Customer expectations invariably change, and so should the customer support aimed at addressing these. However, hardware manufacturers often find themselves on the wrong side, with less-than-perfect service, breakdowns, and longer waiting times.
Various factors contribute to this, ranging from poor after-sales services to inadequate technological resources at disposal. The result? Higher churn, lower customer loyalty, and higher costs for everyone involved.
Favourably, with the advent of Augmented Reality (AR), this ever-prevalent ailment of inefficient customer support can be cured. Let's look at how manufacturers can go about it.
1. Providing Top-Notch Remote Assistance
In a recent Gartner survey, about 75% of the customer service leaders reflected a positive attitude toward remote customer service strategies. Such inclination stems from various factors, with Covid-led remote shift being one of the leading ones.
Favourably, with AR, manufacturers can connect to mobile devices and offer remote assistance to their users. For example, AR Genie, a remote support system, can be used to connect remotely to customers over their smartphones. The app can then guide users through various troubleshooting steps, with the work proceeding as if remote engineers are working at the customer's site.
So, for instance, if the customer had a problem with their car's engine, all they would have to do is join the remote session via the app and switch on the camera facing the car's engine, and the experts would start guiding them by overlaying instructions on the camera's view. Check out this video with AR Genie Remote Assistance in action.
2. Offering Self-Service Tools
McKinsey's recent analysis reveals that only 10% of the manufacturers provide their users with self-service tools. That's exceptionally underwhelming, considering that digital penetration levels have reached an all-time high.
Favourably, AR bridges this gap by equipping manufacturers with the ability to facilitate real-time self-service to their users. Consider this; a consumer is facing problems with their printer. They head to the product app, scan the printer, and instantly see the 3D markers or tags pointing to the parts or areas that need attention. They can follow these directions and perform the necessary fixes.
Thus, with AR, hardware manufacturers can make their everyday users smarter and save on expensive service calls.
3. Ensuring Seamless Onboarding Experience
Step in the shoes of a user and try to install a coffee machine or a new air-conditioner. You will be surprised to see how complicated even the simplest of processes can seem. Even if the users have expertise in such products or have a certain level of comfort with contemporary appliances, there are still chances for confusion to creep into the process.
And paper manuals don't do much to help with installation, especially with diagrams and textual instructions being difficult to understand. In short, interactive guides matter a great deal here.
Enter AR Manuals, and this entire process can undergo a much-needed overhaul. Through a smartphone camera focusing on the product, an AR app can overlay precise installation instructions about the required connections, product features, and any alerts to be on the lookout for. This can be augmented with videos and quick tutorials, providing a clear summary of everything with no room for error.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is AR the future of customer service?
AR apps can be used to provide real-time assistance and make the user experience seamless. They can act as guides, visual manuals, and facilitators. They can point the users to different parts of the product, instruct them on how to fix them, and connect to remote experts for support.
2. What hardware is required to make use of AR in customer service?
On the customer end, they only need a smartphone with your AR app installed. On your end, you need to install a remote support system (like AR Genie) on your computers (i.e., computers customer services reps. are operating on). All in all, there are no explicit hardware requirements for implementing AR-enabled customer service.
3. What applications can AR Manuals be used for?
AR manuals can be used for user onboarding and self-service. For example, they can serve as DIY installation guides — from unboxing to setting up the product. Users can also use them to get remote support, while manufacturers can employ them for training customer service representatives.
4. Can AR Manuals entirely replace traditional manuals?
AR Manuals keep the user experience seamless and provide them with the right information in the right context in real-time. They keep the users engaged, reduce their cognitive load, and help them take on complex tasks within minutes. So, even if the traditional manuals are provided to compensate for a comprehensive description of the product's working, AR Manuals would still be highly desired since they are more engaging, interactive, and infinitely superior.