Whenever there’s a problem with parking, there’s one guy you can turn to: Per, our Head of Customer Service. He’s not just one of the most important people when it comes to our relationship with our users, he’s also a ParkMan pioneer – the first person ever to join the company from outside of the founder group.
If there’s someone who knows the ParkMan users inside out, it’s Per. He has been taking care of our customers for just over two years, and continues to produce happiness among the ParkMan app users daily. On the side, he entertains his colleagues with a constant flow of jokes and, if we’re lucky, some singing too.
Want to know where the world’s most expensive parking spots are? Read our compilation of interesting parking facts.
We interviewed Per about his thoughts on working at ParkMan. So, Per, what’s your role in the company?
“My task is to take care of customer support in all its forms. That means that I take care of any incoming questions from our end-users, meaning drivers, and any questions from parking wardens. It’s my responsibility to make the flow of customer support as smooth as possible and make sure that each person who contacts us gets a good experience.
I also constantly evaluate the customer care process, and come up with ways in which we can make the user experience even better. That means making sure that the information people often ask about ends up being featured on our website or in the app. So it’s an ongoing process of being in touch with what customers want and communicating that to our product development team as well.
At the moment I do support for Finland and Sweden, so I communicate with customers in three different languages: Swedish, Finnish and English.”
How did you end up working here, and when?
“I’ve been working at ParkMan since January, 2015. I found out about the opportunity when I came across a Facebook post about the position. At the time, I was living in the UK and was in a situation where the next step and destination were unclear, so I decided to apply for the job. After getting a confirmation that I was in, I moved back to my native Finland and the rest is history.”
What is your typical day like at the office?
“On a regular day, I come in in the morning around 8:30 to 9 am, and start to go through the emails from the evening before. In between mails, I answer any incoming calls, update the monthly customer support reporting and help our country managers if they have any questions or need help with something relating to their customers. Towards the afternoon I begin to answer the mails that have been coming in during the day.
Every day is different, but on average I would say that I take care of around 50 mails and 10-15 calls a day. People mostly reach out to us to ask whether ParkMan works in a certain area, to order ParkMan stickers for their vehicles, or to change their contact information. Of course, sometimes someone will have had a negative experience and received a parking ticket, and in those situations I do my best to solve that and leave that person with a positive note. More often than not it’s resolved by simply asking the warden to take another look at the case.
I interact with a number of drivers daily, and there are certain things that I come across over and over again. A neverending but harmless struggle is identifying users’ accounts. I tend to ask for either the car registration number or the user’s email address, and I never seem to get it right. I ask for the registration plate from the people who are likely to remember their email address, and the other way around. The easy solution would be to ask for both, but where’s the fun in that?
The feedback I get from drivers is mostly really positive. Even if a person has had a bad experience of any kind, the fact that they get to talk to a real human being instead of a machine or queueing system makes them much happier.”
How has the company changed during your time here?
“When I started, two years back, ParkMan was such a different company. Back then myself and the four founders worked together in a small office, with just a ping pong table as our common desk (nowadays we use it for its proper purpose – defeating each other at ping pong).
Looking at the situation we’re in now, it’s clear that our vision has really started to show through: we’re not only a payment solution for parking, but a platform on which drivers and parking providers can share information and interact with each other.”
What’s the best thing about working at ParkMan?
“The best thing is the laid-back atmosphere. There’s no dress code (like at my previous work!), and the working hours are flexible. It’s not your typical 9-to-5, and it’s completely fine to work remotely as long as the job gets done.”
What are you looking forward to in the year 2017?
“Because we are constantly expanding to new areas, there will for sure be more customer needs to respond to. That means that I have the opportunity to become somewhat of an overseer and trainer for other support personnel. Basically, my job is to make sure that we have the kind of people on board who can do the support – and provide those people with all the tools they need to deliver that great customer service every time they pick up the phone or write an email. Not unlike what I do now, just with more people. With growing volume, a database of information will help us to stay on top of our game with regards to user requests. In short, being a part of the effort that we will have an increasingly effective way of serving our users.
And of course I want to win as many ping pong matches as possible!”
Introducing our awesome team
We don’t want ParkMan to be just a faceless parking app, so we literally want to give you a face to the name – or faces, actually. That’s why we’re introducing our team of talented individuals who work everyday to ensure that our mobile parking solution is the best thing that’s ever happened to parking. These are the people behind ParkMan – our crew that codes, draws, writes, calls, talks and innovates restlessly to create the best possible app and the best possible parking experience we can give.