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What Do Customers Want in a Parking Lot?

 

January 26, 2022 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Parking customers used to have to extend their arm to grab a ticket at the gate, circle a lot to find an available spot, commit that spot to memory, and hope they had enough spare cash in their pocket to get out. Some parking lots still operate like this.

Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya Via Unsplash

But consumer habits have changed dramatically in just a few short years. In part, you can credit the pandemic, which has encouraged a sizeable number of consumers to prioritize safety and contactless options. In part, you can point to increased mobile and internet penetration; in the past decade alone, the average number of mobile internet users has skyrocketed across western countries.

But the largest contributing factor to these consumer habit shifts, at least where parking is concerned, is probably the simplest to understand: People are fed up with inconvenience. No one liked the old model of parking. It was a necessary evil - a hoop one had to jump through at the end of a tough commute.

People want their parking experience to reflect the advancements in modern technology and convenience they enjoy elsewhere. If you own parking real estate - or have thought about investing in parking - consider what customers want from your parking lot.

Mobile Connectivity

A few years ago, apps were regarded as a white glove way for businesses to add customer service value. (Think of hotels offering remote check-in apps, or fast-food restaurants offering pre-ordering and customization apps). Now, customer service apps are the norm.

Failing to offer a parking app solution can deter customers, many of whom prefer to manage their daily obligations via their mobile phone. With a mobile app, customers can find, compare and pay for their parking from a central digital hub.

Credit: Jenny Ueberberg Via Unsplash

A Convenient, Contactless Experience

Even before the pandemic, customers preferred a contactless parking app solution. It's far more convenient to pay from your phone than rifle through your pockets for a credit card as you approach a parking gate or meter.

But "contactless" took on a whole new meaning in 2020. People were justifiably wary of touching high-touch surfaces like keypads, buttons and meters. With the pandemic still fresh in people's minds, you can expect that same cautious behaviour to continue.

Apart from utilizing an app, you might also consider LPR technology (License Plate Recognition), an image-processing software that recognizes and virtually tickets incoming vehicles, so customers don't need to do a thing.

To capitalize on parking solutions like mobile apps and LPRs, consider outsourcing your parking management to a tech-forward parking network.

Payment Options

In an increasingly cashless world, it's unfair to rely on customers to pay physical cash for your services. At a bare minimum, give customers the option to pay with a credit card.

If you plan on partnering with a parking network, find one whose mobile app supports multiple credit cards. Often, parking customers want the option between paying on personal and company credit cards.

Attracting and retaining parking customers in 2022 will require bold, creative and tech-minded solutions. As consumer habits continue to shift toward convenience and digital experience, stay on top of the trend by deploying intelligent software and hardware solutions like mobile apps and LPRs.


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