Contrary to popular belief, Augmented Reality (AR) is not just a video game tool. This form of technology has a wide range of applications, especially in the field of user experience and customer service.
That’s exactly why the global AR market is worth well over $6 billion, with a growth projection of almost $100 billion by 2028. But how come it’s so popular already?
The answer is easy – almost all of us have smartphones with AR abilities. For instance, you’ve probably used QR codes more than once in your lifetime. Guess what? QR codes are based on AR. You’d be surprised to learn how many tools, apps, and platforms depend on this technology.
But let’s not rush into things! In this post, we will explain everything you need to know about AR and its benefits for customer service.
The Basics of AR
By definition, AR represents an enhanced version of reality created to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera). Simply put, AR is a technology that blends digital content with the user’s real-world environment.
This means that you can see and interact with virtual objects as if they were really there. For example, airlines are using it to provide passengers with interactive maps that show them the location of their gate and other important points in the airport. It helps to reduce stress for passengers who are not familiar with the location.
As such, AR has a tremendous impact on user experience. According to the report, using 3D technologies like AR in your online shopping experience can increase conversion rates by up to 40%. Another study shows that 63% of online shoppers claim AR will improve their shopping experience. AR obviously brings a lot of benefits to the consumer journey. Here are a few:
- It creates immersive experiences: AR makes shopping experiences more immersive because it helps users understand everything more accurately. This is a huge plus for retailers as they can engage customers more effectively.
- AR provides contextual information: With AR, customers can get contextual information about the products they are looking at. This helps them make informed decisions quickly and easily.
- It builds trust: By providing an accurate representation of products, AR helps customers build trust in retailers. They no longer have to worry about items not looking the same in person as they do in online mockups.
But why does AR matter to customer service? It matters because modern customer service is more than solving a client’s problem – it means delivering proactive and immediate support to consumers.
Real-life Examples of AR
There are numerous examples of how AR is being used in customer service. Here are just a few that we consider to be most impressive.
Although relatively old, we love this example because IKEA truly was a pioneer in AR retail. This app has been designed five years ago to enrich the user experience and reduce inquiries coming from potential customers. With their app, IKEA Place, customers can visualize furniture in their homes before they make a purchase.
This helps them avoid buyer’s remorse and makes the decision-making process much easier. It’s a clear example of how AR can be used to improve customer satisfaction.
Nissan AR Experience
Nissan teamed up with Google to create an AR experience that would allow customers to configure their cars virtually. The app was called Nissan AR and it allowed users to choose from a range of colors, wheels, and other features. This was a great way to get people involved in the car-buying process and gave them a better idea of what they wanted.
Sephora Virtual Artist
Another great example of AR comes from Sephora. The app allows customers to virtually try on makeup, thus making it much easier to find the right shade. What’s more, customers can also purchase the products they like directly from the app.
Needless to say, many retailers are now using the same tool to provide customers with product information and virtual dressing rooms. This helps customers make better choices and prevents them from having to return items they bought online.
How Does AR Simplify Customer Support?
AR has a tremendous effect on customer support because it empowers consumers and assists customer reps. There are, however, a few very practical AR features that simplify and improve customer support. Let’s take a look:
One of the most touted benefits of AR is its ability to improve customer decision-making. By providing shoppers with a more immersive and interactive experience, AR can help them to make informed decisions about what products to buy or how to use them.
That’s because AR adds a layer of valuable information about a given product, thus helping consumers to understand what they are buying. It also helps reduce the likelihood of buyer’s remorse.
Try before buy
Another great benefit of AR is that it allows customers to try products before they buy them. This is especially beneficial for items like cosmetics, clothes, and furniture. AR allows customers to get a sense of what the product looks like and how it would fit in their home or office.
This makes buying decisions much easier and helps people avoid costly mistakes. It also allows customers to explore more options and find the perfect product for their needs.
AR can also be used to create interactive packaging. This is a great way to engage customers and get them interested in the product. For instance, a simple retail product can now contain a QR code that users can scan and learn everything they want to know about a given item.
For instance, interactive packaging can use AR to display data about the product’s dimensions, weight, ingredients, and more. Customers can track everything and it takes only a couple of clicks to do so!
Finally, AR boosts customer support by enabling self-service. Instead of calling your agents, consumers can easily access your AR-powered data libraries and find the answers they need.
This not only frees up your customer support reps but also empowers consumers and allows them to take control of their own experience. The bottom line is that AR leads to a better understanding of your product and fewer inquiries overall.
AR is quickly becoming an important part of the customer service experience. It helps shoppers make better decisions, try products before they buy them, and get more information about a given product. AR can also be used to provide interactive packaging and empower customers with self-service.
All of these benefits combine to create a better customer service experience for everyone involved. Retailers who use AR can expect to see higher customer satisfaction rates, fewer returns, and increased sales.