By CommenceCRM

3 Compelling Reasons to Employ Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in CRM

Hand hold mobile phone and using augmented reality ( AR ) app for see promotion sale in supermarket

In today’s fast-paced world, customer standards are rapidly changing. While great products and great service will always remain as the main priority of customers, other factors are also developing new customer preferences. Because of this, technology is adapting to meet customer satisfaction. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are among the emerging tech poised to reshape how businesses interact with their customers.

So why should you invest in augmented reality and virtual reality for your customer relationship management (CRM)? Employing AR and VR can make your business more competitive by enhancing engagement with customers, revamping the customer experience, and equipping your team with more efficient tools.

The Difference Between AR and VR

Augmented reality and virtual reality may sound like two similar terms, but they are distinct from one another. Although these concepts sometimes bleed into one another, each treats your senses and how you experience the real world differently. VR technology cloaks your vision to take you somewhere else, while AR technology projects additional information over what you’re seeing in the real world.

Virtual reality “replaces” your reality by displaying a virtual space through a VR headset. This makes it seem like your surroundings have changed, even though these are just images replacing everything in your field of vision. This technology takes you to a different space entirely.

On the other hand, augmented reality merely adds a layer of information over what you can already see. For example, one of the most popular AR apps is the smartphone game Pokemon Go – where your phone’s camera tracks your surroundings and projects images over them.

Three Reasons to Employ AR and VR for CRM

While AR and VR are more commonly used by consumers for entertainment or gaming, these technologies may soon reshape the customer journey. Instead of stressful or lackluster customer experiences, AR and VR technology opens up a lot of possibilities for CRM.

Want to make troubleshooting products for customers easier? Or maybe you want to roll out a marketing initiative, but have limited means to execute it? Virtual reality and augmented reality can help you address these problems and push your creativity forward. Here are three reasons to employ AR and VR for CRM:

1. You can enhance engagement with your customers

It’s not easy to generate excitement among customers these days, but virtual reality and augmented reality can definitely keep customers engaged. Customer engagement is especially important when introducing new products or services, and this is where VR and AR tech really shine.

In 2017, Snapchat introduced the Lens Studio which allowed users to create and use their own Snapchat filters. A restaurant in Dubai called Bareburger took advantage of this feature by creating an augmented reality menu. With their Snapchat AR filter, customers can view menu items from every angle before they decide on an order. Not only was this effective in stimulating customer appetites, but it also made the interaction with the brand much more unforgettable.

Virtual reality tech is also a great way to bring customers and test out products in the right conditions, since they can be transported to a virtual world with 360-degree video and audio.

For example, the brand North Face experimented with VR to create the ideal environment for their McMurdo South Pole Experience campaign. In special booths, customers were asked to wear the new McMurdo North Face coat and an Oculus headset. The VR equipment let customers be immersed into images of the South Pole as huskies pulled their sled through the snow.

By appealing to emotions with AR or VR technology, you can engage with your clients on a whole new level.

2. Your team will have an efficient new tool to use

Augmented reality and virtual reality can help your customer service team out, whether it’s for internal training or even troubleshooting problems with users.

For coaching and training, AR provides virtual hands-on guidance for customer service reps. AR overlay can guide service reps through memorizing products, explaining processes, completing forms, orienting users, without needing to meet instructors face-to-face. You can also use AR to simulate training demos for real-life scenarios such as emergency response and sales interactions even on a mobile device.

Some companies also use AR to teach customers on how to manage a product. They bundle AR components with the use case in the apps so that customers can identify the parts and read operating instructions in real time.

On the other hand, VR can help your customer service team troubleshoot the problems the customer is facing. Instead of awkward chatbots, VR can assist customers and service reps solve the problem much faster since they can visualize what the other party is looking at.

A service rep won’t need to ask a customer to describe the scenario. They would be able to view the problem directly once connected through VR. Even better, they can walk a customer through the use case to perform the solution, like installing software or reconfiguring a router.

3. You can revamp the customer experience

Not everyone has the time to go out and shop, and much of this paved the way for the rise of ecommerce. However, there is only so much you can do with pictures of products online. It’s impossible to tell if certain clothes and accessories will suit you, or if a furniture model will look good in your house.

VR and AR changes all of this: you can try a product firsthand without leaving your living room. IKEA uses both technologies really well. In their brick-and-mortar stores, they let prospective buyers explore design possibilities with an app and a VR headset. You can try out different fixture options and customize product colors, which definitely makes shoppers consider buying an item.

IKEA also has an app called IKEA Place that utilizes AR to virtually place true-to-scale 3D models of their products around your house. Not sure if the table you want will fit in your room? That won’t be a problem because AR lets you visualize the dimensions. You can even see any hidden dangers prior to buying, so AR can help you make smarter purchasing decisions.

Not only will using AR and VR technology improve the customer experience, but you’ll also build up your client base and brand loyalty.

3 Industries Gearing Up for AR and VR

Although every industry will incorporate AR and VR into their CRM systems, these three sectors would most likely embrace this new technology before others:

  • Tourism: You can better navigate your way through a city when you travel using AR maps and tours. Countries can also market themselves abroad with VR booths, or develop AR apps for smartphones to encourage local tourism.
  • Real Estate: Since buyers and renters begin looking for a home through the Internet, VR and AR can help house hunters get a feel of various locations and narrow down their choices.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare will benefit from new technologies that help identify patient symptoms, find veins easily, and even assist surgeons during procedures.

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