Does Customer Experience Really Matter In Long-term Airport Parking?

I am most certainly a creature of habit and when it comes to travel that fact may very well be magnified.  I don’t travel a ton for business but when I do I typically follow a similar routine each time.  That includes purchasing a water bottle after I geting through security and toting along healthy snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables knowing it may be several days before I get a home-cooked meal again.

Another part of the routine is where I park my car while I am gone.  Until recently I used the same parking lot primarily because of a referral from a friend.  There’s nothing particularly special about this lot.  On a typical trip I would drive up, push the button for my ticket and park my car.  The wait for the bus is relatively quick and the drivers are generally courteous, offer to help with my bag and make sure I remember where I parked my car.  Upon returning, the shuttle takes me directly to my car and I’m off.  The last hurdle before freedom is paying for my stay.  The cashiers are generally unfriendly but I have always chalked that up to airport parking being a fairly thankless profession and the typical late hour I am paying.

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On a recent business trip, I noticed a WallyPark coupon on my boarding pass and decided to give them a try.  It’s airport parking.  Who cares?  Right?  In one visit WallyPark won my business.  Let me tell you how they did it.

The Greeter- Upon arriving at the lot, I wasn’t allowed to push the button for my ticket.  A friendly employee was there to hand me my ticket, offer me a smile and a kind greeting, offer me a complimentary newspaper and point me in the direction of open parking spots near the shuttle.

The Driver- I think it’s relatively customary to tips shuttle driver but these drivers actually earn it.  When I boarded the shuttle, the friendly driver took care of my bag for me and it was not optional for me to do it myself.  She also asked everyone on the shuttle to check and make sure they locked their cars and didn’t leave any valuables behind.  I thought that was extremely considerate.

The Cashier- As a weary traveler I want nothing more than to get home as soon as possible.  Upon my arrival I was greeted with a smile.  Apparently it’s possible for people working in long-term airport parking to exhibit the same awesome customer service skills we are striving for at Phone.com.

In this case, WallyPark has identified three major touch points in long term airport parking.  They are parking, the shuttle and the exit.  They have then placed friendly people at each of those points to ensure a fantastic customer experience.  Because of this, WallyPark has won my business and probably the business of my friends and family as well!

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Jeremy Watkin is the Head of Quality at FCR, the most respected outsource provider. He has more than 15 years of experience as a customer service professional. He is also the co-founder and regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

One comment

  • Go Wally! That’s really awesome actually because most things airline related do not go above and beyond. And, maybe it’s just me, but it’s an industry that really needs it. There are so many opportunities to WOW those weary travelers and most don’t take it. You get in, you get out and on your way. Knowing that there is a parking garage that does this is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing your story, Jeremy!

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