Collections is a topic no one wants to discuss and probably the least favorite part of someone’s job. However, it is a very important part of the financial health of your parking business. Increase your collection rate with these four easy suggestions.
1. Help the Customer.
Be a resource rather than an enforcer. Use the opportunity to educate the customer on the outstanding payment, offer payment options and be empathetic to their situation. Be accommodating, not intimidating. Don’t be afraid to ask for the payment commitment with a time frame and suggest a follow up time.
2. Audit Your Communication.
Conduct an audit on the information you are sharing.
Are rules, rates and permissions clearly communicated and easy to adhere to?
What is your communication schedule for collection notices? Does it send customers directly to payment options?
Do you use multiple communication channels – SMS, email, physical mail? The more ways you reach out to your customers, the better chance you have to collect.
If possible, consider integrating with 3rd Parties to enhance your collections notification process.
3. Let Technology Do the Work.
Does your parking management system track the entire process? The right technology can help with both notifying parkers of violations and convert them to becoming permit holders. Do you have technology in place to track their future activity as a result?
4. Look for Trends
Detect common issues that are occurring and determine if the consumer behavior matches your enforcement policy. Behaviors change regularly, and enforcement procedures may need to be reevaluated. Additionally, it may indicate a failure in collection practices either due to personnel or technology.
Overall, collections is a tough topic, and no one size fits all. Know your audience and communicate with them where they are. Use every opportunity to offer the parker an opportunity to purchase a permit, if available. And lastly, let technology help you. Collections can be frustrating for all parties, but a good parking management system can help reduce that frustration.