The Parking Industry – A Paradigm Shift


The Parking Industry – A Paradigm Shift

A friend who attended the NPA event in Florida last week noted that the focus seemed to be on technology as it fits ‘frictionless’ parking and the ‘parking experience.’ A quarter of a century ago the focus was on revenue control and the use of technology to ensure that the money collected made it to the bank.

We had a column every month about revenue control, and survey after survey told us that our readers wanted information on this very topic. Now we have moved almost without discussion to a focus on the customer.

PT has been leading that charge. My take has been that as an industry we have given our customers the short shrift and to keep them in their cars and coming back, we needed to do a much better job of customer service. We needed to provide a parking experience that the parker enjoyed, not tolerated.

But in doing that, should we forget that we are running a business and must keep our eagle eye on the bottom line, on the commercial aspects of what we are doing. Dare we abandon the business of parking for the parking experience?

I just assumed that we would add “the Parking Experience” to our list of priorities and not replace the “business of parking” with it.

I have been reviewing the columns in PT about revenue control and management from ten plus years ago and even with the advent of super technology, most all the issues we discussed over 90 editions of our “PT the Auditor” columns still exist today. Human nature hasn’t changed.

So beginning next month, I’m going to reprise some of the columns that are of interest in our modern high tech world. Let me know if they find their way into your wheelhouse.

Remember — Disney, Nordstroms and Westfield focus on their customers, but they also collect the fee.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. There is no focus on service anymore because the institutions only care about the bottom line. This will continue until the customers push back. But the average customer could care less as long as they can get into a space.

  2. Customer service has long been ignored in the parking vertical. Potential parkers are exposed to and also seek out reviews. Review management not only shows potential parkers you care about there experience, but it can also be used to increase overall efficiency & operational excellence. At this point, if you do not have aa review management strategy, you are asking your potential parkers to go elsewhere.

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