Delivering benefit from location services
Location services – a widely debated topic within the app world that often causes a number of issues for developers.
Most consumers are uncertain about sharing their private location data with an entity they don’t know, and this reluctance can cause many organisations a variety of commercial setbacks. The data shared by location services can improve and tailor the service developers can offer; while also opening up additional revenue streams.
Why are consumers so afraid of location services and how developers can deliver clear customer benefits to grant access to their data and ensure they opt in?
Trust vs convenience
New insight has discovered the majority of app users understand that location services improve their experience. In fact, 83 percent said location is crucial to their app experience. Yet despite this, many still resist sharing their location details; 40 percent said they’re still hesitant to share their location and 20 percent admit they turn off location services for all apps.
So why are consumers so afraid of location services? Trust is the main issue. Over the last 12 months we’ve had the ‘Snoopers Charter’, Ed Snowdon and various data breaches, such as TalkTalk, highlighting how online consumer data can be easily accessed either legally or illegally.
Developers therefore need to find a way to encourage consumers to share their location details. I believe the answer can be found by considering the balance between privacy versus convenience. For example, if Transport for London (TfL) asked each of its travellers to use Apple Pay so they can monitor the volume of people who travel on the underground regularly, many would be sceptical and reluctant to do so. After all, such a request from a company seemingly only has a commercial benefit. As a result, consumer fear over how their data is being used would only intensify.
However if TfL suggested travellers pay with Apple Pay as it speeds up their personal journey time, while also removing the inconvenience of topping up an oyster card or purchasing a ticket, then a far greater number of people would be happy to sign up. Yet take away the top line communication and both requests are the same.
Building up trust before enforcing location services is key and according to the TfL Commissioner’s Report for February, effective. The average number of journeys made using mobile devices has increased from 7,500 a day to more than 35,000, with more than 200,000 unique devices used to make trips over the past six months – an increase of 1,000 devices per day. This is an increase of over 360 percent since Apple Pay’s launch in the UK last July.
The same approach can be taken by many developers. If location services are convenient and beneficial for the user and not seen purely as a way for a company to collate data then it is more likely the customer will opt to keep the services switched on.
Consumers need a benefit
Here is the reality; in order for consumers to share their data they need to understand and see the real benefits of doing so.
Once there is a clear benefit, such as using the Apple Pay system on the underground to ensure a quicker and easier journey, consumers will be less reluctant to share their location information.
It’s also important to consider the timing of asking for location services permissions. If the consumer is asked to turn on their location services as soon as they download the app, it’s more than likely they will simply tap no. However, if you were to wait until the user clicks a particular feature that requires permission; it will be more obvious what benefits the consumer will receive from tapping yes (i.e., access to a feature which they have already pinpointed as being useful to them) and so are more likely to agree.
In a recent global study commissioned by Microsoft, called The Consumer Data Value Exchange, it was revealed consumers are willing to share personal data, but only when there are clear defined benefits in doing so, with 65.2 percent saying they would share their local services for loyalty points on services and products.
Organisations also need to build trust and a reputation for ‘doing the right thing’ with user data. It needs to be made clear the data is used for this purpose and this purpose alone, and not an aspect users don’t understand.
Such transparency will help convince consumers to keep location services on. The key then is to continue to provide demonstrable proof of the continued value consumers will receive by keeping location services active.
In conclusion, once developers demonstrate a real benefit from location services, consumers are far more likely to keep them switched on. Adding value to the service they receive, while also sharing important information with developers to improve their product.
Mike Cliffe is CTO of Mapway
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”