I was rummaging around the parking blogosphere and ran across a post by IPI Prez Casey Jones. He was commenting on how necessary it was to interact positively with parking’s customers in the university setting to ‘earn their repeat business.’
I thought this was an enlightened approach coming from a university parking manager, actually calling his parkers ‘customers’ and looking for ‘repeat business.’
Too often we forget just what we are doing and who are ‘customers’ are. Often those in the public sectors particularly look at parking through the eyes of enforcement or protecting an asset. They forget that they have customers, and those are the folks who actually use the asset they are protecting.
Its more difficult, it seems to me, to look at ‘customers’ in the university setting, and ‘earning repeat business” as most of the parkers have little alternative. If you want to park on campus, you use the parking department’s product. Often that product is in short supply and little concern need to be taken over ‘earning repeat business.’ If one customer is lost, another is right there to take their place.
Granted university programs strive to be user friendly, as they have a lot of pressure from on high to keep complaints to a minimum (which is a difficult task in itself.) Most businesses see repeat business as the easiest customer to get. If you have them once, and do a good job, they will come back. A reputation is on what many businesses rest their future and growth. Can you say Nordstrom.
I think Casey brings up a good point and we need to consider always that we are in a customer centric business and that our goal is providing a quality product and excellent service. That way, we will get our ‘repeat business’ whether they are forced to use us or not.