As a City government and a provider of public parking, we have a love-hate relationship with our target audience. Seeing the City Logo gives people a level of confidence. On the other hand, when that customer receives a parking citation…. You know the story. This same scenario applies to all brands offering public parking. If the public feels safe that you consistently provide a convenient and reliable parking experience, you will gain their trust. If they return and find their car booted or towed…

 Maximizing the trust of your target audience and building their confidence in using your product is critical to your long-term success. Before you begin an extensive marketing campaign, you must first establish a strong foundation. That foundation is comprised of the systems, staff and service.  

 The rapid change in parking management systems continues to gain momentum. Adopting the correct system for your operations is a challenging process that includes many key players. Do you have the resources to maintain the system? Can the manufacturer provide adequate training and support? Is it the right scale for your operations? Don’t forget about your customers. Does this technology improve their parking experience? Is the new system easy to use? Do they feel confident that their privacy is protected?

 The next level of the foundation is your staff. Are they prepared for the change? Have they been adequately trained? Do they have confidence in the new system? If not, why? Have you thoroughly tested the system before going live? Your staff must have confidence in using the system and confidence in that the system is reliable. They will then be prepared to service the needs of your customers.

 How does your service differentiate you from your competitors? How would your customers describe your service? Does your service make your brand unique? Why should they trust your brand? Is your staff trained to provide customer service or to get the job done? Consistently providing a positive customer experience builds trust and leads to growth in your customer base.

 Our industry deals with many different types of customers. From those that use our services and products daily and to those who may only use it once a year when they attend a concert or travel. It is our challenge that each customer segment has a parking experience that is convenient, easy and ultimately builds their trust in our brand.

Melonie Curry joined ParkHouston in 2006, She oversees customer engagement, marketing, social media, and neighborhood outreach. She is a member of the City of Houston’s Social Media Advisory and Research Taskforce (SMART). Curry also serves on the TPTA’s Host Committee and the IPMI Membership Committee. Melonie was selected as the 2019 IPMI Staff Person of the Year.