3 August, 2016

Maps: essential technology for good customer service

In a world where Uber, Domino’s Live Pizza Tracker and Pokemon Go are household names, consumers see maps and location-intelligence as the new norm. Mapping technology has raised the bar for consumer experience.

Your customers expect to find directions, track deliveries and pinpoint locations using their smart phones and it’s up to you to accommodate them.

For your customer, it’s about convenience. For you, it’s about customer retention. If your brand aims to remain competitive, now is the time to give customers the ultimate convenience of location services.

Two areas where maps can help improve customer service are enhanced delivery window prediction and location-enhanced store finders.

Enhanced delivery window prediction: keep customers smiling not waiting

We’ve all been there: impatiently waiting for a driver to arrive “somewhere between 9am and 3pm,” only to be angrily disappointed by the time the driver arrives at 4pm. Not only do we feel let down by a broken promise, we also feel cheated out of a more productive day. Our ability to choose what we want to do with our time has been curtailed.

This common customer service blunder is a real threat to your business. This risk is heightened by social media where customers are free to make public complaints about your business.

The simple solution to improving the accuracy of a potential delivery window is mapping the location of the driver and linking it with their work flow, keeping the customer informed.

Offering customers a map to track a driver’s location gives them a realistic expectation of actual arrival time. Instead of wasting hours waiting for a delivery, your customer is free to carry out their day, fitting in that extra errand before the package arrives.

Domino’s is using location services for delivery window prediction. Their Live Pizza Tracker and GPS Driver Tracker are apps built specifically for customer convenience. Users with pick-up orders enjoy knowing exactly when and where to pickup their hot pizza; while home-delivery customers can track their delivery and not get anxious about when it will arrive.

Real-time tracking is also burgeoning in the transport-on-demand industry. One of the big innovations making ride share companies like Uber and Shofer successful is maps and driver tracking. Customers love the speedy convenience of exact arrival times: there’s no need to stand in the rain or wait in a potentially unsafe location. For corporate users, the benefit is more time with customers and less time on the street waiting for a taxi.

Beyond tighter delivery windows, maps and location services can eliminate wait time completely. Geofencing technology can be used to set boundaries on a map, triggering alerts when a user crosses the location. Perth startup Tamad has built an app using geofencing to determine when users are close to their destination, sending a message to their friends or colleagues when they are due to arrive. The people at the meeting know you are five minutes behind schedule and the driver is free to concentrate on the road without trying to send a text message illegally and unsafely while driving.

Location-enhanced store finders: avoiding the run-around

It is hygiene-level business practice to supply store addresses on your website. But if your brand wants to be a market-leader, you need to give customers enhanced information by overlaying store addresses with maps and inventory details.

At a basic level, your website can display the closest store based on current location. For added convenience, companies can provide exact directions on how to get there.

Taking customer service to the next level and linking it to logistics, retailers can link their inventory to store locations. People looking for a particular product can be directed to the closest store with an in-stock guarantee. This eliminates customer dissatisfaction caused by driving from store to store trying to find a product that is out of stock.

With mature smart phone adoption and growing expectation about how easy it should be to find personalised information, companies need to exceed expectations by providing excellent customer service.

To learn how your company can improve customer service with maps, get in touch with us at NGIS. We can help you implement mapping solutions to help with enhanced delivery window prediction and other business challenges.

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