You’ve probably heard people talking about the metaverse over the past year. From Facebook rebranding as Meta to Taco Bell hosting a virtual reality wedding — there's been no shortage of news. Brands are already juggling a variety of in-person and digital channels so adding yet another one to the list may seem like a headache. But the metaverse presents more opportunities than obstacles.
The technology around the metaverse is continuing to evolve. While no one can say for sure what each stage of the evolution will be, in general, it looks to provide a new way for consumers to engage with brands. And, if you're set up to measure customer experiences across multiple locations, the metaverse simply offers additional locations and potential revenue channels. And it can be measured using the same principles you’re used to.
The metaverse today
The term "meta" comes from a Greek word meaning "after". It is often combined with English words to imply change or alteration. So, if you find the term "metaverse" is confusing, it's probably because it has such a broad application. But the common theme when people talk about the metaverse today is that it’s a virtual space where users can engage with the environment and each other. And this is exciting because the only limitations in these spaces are those imposed by the creator.
Brands have already begun experimenting with the metaverse. Some, like Nike and Chipotle, have partnered with existing games to launch their experiences. In these cases, players can try on virtual products or build burritos to earn rewards. Others, like Wendy’s, have partnered with Meta, the company, to launch their own virtual reality experiences.
The metaverse tomorrow
What’s most exciting about the metaverse is the opportunities it could present in the future. Vishal Shah, VP of Metaverse at Meta, has said the full vision of the metaverse could be years away. In fact, recent layoffs at Meta indicate they may have overestimated its immediate growth. But it will be the brands who start testing in this space now that will be able to capitalize on that future state.
Virtual reality technology can enable some unique customer experiences. It can let consumers superimpose a couch in their living room to see how it looks before ordering. Or even try on a new hair color before dyeing it.
Someday the metaverse could serve as a virtual change room, allowing customers to try on all manner of products from the comfort of their homes. This would reduce both the space requirements for retailers and the volume of returns from online shopping.
The impact on customer experience management
There's no telling exactly what the future state of the metaverse will be. But what will remain consistent are the principles with which brands measure their customers’ experiences. Identifying key touch points across this new channel, collecting feedback from your visitors, objectively measuring the execution of your customer journey through mystery shopping, and continuing to implement improvements over time.
Mystery shoppers already enter a store or open an application to measure key points in the customer journey. With the metaverse, they will do the same — just with a virtual reality headset.
Today, brands manage their customer experience across diverse locations and channels. Tomorrow, the metaverse will simply present new types of each. Whatever your brand decides your place in the metaverse will be, Intouch Insight is here to help you ensure it delivers the type of experience your customers have come to expect.