Augmented Reality in Technical Support: A Perfect Match

TechSee explores how augmented reality adds a new dimension to technical support

Technology has advanced at a rapid pace over the past few years. What once seemed like science fiction is quickly becoming the norm. However, with the better tech comes more complexity, more issues and a greater need to help consumers solve those problems.

Augmented reality has proven to be a perfect fit when it comes to providing technical support to customers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the ways AR tech support can be implemented in a business.

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality (AR) combines the real world with virtual, visual components. This is achieved by superimposing virtual images and elements on top of reality as it is captured live, or on recorded video.

By merging those two layers, you end up with a new augmented reality. Unlike the completely immersive experience of virtual reality, AR enables you to see the physical world around you, enhanced by virtual elements.

Augmented Reality in Technical Support

When it comes to offering technical support to customers, a growing number of companies have discovered that augmented reality is the perfect solution. Let’s look at the essence of technical support to better understand how AR fits into the picture.

When Is Technical Support Necessary?

Technical support comes in when there’s a problem in the consumer’s reality. Something isn’t working. It could be a product such as TV, smart car or an entertainment center – or a service such as a customer losing WiFi connectivity at their home or office.

The perfect example is the installation and setup of devices. When you get your hands on a new gadget, you naturally want to assemble and connect it properly, as quickly and painlessly as possible. In other words, you’re faced with a reality in which your new device is not yet operational. To get it up and running, you need to change that reality in order to properly assemble, install, wire or reboot the device, so it functions as it should.

How Does AR Fit In with Technical Support?

This is exactly where augmented reality can help. By viewing reality as it is (non-functioning) and overlaying the changes that need to happen for it to work, you end up with an augmented reality that points out the precise actions required to fix a problem. Here are three areas of technical support where AR is particularly useful:

  1. Augmented Reality User ManualsAugmented reality is a perfect tool for creating product manuals and guiding consumers through technical support situations. It can easily and clearly show customers – on top of their current reality – the actions and adjustments they need to make to get to the desired outcome.
  2. Augmented Reality Remote AssistanceWithout having to send a technician to the customer, an agent located anywhere in the world can be virtually ‘transported’ to a customer’s home in an instant. By utilizing the customer’s phone camera, the agent can see in real time what the customer is talking about and offer remote assistance. The agent provides a sequence of actions that will resolve the issue and guides the customer with AR to clearly show the steps they need to take.
  3. Augmented Reality Customer ServiceAR is perfect for delivering real-time customer support. It allows the agent to guide the customer through a process with visual assistance, eliminating the biggest problem – miscommunication.With AR, the agent shares virtual elements by adding markups to the image the customer sees, showing which buttons to press or how to position different components of  the device. Visual guidance is simply more effective. It’s as if the agent is standing right beside the customer, showing them exactly what to do.

In fact, the principle behind this process has already been working for some time when it comes to the 2D world we see on our screens. Solutions such as WalkMe overlay operating instructions on top of your computer screen to guide you through the features of other web-based services. In a nutshell, they make it significantly easier to set up and install software.

Augmented reality technical support facilitates these types of solutions in the real world by overlaying visual instructions on top of your reality, rather than your computer screen.

What AR Means for Your Business

What does all of this mean for your business, your customer support agents, and your clients? The revolution that is redefining AR and visual support in contact centers is just beginning, but AR already offers a simple yet powerful solution for tech support.

All businesses value loyalty. A customer’s negative experience can seriously damage their relationship with a company and destroy any chance of repeat business.

Recent research from Parks Associates shows that only about 33% of customers who encounter setup problems would purchase a similar product from the same company again. Smooth customer onboarding for tech devices represents a challenge that chatbots and self-service options can’t always solve. Instead, AR can enable companies to help their  customers immediately, ensuring high-quality onboarding experiences.

Transforming the Customer Experience

On-site support is the gold standard of the past. Customers now want help immediately and even those who like to figure things out on their own will likely need help at some point, especially when knowledge bases fall short. Every once in a while, a revolutionary technology comes along that changes our reality. In the last 50 years, with mobile communications and the internet, the pace of change has accelerated.

In the current technological ecosystem, augmented reality is poised to become the next disruptive technology that will revolutionize how we interact with the world around us. AR gives support agents the ability to engage with customers in meaningful ways that resolve issues on the spot.

If happier customers and a more efficient customer support department are key goals for your business, AR is going to help get you there.

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