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Parking Reservation Systems

April 3, 2017

How to Leverage a Reservation System in Your Parking Business

Errol Gayle

Parking technology is coming of age. Until recent years, parking lagged behind the quickly developing advances in travel technology. But today, those same developments have made inroads into the parking sector, offering the latest and best for parking operations. One of the most beneficial, affordable and user-friendly of those offerings is online reservation technology.


In today’s competitive digital landscape, online parking reservation technology is no longer optional. It is assumed, if not demanded, by today’s parker. What’s more, online reservation systems open an entire world of benefits to the parking operator. Here are a few:


Prepaid Reservations


One of the main reasons customers make advance reservations is the option to make a prepaid reservation, giving them a smooth and easy parking experience, but there are also perks to your business when receiving a prepaid reservation. The most obvious benefit is that a prepaid reservation secures the sale early, allowing you to be paid early.


And customers who take the time to make a prepaid reservation usually show up, helping to minimize no-shows. But should a customer cancel the reservation, this frees up the space allowing you to maximize parking space inventory.


Up-Selling Opportunity


If your parking operation offers car washes, oil changes, dry cleaning or pet accommodations, an online reservation system is the perfect place to up-sell these ancillary services to your customer. These services can be built into the reservation process and offered to the customer before checkout, making it convenient for the parker – and a simple revenue booster for the operator.


Revenue Management


Data and reporting are crucial tools to managing revenue. A real-time online reservation system gives your operation the ability to collect data and create reports that are used to develop a revenue management strategy. A strategy using data and reporting, combined with dynamic pricing and inventory allotment, can be analyzed to make intelligent pricing and inventory decisions, helping to increase your parking revenue. An added bonus is that this same rich data make operational staffing much easier to predict.


Customer Convenience


Using an online reservation system allows your business to be open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A customer can book a reservation at any time, any place, whether your office is open or closed. A real-time online parking reservation system allows customers to book a secure reservation quickly and conveniently, pay online, and receive an email confirmation – all in three easy clicks!


Customer Rewards


Did you know that getting new customers can cost up to five times more than keeping current ones? You may also be surprised to know that by retaining a small 5% sliver of customers, profits can increase by up to 125%! A white-label online reservation system equipped with a customer loyalty program can be integrated directly into your existing website, giving you the ability to collect customer data and reward the customer based on buying behavior. The operator defines and customizes the reward system.


Customer Experience


Customers today assume that the best companies offer them a seamless buying experience – one that can begin on one channel or device such as a laptop, and continue on any other such as a tablet, phone, web or in person. An online reservation system provides this experience through omni-channel technology.


Customers today assume that the best companies offer them a seamless buying experience — one that can begin on one channel or device and continue on any other such as a tablet, phone, web or in person


Marketing


An online reservation system collects valuable customer data in the reservation process. In addition to using these data to reward customer loyalty, it can also be used for marketing.


You have the ability to launch digital marketing campaigns via email, social media, SEO and PPC, helping to increase revenue even more. If your reservation software is omni-channel, this special technology allows you to define, segment, implement and track multiple marketing campaigns offering multiple pricing strategies on multiple channels.


Online parking reservation providers are not all created equal. Be willing to invest the time to find a real-time omni-channel parking reservation system that contains the features to afford your operation all the benefits available.


Errol Gayle is VP of Business Development for PRS, a parking software provider. He can be reached at
egayle@parkingreservationsoftware.com.



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