|The talking Yellow Pages|
Friday, 18 May 2012 12:30
Business directory Yellow Pages is already available as a mobile app, but now users will be able to chat up the service on Facebook and Mxit with the launch of 10118, The Talking Yellow Pages.
The directory service has just announced that it is launching the Yellow Pages Live Facebook Chat Application and Mxit ClickFind chat solutions on the free and popular mobile instant messaging service.
According to Jacqui Rees, Content and Verticals Manager for Yellow Pages, the service will allow users to chat to live representatives who will quickly give them the relevant information they are looking for. “You perhaps don’t have airtime to phone – and you are locked out of your car at 9pm at night – you could tweet to us, or if you are on Mxit, [and] you need a taxi home, send us a message and a real person will assist you with a number that is within your location,” Rees explains.
However, the new service goes beyond providing just telephone numbers, offering users directions too. “Or maybe you want to go out to watch a movie and don’t know what’s on…”
If people choose to use the service this way, will they receive instant feedback, 24/7? Or will it be limited to certain hours of the day? “Yes, our turnaround times have to be very quick. We aim for about 3 minutes,” Rees says. “Same for Mxit. Our apps and mobie sites would be available 24/7, but a real person will be available from 7am until 10pm Monday to Sunday that you could chat to.”
The Yellow Pages Live Facebook Chat Application will be based on the JamiiX platform. A statement released by Yellow Pages reveals that South Africa has a total of 4 955 38 Facebook users, translating into 10.09% of the population. “This makes it an attractive place to interact and engage with local users connecting them to local directory information without leaving their area of comfort,” the statement reads.
The decision to expand the service to Mxit stems from the increasing popularilty of Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM). According to GARTNER, Mobile Insight (2012), MIM is one of the top ten trends for consumer mobile applications for 2012. Rees points out that this new service is not a replacement of the popular Yellow Pages mobile app, but an addition.
“Our mobile offering is growing rapidly with our mobi site as well as our apps. Our 10118 social media interventions is just an additional way users can communicate with Yellow Pages and [of] increasing our social media footprint. The focus is being able to access local information 24/7, 365 [days a year],” Rees says. “The mobile phone is taken everywhere – but often limited cash is spent on calling – instant messaging is usually better and it is what people are more comfortable with.”
There are several ways to gain access to the service:
On Mxit, visit http://m.mixit.com on your mobile phone, select Tradepost, MarketPlace (10), ClickFind (1) and Add Contact.
To chat live on Facebook, visit www.facebook.com/yellowpagesclickfind and click on the left hand tab named Yellow Pages Chat.
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