How many times have you heard the word 'metaverse' in the last six months? It's become one of those "if I had a dollar for every time I heard it" kind of words. However, are you familiar with this term in the context of metaverse customer service?
The metaverse itself has created a ton of buzz lately. And business owners are wondering if it's about that time to make a move toward what many are calling the future of the internet.
Ahead, we'll discuss what the metaverse is and what it means for customer service. We'll also explore whether or not the metaverse may be a good fit for your customer service team.
What is the metaverse?
Meta refers to the metaverse as: the next evolution of social connection.
To go a step further, the metaverse can be described as a digital universe. Think of it as a 3D space that changes the way we interact with technology. This universe is most commonly accessible through virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality, and other immersive technologies.
Sounds a little complex, I know. But the reality is, the true definition of the metaverse is still evolving as new technologies emerge and more companies advance within the space.
How to Enter the Metaverse
Because the metaverse isn't strictly defined, there's no one way to "get in" so to speak. Instead, you can experience parts of the metaverse through a few of the channels below.
Most commonly, virtual and augmented reality systems — like Meta Quest and VIVE — allow consumers to visit virtual worlds that are considered to be part of the metaverse at large.
These worlds create experiences that are either strictly virtual (VR) or a combination of physical and virtual (AR). Different experiences include social and community hangouts, workout and fitness classes, and gaming sites. More on gaming next.
Many video game companies are also bringing themselves into what we know now as the metaverse. Aside from access to the virtual gaming world, video games are providing new and immersive experiences for users.
For example, virtual concerts have recently become popular in video games like Fortnite — a battle royale, survival-style game developed by Epic Games. Check out the video below for an example of how Epic Games brought music into the metaverse with an Ariana Grande concert.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) act as currency that facilitates digital transactions, so they're often referred to in close relation with the metaverse. I mean, in theory, you'd need virtual money to spend in a virtual world, right?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are another example. Take this duo, BP and J, who creates NFTs that play around with movement, objects, and shapes in a loop format. When you buy one of their designs in ETH, you're buying ownership of that digital item.
But with all of this talk about the metaverse, you're probably wondering where customer service comes in. We'll discuss that next.
What is metaverse customer service?
Metaverse customer service could become exactly what it sounds like — customer service in the metaverse. Businesses can leverage the digital 3D space to assist and communicate with customers in real time before, during, and after a purchase.
Bringing customer service to the metaverse presents a number of opportunities for brands who are looking to create the optimal customer experience. And metaverse customer service could come a lot quicker than you may expect.
Let's explore a few examples of what customer service in the metaverse may look like.
Examples of Metaverse Customer Service
The metaverse is another avenue where businesses can resolve customer inquiries, onboard and train new reps, and build out an omni-channel experience.
Customer Inquiry Resolution
Imagine being able to exist in the same virtual space as a customer who's having trouble setting up their new product — say, a computer.
The metaverse could make it easier for you to give product demonstrations and provide step-by-step activation instructions without the inherent disconnect from being on the phone or in live chat.
Plus, there's no physical contact required. You and the customer would work together as your digital selves to troubleshoot the issue from wherever you both are.
Here's another scenario: Let's say a customer is in the middle of a VR experience and has an issue. Instead of having to come out of the headset and contact customer service from another device, what if they could do it in real time inside of their virtual world?
Metashift by Helpshift is making it possible for mobile game makers to support their users in the metaverse. Their first phase gives companies the capability to allow users to provide feedback and report bugs in-app and within AR experiences.
Check out a glimpse of what that looks like below.
Onboarding and Training
The metaverse could also be another forum for the onboarding and training of new customer service reps. It's like taking virtual meetings to the next level, beyond Teams or Zoom.
Employees could begin onboarding from any location, but the experience in the metaverse would feel like everyone's in the same room. Depending on how the virtual onboarding experience is set up, new reps can ask questions face-to-face and get to know other new hires. And the virtual training presentations would function just like they would live.
The difference? Everything would just take place in the digital world instead of the physical.
One last example of metaverse customer service is how it could help companies elevate their omni-channel presence.
The concept of omni-channel implies that customers can access your products and services on any platform, device, or channel. So as new channels are introduced, and customers begin using those channels, there's an expectation that brands integrate accordingly.
The metaverse is the newest, buzziest potential channel for you to connect with and delight your customers.
Should Your Service Team Join The Metaverse?
Right now, the metaverse is still a little TBD. But beyond the hypotheticals, there seems to be a lot of promise and possibilities there.
It may not be a question of if your service team should join the metaverse, but when. For now, it's definitely something to keep an eye on in the near future.