Augmented Reality in Service Industry
Augmented reality is changing the service industry in ways we never imagined. It is enabling businesses to streamline work processes, improve productivity and increase safety.
AR helps bridge the knowledge gap between experienced field technicians and newer employees, reducing training time. It also makes remote troubleshooting easier and safer.
Enhances the Customer Experience
AR and VR enhance the customer experience by providing an immersive experience that makes them feel closer to a brand. For example, customers can try on outfits or furniture in a virtual space before buying them. This can help reduce returns and increase customer satisfaction.
Augmented reality can also be used to remotely troubleshoot or repair equipment. It can also be used to show customers how to use a product or service, such as a 3D tutorial on how to install an air conditioning unit or walk them through the steps of a remote diagnostic process for an automobile problem. It can even be used to create a shopping experience, such as a virtual dressing room or travel destination that customers can explore.
In a call center, augmented reality can be used to connect a customer with a subject matter expert via video chat. This enables the technician or engineer to provide visual guidance on the phone, reducing the need for manuals and improving efficiency and first-time resolution rates.
AR can also be used for remote product support, allowing customers to use their smartphones to access the company’s knowledge base with FAQs, augmented reality in service industry manuals and training materials that encourage them to resolve more problems themselves. This improves self-service efficiency, reduces contact center volume and lowers the need for costly technician dispatches. For instance, Israeli water company Fieldbit deployed AR smart glasses and an augmented reality app to streamline field repairs. This enabled them to reduce training time by 72% and significantly lower operational costs.
Augmented reality is a new way to interact with digital information, adding holograms to real-world environments. It is the opposite of virtual reality, which takes you to a completely simulated environment, but both can enhance user experience and provide valuable business insights.
AR helps technicians serving customers in the field by showing predictive analytics data, visually guiding them through repairs, and connecting them remotely to remote experts who can optimize procedures. This increases their productivity, improves training and first-time resolution rates, and customers enjoy the better customer service provided by the technology. In fact, best-in-class field service organizations are 72% more likely to use visual collaboration tools like AR client service than their peers.
Unlike other technologies, which take users out of the workplace and into separate environments, augmented reality integrates with current work processes to enhance operations without the need for additional software or hardware. This allows companies to cut costs, streamline workflows, improve production processes, and boost overall productivity.
AR has multiple application opportunities in the field of service, from enhancing first-time resolution rates and improving technician productivity to improving customer satisfaction and creating a stronger brand image. It also offers new possibilities for product differentiation with companion experiences that expand products’ functionality augmented reality in service industry and provide customers with new information and features. This can increase product loyalty and generate a new revenue stream for service businesses.
The use of AR can help businesses create immersive, multisensory experiences to train employees or students. This can help increase comprehension, speed up learning, and improve retention. It also can reduce training costs and the risk of costly real-world mistakes.
For example, companies in the food and beverage industry may use AR to train employees to prepare for different weather conditions. This can allow them to be more prepared when it comes to dealing with sudden changes in customer demands, which can lead to unplanned downtimes and revenue loss.
In the utilities sector, augmented reality can be used to conduct remote equipment inspections. This can be a huge benefit for these companies, which typically have large and remote equipment that needs to be inspected on a regular basis. AR can also be used to perform onsite repairs, which can save time and money by reducing travel expenses.
AR can also be used to enhance the safety of workers. For example, an augmented reality application that provides step-by-step work instructions can help prevent errors. The LightGuide software allows workers to view the steps they need to take and confirm each one before proceeding. This can help reduce the number of mistakes that are made on the job and improve productivity.
Using augmented reality in field service can increase customer satisfaction and brand recognition. For instance, Acura uses a virtual racetrack to give potential customers a test drive experience that gamifies the process and attracts social media buzz.
With augmented reality, workers can gain access to manual and automated process data in real time. This allows them to quickly identify issues and make necessary corrections that can prevent downtime. For example, manufacturers can use AR to display a machine’s current cycle times and defects right on the assembly line. The technology helps factory workers to stay focused on the task at hand and reduces downtime.
Companies can also deploy AR to help them monitor inventory and material flow. This allows them to locate items and speed up warehouse picking and loading. This can also reduce costs by automating tracking and reporting. For instance, an employee can scan a box and get all of the important details about it from the headset’s display. This can eliminate the need to read labels and manual tracking systems, saving companies a great deal of money.
Augmented reality also reduces downtime by helping field service employees complete tasks remotely. This can save a significant amount of time and effort and boost productivity by eliminating the need to travel to customers’ homes or work locations. It can also improve first-time fix rates and decrease service resolution times. Additionally, augmented reality can be used to help train new technicians without disrupting operations at existing sites.