By utilizing geolocation tools you will be able to improve the mobile customer experience of your application by being able to engage with users when they are in specific locations. By adding this form of context into your content program, you increase the relevance and thereby increase the power of your messaging.
Keep in mind that when a message is delivered based on a specific location, that there are other forms of context that you must keep in mind. Otherwise, your message runs the risk of having the opposite effect of what you are intending. For example, if you were to receive a push notification in the evening for a store that is nearby about a daily special but the store had already closed for the day, it would probably create negative feelings towards that brand.
When done correctly, geolocation gives you the opportunity to engage with mobile customers at the right time and in the right place. This gives you the chance to deliver an exceptional experience to your customers and improve their feelings towards your brand.
The importance of customer experience
Business has been shifting to a new model where customer experience has become more and more important to consumers. Customers will often choose a brand to interact with as much for the customer experience as for the products they offer.
Location based interactions provide your business with a way to improve the experience with your brand and to differentiate from your competitors. By adding the context of location into your messaging program, it will help you improve retention rates and allow you to engage with consumers in a more meaningful way.
Provide content that matters
Perhaps the most common way businesses use geolocation in their messaging program is to send customers promotions or other notifications when they enter an area near their business. These types of programs have been proven to increase foot traffic and an effective push notification program can increase retention rates for your application by 20% (Leanplum).
To improve the effectiveness of your program, it is important that you are personalizing your content. Look at this example to help illustrate why, let’s say you receive a push notification when pulling into one of your favorite shopping centers that is home to one of your favorite clothing stores, perhaps advertising a sale on children’s clothing at that clothing store. For the sake of this example, let’s say you don’t have any children; obviously, this message will be meaningless to you. Actually, it would be less than meaningless because it just wasted your time having you look at a message you would obviously have no interest in.
This is why personalization is so important. In this case, the location was right; you just pulled into the parking lot of the shopping center that is home to one of your favorite clothing stores.The timing was right, as you were pulling in during business hours to shop. But the content was way off the mark. As someone who doesn’t have kids, you have never bought children’s items in that store. You regularly buy from their adult clothing section and occasionally have picked up a pair of shoes but you haven’t ever bought a single item from the children’s section.
This type of information would obviously be available as part of your purchase history at the store. When brands fail to personalize content, it can be not only irrelevant but it can waste customers’ time. Perhaps having a negative effect on the way they look at your brand or perhaps pushing them to turn off push notifications on your app. The goal is to get the right message to the right customer in the right location at the right time.
Provide content when it matters
Think back to the example at the beginning of this article, where you received a push notification for a store that is nearby about a daily special but the store had already closed for the day. This provided an example illustrating how important timing is to your messaging program. But it is more than just sending out messages during store hours. You need to identify optimum times for your messaging program. Perhaps sending out messages during the noon hours works for your business because customers will come in while off for lunch. Or perhaps sending messages in the afternoon or evening are effective because customers are more likely to stop in and shop after they are off work. Efforts spent in this area to find the optimum time for messaging can pay off big dividends for your business as messages sent at the optimum time have been shown to be 7X more effective (Leanplum).
To be able to understand when you should be providing content to your customers it is important that you understand exactly what content is needed and at which touchpoints along the customer journey it is required. Businesses that have a sound understanding of their customers’ journey including the various interactions with touchpoints are able to predict what content the customer is likely to need at each of these touch points. Then, when you can anticipate the content that customers will consume at various touchpoints along the customer journey, you can use geolocation to deliver that content at the right time and in the right place.
Geolocation, if used correctly, can help improve your customer experience. Remember that it is important when developing your program that you focus on the customer. Think about how you can add value to their experience using geolocation tools. Consider the customer journey and how you can improve it by being able to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person in the right location.
When implementing geolocation it is important to identify what content your customers need at each phase of their journey. How can you help them move efficiently to the next touchpoint? Once you have a plan in place, start small, measure and update. This will allow you to correct as needed.