Tag Archives: feedback

Listening to Your Customers

Man Listening holding his hand near his earBy Jeff Perkins

One of the real challenges for parking providers is getting input from customers on an ongoing basis. The highly transactional nature of parking doesn’t always lend itself to a good feedback loop. So, as a parking provider, how do you know how you are doing? Are you meeting the consumer’s needs, or are you failing? How do you get better if you don’t know what’s broken?

Fortunately, our company’s users are more than willing to share their feedback with us. And while it’s important to read the positive reviews, you actually get a lot more insight out of the negative ones.

We spend a lot of time reading our reviews and doing a lot of surveys with our users–fortunately, when people create an account, they provide their email address so we can survey them. The insights we get from this research then inform how we evolve our offering. For example, one constant complaint we used to get was that people did not want to download an app just to pay for parking one time. As a result of this feedback, we added the option of paying via a mobile web browser. It’s an excellent example of listening to your customers and building new options.

Doing market research is easier than ever. Tools such as SurveyMonkey make it simple to create online surveys and email them to people who may have parked in your locations. If you don’t have a customer database, Survey Monkey can even help you find the people you’re looking for to take the survey. Also, nothing beats face-to-face interactions. Spend some time out on the streets talking to the people who are parking. Ask them about their experience and what would make it better.

If you have questions on how to improve your parking program, start by listening to your customers. They will probably have the answers you are looking for.

Jeff Perkins is CMO and head of product at ParkMobile.

Checking Our Blind Spots

By Christina Jones, CAPP

How do you check your blind spots? Maybe you have systems in place that alert you when you are drifting—or maybe you are old school like me and ask your passenger if there is something there you can’t see.

Ask people for feedback, they sometimes tell you what you want to hear. Ask them about blind spots and they’re more likely to tell you what you need to hear. – Adam Grant

This quote struck me the other day. Our formal systems and review processes often show us areas of weakness of which we are already aware. Giving and receiving critical feedback can be uncomfortable and focusing on areas the receiving individual is already mindful of seems to soften the blow. And yes, feedback on those areas is good for continued development and growth, but are we seeking out feedback in a way that encourages our influencers to identify areas to which we may be oblivious? Are we asking frequently enough to avoid surprises and modify our behavior to stay on path to our goals? Are we asking the right people? Your supervisor is not the only person qualified to provide feedback. Your peers, support staff, friends—even your clients—can provide unique viewpoints and insights when the request for feedback is posed with sincerity and openness.

So, before you get pinned into an uncomfortable position or stuck in a jam feeling like you have nowhere to grow, pick up the phone. “I really value and respect your opinion, and I am really trying to focus on personal and professional growth. Are there any blind spots you think I may not be seeing where I could improve?”

Christina Jones, CAPP, is a parking analyst with Walker Consultants.