Parking & Mobility, July 2021

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parking maintenance staff, job responsibilities will begin to look a little different than they have traditionally. It is important to provide these valuable team members with the information and resources to continue to effectively perform their duties, as well as time to get used to these new advancements. This will not only provide them with the confidence to continue to do their jobs effectively, but most importantly to serve and support the customers that visit the facility, many of whom may also require a bit of a learning curve as well.

Marketing and Outreach Another important consideration when implementing new technologies of any kind is to ensure the community you are serving is educated and comfortable as well. This is why it is so important to select a technology that is best for your operation. As customers come to expect more touchless parking options, they are more willing to engage with operators virtually online and through their mobile devices. This also means that they are more open to sharing their online contact information (i.e. their email addresses and phone numbers) with the operator. This is valuable information for the operators’ marketing organizations and was previously difficult to get with the traditional paper- based parking technologies. But with this trust comes the responsibility of keeping this information very secure, and not use it unethically or without permission, and only for the benefit of the customers. Effective marketing and outreach initiatives not only help to encourage the adaption of new parking technologies, but they can also help to attract new customers. As customer demographics and behaviors continue to evolve, and customers become more informed and tech savvy, they are searching for more convenient and comfortable parking options. It will be important to use marketing platforms to inform customers of upcoming changes and new technologies in their parking facilities. Just like with parking staff, customers may also need some time to get used to these changes, and this is a great opportunity to connect with them and provide them with the information they need to seamlessly transition to a new touchless parking experience. Further, these new advancements may also help you to attract new customers who are looking for a parking facility that enables them to easily move between their entry, payment, and exit processes. Such personalized marketing efforts will also help to increase customer loyalty in this highly competitive environment.

As we know, change is always inevitable. And right now, in our industry, we are seeing a major shift toward touchless solutions for every moment of the parking experience. As more and more technologies continue to enter the market, it is essential to assess which options are right for you, your organization, and your community. Further, providing not only your frontline employees, but also your customers, with the tools, information, and time they need to adapt to these changes will help to keep your operation moving smoothly, provide opportunities to connect with your customers, and help usher in a seamless transition to a touchless parking future. ◆ RAJIV JAIN is CEO of ParkEngage. He can be reached at rajiv.jain@parkengage.com.

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