for dealers, particularly when sold as part of a full solution to the customer, notes Neil Bonner, programme manager for service providers at Motorola’s enterprise mobility business EMEA. “Following the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act, companies have a duty and a responsibility to be aware of their workers’ locations and destinations, and LBS allows companies to know exactly where their employees are at any time, helping to keep lone workers safe and speeding up the dispatch of emergency services should the lone worker hit the panic button,” explains Bonner.
How to sell
Dealers need to ensure that their sales teams are knowledgeable about the location capabilities of handsets as much as features like camera or web access, warns Quin. “It’s a good investment as LBS will become an increasingly important part of everyday life and will be ubiquitous in handsets in the future,” he explains. “It’s also important to provide clear information about the features and benefits of the available services to the consumer. All too often, the location capabilities of a phone are explained with little more than a passing reference to ‘built-in GPS’, which does not cast much light on what is actually on offer.”
Quin continues that making customers aware of costs is important in increasing uptake: “Many LBS applications are as reliant on a mobile internet connection as the phone’s ability to pinpoint the location. Dealers need to reassure consumers who may be concerned about data usage costs associated with data downloads and always-on connections.”
As people realise via their mobile phones they can access applications telling them the nearest place to get a cab or find a Chinese restaurant, they are going to expect the same technologies to be available in their work place, states Bonner. “For the channel, ensuring that a customer is targeted properly and then provided with the maximum amount of information alongside the product being sold for the job, home or social life, whatever it’s being used for, will mean maximum margins and customer satisfaction.” He adds: “The better catered for a customer is, the more likely they then are to return for more.”
The channel needs to provide products and services which will really make a difference to their customers. LBS can offer many benefits to businesses in terms of productivity and efficiency. Bonner states that one Motorola customers is predicting that by doing real time scheduling, it will save £250,000 a year on paper and administration costs alone.
Back for more
He adds: “A happy customer tends to become a loyal customer, and if the channel targets people with messages like this and services that back them up, they are going to end up with recurring revenues. One of the most important things we’ve heard back from our channel partners is that the most powerful sales tool driving LBS is to positively empower the end customer; it’s absolutely key.” If there is a customer appetite for apps and services then dealers should gear up to fulfil it, comments Everitt. He adds: “The independent dealer has a clear advantage over networks in being able to untangle the knot of tariffs, platforms, devices, bundles and promotions that exist across all networks and service providers. Applications and services are just adding more strands to the knot and therefore adding to the value and credibility of the dealer.”
Location, location, location…
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