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Mobile applications to enhance customer interaction

US: Through services such as Foursquare, the new Shopkick service for retail, OnStar and local search sites such as Yelp and Qype; consumers have begun to acclimatise to the idea that applications can add value by using location information drawn from a mobile device, according to an article published in Business World.

Hence, application developers have now set their sights on expanding location-driven applications into the realm of customer interactions. This new breed of application attempts to enhance the customer interaction experience by weaving location data into the workflow and decision-making processes of the application.

The bulk of location-aware applications today are informational in nature: “where is the closest bank?” Companies have begun to dream up a new breed of location-aware application that will involve interactions between the company and the consumer. These applications could eventually make mobile devices an extension of a company’s customer interaction organisation.

This new category of application qualifies as a distinct category of technology, primarily aimed at creating and facilitating an interaction of some sort between an individual and an enterprise. These interactions can be complex, including business-rules-driven offers relayed through a scripted outbound call from a contact centre agent to the individual.

The key is that while dependent on location information these applications do not solely rely on that information. They incorporate some historical data about the customer, or at least some information provided by the customer.

There are dozens of vertical-specific ideas cropping up for ways to incorporate location information into customer interaction applications. But to gain any traction, customers will need to trust their application providers and their carriers. Those providers will need to win that trust, since privacy and security proponents will surely raise concerns about the fundamental safety of these systems.

Source: Business World