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Geofencing: Its uses, benefits, and how it is effective in Field Service

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Ever wondered how your GPS knows about the new bookstore you recently gave a visit to? How is it so accurate in its directions and updates of the new locations from time-to-time? 

One word. Geofencing. 

What is Geofencing? 

Geofencing is a location-based service that uses a mobile application or software to generate a pre-programmed action. For this action to occur, it is necessary that your software or your mobile application uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, or cellular data. Whenever your device enters/exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location (commonly referred to as ‘geofence'), the required pre-programmed action is generated. 

Since all companies are trying to gain more customers through their gates, Geofencing is a great marketing strategy. It works by allowing the user to identify target customers/people who are physically nearby or in close vicinity to your business. It then sends them some lucrative offers to get them to pay a visit to your business, hence thriving it likewise. 

How geofencing works? 

Geofencing is quite simple to understand and comprehend. The following steps will guide you into its way of working:

  1. Initially, a virtual boundary across a specific location in GPS-enabled software must be established. E.g., a hundred feet drawn circle simply on an app, say Google Maps. 

  2. A response will be triggered by this established geofence when an authorized device is shown entering or leaving the area specified by the developer.

  3. The geofences are designed and defined within the codes of the mobile application; hence, to make avail of the service efficiently, you need to activate the location services on your device.

Geofencing is used so often that I’m sure you may have encountered it before.

E.g., Suppose you choose to go to a concert. You may not notice it, but the tactic of an app getting downloaded on your device when you’re in that venue that would deliver specifics of the event is also an example of Geofencing.

Some notable companies who use Geofencing

  • Apple Inc.: Apps such as iOS Reminders are set up using geofencing capabilities. These apps often make use of the “if this, then that” command to trigger an action based on another action. These actions, however, will only work if your device is within the set geofence.

  • Snapchat: various features of Snapchat, such as location-based filters, stickers, and other content, tend to become active at certain locations, all due to geofencing.

  • Uber: Uber uses a geofence outside the pickup area, allowing drivers to wait for their fares. 

  • Yik Yak: a social networking app without friend groups collects geographical data to create a bulletin on which anyone near two kilometers can post. 

  • Pokemon Go: This game involves navigating the users to areas that will trigger the appearance of a certain pokemon or a battle arena and is possible due to geofencing.

Some more applications of Geofencing include:

  • Personalized Marketing: ensuring that the target audience receives all your business-related ads from time-to-time.

  • Human Resources: to clock employees ' in's and out's on a daily basis. 

  • Security: alarms or buzzers that may detect trespassing of an unauthorized device. 

  • Smart appliances: Bluetooth connectivity in nearby devices.

  • Attracting audience: the audience can be engaged by geofencing in organized festivals or events.

Benefits of Geofencing

Now that we know about Geofencing and its various applications let's discuss how this marketing strategy of geofencing is effective.

It helps local businesses to thrive.

Geofencing is designed in such a manner that devices will receive notifications when close to your business. This helps you earn more conversions and herby growing your business. It is a solid stepping-stone to get hands-on leads that enter through the doors of your business.

Better outreach towards your customers

The more people near the virtual boundary system, the more are the chances of outcomes of converting them into lifelong customers. Since people are spending most of their time on phones, isn't it better to reach them where they at? 

Nurturing individual interest

Since people love to know more about things of their interest, if the irresistible offers are sent to them at the right time, it will increase the odds of them involving with your product or business. 

Personalized marketing 

As stated earlier, people tend to sift through offers that are exciting, memorable, and are of their relevant interest. The better and engaging your marketing campaign would be, the more your customers will indulge in your service. Hence, personalization becomes important. 

Increase people’s knowledge about your product/s

Using geofencing marketing, one can surely increase their product's brand awareness. People tend to go with brands they trust, and once your brand is well-known, people would choose it over competitor's products. 

Outsmarting your potential competitors

Talking of competition, it is quite common to find it in almost every field of business. But by using Geofencing, one can increase brand awareness and pull a greater amount of crowd preferring your brand instead of the competition. All you need to do is to entice your customers and send them irresistible offers whenever they cross through geofence installed at your competitor's location of the business. 

The connection between Geofencing and Field service

According to a recent study by Forrester Research—a global market research company, it was found that the organizations in the forefront of customer experience, as compared to their competition, grossed a significant margin in terms of compound average revenue growth. 

Geofencing can play an important role in field service for expanding relationships with promising customers and thereby creating a more valuable service experience. 

How can Geofencing be effective in the sector of Field service? 

The ultimate motive of using geofencing is for the improvement of Field service in two prime areas:

  • Improving Efficiency: through smarter use of reliable and automated tools. 

  • Enhancing customer experience: by more engaging means of healthier communication.

Visibility Assurance of Operations

  • Service organizations can make mandatory changes and act quickly in response to notifications triggered due to field technicians moving in/out of the virtual boundary. 

  • Whenever the geofence, say of a forward stocking location, is crossed, workers or agents present on-site can check the parts' availability. The pickup can be initiated once the notification is received.

  • Customers can track the field technician's service events and arrival time depending on the notification triggered when the said technician passes through the geofence around the customer site. 

  • It saves a lot of time which otherwise, would have been spent on customer waiting, and time is taken by the technician to access the product.

Flexibility to changes occurring in-service events

  • If we consider the following example, say, if a technician has not yet crossed the virtual geofence into the specified service area as per schedule, a quick alert message can be sent to the dispatch authorities for assessing the situation and dealing with it thoroughly. 

  • Alerts are quite useful, particularly if there is a requirement of a field technician on the customer site as per his/her contract commitments or as per SLA. Suitable alternative solutions concerning event changes or arrangements can be notified to the customer by the responsible organization. 

  • Thus, these automated notifications ensure ethical transparency between the customers and servicing organization, which is important. It means less confusion and proper and effective preparation and coordination of the field event.

Creating opportunities for better Customer Interaction and Engagement

  • There is no greater profit to any business than a satisfied customer. Therefore when customers receive timely alerts and notifications confirming the actions of field technicians, it greatly saves time for both parties.

  • The interest and loyalty of the customer are directly proportional to their satisfaction with your service.

Development of new technological advancements in Field service

  • Growth in the service market further promotes the need for new innovative software. The easy control of geofencing in field service benefits both organizations as well as their customers. 

  • For organizations forefront in field service like FieldEZ- globally recognized as a leader for Field Service Management Software by G2 in 2020, proper implementation of operation and efficiently working geofences updating the alerts to its customers are of utmost importance, guaranteeing long-term loyalty and benefits.

Conclusion

 

To sum it all, geofencing is an effective modem of marketing and generating customer interests. Many companies are adopting the techniques of geofencing in their marketing strategy to hold on to promising customers and develop goodwill. Globalization is irresistible, and to stay in the race of a progressive world, businesses should adopt this innovative geofencing technique. 

 

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VenessaMiller Digital marketing specialist at ABCR News.
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