Immersive Customer Experience

Immersing your customers in every essence of the brand has always been the ultimate target for any business, but with the unexpected events of 2020, this has never been more important. Many are now more selective about the activities and places they visit and will base decisions on the experience factor or the ‘instagramable’ moments. Immersive customer experience can create stronger brand loyalty and generate greater customer lifetime value for your business. 

Whilst it is the desire for every business to create value for their customers, there is a great belief that to be fully immersed you must require expensive technologies. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are now changing the way we think and access the world around us. Technology such as (VR) headsets provide the ultimate immersive experience as you are truly able to transport people to other worlds and experience the full capabilities of a product or service. Despite the true and complete immersion this tech provides, VR is expensive to deliver at a high level and with the seamless approach most are striving for. The headsets are costly to purchase but not only this, the visuals require exceptional band width and connection which most of the country isn’t able to offer consistently. The true potential of VR will be unlocked with the advancement of 5G but as this is currently only being trialled in key cities, it will be some time before this is a consistent signal connection across the country. 

(AR) provides the most realistic way in which immersion can be achieved without the complexities that VR brings. The tech is much less costly to produce and is much more able to integrate with the current connections. 

There is a growing number of commercial property companies that are exploring the ways that AR and VR can enhance the experience of letting spaces to potential occupiers. VR headsets would be used in place of physical building tours and would be able to show the full potential of any size space in real time. Whilst these technologies present some great opportunities for the industry to advance the way they conduct standard viewings, the cost attached to ensuring this is affective across the country still limits complete adoption. It is unrealistic to think that this would become the new way of working within the commercial real estate industry because the cost implications alone make this unfeasible. 

Smart city and wireless communication network

There is great opportunity, however, for certain real estate services to become more astute to the new technologies and to grow and adapt existing ways of working. Virtual conferencing has become the new normal and it is unlikely that this will become a thing of past. In many ways this has forced changes in culture and working practices which may have taken years to come to fruition. The reliance in technologies of this nature, whilst they have been emerging for some time, are now seeing a sharp spike in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the world has been forced to collaborate and communicate in new ways very quickly. This can be seen with how quickly virtual conferencing systems like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and such like have had to grow with the increased use and upgrade the software in just the last six months. It was the case that you could only conduct virtual calls with 1-2 people and now the capability is there to host virtual conferences and split individuals into virtual meeting rooms. 

Of course it is the desire to manage assets that are full technologically capable and to conduct virtually immersive pitches and building tours, but to provide completely immersive experiences there must be control over all aspects of the service; from marketing to delivery and the continued engagement. If this does not happen or there are too many links in the chain and the the ability to ensure your customers are immersed fully is impossible to achieve. Key to this is also the ability to be adaptable and provide solutions that fit with the vision of all involved. 

Completely relying on technology to serve the needs and requirements of a complex industry removes the very essence and reason clients do business with companies: the people. To me, a truly immersive experience brings together the best of a customer centric service approach, with a combination of technology and the inspiring workforce that fully believe in and deliver your brand message. 

– article written by Maddy Royston