In North America, there are thousands of parking operations with ten or fewer locations. Many of these operations have not yet realized the benefits of mobile payment or other types of new technologies. This is repeated throughout the country for many small to medium cities and counties.
While mobile payment allows for new revenue streams, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Mobile payment means superior customer insight and stellar customer service through a comprehensive communication plan. The gathering of “Big Data” has just as much value to the emerging players.
Mobile Payments = CRM
Think of mobile payments as customer relationship management (CRM). As mobile devices are increasingly becoming the primary mode of communication, a mobile payment platform becomes your most valuable communication asset and provides useful insight into your patron’s parking behaviors, and the opportunities they create.
Once you have a basic mobile communication network (which can be provided and financed by MobileNOW!), even the most basic operation now has the ability to provide many more services.
10 Best Practices
Push notifications (text messages) are a great way to augment email, newspaper, broadcast television, and radio campaigns. They provide real-time updates directly to your parking patrons.
Using mobile payment also affords you communication compliance with text opt-in requirements and the CAN-SPAM Act for email.
- Promote and notify of Early Birds, Late night specials and other pricing mechanisms to fill your location.
- Communicate temporary road closures, traffic jams, festival closures, and emergency restrictions.
- Provide emergency services and instructions for major snows, flooding, water main breaks, evacuations, snow routes, etc.
- Create a channel for positive neighborhood and event news such as festivals, parking lot events, street fairs, sidewalk sales, and scouting events.
- Manage and notify information on waiting lists for garages or lots, new location openings, lot closings, street pavings, etc.
- Generate parade route or other reminders each day of an event.
- Remind people of free parking events, free meter days, changes to enforcement hours, etc.
- Remind customers when parking sessions or permits are near expiration.
- Provide patrons with the ability to opt-in to receive promotions from your local merchant community.
- Create a record that can be researched, and provide valuable trend analysis and opportunities for the operator and the consumer.