The “Crawl, Walk, Run” Approach: The Secret to a Seamless Transition to Digital Parking

The “Crawl, Walk, Run” Approach: The Secret to a Seamless Transition to Digital Parking

The “Crawl, Walk, Run” Approach: The Secret to a Seamless Transition to Digital Parking

Switching to a digital parking system may feel risky and overwhelming for operators who fear a negative backlash, but with the “Crawl, Walk, Run” approach, businesses can create a seamless transition for customers.

The “Crawl, Walk, Run” approach offers a strategic and effective pathway for parking operators to transition to digital systems. By adopting an incremental method of change, parking operators can minimize the shock, both for their customers and their operations. 

How to Go Digital Without Rocking the Boat

The “Crawl, Walk, Run” approach provides an opportunity to test the waters, gather feedback, and make necessary adjustments before fully committing to the new system. It not only mitigates the risks of customer backlash and revenue loss but also ensures that both the parking staff and customers are adequately prepared and comfortable with the new digital system.

Let’s explore how this approach can help businesses navigate the shift.

The Benefits of Digital Parking

The movement toward cashless transactions is rapidly gaining ground in various sectors, notably in the parking industry. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly accelerated the shift with the adoption of contactless methods as a means to enhance safety and convenience. 

Digital parking systems offer many advantages. These systems enable faster transaction processing, which effectively reduces wait times, a benefit both customers and operators appreciate. They also bring about a new level of convenience, simplifying the entire parking process.

These parking solutions enhance security by diminishing the risks that come with handling physical cash. By reducing parking fraud and cash slippage, issues that have long plagued traditional parking systems, a digital solution will improve operational integrity and impact the bottom line. 

For customers, digital systems enhance the overall visitor experience by streamlining the parking process, making it more user-friendly and efficient. They also improve inventory management capabilities through the utilization of real-time data.

Step 1— Crawl: Encourage Voluntary Compliance

The initial phase in the transition to a digital system is aptly named “Crawl.” This foundational step is all about gently introducing your customers to the concept of cashless transactions, aiming to encourage their voluntary adoption. 

The key to this phase is effective communication. Start by installing both physical and digital signs within the parking structure. These signs should clearly convey the availability of cashless payment options, making the new system visible and accessible to all customers. To complement these efforts, reach out to customers through digital channels by sending out informative newsletters and text messages.

Equally important is the role of your staff in this transition. Training your parking attendants to proficiently communicate these changes to customers can significantly ease the transition, providing a personal touch and addressing any queries or concerns in real time. 

Step 2— Walk: Offer Enticing Rewards

In the “Walk” phase, the focus is on making the choice of cashless payments more appealing to customers through financial rewards. The key here is not to increase the cost for those still using cash but to offer a tangible financial benefit for those who opt for cashless methods, such as using a debit/credit card, scanning a QR code, or pre-purchasing a pass online. 

This approach cleverly sidesteps customer dissatisfaction as there’s no perceived penalty for sticking with cash; instead, there’s a reward for shifting to digital.

Again, effective communication of these rewards is crucial. Communicate these rewards with clear signage and digital messaging. You will also need to train parking attendants to become ambassadors for the new system.

Step 3— Run: Method-Based Pricing

The final “Run” stage is the implementation of differentiated pricing based on the payment method. That means charging a lower price for digital payments and a higher one for physical cash transactions. 

This approach marks a departure from the second step, which focused on merely reducing the cost for cashless payments without increasing the cash price. In the “Run” phase, the strategy shifts to actively incentivizing digital methods by introducing a higher cost for using cash.

As with the first two steps, effectively communicating this change is vital to ensure customer understanding and acceptance. By carefully introducing method-based pricing, parking operators can ensure a smooth, customer-friendly transition to a fully digital system, minimizing disruption and maintaining customer satisfaction.

Get Help From the Experts

Transitioning to digital parking is a complex process with many moving parts. It’s crucial to execute this transition flawlessly to safeguard parking revenue. ParkHub offers expert guidance in this journey.

Book a demo with ParkHub for expert help as you embrace cutting-edge solutions.

Posted by ParkHub on December 19, 2023