Feedback is an invaluable part of running any business, but even more so in the parking industry. In some ways, customers don’t have very high expectations for garages—but top-tier facilities are working hard every day to change that perception with effective, automated systems, responsive customer service representatives, and well-maintained facilities.
Another part of raising customer expectations is by soliciting their honest and constructive feedback. After all, without feedback, you can only assume that everything meets their standards, even though this might not be true. Ultimately, customer feedback is essential to the continued improvement of your parking services.
How Constructive Feedback Makes a Difference
Constructive feedback helps you accomplish two distinct goals:
- Measure your parking facility’s performance.
- Address issues that may have gone unnoticed.
You may already have standards for measuring your facility’s performance, but customer feedback adds a valuable metric. Notably, customer feedback provides a first-hand account of how your operation fulfills or not fulfills customer needs. From there, you can train or advise your employees on how to improve, praise them if they’re doing well, or tweak systems to be more efficient.
Moreover, collecting feedback from customers, especially at operations that are without staff, helps bring less obvious issues to light. It could be something as small as your your facility overhead door closing at 6:55 pm instead of 7:00 pm or as severe such as a light out or a calcium drip. In this regard, customers and tenants are your eyes and ears of the operation—they help you see things that you might not. As well, when they bring these issues to your attention, you can ensure that the other facilities you manage can proactively implement changes or address these problems prior to them occurring.
Channels for Receiving Customer Feedback
Feedback can be received through nearly any channel. Phone calls, emails, contact forms, and text messaging are the most traditional (and easiest) contact methods for customers to share their thoughts on your facility. To encourage participation, you could also consider leaving signs that ask for feedback near the garage’s entrance and exit areas or by asking customers to fill out surveys in a marketing email. These surveys can solicit both generic and specific information concerning your facility’s cleanliness, ease of access, and amenities, as well as any suggestions for improvement. Again, if you own or manage more than one garage, these ideas can also be implemented in your other facilities.
Another great option for soliciting constructive feedback is attending a tenant roundtable meeting. At this meeting, tenants gather to discuss happenings in their building, good or bad—if you join, you could use this time to encourage feedback on your parking facility. Since this meeting is meant for feedback, you’ll find that attendees are more vocal than they might otherwise be, and they may offer suggestions that could make your facility better or encourage you to provide more services.
In the past, we’ve used feedback to clarify our signage (especially after we first automate a garage), repaint certain areas of the garage, and adjust the sensitivity of an exit loop. Without feedback, we may not have addressed these issues as quickly, which is why we continue to encourage our customers and tenants to let us know how we can improve.
Penn Parking is an industry-leading parking management professional for the MD|DC|VA area. With over 35 years of experience and a passion for offering innovative solutions, we are the area’s best parking service provider. Contact us today for more information about encouraging tenant and customer feedback for your parking facility.