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5 ways Augmented Reality is disrupting the customer experience

Back in 2016, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that augmented reality would be more significant than virtual reality and as of now we cannot agree more with him on this statement. The first most famous example of AR was the Pokemon Go that shook the entire world with its antic features. The amalgamation of the real and the digital world is not just astounding, but it is irresistible. Unknowingly we have also evolved in how we use our devices from tapping the screen to asking Siri and Alexa to make calls for us. AR is bringing us to the world of holographic computing and introducing the customers to a futuristic user-interface.

It is profoundly impacting the customer experience as people love to see their real-world through the digital lens. Marketers are coming with new technology ideas to interact with customers in a whole new light. Let us check five ways in which augmented reality is making inroads into the customer experience:

1. 3-D mockups: It is a way which allows customers to see an inexpensive mock-up of their selected goods. I was surfing a furniture store online, and I was quite excited to use their feature where the user can view how a product will look in his space. The customers needed to switch on his camera and point to the area that they want to furnish and see how the selected pieces fit that space.

2. Improved buying experience:  Augmented reality can help the brick and mortar stores to improve the shopping experience of their customers and also the employees on the floor. The users can scan a product and find the detailed information about it and also get redirected to the related products.

3. Optimized customer service: AR is a great option to optimize the customer service. For businesses that have an unlimited number of phone calls coming in and out can easily leverage the benefits of Augment reality. They can use it to answer several customer queries without any wait and hold times. The best examples are the “How-to” and instructional guides that allow customers to see how a particular product works. If you are having problems while setting up your laptop, you can point your camera to it and follow the instructions as illustrated. It is much better than reading or answering the faqs.

4. Revolutionizing the fashion:  Not sure if a fashion accessory is fit for you or not? Welcome to the world of Augment reality that allows people to picture themselves in various fashion items be it clothes or accessories.  You can upload your photo and see how sunglasses fit your face shape or enter your body metrics to know whether a clothing item is right for you or not.

5. Interactive advertising: The one advantage of AR is that it allows a brand to enter a customer’s real world making it a natural fit for advertising.  It helps to establish an emotional connection with the customer. Unlike banners and image ads AR advertisements allow customers to interact with a brand. How would you feel if you come across an AR backed movie ad billboard that will play the trailer for the movie on your smartphone as soon as you point your camera towards it?  Isn’t it amazing and at the same time tempting?

Mobile AR is predicted to lead the VR/AR market of $108bn by 2021 that is indicative of the fact that how AR is rapidly overhauling the existing businesses. The expectations of the customers have also changed dramatically, and they look forward to more innovative technological advancements. Companies need to keep churning out new techniques to keep the customer interest intact and offer excellent customer experience.

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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