Augmented reality (AR) blends virtual elements into the real world. For example, a person using an AR makeup app can see how certain shades look on their skin without applying physical products.
Now, there’s another emerging option called AR chat. It combines a traditional chat interface with virtual elements, offering more context and clarity to both parties.
If company leaders are interested in AR for business, should they see what chat-related options are out there? Here’s a look at how taking that approach could boost business growth.
AR Chat Could Streamline Customer Service and Tech Support Queries
Most people have been in situations where they need to contact a company’s support team to get help with a product. Some of them want to describe flaws or detail how an item didn’t meet their expectations. Others need tech support, particularly during the setup process or when people are in the early stage of learning how to operate something they bought.
One way that AR chat may be a game-changer for business is if more brands use it to make tech support and customer service calls go more smoothly. It’s not appropriate for every case. But when a person needs to know where to insert a cable or flip a switch, for example, AR chat could offer a higher level of interactivity between the support agent and the customer.
Vuforia Chalk is an option that allows people to deliver improved video chat support. They can use their finger to draw on particular portions of what they see on screen, thereby pointing out characteristics that the recipient should notice.
Research from NewVoiceMedia indicates three-quarters of people still prefer getting help from a human instead of a chatbot. The top issues cited with chatbots were that they lack understanding of the issue and are unable to solve complex problems.
Using AR chat in the way mentioned above could be the best of both worlds. It would help a customer show a real person what’s giving them difficulty, plus enable communicating with the representative in the familiar format that a chat conversation provides.
Decreasing Doubt to Boost Sales
Retailers want consumers to feel confident about what they buy. Although online shopping is convenient, it can make people wonder if a product they see on the internet will be all they expect once it arrives at their home. However, if a person could instantly chat with a brand representative and see a virtual version of the item they want to buy in front of them, it becomes easier to see if a pair of shoes match a person’s outfit, for example.
AR chat is rapidly emerging as a must-have tool for the retail sector. Home brand IKEA showed the power of AR when it unveiled an app to let people place true-to-scale pieces of furniture in their homes to see how they look before buying them. AR chat takes that possibility to the next level by enabling a user to engage in real-time conversations with a merchant.
For example, a person could say, “I don’t think these tan pumps are the right choice for this outfit. Could I see them in the burgundy color, instead?” Then, the chat agent could send a virtual version of the shoes in the new hue to the person, letting the customer place them next to their garments and check out the results.
During a 2019 presentation, representatives from LivePerson and NexTech AR Solutions showed off a version of that scenario when they displayed several pairs of Tamara Mellon shoes as AR objects.
Bringing More Interaction to Real-Time Socialization
People keeping up with developments in AR for business know that companies are also moving forward by applying AR chat capabilities to multiplayer video game experiences. Teatime Games did that by launching a chat interface with AR filters for its gamers to use. So, besides seeing each other and talking via text, participants could apply extras on top of the avatars that fellow players see. That option let them have fun and highlight their personality.
There is also an app called Snaappy that provides users with a library of AR objects. They can choose one and edit it in real-time, then insert it into videos they send to friends. It’s not clear whether Snaappy or similar apps might eventually offer sponsorship opportunities with branded objects. However, the potential is certainly there, and brands should be ready if that promotional approach becomes available.
AR Chat Could Help Businesses Connect With Customers
Successful brands know it’s crucial to operate in ways that help customers trust them. Using AR for business and applying it to live chat could give people the information they need without hassles, thereby strengthening the company-customer relationship.