Is our industry failing our customers?


Is our industry failing our customers?

Why does parking have such a bad reputation? I think it’s because nearly everyone EVERYONE in our industry talks about the business of parking but no one talks about the person parking the car.

Blog after blog details issue after issue, whether its how to control EV chargers, or what technology to use for permits or ecitations, or how to raise pricing so we can force people to park where we want them to. No one seems to want to talk about how to make the parking experience better for the parker.

Let looks at the topics to be discussed at an upcoming regional parking event: Financial Planning, business strategy planning, Conflict resolution, How to implement programs, reformers – friend or foe, transportation demand management, Can parking and transportation play together, land use, gateless garages, marketing, mobility, LPR, enforcing the curb, the commute – it goes on and on.

Not one seminar discussing how to make parking a better experience for the parker. Not one.

Review the web sites of parking suppliers – find one that discusses how their product or service actually helps their customer make the parking experience better. I found two, out of a couple of hundred.

We reached out to everyone in the industry in our call for speakers for PIE 2020. We specifically asked for presentations on how to make the parking experience better. Out of 60 responses, less than 10 percent responded with discussions about the parkers.

Even when we try to begin a conversation about the parking experience we fail. Its in the parking DNA. This is a business and we need to discuss ways to run the business better. Customers, an afterthought, if we give them any thought at all.

The next time you plan a seminar, have people talk about how they work to make their customers, the parker, the center of their lives. Talk about how making the parking experience an ‘excellent’ experience can not only create happy customers, but also make for a more profitable and smooth running parking operation.

You may find that you are talking about the same topics as those listed in the third graph above but from a different point of view. Who knows?


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. John,

    As an industry veteran I applaud you for calling this out. We are seeing a need for a paradigm shift in the Industry for sure! Would love to support this topic in session or public dialog

    Gorm Tuxen
    IPsens, LLC

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