Effective Customer Self-Service with AR

Step-by-step visual instructions make it easy for even the most non-technical-minded to fix simple problems or customize settings, avoiding costly site visits.

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Today’s customers want to resolve problems themselves, but the illustrations, videos, and chatbots companies use to guide them aren’t getting the job done. 

While 70% of customers give self-service channels a try, only 9% are able to fully resolve issues on their own, according to Gartner. When they don’t succeed, they get frustrated and arrange a service visit, which drives up operational costs.

Modern technology offers a better, more cost-effective solution: self-service through software with augmented reality (AR) capabilities.

With AR-based self-service, when customers seek help, they are not referred to obtuse documents that may or may not solve their problem. Instead, they work with a remote technician who guides them with immersive, step-by-step visual instructions, making it easy for even the most non-technical-minded to fix simple problems or customize settings.

Solving problems in real-time

“With AR, customers can solve problems in real time,” says Sajeel Hussain, CMO and Head of Strategic Alliances & Partnerships at CareAR. “Service people don’t have to travel, lowering expenses and increasing safety, and customers don’t experience downtime waiting for them.”

For example, in the traditional service model, a law firm having problems with a printer that they could not troubleshoot on their own would have to wait for a technician to arrive, no matter how urgently they needed the machine. If the technician didn’t bring the right parts or tools, they would have to schedule a return visit, raising stress levels for everyone.

With an AR solution, the law firm and a remote technician could work together to solve the problem in minutes. Someone at the office would simply use a mobile device to show the technician the problem, instead of struggling to explain it without knowing the proper terminology.

The service agent would then send the customer a link an AR application – no download required. The software creates a “digital twin” of the equipment for the customer to see. On a shared screen, the agent uses AR tools to virtually label parts, perhaps adding pulsating red circles to draw attention to a problem, or creating arrows that swoop in to indicate a button to press or a latch to open.

As the agent and customer collaborate, artificial intelligence algorithms embedded in the AR software surface snippets of company content related specifically to the task at hand. The algorithms also reveal when the product was last serviced and check for machine sensors revealing signs of impending trouble.

“It’s a smart system that grabs only the relevant information and instructions,” Hussain says. “It may decide, ‘I’ll skip Step 3 because I know it doesn’t make sense in this case.’”

With AR, technicians spend less time learning about the problem and more time solving it. Customers enjoy participating in the solution and appreciate the personalized help.

“For years, customers have received marketing messages tailored to them, but none of that innovation has happened on the service side,” Hussain says. “Now, AR technology is bringing concepts from customer service management into service management, creating an efficient, stress-free experience for everyone.”

Learn more about reimagining the service experience.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.