Finally, leaders must understand their support obligations along the customer journey. Some platforms will offer unique support capabilities in core areas as a differentiator. Mapping out the value chain and where support capabilities intersect, or conflict is key.
2. Design tailored support based on customer personas
This need for intuitive support models is the key to closing the CX gap in the Metaverse. Meeting customers where they are, has both literal and figurative meanings.
- First, the literal. The Metaverse is far from a single heterogeneous entity. Customers are likely to have their preferred destination; to reach them, your proverbial shopfront will need to be on the platform. Creating a separate single platform is unlikely to be successful without significant investment. Instead, mapping out digital environments that offer the best routes to engage with consumers (much as businesses plot out the best towns in which to open offices and stores) is a vital first step.
This interpretation extends to the method of support. Customers in the Metaverse will look dimly on support functions that demand they leave their virtual world to phone support; the expectation is that communication channels will manifest within the same digital environment.
- In a more figurative sense, businesses must meet customers where they are in terms of expectations and technical capabilities. Some customers will need a higher-touch support function to help them engage with the business. Think of a hotel concierge. Just as top hotels recognize that some customers need help with luggage and directions, successful businesses in the Metaverse will pitch support based on consumer needs.
But other, more savvy customers will have wildly different expectations. Experienced users may see too much support as invasive, like a pushy salesperson. Businesses must use customer data and insights to create appropriate levels of support.
3. Develop a clear data strategy to stay on the cusp of innovation
The Metaverse is evolving rapidly. Digital giants and hyperscalers are working on their unique vision for the space. And while many platforms are in their infancy, we expect them to continue bringing new features and capabilities to capture more market share.
Companies such as Google and Facebook have a record of tapping into consumer expectations and building models that meet their demands. While this should see the ongoing development of core platforms, it's likely to alter how consumers interact with and navigate their new digital environments.
Customer expectations and their understanding of what good service and experiences look like will also evolve as the underlying technology improves. Staying ahead of these expectations will prove a point of differentiation for leading businesses.
Keeping up with this rapidly changing space calls for a data strategy that recognizes the unique opportunities and challenges of the Metaverse, which is a treasure trove of data and insights businesses can use to analyze and predict shifting demands.
The Metaverse also presents a digital playground on which to experiment with new ideas and products. By playing an active role in the ecosystem, companies can work with partners such as platform owners to gather data that helps them smooth out rough experiences and meet customers with new and innovative support functions.
Make no mistake, though—myriad challenges lay ahead. Data strategies must recognize and adapt to the unique controversies and perspectives of the space. For example, decentralized platforms intend to wrest control of user data away from businesses that may use it for analysis and hand it back to the user. Smart organizations must examine how they incentivize users to share their data.
Business leaders who want to tap into the Metaverse’s vast opportunities must focus on customer support. Human experiences in the Metaverse—including consumers’ sense of trust and safety in the digital world around them—are critical differentiators as early customers start to work their way through, and select, the platforms and environments in which they want to work, shop and relax.
While the Metaverse may be the next great opportunity, it is CX that will pose the greatest business challenge.
For more information, visit the Customer Experience section of our website or contact us.
This article was written by Ollie O’Donoghue and Duncan Roberts, Senior Director and Senior Manager, respectively, in Cognizant Research.