Why yes, that IS a cat on a calling card. Not convinced? Sourpusses: read on and prepare to become a copycat.
Who’s the customer?
Some background blurb before we get on to Andy and his Mark of Zorro. In the peer-to-peer arena, the dividing lines between customer and business are difficult to draw. JustPark itself provides two things: tech in the form of an online platform with all the bells and whistles, and a ballooning audience in the form of drivers on the hunt for parking.
The rest is up to the space owners, who take charge their own listings, availability, enquiries and logistics – essentially taking up the mantle of micro-entrepreneurs, running smooth operations with no small dose of personal brand (otherwise known in non-doublespeak as “personality”). A personal brand may or may not involve photos of animals. More on this later.
Woo the customer
The secret to a successful venture, whether at macro or micro level, is building customer loyalty. Folks do this by:
- Providing a good service
- Generally being a nice human
- Going the extra mile*
- Getting creative**
*What does this extra mile look like in the case of a JustPark space owner? Well, it could look like offering drivers a free lift to the airport nearby when parking for a holiday, or offering them use of the bathroom after a long journey.
**And the creativity? Our case study this week has creativity coming out of his eyeballs. Andy Cummings has been renting out his space in Kilburn with JustPark since June 2013, and his gold standard customer service USP involves leaving a cat-themed thank you card under the windscreen of drivers who park at his house.
Presenting Exhibit A
And here’s the reverse side of Andy’s calling card. So what is it about this feline-flavoured endeavour that gives Andy the edge in crafting a pleasant and memorable customer experience?
The all-pervading fame and glory of cats was borne of the internet but shall endure forever. It may sound like a joke but, in all honesty, it’s quirky touches like this that give oomph to one’s personal brand and make the difference between an average transaction and a top class transaction.
Raise a smile from a customer, and that elusive nugget of repeat business is within reach. Laughter is an all-powerful feelgood force that causes us to forge strong memories of the context in which arose – ergo, whichever wares or service you tout becomes addictive. Sounds insidious? Just remember that laughter is properly actually good for you. Nyer.
3. WOW factor
In the customer service vernacular, a WOW is a corny term for what is in fact a terrifically powerful tactic. The defining factor of a WOW is the fact that it is unexpected. If someone parks at your space, they expect the space to be available on the day. What they don’t expect is a personal token of gratitude from Cardinal Flufferson.
Andy’s card contains all the key details about the location and specifics of his parking space, plus a QR code that links directly to his JustPark listing, so that the driver can keep it handy for next time.
Never miss a chance to say thank you (and mean it). Small common courtesies like saying thanks are so much more than arbitrary. As a nation obsessed with minding our Ps and Qs, anyone who takes the opportunity to thank someone for their business is a making a gesture with a lasting impact.
What if I can’t get cards printed?
Absolutely no biggie. If getting cards printed sounds a bit too much like it costs real money, the good news is that you don’t have to loosen the purse strings in order to up your epic customer service game. Printing off a DIY flyer at home or scrawling a thank you note with a biro on some notebook paper and putting that under the driver’s windscreen will have much the same effect. Alternatively, you could message the person via JustPark.com after the booking has finished – here’s one we made earlier:
Thanks for parking at my JustPark space! I hope the booking went without a hitch and that you had a pleasant onward journey. I look forward to being of assistance if you ever need to find parking in my area again in future.
Huge thanks to Andy for showing us how it’s done! Fancy having a crack at this driveway rental malarkey yourself? Get your paws on the mouse and click on over to JustPark.com, and let’s get this show on the road.