With parking increasingly seen as an extension of the customer journey, creating a good experience is often the key to success for facilities such as shopping centers and airports, who rely on a loyal customer base returning time and time again.
During our latest Parking Talks, we heard from Max Kordylas, Managing Director and Founder of Yellow and Co, on the significant role that parking guidance systems play in creating a positive experience for the customer.
How Can Parking Guidance Be Used to Create a Positive Customer Journey?
“Parking guidance and the customer journey are very strongly related. And the perfect customer journey in a car park is driving the user directly to the available spot.
“One thing that you have to understand is that the customer who comes into the car park is not looking for a spot, he is looking for a lobby. Once he has found a lobby, he will look for spots that are nearby, and if the radius around that lobby goes too large, he will move on to the next and try to find a space there. And so he will do this in circles around each lobby, circling around the car park.
“So firstly you need to have a good flow management system that allows your customer to drive around the car park looking for lobbies and then for an available parking spot. And that’s where parking guidance comes in, because it will inform him where the available spots are as he is moving forward, and that will help him find his spot. And that is why the customer journey is strongly related to parking guidance.
“Now, if we try to look at it, what is the most important panel that you would have in an ideal customer journey? The first thing is when you are coming in, a lot of sites actually list the car parks they have with the number of spaces that are available in each. In this instance, you need to make your decision, remember your destination, and then go to that destination. At Yellow and Co, we consider that this is not the best, especially for high attendance destinations, because if each person was to stop in front of that panel, read it, understand it and try to memorize it, you have created a traffic jam at your entrance. So our recommendation is to list the total amount of slots and one direction, and then at each choice point you direct the driver - “so many spots to the left”, “so many spots to the right” and “so many spots straight ahead”. This way you welcome the driver without overwhelming them and gradually drive them into an available parking spot.
“What you have to understand from this is that a lot of car parks have parking guidance that is counting all of the available spots and a panel at the entrance but doesn’t have the necessary information or panels at each choice point when you are driving to different levels and different car parks, and that’s the most important.”
Can You Share Some Examples of Car Parks That Use Parking Guidance Really Well?
“The most successful parking guidance for me in France is a site called Vélizy 2, a Unibail-Rodamco shopping mall with 6,000 spots, 15 million visitors and 7 million cars a year, that is 30,000 cars every Saturday. It is fully equipped with parking guidance, both indoor and outdoor, and dynamic panels that send you to different car parks and straight into a space. It is the only car park in France to hit such a large volume, and the only car park of that size in France to have no traffic marshals at all in the car park. In 2011, when we started working on the site and got it set up, we were expecting to build 1000-1500 extra spots, but following the installation of the parking guidance system, these spots never needed to be installed. So, with the parking guidance, we managed to get more cars in and better footfall in the car park per day.”
What Does 2019 Hold for Parking Guidance and for Yellow and Co?
“If you want to see what the future of parking guidance is I would strongly recommend that you visit CentrO in Oberhausen in Germany. It is one of the biggest malls in Europe with 260,000 sqm GLA. It has in total 12,600 spots, and about 9000 spots for the shopping mall, because there is an arena next to it. These 9000 spots have just been freshly refurbished and equipped with a parking guidance system. It is a unique place, where we introduced something new – an LED dynamic chevron. When you are dealing with mass flows, you don’t want drivers to be slowing down to read the panels, and taking time to decide which direction to go in? So we just put in a chevron that reads the panels for you and lights up in green to show you the recommended direction.
“With each car park we are equipped in, we are now moving towards dealing with the roads around the mall, that will then be driving you in the correct direction, and guiding you on how many spots are available. So we consider that this is going to be the future of parking guidance paneling in the sense of information. We have modified a few design points, everyone knows the green arrow and the red cross, but now you can keep the direction with the arrow. Just go there and see it, it is out of this world!"
For more insight from Max, and to hear what Park Assist have to say about Parking Guidance, watch Parking Talks in full:
Yellow and Co is the leading traffic flow management consultancy, wayfinding designer and customer journey expert specialized in high attendance premises and car parks. We have built specific expertise in parking rotation for high attendance premises including retail car parks where our traffic and mobility concepts have witnessed up to 20% extra daily traffic without building any extra parking spaces. We optimize car park design, layout, flow distribution, and rotation to obtain free flowing parking that reduces by up to 50% the time and the distances driven by customers during the parking process.