Since its start at the beginning of March 2020, the COVID-19 outbreak has been ravaging numerous business sectors. Though it might be a long time until things get back to normal, once the virus begins to dwindle in the coming months and the restrictions start to ease, businesses need to be fighting fit. This means operating as cost-effectively as possible, providing exceptional customer service, and maximizing marketing efforts. The good news is that geocoding can significantly help in supporting businesses in all of these areas.
What is Geocoding?
Geocoding is the process of turning a description of a location (such as a pair of coordinates, an address, or a name of a place) into a location on the earth’s surface. Geocoding can be done by entering one location description or entering numerous locations at once in a table. The results are locations as geographic features with attributes, which can be used for mapping or spatial analysis. Through geocoding, a person can quickly and easily find different kinds of locations. Such locations include points of interest, latitude and longitude-based coordinates, or coordinates based on other reference systems and addresses, which can come in various formats, including house numbers with street names, intersections, and postal codes.
With geocoding, businesses can obtain precise coordinates to improve logistics and decrease shipping costs while reducing the unwanted and costly ‘return to sender’ scenarios. Geocoding is particularly valuable in logistics because location and address aren’t necessarily the same thing. Different locations can share an address, such as the street edge of a driveway or a land plot. This makes a specific latitude and longitude location most accurate, and it helps businesses quickly identify the quickest distribution route to the customer.
Geocoding can also power business location and local search lookups. This can boost traffic and improve customer experience, increasing customer satisfaction. Customer experience can be improved with geolocational offers targeting customers based on their location and the nearest business location.
Start With Clean Data
A crucial point to note is that for geocoding to work effectively, businesses must have the correct customer data in the first place. Clean data can be delivered with industry-leading data cleansing, standardization, and verification services that provide data quality in the stack, and data entry verification in real-time. This type of service is vital since many customers tend to fill out contact forms on their mobiles and are more liable to make mistakes. Actually, around 20% of addresses entered online have errors such as spelling mistakes, wrong house numbers, or inaccurate postal codes, which affects the geocoding process and delays deliveries. And in the time of the global pandemic, this can be highly detrimental for some businesses.
While many businesses are struggling to see the positive sides of the ‘new normal, they should use the additional time they might have away from the office’s distractions to look at the bigger picture and think about what they can do to come back twice stronger. Geocoding should be seriously considered because of the many benefits it offers, from improving logistics and delivery for exceptional customer service to analytics for improved sales and marketing performance.