In the July and upcoming August issues of PT we have some tremendous articles on The Customer Experience. Brian Wolff, Brandy Stanley, George Baker, Roamy Valera, and yours truly, all of us are holding forth on just how important it is to interact with customers, to bring the Customer Experience to a point where our parking customers remember it as a positive one.
Brian has become a regular columnist focusing on Authentic Concern. Recall that Authentic Concern is defined simply as a company that genuinely demonstrates concern, as opposed to a fake or half-hearted interaction that leaves you feeling less than appreciated or valued. He goes on to talk about three little words, ” thought, word, and deed” and their relationship to you as a company and to your customers.
Brandy talks about customer service and how its easily forgotten because people have to park. She believes that the tendency to do away with people in garages lowers customer service. She has been slow to make that transition because she says that in many instances you have to have a person there to solve the problem.
George notes that Technology is often thought of as a stoic, emotionless entity – and, in and of itself, it is. He stresses that technology must not only solve a problem but be comfortable to use. It must empower the user. Parking operators have the incredible challenge and incredible opportunity to transform an experience that everyone dreads. Parking technology has the ability to fasttrack this ambition and, when thoughtfully incorporated, proves a fruitful and rewarding investment.
Roamy talks about offering a frictionless consumer model, to make it a streamlined customer experience. Technology vendors make the customer experience more attractive due to the level of convenience the technology provides. The end game is for the services not to be exclusive, but rather an option for consumers to decide which brand serves them better. The consumer should have a choice and the choice to choose who and how they transact their journey.
I wrote about just 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 it’s how to control EV chargers, or what technology to use for permits or citations, or how to raise pricing so we can force people to park where we want them to. Few seem to want to talk about how to make the parking experience better for the parker.
Did you notice that in every case, these articles spoke about the relationship parking needs to develop with its customers? We must use the tools we have not to make our lives easier, but to makes our customer’s lives easier. Technology is wonderful but people make the difference.
Read the stories in the July and upcoming August issues of PT. We are beginning to change, and in this case, change is very good.