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Augmented reality refers to the overlaying of physical environments with digital content and images to provide users an enhanced experience of reality. This experience has the power to transform the face of customer experience management in several ways.

 

Sell your products better

Retail has been the biggest beneficiary of AR and the sector is beginning to use it to sell better, and faster. As seeing is believing and hence buying, AR can better convince customers about the advantages of a product.

 

Virtual dressing rooms and magic mirrors

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This is a classic example of how augmented reality can help customers in sampling and visualising products. Several fashion retailers, including Topshop, De Beers, Converse and Burberry Beauty Box have created virtual dressing rooms to enable their customers to “try on” clothes, jewelry, shoes or cosmetics virtually. This type of solution makes the customer’s shopping experience quick, smooth and easy.

Using this technology, retailers can help their customers visualise products and product variants that are not available in the physical store as well. It thus reduces the burden on the retailer stores.

 

Finding retail items and accessing product information

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Augmented reality can help customers who are trying to find specific items on the shelf – i.e., deals, vegan foods, etc. Imagine a customer moving along an aisle at a retail store, pointing his camera towards it. The AR app on his phone scans every item on the shelf and notifies him whenever an item matching his requirements comes up. It can show him the details of the product, pricing, etc. in a very attractive and interesting way.

 

Google, through its Project Tango, is doing a pilot with a few retailers to offer a solution where product information and promotions appear to “pop out” of the shelves as customers navigate to their desired product.

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Companies can also push personalised deals, reviews, recommendations when customers scan specific products with their devices

 

Offer excellent post-purchase support

A well-designed AR tutorial can help customers understand how to use the product. It can thus replace a boring manual and save calls to the customer care.

For example, Audi has created a virtual manual that helps the owner understand everything about the car – what each button in the dashboard does, how the smart card access entry works, etc.

Similarly, all products that involve some amount of installation, maintenance and guidelines about usage (washing machines, RO filters, ready-to-assemble furniture, etc) can increase their customer experience manifold, by moving to AR based tutorials. The experience is far superior to what the customer gets when he has to go through a long manual.

 

Resolve your customers’ issues faster

Although a lot of brands offer a gamut of digitised customer care options (email, SMS, chat, etc.), the real interaction happens with the agent. Customers use any of these channels to reach out to the customer care agent. Here is where AR can be a game changer. AR integration has the capability to make the existing customer care experience easier, more convenient and more exciting.

Imagine a classic service case as an example. A customer experiences a car breakdown somewhere on the highway. He tries resolving it from the instructions from the support center or waits for the towing service. In both these cases, he wastes valuable time and the experience might not leave a good taste.

Instead, if he had an AR app on his phone, that can help him do the problem diagnosis and show a step-by-step resolution process – he can fix the issue much more quickly – with little or no support from the customer care center.

Hyundai has launched an AR app, that is not only a user manual but also helps customers in essential maintenance jobs, such as refilling oil or windshield washer fluid.

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