How to Use Augmented Reality to Attract More Customers
Augmented Reality has already been implemented in various spheres. The main reason for that is customer experience. Forward-thinking companies are using AR to enhance customer experience and ensure more delightful interactions with customers.
These companies integrate the latest customer experience techniques and Augmented Reality to improve a product or service they offer. This article will cover a few examples of how companies can successfully use AR to improve the customer journey and attract new customers.
How AR Improves Customer Experience
AR can help organizations to improve the way they communicate with clients, both online and offline. AR provides the chance to incorporate content into a buyer’s view of the world.
The examples below demonstrate how AR can improve customer experience. They include Augmented Reality app development that you can use to increase sales and add value to your business. Of course, these are not the only examples of using AR, but they embody the key strategies applied by businesses.
1. Training Customer Service Team
Human interaction is the most important part of customer service. When browsing goods or making purchases customers want to talk to a real person. This makes the training of your customer relations specialists important.
For enterprises that have many physical products, AR can provide customer service specialists a way to “see” a product without the need to locate a real product. The only way staff can reach that level of expertise is through hands-on experience.
AR can provide that experience without a staff member having to physically try every item. For instance, AR models can replicate a real product, and customer service staff can see the different versions of the product (different colors, accessories, etc.) and, most importantly, understand how different they are. This way, they will be able to expertly explain each item to potential customers.
2. Enhancing Decision Making
The e-commerce market is growing year by year. Nevertheless, online shopping has a significant drawback: buyers can’t physically assess a product before purchasing it, and return rates for products bought online are much higher than for brick-and-mortar stores.
AR can effectively address this problem. Interactive apps that rely on augmented reality can offer customers a better-rounded experience of a product. For example, there are apps that let users virtually place furniture in their home and see whether they match their interior.
Augmented Reality helps to enhance customer experience at both ends of the buyer’s journey. By showing buyers how the product will influence their everyday lives, it removes friction before purchase, and, by having a better idea of a product, clients will be less likely to return it later.
3. Offering Advice or Adding Value Via Interactive Packaging
The impact of AR on customer experience isn’t limited to the pre-sale stages. One of the best examples of using augmented reality during the sales stage is the concept of interactive packaging.
Interactive packaging gives buyers a more engaging experience. When built upon the right framework, it allows customers to interact with your product, adding that extra value.
Intelligent packaging entails a functional design that goes beyond the mere packaging task, providing an extra advantage. In essence, the intelligence of packaging stems from its ability to communicate with the customer and provide value in the form of information, automation, or personalization.
Augmented reality rightly takes a leading role among all the possible means of achieving this functionality. With a digital layer, it complements the physical package, which can be explored with the aid of your smartphone camera.
4. Try-Before-You-Buy Experience
With virtual ‘try-before-you-buy’ experiences ranging from previewing furniture in your home to virtually trying on luxury fashion clothes, AR applications have been on the rise. Once a nice-to-have feature, AR has rapidly become an important technology for merchants.
According to a Neilsen global survey, customers listed Augmented and Virtual Reality as the top technologies they want to assist them in their daily lives. In fact, 51% of respondents said they were willing to test products using this technology. Since then, it is expected that interest will keep growing as we have seen AR shift from being gimmicky sometimes to solving real problems for clients, particularly in the midst of the pandemic. According to a new report released by Shopify, interactions with products having 3D/AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than for products without AR/3D.
5. Self-Service Support
AR can allow buyers to avoid customer service staff altogether. Many organizations use AR for self-service support at the post-purchase stage. Customers can use AR apps to get an in-depth self-service overlay.
The overlay puts resources at the fingertips of the client, such as FAQ pages and support sheets where they can find answers to popular questions and thus save time and free up your customer support team. Companies will see fewer questions from buyers and customer loyalty will be higher as clients can independently resolve problems.
For example, car manufacturers provide virtual assistants that help drivers to scan an element of their vehicle and have its functionality explained to them. Now, drivers no longer have to refer to bulky booklets when they have questions about their car. They can even ask questions about any issues or malfunctions with its operation. When combined with an AI-powered chatbot, AR assistants make customer services much more user-friendly. ⠀
6. Technical Support & User Manuals
With AR-based visual support, the back-and-forth calls about technical support that are so popular in customer interaction departments can be minimized. Visual assistants allow clients to hold a smartphone up to the product and computer vision technology will recognize all parts in real-time. Customer support specialists can find out the exact name and model number of the malfunctioning part in a matter of seconds, resulting in a shorter problem-solving time.
Bulky paper-based user manuals are becoming a relic of the past. Companies are now starting to produce AR-based digital manuals that show customers how to maintain and fix their products. For example, an AR user guide for drivers demonstrates what the buttons and switches do and guides them through the process of checking oil levels, filling up windshield fluid, and even replacing air filters. Instructions for running appliances or installing consumer electronic devices are supported by similar AR-based user manuals featuring a virtual technician.
Augmented reality is a real game-changer that alters the way brands interact and communicate with their customers. As the technology evolves and matures, its influence across a variety of industries is likely to expand, particularly in the area of customer relations, where AR applications are becoming more widespread.
One thing is for sure, that AR technology will soon change many business domains and companies who start implementing it right now will remain on top of the competition and embrace the most fruitful results. So, to stay relevant in your industry, hire top Augmented Reality specialists and integrate AR into your business!