an important source of data. Because customer service platforms document every aspect of every call, they also provide data about how many calls were made on a given day, week, or month and analyze the nature of each call. The technology allows you to monitor how many entry/exit issues, ghost calls (accidental calls caused by drivers pushing the wrong button), invalid validations or permits, credit card payment issues, invalid tickets, or any other issues.


This is vital information that parking owners and operators need in order to improve their operations and customer service. If there’s an inordinate number of invalid tickets or credit card payment issues, your PARCS equipment may be malfunctioning and need to be repaired or replaced. Or, if there are too many invalid validations or permits, your permit readers could be malfunctioning. Regardless of the nature of the issues, the data created by the system can help diagnose them and help you address them more efficiently and cost-effectively.



A New Way

Your customer service platform can provide a new way of improving your customers’ parking experience. The old way relied on flying blind and trusting instinct. But it’s no longer enough (if it ever was) to just ask your booth staff how the day went and base your customer service strategies on what your staff is telling you. Chances are you don’t even have people staffing exits anymore!

The new way to improve customer experience revolves around utilizing actual data. You can pull reports to see how many exceptions you receive each day. You can review any complaints, process issues in real-time, and even review video or audio transcripts to obtain all the information you need about individual issues.


By reviewing all this information, you have all the data you need to make informed choices about how well your equipment and your systems are working and what you need to do to make them work better.


The time has come to stop operating on assumptions and start relying on data to assure that your parking facilities will run smoothly and provide the best customer experience possible.


Brian Wolff is President & CEO of Parker Technology. He can be reached at
Learn more about implementing a customer service platform at

Article contributed by:
Brian Wolff, Parker Technology
Only show results from:

Recent Articles

Send message to

    We use cookies to monitor our website and support our customers. View our Privacy Policy