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How technology is revolutionising the valet experience

Technology has transformed many industries, and the valet parking industry is no exception. In this article, Robert Horton talks about how First Class Valet is embracing technology to create seamless customer experiences.

With new advancements in technology, the valet experience is being revolutionised, with improvements in convenience and efficiency for both valet operators and customers.

First Class Valet (FCV) is the only Australian distributor of valet parking technology in Australia, which is specifically designed to create a seamless experience using SMS technology. The new international standard is now available in Australia and is currently being used in shopping centres around the country. As the US market has been much earlier adopters of valet parking, the world standard exists there, and valet parking operators like us here in Australia can learn from their experiences.

Great customer experiences driven by people who care are critically important to any business, and paired with the best technology solutions, it creates the perfect match to deliver seamless customer experiences and reporting that is not comparable with any other system on the market.

Going paperless and using SMS technology has several advantages, including convenience and reliability for the customer and operational efficiencies and cost savings for our clients. Since its inception, First Class Valet has been using this paperless technology and thousands of customers and clients have been impressed.

When valet customers check-in, all they do is provide their phone numbers as they normally would. However, with FCV technology, this allows the valet team to generate an SMS ticket sent directly to their phone immediately. A car condition report is instantly captured to avoid false claims and stored on the cloud. Total check-in time takes less than two minutes with no apps, no log-ins, no downloads, just a simple text; customers can easily enter where they want to go, knowing their car is being looked after. The primary motivation to use valet parking is to save time and hassle for the customer and encourage their return. So a seamless check-in and check-out process is imperative to that experience.

Total check-in time takes less than two minutes with no apps, no log-ins, no downloads

In the shopping centre environment, when the customer has finished shopping and is ready to return to their vehicle, they text and receive a reply advising when their vehicle is ready and waiting. Receipts and paperwork are quickly cross-checked digitally, and the customer departs with an exceptional experience. The same technology is used for hands-free shopping and other services we offer.

There are many benefits to using this technology, and here are the latest innovations:

SMS technology
SMS is a more convenient way of two-way communication for customers and the valet parking team. The system can send group texts to all cars in an area, and even send messages to teams if circumstances change, for example, when a flight is delayed at the airport. SMS communication also achieves higher customer feedback responses.

It’s all stored in the cloud securely and can’t be lost, but it can be accessed by different team members. The data is available in real-time and can give instant information on customer satisfaction and length of stay, and you can easily track peak and slow retail periods through a simple dashboard in the palm of your hand.

Error reduction and anti-fraud
It’s paperless and uses SMS technology; there is no slippage as no two people have the same mobile phone number. Tickets cannot be shared or duplicated. The technology shows accountability of every valet attendant who touched the car. With the damage recording feature, you also eliminate fraudulent damage claims.

First Class Valet offers tailored solutions for clients

Frequent guest recognition
The stored information can identify loyal customers via number plates and mobile numbers so their check-in time is reduced, and loyalty is rewarded with extra care, and personalised service. This is particularly important in residential buildings, shopping centres, airports and hotels.

Integration with payment and parking systems
To add to the seamless experience, the technology can integrate with digital payments, shopping centre loyalty programs, or databases and help identify frequent or super users.

All the information is held in one place, making decision-making reporting easy to access. The reports give information on revenue, frequency, peak periods and customers so that management teams can make decisions on performance and streamline staffing needs.

We’re flexible in how our clients use our technology and offer tailored solutions, one size does not fit all. We can package the technology with our other services like labour hire or contracted valet parking, or some clients have purchased our technology as a standalone product to enhance their current operations.

If you would like a demonstration, call us today 1300 1VALET (1300 182 538) or learn more about our technology on our website here.

About the author

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Robert Horton

Robert Horton is the founder and Managing Director of First Class Valet Pty Ltd., with more than 20 years experience in leadership, corporate and institutional banking, project management and relationship management at the Executive level.

The knowledge and values that Robert applies today was acquired during his formative years with Merrill Lynch, ANZ Bank, the U.S. Army and his time at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Robert works closely with clients to find the best operational effectiveness solution to all their parking needs.

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