These new technologies are improving the customer experience for the better
To the unfamiliar, valet parking may seem like a conventional industry immune to the dramatic technology-driven changes sweeping every corner of our world. But even in an industry that at its core is all about the human touch, valet parking is slowly changing the way it does business. A slew of companies have jumped into the market of providing software to help valet parking companies better manage their operations. These proprietary systems typically run on both Android and IOS devices and offer a range of features, many of which greatly enhance the customer experience
Text for Car
Perhaps the biggest game changer is “Text for Car” technology. Valet parking customers can now receive a text during the arrival process. After completing their dining experience, their hospital visit, or their hotel stay, they simply send a text requesting their vehicle in advance of departing the building. The valet podium receives the alert and can send customized messaging to the guest including status updates and alerts when the vehicle is ready. This also allows guest surveys to be sent as a follow up which provides businesses with valuable data and insights about their guest experience. For Hotels, there is tremendous value is providing guests with a self-serve convenience since it reduces hundreds of phone calls which would typically route to the front desk, thereby allowing front desk staff to focus on guests standing in front of them instead of answering phone calls. Hospitals also see tremendous value by reducing or eliminating wait times for patients which can be a strain on those with illnesses and mobility issues.
Building on the texting solution, several companies now offer a fully ticketless valet experience. During the arrival process, a guest provides their mobile number and receives their “valet claim check number” digitally via text message. The valet team use chip encoded reusable key tags and hanger tags to track and identify keys and vehicles. Ticketless valet eliminates the age old hassle of searching through pockets and purses for the valet ticket, is environmentally friendly and helps the valet operator improve revenue by eliminating internal theft and ticket skimming.
Pay by Phone
Many of the new valet parking software systems offer integrated payment processing which eliminates the need for customers to worry about carrying around cash for parking fees. The best systems such as SMS Valet don’t require customers to download an APP, they simply click “pay” within the text messaging flow during the process of requesting their car. Credit card information is entered and the payment processor keeps the information for the payment, then sends back a multi-use token to SMS Valet. This token does not contain any of the original sensitive credit card information.
VIP Cards & Express Stickers
For your regulars and repeat customers, digital enabled VIP cards and window decals (also known as Express Stickers) create an opportunity for Hotels, Hospitals and businesses to reward their regulars with a streamlined and more personalized arrival and departure experience. Valet staff scan the card or decal upon arrival which will automatically populate the system with the guest name and vehicle information and can also include personal preferences, (i.e. guest prefers car is kept up front). If parking rates apply, cards can be programmed to provide a loyalty bonus such as free or discounted parking rates. Hotels love providing these VIP cards to their premier level guests. The perk of free valet parking, especially in high priced metro markets is a huge value add for guests and keeps them loyal to the brand. Another huge benefit for Hospitals and Corporate campuses is using express stickers for employee stack parking programs, which enabled a ticketless experience and provides the employee with a text for car option.
Signature Parking has long been ahead of the curve when it comes to new trends and developments in the parking industry and plays a key role in helping its clients leverage the latest in parking technology. For more information, please contact Signature Parking at 800-825-3871.