Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  03 Apr 2009

INFOTECH: Mobile Surveys Set To Take Off


Recent Western Cape Business News

Cape Town-based Mobilitrix, a mobile solutions’ provider at the forefront of its field, is offering an innovative mobile phone based solution that does not rely on text sms but rather on USSD.

USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) is a global phone standard, supported by all phones and all networks, and does not require the consumer to have a WAP or smart phone—USSD works across the board.  In addition USSD is more cost effective to the consumer than traditional text sms and offers greater scope for direct 1-to-1 interaction.

Traditionally used in the prepaid market segment to re-charge airtime, set up please-call-me’s or make balance enquiries, USSD is now being used to engage directly with the consumer using a menu driven, survey format.  

“We are getting excellent response rates from brands and corporates for the new mobili-survey product that we have just launched. USSD is well understood by the LSM 4-8 market segment and we are finding that this is a better way to communicate than text sms for these market segments.” Say Chris Rolfe, CEO of Mobilitrix.

Response times of USSD are generally quicker because it is not a store and forward service like text sms. USSD is also much cheaper costing the consumer only 20 cents per 20 seconds versus an average R1.50 per text sms. In addition to being cost-effective, it is completely user-friendly for the consumer and fits in with the current usage habits of the lower to middle LSM groups.

Implementation is simple and as with all Mobilitrix products, you can set up your USSD survey via their website.  Surveys can be created easily and are live in real-time—which makes true consumer/brand interaction a reality.  As CTO of Mobilitrix Andrew Cardoza comments, “ease of use remains our biggest challenge and we continually look to make solutions that add value—but are easy to use and implement.”

Using a call centre example, where specific pieces of data are required to evaluate a new customer, the benefits of USSD become apparent.   For example, prior to pushing a prospective customer to call the call centre via standard advertising, companies can first establish if the prospective customer is of value to them by establishing a few important questions via the mobile phone survey format.  Such issues as location, income level, age or marital status may influence the company’s view on that prospective customer.  Each of these pieces of information, which may disqualify a potential customer, could save the company from answering the call and chewing up the associated costs (which is typically between R30 to R150 per call).   Alternatively the call could be routed to another area if that call centre chooses not to call that individual.

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