Will that new sofa be perfect for your lounge? Will those sunglasses suit your face? Well at the touch of a button Augmented Reality or AR will allow you to 'see' the results on-screen without physically placing in your room or trying anything on. These situations are real examples from the companies Ikea and Ray-Ban and show how companies are utilising AR to improve customer experience.
AR technology is the overlaying of virtual elements onto a physical picture thereby allowing the user to visualise impacts or enhancements through displays such as HoloLens or Google Glass or through the camera view of a smartphone or tablet. Unlike virtual reality that transforms you into a different scenario, AR relies on beautifully produced virtual elements create magical interactions allowing the interweaving of information, designs or that sofa into a physical reality thereby allowing analysis of specifics in a situation.
Although AR is a relative newcomer in customer experience it has been predicted to overtake the use of virtual reality (VR) by 2020. Predictions put VR at $30 billion with AR at $90 billion.
Technological advancements in the use of hands-free AR working now allow the user to work on new processes thereby highlighting problems or irregularities and then to be fixed before implementation through the use of visual models, voice recognition and real-time communication. These extras transfer easily to the consumer technician environment with tools such as Service Technician mobile app by SAP providing exactly that.
The old adage of 'the customer is always right' holds true these days and satisfactory customer experience is key in providing that, therefore the integration of VR and AR is at the forefront of the Omnichannel customer experience. Cooperation between communication channels allow the customer to add items to their shopping cart in VR, visualise items in-situ, implement changes or solutions, all from their smartphone or tablet. The Salesforce Customer Success Platform is one such omnichannel allowing businesses to redefine customer experience across all channels.
Ultimately commercial AR is about the integration of technologies to be easier, convenient and importantly fun, for the customer. No-one is suggesting that we should now live in a world of digital replicas, more that digitalisation can be used as a medium for turning customers experience into a specific and tangible adventure.
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Mathias is an IT and marketing professional having founded a social media startup, worked in the CRM software industry for SAP as a senior manager, he is now running a CRM partner network and a marketing agency, which are part of the KVP-Solution group.
Mathias has a marketing degree and is certified in a wide range of CRM solutions.