To most people, the potential of virtual and augmented reality might be situated mainly in the way that people play games and discover new forms of entertainment. However, many businesses are beginning to discover that AR and VR may also be essential to the transformation of the customer experience landscape too.
As companies continue to search for new ways to strengthen connections with customers, VR and AR are emerging as very real opportunities to develop unique experiences. With augmented reality, customers can see what a piece of furniture would look like in their home before buying it. With virtual reality, a customer could walk through a virtual store and pick up items as they go.
So, how will augmented and virtual reality transform the future of CX?
This is what we can see so far.
The Benefits of VR and AR in CX
With augmented and virtual reality, companies can create new experiences that are unlike anything else in the current landscape. As technology becomes more advanced, and mixed reality headsets become more affordable, it’s becoming increasingly easy for companies to add new elements of AR and VR into their environments.
Here are some of the ways that companies could add VR and AR to CX.
1. Changing Online Shopping
VR could change the way that customers shop on a massive scale. The eCommerce giant, Alibaba, previously launched a virtual reality shopping program, where customers were able to walk through a store, get support from an assistant, and check out items while wearing a VR headset. This provides Alibaba’s 400 million users with access to 3D renderings for thousands of items.
Virtual shopping could be an excellent step forward for customers who prefer to actually see and interact with a product before they’re ready to buy. It also means that customers can get a better level of support from service agents, who can tell them about the products they’re looking at in real-time.
In a virtual environment, it might be possible for customers to interact with products and see how they work before purchasing too.
2. Try Before You Buy
AR and VR allows customers to effectively try before they buy too. Customers using an AR-enabled application can see what an item might look like in their home just by using a camera. Many retail apps are beginning to introduce this feature to their shopping apps. You could use AR like a filter to see how a new makeup item might look or try on an outfit.
In the VR landscape, there’s a lot of opportunity for trying before you buy too. For instance, IKEA customers can put on a VR headset and explore a potential kitchen design before they purchase it for their own home. This is an excellent way for modern customers to feel confident about what they’re purchasing, without having to rely on their own internal visualizations.
Depending on the item in question, VR and AR apps could also deliver demonstrations or simulations of how items work. For instance, companies like Audi have already begun creating tools that allow customers to sift through customizations when travelling to other countries inside a virtual car.
3. Better Information and Entertainment
Today, customer experience is the only sustainable differentiator for any business to rely on. Despite updates in the CX environment to technology like chatbots and remote troubleshooting, there are still some gaps to overcome. VR could overcome a lot of problems. For instance, with a VR or AR application, companies could guide customers how to make updates to a product or fix an issue from a distance.
Providing information on how to fix a problem could become a much faster and more effective experience, and customers won’t have to wait around for a technician to arrive.
Interacting with businesses can also be a more entertaining experience too. Companies could use VR and AR apps to make the customer experience feel more fun, by allowing them to play games while they wait for support or providing a more immersive how-to introduction on how a product works.
A New Reality for Customer Experience?
Customer experience continues to be the most essential concern for any business right now. No company can afford to overlook the importance of connecting properly with clients. Virtual and augmented reality could be the opportunity that companies are looking for to truly transform experiences like never before.