Customer Experience and the Rise of VR

Frances Lam

December 15, 2017

The past 10 years have seen a whirlwind of technological change when it comes to marketing and customer retention. We’ve gone from relying mainly on radio and television, to the advent of the “.com” era and now touchscreens and apps are the new norm.

Since the introduction of the Smartphone there haven’t been any technological advances that have disrupted the way we market to potential customers. There were a few advances that we were hopeful would succeed like the use of 3D and QR codes (I believe that died along with the popularity of Blackberry)... So why do we have hope for VR?

To start - What is VR?

VR, or virtual reality, is a simulated environment that gives the user an interactive feel to their experience. Companies like Sony who released a Playstation VR, Facebook’s Oculus Rift and one of the new major players, Nokia with their OZO device have all been investing their R&D into this area.

The hope for VR is that it can be used in different industries (unlike 3D, which was only applicable in cinematography). The range of applications span from the different ways to view your brand new house or condo on a website, to attending a music concert via the comfort of your own home (with less trampling of your feet and spilled drinks).1

What does have VR have to do with customer experience?

VR has already appeared in a variety of ways across different industries. Bands and musicians are using VR in their music videos and to capture live concert experiences. Major league baseball and the NBA have planned to use VR to expand their reach past the confines of the stadium. Immersive showrooms are also becoming a new standard in showing prospective clients the feel and look of their future homes or offices. The future expansion into education will be even more important creating more accessibility learning. Potentially, even medicine and healthcare can be changed with VR – like treating PTSD. VR can help war veterans learn how to deal with certain triggers that would be dangerous outside of a safe and controlled environment.

To think outside the box, what if you had an issue with your plumbing? Instead of asking someone to come to your home, you can easily enter a virtual world, where a plumber can give you a step to step guide on how to fix your plumbing in a way that feels like a real hands on experience. Small problems, like fixing your internet or bigger problems like plumbing may not seem as daunting if the solution can be found inside this virtual space. The application of VR will definitely disrupt the way customer service works, providing the customer with what feels like a true experience while minimizing the many pain points they often have to face.

Now that you see the endless possibilities, how interested would you be in VR?