By Kelechi Okeke
In the last decade, humanity has achieved a significant number of technological advance which are bound to make a huge impact in our lives and the way we do business. Some of these tech advances are already in use, empowering businesses with the ability to expand service offerings and enhance customer experience.
In this article, I will highlight 6 recent tech advances and how some businesses are already using them to influence the customer experience.
1. VIRTUAL REALITY
The popularity of Virtual Reality (VR) technology is increasing, and it shaping up to be a great game changer in the way brands engage with their customers. VR offers an immersive experience to the user that makes it possible to experience things they cannot really interact with physically. Different brands have already begun taking advantage of VR technology to improve both customer & employee experience. VR is currently being used for:
Virtual eLearning – Retail giant Walmart is leveraging on VR technology to train its associates on customer service. At Walmart’s training academies, the employees use VR headsets to experience a variety of real-world scenarios like large crowds. This gives them a chance to test theories and techniques that help them handle the situation efficiently.
Hands-on experience Demo – Brands can offer customers the opportunity to try-out or test products by themselves in a virtual environment. IKEA released a free iOS app, titled IKEA Place, which allows users to browse IKEA’s product offerings and then preview how the items would look in their actual home, right from their phone. This gives the customers a great idea of how furniture will look and fit into their space before they make a purchase.
2. LOCATION-BASED COMPUTING
With location service technology becoming standard functionality on smartphones, more people are walking around today with location-service enabled devices in their pockets than ever before. This presents interesting opportunities which businesses can explore to offer more personalized services to customers in a way that enhances the customer experience. For example;
Location Based Promos – Businesses are already using Location-based services to reach out to customers at a particular geo-location with personalized offers based on their location. For instance, cinemas, theatres, and other venues can target consumers in their vicinity and provide them with last minute offers on tickets and products.
Navigation Services – Lowe’s Companies Inc. recently launched an app which allows customers to navigate its large warehouse-like stores, helping them find products faster and easier. The app called The Lowe’s Vision: In-Store Navigation app works using a combination of VR and Location Based Services. Here’s how it works:
A consumer at Lowe’s opens the app on the store smartphone. The shopper searches for products and adds the products to a shopping list in the app. Once she has all the items in her virtual cart she hits a “begin navigation” button.
The app factors in the consumer’s location and where the products are located in the store, down to the shelf level. A consumer holds the smartphone, which uses the camera lens to get the visual out in front of her and a yellow line will appear on-screen on the ground in front of her. Following the yellow line will lead her to the first product on her list. An image of the product hangs in the distance so the consumer knows which product she is walking toward.
Author: Kelechi Okeke is an avid customer advocate, he works as a customer experience analyst and service delivery developer with a leading financial institution in Nigeria, and has over 5 years experience in Graphics design and content development. Kelechi is also the founder of CXservice360, a thought-leading customer service and experience knowledge portal.