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Smooth Operator: How Location Intelligence Helped a Local Government Reduce Phone Inquiries by 70%

by Lorena Hathaway | December 5, 2014 | No Comments

World Map Business BackgroundConsumers are using location intelligence every day, even if they aren’t aware of it. From the watch around their wrist that automatically tracks the morning walking route to work, to the phone in their hand that can find the pharmacy that’s closest to their doctor’s office – the benefits of geospatial data are everywhere.

Businesses are starting to recognize the opportunities presented by all this “hyper-local” activity. A recent global business survey showed that more than half of the respondents find location intelligence is “critically important” to their business planning.

In particular, state and local governments are using location intelligence tools to help drive initiatives to improve their communities and increase operational efficiencies. For the local government in Cumberland County, North Carolina, these tools have been especially key.

The region’s staff was inundated by an average of 1,500 monthly phone inquiries from citizens and businesses for information on housing, zoning and land parcels – far beyond what the small staff could handle. They needed a tool that would consolidate and streamline information across various databases, and provide citizens with user-friendly maps.

Now, since launching a new website powered by Pitney Bowes location intelligence software, the county has revitalized customer service programs and boosted efficiency, with the monthly phone calls from the general public reduced by 70 percent.

Here’s where else state and local governments like Cumberland County’s can use location intelligence to streamline and standardize public services:

Improving Safety and Resource Allocation
Location intelligence is not a new concept to the groups charged with ensuring your safety in the community. In fact, for more than a decade, police departments have been using some form of location intelligence tools to help them make decisions.

For example, rather than analyzing data from larger geographic regions in the community, like neighborhoods, departments can use location intelligence tools to analyze crime statistics right down to the block, street, or intersection level. This detailed analysis allows departments to understand where to deploy resources to improve public safety, like placing officers in locations where they’ll be most effective.

Integrating Health Programs with Location
We all know an apple a day can keep the doctor away. But would it surprise you to know that location intelligence can help community health, too? Imagine that a Medicaid beneficiary walks into a local grocery store and immediately receives a discount coupon for vegetables or fruits on his or her mobile phone. Or, imagine that your local government has identified hot spots of flu in your county. To stop the spread of the virus, the local government sets up flu shot clinics within the affected area. These real-time location intelligence capabilities help encourage healthy consumer behaviors and deliver accurate citizen programs.

The Public Sector and Beyond
The public sector isn’t the only area where businesses are benefitting from the use of location intelligence. The insurance and financial services industries are seeing some exciting opportunities to capitalize on these tools as well. For example, bank and credit card companies could notify customers when they reached a certain number of points, and encourage them to redeem those points at a store nearby.

As the space continues to grow, businesses across every industry will see how the power of location can help them obtain a competitive advantage, make better business decisions and ultimately, better serve their customers.

For more information on how location intelligence can help you make business decisions and better serve your customers click here. Or read our latest article on the topic, “How Location Intelligence is Reshaping Three Different Industries.”

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