Data is King! Technology Rules! Smart Parking is the Future!

These and like buzzwords are pervasive in our industry. Whether its at trade event seminars, on web sites, in blogs posts or articles in Parking Today, authors and speakers tout the ‘future’ and tech as the saviors of all things parking.

They seldom mention an aspect of our industry that is the most important, the customer.

I was browsing web sites looking for some fact that had escaped me and was struck as to how our business to business communications neglect our customers. The following terms were rampant:

  • Simplify your parking management
  • Manage  operations not paperwork
  • You receive unprecedented access to insights and data
  • Brings efficiency and simplicity to your operations
  • Data and tools to help you make informed decisions.

Not even a passing reference to our customers, the parkers. It may be semantics, but how would our attitudes change if we considered just how these benefits actually affected the customers we serve.

Sure, a smooth talking salesperson could adjust any of these to show how they bring better customer service. But in reality, these phrases were meant to tell a senior manager how this suppliers’ services would benefit his operation, not his customers.

You might think that these were just lead in concepts, but when I read the follow up case studies, the user of this product talked about Easy Implementation, Revenue Generation, Cost Savings, and product Durability. Not a word about how it affected customer service or made the parking experience better for the organization’s clients, the parkers.

The problem isn’t restricted to suppliers, its rampant in parking organizations, too. Yes, there are organizations out there that do a stalwart job in customer service. But I’m afraid they are in the minority. And until that changes, we will still be an industry that is known for creating stress in our customers and a not so wonderful parking experience.


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