80% of manufacturers expected to use VR for customer experience by 2020

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A survey of senior marketing executives from the manufacturing and high tech engineering sectors has suggested that Virtual Reality (VR) will be of huge importance for customer experience by 2020.

84 per cent will be using VR as part of their customer experience by 2020, with 38 per cent already doing so, figures show.

“We’re seeing companies taking advantage of virtual reality to give buyers a first-hand, immersive view of the products they eventually stand to receive,” said Mark de Groot, marketing director EMEA – Digital Customer Experience at survey organiser Oracle.
“Turning to post-sales service, automation technologies give customers the freedom to manage orders at their own discretion without having to wait on a company’s service team.”

Technologies like virtual reality and automation have existed in the design and production process for many years, but Oracle’s research reveals that they are set to feature prominently in the experiences manufacturers and high-tech engineering companies deliver to their customers.

· 84 per cent will be using VR in their customer experience by 2020, with 38 per cent already doing so
· 90 per cent will allow customer to interact with them using purpose-built mobile apps by 2020, an approach currently employed by 48 per cent of respondents
· 89 per cent will employ automation technologies to improve their CX by 2020, with 49 per cent already using these

The research report ‘Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality?’ revealed the impact of consumer self-service apps like Uber and AirBnB on the service expectations of B2B customers and found that 36 percent of manufacturing and high tech engineering firms say their customers now prefer to make purchases or resolve service issues without speaking to a member of the sales or service team.

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The survey also points to the growth of technologies like the Internet of Things and sensors, which have made it easier for manufacturers to monitor and maintain and their products while they are in use, and identify and fix any issues before they cause problems.