Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the metaverse as businesses attempt to comprehend what it means for their interactions with clients and staff and how their brand may be expanded there. To comprehend the possible impact, one must first describe the metaverse, a sophisticated technological notion. Is the metaverse a network of online locations established and managed by IT companies? Is it the technology-mediated encounters we already have on a daily basis that blend real-world and virtual travel, such as location-based offers that show up on our phones and interactive exhibits in museums and retail spaces?
Both perspectives are valid. A blend of virtual, real-time, three-dimensional, and physical experiences will be used in human interactions in the next (but not final) version of the internet, known as the metaverse. Already, the ways we work, create, purchase, and consume are drastically shifting. More so than the smartphone, the change will have a deeper impact.
Regardless of whether they take place online or in a hybrid digital-physical arena, the key for enterprises is to concentrate on the business objective and purpose while generating metaverse experiences. For instance, despite a significant commercial and media focus on the marketing and revenue-generating possibilities of the metaverse, a growing awareness of the variety of potential use cases for the metaverse is emerging. Organizations can use the metaverse for purposes other than entertainment, such as streamlining workflows and enhancing staff training and cooperation opportunities.
In order to strategically plan, it’s also critical to understand how digitally enabled human experiences are developing and to anticipate that they will continue to do so. For instance, the majority of us are accustomed to interacting with tablets, phones, computers, and monitors using 2D flat user interfaces. In fact, we anticipate these interactions and could be taken aback if we don’t see them in stores to assist with chores like designing room décor.
The interaction between users and the physical world is becoming more prevalent in what we refer to as natural or spatial user interfaces. Beacons, biometrics, and immersive 3D extended-reality settings that users encounter through a headset are some examples of technology that promote natural interfaces.
In order to create a more immersive interaction, natural user interfaces can incorporate additional senses through touch (haptics), music, and even olfactory experiences. In order to improve existing capabilities or introduce new modes of interaction, experiences may incorporate augmented or virtual reality (AR/VR). The end product is a multimodal experience that integrates visual, natural/spatial, and traditional interfaces.
Engagement design for experiences in the metaverse
The exciting thing about the metaverse is that the supporting technologies aren’t brand-new; rather, they are just maturing and getting more widely used and more reasonably priced. Engagement blueprinting is a useful planning and designing tool for the art of the feasible. The procedure entails examining each stage of a journey to see how the user experience is currently being delivered and to consider how new real-time 3D and spatial technology might enhance it.
Consider a scenario when a customer calls a call center for customer service. The service design that goes into that experience, including the phone menu, the hold music, and the dialogue with the customer service person, is hidden from the customer. All of those components may now have a significantly different impact on the brand than they did when they were first introduced despite having been established years or even decades ago.
Engagement blueprinting offers a novel perspective on the process to comprehend how customers or employees are feeling about the brand as they proceed. For instance, extended hold times harm customers’ perceptions of the business, while delayed responses aggravate front-line staff members.
A better experience for consumers and employees throughout their journeys can be created by examining the stack of technology, processes, and training that creates that experience. This will ensure that they have a positive opinion of the business and continue to be devoted supporters.
Experiences in the metaverse will increasingly offer answers to these problems. For instance, a consumer could use the company’s assistance center to interact with a real-time 3D model of the product to identify a problem before speaking to a professional. In order to guide the customer through a troubleshooting process that is simpler to understand and more efficient than a conventional phone discussion, the employee can also view the same product model.
Overcoming obstacles through interactions and experiences in the metaverse
Metaverse-based solutions can support more efficient sales, field service, and training engagements for both customers and staff. Companies are ready to lose a significant section of their workforce that is approaching retirement age, for instance, and these workers will likely take a significant quantity of institutional knowledge with them. How can these companies organize and effectively deliver the tacit knowledge to the employees who require it in order to operate more productively? Without having to rely on tiresome one-on-one training encounters, virtual and augmented experiences using headsets, 3D models, and haptic feedback allow to collect, maintain, and communicate that knowledge. When used for training, virtual reality increases memory retention by 75% in participants.
After receiving training, a service technician can work more quickly thanks to access to product diagrams, guided installation walkthroughs, and other digitally augmented experiences. All of these things can shorten call times, boost client happiness, and promote employee retention. For the field technicians to share with clients, these solutions can also provide personalized cross-sell and upsell recommendations.
The metaverse’s optimal use may appear difficult to comprehend, yet it progresses in the same way as any other technological application. Start experimenting right away. Apply conventionally structured innovation to find potential commercial use cases that need to be solved. Next, create a process blueprint to understand how customers and staff will interact with it. Next, consider innovative ways to utilize and blend both new and old technology to enhance the experience.
Last but not least
Keep an eye on new technologies so you can review the procedure as the metaverse develops and consumer and employee expectations do.