Entering the Court of the Parking Customer King (or Queen)
HOW CAN WE COMPETE?
We keep hearing about how commuters today have choices beyond driving and parking, and we’re increasingly wary of their options, from rideshare to public transit. For the first time in its history, the parking industry is buzzing with this big question about the future: How can we compete?
To answer this, it’s key to understand the consumer’s role in parking right now and how significantly it has changed in light of recent trends in commerce as a whole.
Buyer behavior has moved online, and an online marketplace affords a very different experience from a brick-and-mortar one. Online shopping provides instant transparency; it makes it easy to see how many vendors are vying for our business.
The buyer, not the merchant, holds the cards. And now that we understand the true power of our purchasing decisions, we, as buyers, feel entitled to a better customer experience.
Consider this: Before Amazon offered free two-day shipping, no one expected to buy something online and have it arrive on the doorstep within two days. Our behavior matched this expectation; we either ordered in advance or forked over extra for expedited shipping.
But now that it’s on the table with Amazon, free two-day shipping has become the gold standard. When a better experience becomes accessible, we don’t want to settle for anything less, and that’s one way (of many) that Amazon is able to differentiate itself in an enormous ecommerce landscape.
Until now, in contrast, parking has been a commodity, not an experience to be considered in the broader context of a driver’s day. But the reign of customer experience (and not commoditization) has finally come for our industry, too. Amazon and other brands that are moving the needle right now go beyond selling: They make life easier for their customers. And they’re parlaying that customer experience into revenue.
Parking has this same potential. We’re sitting on a huge revenue opportunity to alleviate stress for urban commuters and scratch items off their to-do lists through parking, and we can do it multiple times per day.
From the physical look and feel of your facility to the technology you leverage and the amenities and services you provide, an extraordinary end-to-end parking experience is well on its way to being the gold-standard expectation.
There’s a lot here to explore here, so we encourage you to bring your own point of view to a panel at PIE 2018 about why the customer experience suddenly truly matters in parking. The expert panelists – featuring Anthony Broad-Crawford, Chief Product Officer at SpotHero – will discuss what’s involved and how you can deliver a world-class parking experience.
Sarah Becherer, B2B Manager in Marketing at SpotHero, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.