As text messaging becomes more and more popular in the parking industry, companies are looking to see if their locations are an option for this upgrade. They are asking questions like: will it work in my location, is my clientele savvy enough to use this type of technology, or how will this help my particular service or niche. Here are three very different locations that a text technology would improve your customer experience.
Few locations provide a better venue then a restaurant. Because guests leave at random times, there is no simple method to anticipate a schedule. Some will come just for dinner and leave; some may come for a social event or a late night bar adventure. Adding a texting option will help determine when you will get those dreaded rushes by giving you advance notice of multiple guests departing. It is extremely important that you have a good visual reminder showing that a text ahead service is available. Some systems put directions on the valet ticket which is good, but to achieve the most efficient use of a system, there should also be reminders in the check presenter as well as a trained valet staff that reminds the customer of this prestigious benefit. Most restaurants like to pamper their guests; this a simple way to show them that you feel the same way.
If the cars are parked on location, then your benefit will be the anticipation of rushes, avoiding lines, and showing off your company's "Cool Factor". If the cars are parked remotely, then a system will give you the needed time to grab the car and have it either on the way or at the location by the time the guest arrives at the valet booth. Decreasing the rush for the valet decreases the chance of an accident.
With a limited staging area, the supervisor needs to leave room for customers that don't text. For example, if you can stage four cars in front, leave 1-2 spots for just ticket only customers. Then have one or two spots for texting customers. If you run out space and the texting customer doesn't arrive in 15 minutes, then their car may get returned to the lot. Or if you need the space immediately, take the delayed customer's car back to the lot when a ticket customer arrives. Each location is different and the texting service should help you with ideas.
After a long sun-beaten day on the course it can be very upsetting to stand outside the club house with your heavy bag waiting for your car. On the flip side, there is nothing cooler than texting your ticket number to the valet after your last putt on the 18th hole. Then finding your car waiting for you by the time you reach the club house.
If you are using a SMS texting system in this type of location, it would be beneficial to put a sign after the green along the cart path reminding the player to text. After a 4 hour game, they won't remember the valet informing them of the text option. Also, it would be a good idea to approximate the time distance from the last green to the valet stand to help better estimate the golfer's arrival too avoid cars staged to early.
Hotels are interesting. They require a lot of attention because you are going to have rushes at certain times during the day. For example, check out. But if the client texts from their room prior to heading down, you will have the unique opportunity to have the car in route before they arrive in the lobby or have it upfront waiting.
To make the most out of a SMS system, have a house phone the valet can access. For example, if the car is up and ready, the valet can call the room and inform the customer personally. If the car has been staged for an extended period and the customer has not arrived, the valet can call the client and get information on their intentions. Either way, it is a benefit to the customer. Having an option like texting will be especially coveted in a hotel catering to business clients trying to stay on a schedule. You could also use the system for advance notice when a client wants a taxi or a town car ordered.
There are multiple location uses for this technology. It is perfect for night clubs, private condos, malls, private events, parking garages, auto service centers or wedding receptions. Each one is going to be different, but all will benefit greatly by using a text ahead service. Check out Snap Valet as an example of a flexible SMS texting service.
More information can be found at the author's site:
President of Snap Valet