When one thinks of receiving personalized service, it could be in a variety of contexts such as going to your regular coffee shop where the barista knows your name and favorite drink or calling your bank’s 1-800 number and having it know your account preferences and information based on the phone number you’re calling from.
In the past, self-service personalization often meant that the service channel is able to reference stored account information about that customer and provide them with refined options based on that information. Knowing a customer’s location has become a critical component of providing intelligent, personalized self-service options through channels including IVR, SMS and mobile applications. Today, Location-Based Services (LBS) are commonly used on Foursquare and Yelp to find a nearby restaurant but are now enabling customers within self-service phone calls, text and mobile web interactions to more quickly and easily get the information and assistance they need.
At the same time, consumers are becoming increasingly involved in how they are marketed to and by which organizations, personalizing each of those interactions. To foster the growth of location-based applications that add value for consumers, the Location Based Marketing Association was founded in 2010. The Association focuses on promoting the innovation and collaboration amongst LBS providers, best practices in applying LBS to marketing and increasing public acceptance and usage of location-based marketing.
We recently chatted with Asif Khan, founder of the LBMA to get his thoughts on current trends in marketing through Location Based Services and what he feels is possible for this nascent industry.
On the integration of social applications and location-based marketing:
“Currently most social integrations for LBS are through checking in to a venue or event (FourSquare, Yelp) which may or may not include a discount or special deal. Moving forward, content that’s specifically targeted or desired by that user will be the value returned as you can only offer product for so long of a time before you devalue the product. As an example, the band Bluebrain released the first location-based album, accessible as an app that’s made available only when the user confirms they’re at a pre-determined location via smartphone.
On benefits to consumers using LBS:
“The most commonly-used applications of LBS enable consumers to provide companies with key information to deliver services more quickly and often when quick delivery is critical, like getting roadside assistance when your car has broken down. On the fraud prevention side, your smartphone can be used to validate a credit card purchase being made outside of your home area by confirming that you are in the location where the card is being used at that time.”
On future applications of marketing via LBS:
“The future of marketing via LBS will focus on the ability of the LBS channel to influence a person to take a particular action. This action can be making a purchase, engaging in an activity or more frequently, connecting to another person via LBS which is the goal of many organizations who want to create communities around their products and services. Users need to know that they are gaining something by taking advantage of these services, which are less about getting deals or coupons and more about receiving additional benefits unique to their needs. “
For Voxeo, Location Based Services are about improving service channels by adding LBS capabilities to phone applications. The key to providing this service is being able to add LBS inside of existing phone apps without users having to download and install a native application to their smartphone. Instead of having to wait to speak with an agent to get roadside assistance, a company’s IVR can use geolocation to find the caller and make the process much simpler for everyone involved.
This type of efficiency lowers self-service costs by streamlining the process to get the desired information, thereby reducing the number of users who need to speak with an agent. Additionally, service providers are able to leverage Voxeo’s technology by designing LBS applications once, and deploying across multiple channels such as SMS or Twitter.
You can learn about Voxeo’s Location-Based Services and read our product overview by visiting our website or calling 1.800.305.5771 to speak with us directly.
To learn more about the LBMA, visit their website (www.thelbma.com) and check out their podcast “This Week in Location Based Marketing” which has over 6,000 weekly viewers and gives an objective look at all-things location based. Voxeo was featured in episode #72 which you can view by clicking here.
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