By Josh Gianotsos
I have a confession: I’m a parking professional, and I need to take a hike. Shockingly, I find myself encouraging prospective clients to take a hike, too. Because the simple act of taking said hike (though perhaps more accurately described as a pleasant, leisurely walk) through your parking assets is an essential component of identifying gaps within your facilities’ service delivery.
Nonetheless, many parking operators fail to undertake this simple task for their clients on a regular basis. And in that neglect, they forget that parking facilities are more than a place to put cars — they’re the crucial first and last impression customers have of your property.
Ensure your parking facility complements your overarching customer experience (CX) goals by allotting a time to walk through your parking facility. When you do, reflect on the following:
1. When is the last time your current vendor invited you on a walkthrough?
Parking operators should work closely with property managers to deliver a consistent CX. Consequently, they should regularly extend an invite to you to walk through your parking facility and provide insights, recommendations, and potential implementation strategies to meet this end.
2. When was the last time your current vendor made an improvement to your facility?
In addition to making recommendations that fall within your scope of responsibilities, your parking operator should be maximizing operational efficiencies in areas that don’t require your approval. As you conduct your walkthrough, look out for the small-scale enhancements they should be making on an ongoing basis during their stewardship, such as the replacement of faded signs, optimization of lights and mirrors, and even the addition of planters and music.
3. How is your asset performing compared to others in the area?
Your parking manager should be conducting regular visits to other facilities in the area to assess your property’s place within the competitive landscape and uncover opportunities to attract more parkers. Ask your parking operator how your facility compares in terms of rate structures, amenities, and overall parking experience. What is their site-specific marketing plan? A proactive parking manager should have answers to your questions at the ready.
4. Does your current operator color outside the lines?
Traditional operators are content staying within the lines of structured parking facilities. As a result, they seldom seek opportunities to engage holistically with parking assets under their influence. Conversely, leading parking management companies like Impark use their much broader purview to actively source new revenue and service opportunities for their clients on a site-specific basis.
Consider which approach your current operator takes. Are they leveraging best practices gleaned from across their portfolio to optimize your facility, or are they satisfied to take a piecemeal approach to management?
5. Are you (and your operator) up-to-date on the latest technology?
The parking industry is in the midst of a steep curve when it comes to technological innovations, to the extent that what was once progressive (e.g., smart parking meters, license-plate recognition, and consumer-facing mobile apps) is now becoming the norm. As you walk through your facility, note the role technology plays in your operational plan and, crucially, whether that role is scalable, sustainable, and economical.
If you come away from your hike with more negative comments than positive, your parking operator may have fallen asleep at the helm. That’s where Impark can help.
Using our operational expertise and industry best practices, we can breathe new life into your neglected parking assets by designing, implementing, and managing an optimized parking plan — all with little or no up-front investment.
Let’s see how we can help you. Contact us today.
Josh Gianotsos is a director of strategic accounts at Impark. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.