SpotHero’s online parking reservations platform has revolutionized the parking industry, and they have the brand recognition and repeat customer purchasing that proves they’re at the top of their game. Building and growing a loyal user base has been (and still is) instrumental to SpotHero’s success – but as a marketplace business, credit is equally due to the high retention rate of their parking operator partners.
We wanted to learn their secret. So we sat down with some SpotHero folks behind growing client relationships – including General Manager, Nicole Wylie, Senior Account Executive, Hallie Kolsen, and Market Managers Adrian Patterson and Chris Petersen – to learn how they achieve such a high client retention rate.
Sales Assembly: How is SpotHero able to maintain a high client retention rate?
Nicole Wylie, General Manager: Our client retention rate is over 95 percent, because we have put a lot of hard work as a company over the past eight years into establishing, fostering and maintaining long-lasting relationships within the parking industry with our parking operators – and it has paid off. We have earned a great reputation as a strategic partner.
Hallie Kolsen, Senior Account Executive: We value the relationship even more than the dollar. We won't suggest something to a client that wouldn't make sense for their business, even if it would benefit us. As an Account Executive, my job doesn't stop once the client is on board, and this is something that definitely sets us apart. You can find any of our Account Executives, not just leadership, making specific targeted recommendations, organizing happy hours for everyone and everything in between. It’s about maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship.
Adrian Patterson, Market Manager: We have a solid feedback loop that's built into our customer relationship management (CRM) process. With the ability to have checks and balances, we can control timing and quality of client concerns.
Chris Petersen, Market Manager: I believe that we do a really good job of listening and offering our clients a tailored product that fits their needs.
Sales Assembly: By having a high client retention rate, what is the impact on the overall success of SpotHero?
Nicole: I believe there is a direct correlation between our success and our strong relationships with our parking partners. Because we work so closely with our partners and have open lines of communication, we are able to get feedback and respond quickly and iterate on product offerings as a result. Their needs inform our offerings, and at the same time, we listen to them and proactively build functionality that makes their lives easier and businesses more profitable.
Hallie: Clients want to give us more of their business and are very open to our recommendations, which, of course, results in more SpotHero partnerships. It's also a chain effect – clients are referred by their colleagues in other regions which results in more locations on our platform and creates a great rhetoric among national partners.
Adrian: Retaining a customer a lot of time relies on them getting the best in class experience every time. We strive to do that everyday!
Sales Assembly: What are the top three best practices that make your company so great at client retention?
Hallie: 1 - We go above and beyond maintenance mode. 2 - We also have emotional intelligence that enables us to tailor our approach and communication methods to the client (for example, not everyone likes email – sometimes you should just shoot them a text!). 3 - We stand by our values. We don't deviate from our framework for success which allows us to provide optimal value for our clients.
Nicole: 1 - Above and beyond, it’s our responsiveness: we prioritize getting back to our partners promptly. 2 - Next up is communication: it goes hand in hand with responsiveness, but ensuring open lines of communication BOTH ways is of the utmost importance to us. We want to make sure what we are focusing on and working on projects for our partners that will improve their overall experience and lead to a great customer experience. 3 - A close #3 is trust: we have been fortunate to be able to build up trust with our partners, as a result of providing them with good information and analyses. We have been able to be successful due to being willing to test new hypotheses or pivoting quickly if something isn't working.
Chris: 1 - I think our #1 is that we really want what's best for the client and only bring ideas that are in their best interest. 2 - Additionally, we emphasize alignment and are hyper-focused on making sure our goals match up with client goals. 3 - And, in the end, we all work hard and put in the time that it takes in order to be successful.