Scoot by: The WhiteOaks Consultancy

Company: ANDCustomer: ScootSubmitted by: The WhiteOaks Consultancy(NETHERLANDS) In an increasingly competitive market, how does an information provider such as Scoot ensure that it keeps visitors coming back to its on-line directories? Scoot Netherlands’ answer has been to enhance and enrich the information it offers by providing services such as AND’s Interactive Driving Directions.Interactive Driving Directions (IDD), combined with Scoot’s powerful search facility, allows users to locate a local business or service and then call up a map and instructions on how to drive to it from any starting point. IDD makes full use of AND’s sophisticated and regularly upgraded global road data with detailed descriptions of roads, junctions and distances. Connected to the Scoot site by high-speed link the service generates colour maps and a personalised road plan in minutes.”In such lively market conditions, the main way to attract and keep custom is to provide the highest quality information,” says Stein Peters, product manager, Scoot Netherlands.

“It also needs to be highly practical and user-friendly.” Scoot is always exploring ways to do this, he explains, and IDD was an obvious choice. “AND was able to offer a fast and reliable service which integrates seamlessly into our system. We were also particularly pleased with their route descriptions, which add even greater value to the Scoot service.”Scoot Netherlands has two types of customer to please, site users and our business subscribers.

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The driving directions are popular with both – we help our users find the product or service they need and we offer them everything we can to make sure they can find it.”Scoot, originally set up in the UK in 1994 and moving on to the Netherlands, Belgium and France in the late 1990s, is now well-established as an online directory. It sees its role in the future as a multi-channel supplier and has recently moved into telephone and WAP services. “We’d like people to think of Scoot as the first place to go for quick information, wherever they are,” says Stein Peters.This means that its web services not only face bracing competition from the burgeoning number of directory services available, but they also need to complement other Scoot methods of supplying information.

Scoot is also serving an increasingly sophisticated and demanding public. We’ve all got used to having the details we need at our fingertips on the internet. We’re now more particular about the quality of information – and whether or not it fits our requirements exactly.Scoot users enter the type of business they need, for example “plumber”, “florist” or “graphic designer”. They then also key in their postcode or town to call up a list of local alternatives from Scoot’s database, consisting of around 600,000 companies and covering around 23,000 categories of businesses.

AND’s IDD then allows Scoot to fully personalise the service – by providing a coloured map with suggested route from door to door.If the business selected is one of Scoot Netherlands’s subscribers users also receive step-by-step personal directions. These subscribers form the hub of the Scoot system. Although it holds details of all appropriate local companies on its database, subscribers get special privileges.Stein Peters explains: “Details of our subscribers appear first when a certain category is requested. By offering not only a plan of how to get to their premises but also driving directions, we are offering a powerful incentive for businesses to join this special group.

This means they not only maximise the Scoot’s site’s high usage to the benefit of their business, but they also make more certain that the whole process will end in a visit to their premises and ultimately a sale or contract.”People may browse through, get the information, but then change their mind about making the journey. By making life as easy as possible for them, we are making it far more likely that they will act on their research.”