A car park manager, or patrol, is a vital component of a well-run and well-managed car park – for owners, operators and the car park’s customers alike. They are the essential human element that makes a world of difference to the parking experience.
Why use a car park manager?
Managed patrol is a great way to eliminate common problems in your car park – like abuse of disabled and reserved bays, parent/toddler bays, overstaying maximum stays and for general car park security – and more. This is why many owners turn to a car park enforcement company, to ensure that their customers have the best possible parking experience.
By stamping out unauthorised parking in a private car park or at your business and providing a visible human presence to reassure people, you are providing an easier, secure and more enjoyable experience for everyone.
The 5 Skills of an Effective Car Park Manager
1 – A Clear and Compassionate Communicator
Perhaps not the most obvious first trait for a parking manager, it’s top priority in our expectations of our patrol team. A compassionate patrol manager has the ability to empathise with customers, listening to them before making any decisions and communicating in the right tone of voice.
When issued with a ticket, motorists may be upset, so a car park manager’s ability to de-escalate the situation and calm people down is crucial.
Patrols giving directions to places, advising customers how to park and pay, and little things like recommendations for the best local shops and restaurants are all valuable to the customer experience.
2 – First Aid and Safety Certified
As someone who is regularly on-site, these are essential to a car park manager. We’d hope that they never need to use first aid skills, but in the moment of an emergency, it can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Ensuring that car park managers have up-to-date training on key areas such as first aid, health and safety, threat detection and anti-terrorism is vital in ensuring peace of mind for your business and customers.
3 – Attention to Detail
Often, the smallest of details can make the biggest difference.
For the management of your car park, this is true on many levels – including its presentation and visual layout, from spotting where markings need to be repainted, signs that need replacing to picking up a piece of litter off the floor. And from the safety and security angle, a good car park manager is aware of regular patterns in your car park’s usage, noticing when something doesn’t fit or seems out of place, acting on potential risk or alerts.
4 – Self-motivated
Although a car park patrol or car park manager can be surrounded by people, it can be lonely without colleagues to work alongside. Unlike an office job, car park managers are not regularly interacting with peers. So, it is important to be self-motivated and have a pro-active attitude. Doing regular checks, setting their own goals for the day and going the extra mile to ensure the customer has the best experience possible – all helps to drive the manager towards excellence.
As part of our training at Gemini Parking Solutions, we don’t just focus on operational training – we emphasise and focus on personal development. This gives our parking managers a clearer vision of what they are setting out to do – on a daily basis and in their career. Having this understanding helps them to push themselves to deliver the best level of service they can provide, to achieve their own goals and objectives.
5 – Friendly and Caring
The parking manager and patrol team based on-site are essentially your first point of contact – the first person a customer interacts with, when visiting your business. Whilst many say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” we know for a fact that the first impression lasts the longest.
When recruiting car park managers, look to hire for personality and values – as we do – rather than car park experience. The technical and operational skills can be taught, but a genuine warmth, friendly smile and positive attitude need to come naturally.
Training we recommend
We have mentioned the importance of training, so for added value, we want to share some training resources that could be useful, both for your business and car park manager.
1. BPA Code Of Conduct Training
An essential training for anyone working within the Parking Industry is to cover the British Parking Associations Code of Conduct and all of the key information that ensures your parking managers maintain a high level of service and follow the guidelines set.
2. Customer Service Training
Askill that sits at the core of what your team will do and one that will pay dividends to your company and customers. We have trialed a number of different trainings, but these are some that come highly recommended.
- The Certified Client Service Professional Accreditation
- Customer Service Skills by Workforce Academy Partnership via Alison (free)
3. Conflict Management Training
As mentioned earlier in the article, conflict management can play a large role in ensuring your car park is well managed. This is a skill we consider critical in the training plan of any on-site team.