Practical tips for delivering customer experience in the metaverse 📺
The concept of the metaverse first hit the headlines when Facebook announced its name change to Meta in October 2021. At the time CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined his vision for the metaverse, a place that brought together the online, virtual and augmented worlds to enable people to connect in deeper and more seamless ways.
Since then, every sector has been looking at the opportunities (and potential challenges) that the metaverse provides. The contact centre industry is no different. As, Alex Black, CTO at Enghouse Interactive, explained more in a recent video interview with CX Today. In this session, he and particularly focusing on the practical considerations around delivering CX in the metaverse.
His discussion focused on four metaverse customer experience tips:
1. The metaverse is not new, so learn the lessons of the past
A lot of the concepts behind the metaverse, such as creating a virtual world where people’s avatars can meet, interact, and live, is nothing new. For instance, Second Life, an online virtual world launched in 2003 grew to a million regular users within a decade. Brands scrambled to get involved, with events such as virtual job fairs and the ability to order pizzas online for delivery in the real-world. While the metaverse is a step forward technically from Second Life, many of the underlying ideas are similar, so study what worked then when it comes to developing your strategy.
2. Start by understanding customer preferences rather than jumping into the metaverse
Given the amount written about the metaverse, it is easy to feel pressure to launch straight into it. However, as with any new channel deciding whether to get involved should begin by understanding your customers and their preferences. Are they joining the metaverse and expecting you to communicate with them in new virtual worlds? For some audiences this might be true, but don’t commit resources unless you are sure there are opportunities to interact with customers in the metaverse.
3. Metaverse CX: Fully immerse yourself and be transparent
As with Second Life, the early adopters of the metaverse are deeply committed to the concept. They don’t want brands to just pay lip service to the community’s values. Rather, they want to immerse themselves fully in the experience. So, if you decide strategically to join, make sure you resource it accordingly. Pick agents that are happy to ‘live’ in the metaverse to handle CX interactions, and who have the skills and understanding required. Be transparent about what you are doing. For example, explain whether a human or virtual agent is handling the interaction.
4. Begin with Augmented Reality, rather than Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) is a central part of the vision of the metaverse. However, outside certain communities (such as gaming) VR adoption is at an early stage. From a practical point of view Augmented Reality (AR), which superimposes computer-generated content on the real world, has more immediate applications for customer service. Most phones now have AR capabilities linked to their camera, providing a ready-made way of reaching consumers. Brands such as Ikea now allow you to see how a sofa or table would look in your room through AR. It can also help with service. For example, providing on-screen support on a customer’s smartphone to fix routine issues with boilers or other appliances.
Organisations shouldn’t automatically rule out joining the metaverse. Instead, they should take a strategic approach, based on customer preferences and needs. Only then will they be able to reap the benefits by delivering a relevant, helpful customer experience.
Find out more about the practical CX applications of the metaverse by watching Alex’s interview here: