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Media post: Setting Up a Help Centre for Your Car Parking Machines

How satisfied are your customers when they leave?

Few people see the value car parks carry. They can function as part of a specific business or as a parking area for various entities. In all scenarios they carry the potential to benefit a company or impact it negatively. This may seem a drastic statement. What car park owners must keep in mind is customer satisfaction. Consumers spend a lot of time inside their vehicles. Aspects such as traffic and parking options determine many decisions people make. Drivers who are in a rush tend not to use large areas with car parking machines. The processes of entering and exiting the area add valuable minutes to their travelling times.

Why is a Help Centre Important?

A help centre must be seen as an extension of customer services. Drivers may become repeat customers if they have a favorable experience in your car park. Consumers prefer not asking for help. They see this as a waste of time. When they do ask for help they desire a quick resolution. This means that to them, a decent car parking service is worth paying for. The keys to setting up the ideal help centre is listed below. These factors must be used as guidelines for the creation and daily management of your help centre.

  1. Plan Your Centre

The correct location is key to success. Staff working in the help centre must be close to:

  • Car parking machines so they can assist in person when necessary
  • Or remotely accessible from an intercom based system on the car park machine
  • Management to discuss important situations

The office must be stocked with all that’s needed to handle:

  • Queries
  • Payments
  • Emergencies
  • Refunds

When staff members have a view of the car park it adds even more security to your site. It’s helpful to see staff members as added security personnel.

  1. Human Resources

The staff of a help centre is one of its most important assets. You must source employees with these characteristics:

  • Excellent people skills
  • Ability to solve problems and take initiative

A car park contains people and some have volatile personalities. Your staff members must handle them in a professional manner while assisting them with problems at the car parking machines. The area is also filled with cars which can cause challenging situations:

  • A car that stalls
  • A car that’s broken into
  • Fire

For all these situations people may ask help via car parking machines. Staff must handle and solve these problems.

  1. Get Quality Equipment in Place

A car park only operates as well as the equipment used. When boom systems or car parking machines fail the help centre must be able to assist. Quality equipment is essential.

Communication Equipment

When drivers are expected to pay at car parking machines they are entitled to excellent service. A help centre’s level of service is determined by communication equipment since this plays a central role in all activities:

  • Clear communication with consumers is vital. Make sure the intercom system delivers clear audio.
  • Effective communication with other staff or superiors. Telephones or radios must be able to handle the conditions. When a car park is underground, devices must have enhancers so signals aren’t lost.

Emergency services

When many cars are on your premises you don’t want emergency situations to escalate.

The help centre for your car parking machines may be the first place people ask for help when:

  • Medical emergencies occur
  • Natural disasters take place

Supply the centre with general medical supplies. There must be direct lines to emergency services such as:

  • Police
  • Hospitals
  • Fire brigade
  • Towing services
  1. Use Modern Technology

Modern technology benefits most business spheres. A help centre can become more dynamic by using mobile applications.

Mobile applications can keep all staff members informed regarding:

  • Problems with car parking machines so alternative plans can be made
  • Safety issues in certain parking bays
  • Changes in policy to minimize misunderstandings
  • Work schedules
  • Emergency issues that can influence the logistics of the car park

Implement the use of apps with all staff. When a member of the public asks for help updated information can be supplied easily.

  1. Communication is Key

In all the situations mentioned above optimum communication is vital. Staff members need:

  • Equipment:Staff must communicate with consumers via the car parking machines. Secondly they will communicate with each other and management. Install equipment for all these channels of communication.
  • Guidelines for communication: During a crisis there must be clarity regarding responsibilities and the necessary actions. Guidelines for these must be in the help centre office always. A clear chain of command is paramount.

These communication channels must be audited and tested regularly. When unique situations arise—such as reserved parking for special guests—it can be handled quick without confusion or time wastage.

  1. Invest in Training

Don’t let a help centre open unless staff members are prepared. Training must take place beforehand instead of on the job.

General Information

A company’s code of conduct must be implemented in the help centre crew. They may be the only representatives of a business the public comes in contact with. It’s essential they act in ways the company approves of.

Technical Training

The help centre staff must understand the car parking machines and the payment methods available to the public. It’s beneficial if they can troubleshoot and do repairs. Drivers’ problems can then be sorted out fast.

Health and Safety

Any public area must adhere to laws. This includes health and safety regulations. During emergency procedures, the public invariably contacts help centres. Staff must assist with advice that is in line with the law. It may be necessary to train in security and first aid. Staff must handle dangerous situations and help with basic medical emergencies when necessary.

  1. Audit

No business can stay on par without regular audits and improvements. Put a report system in place:

  • Staff must report on requests and problems. This shows which areas need improvement.
  • With technological advances you can obtain reviews or feedback from the public via an app. Determine their areas of concern to further improve the help centre and car park.

It’s about offering drivers a fast answer to parking problems. Most of the time car parking machines will take care of the public’s requests. But one problem can cause an entire breakdown, which influences all motoristson site. Your help centre must know how to find a solution—fast.

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