Manufacturers with engineered-to-order products typically rely on a collaborative selling process to meet the changing needs of customers. Sales cycles for products like complex industrial equipment, often involve multiple quotes and configurations, and the end-goal of customer satisfaction can be lengthy and cost-intensive.
Augmented reality provides manufacturers with a remedy in the form of interactive full-scale virtual products, so customers can learn—and experience—precisely what they’re ordering. Using AR, manufacturers can deliver the exact product each customer wants and get it right the first time. There are three ways that manufacturers can use AR to increase customer satisfaction.
Traditional industrial equipment sales cycles involve building product configurations based on specific customer requirements. The challenge is that many buyers want to see and experience products before they are custom-engineered. Manufacturers often ship a physical prototype to the customer for this purpose and then reconfigure the product as needed. This approach can effectively close a sale, but it’s hardly ideal from a budget perspective.
Equipment manufacturers can improve upon this process by using AR solutions that virtualize product demonstrations. Immersive, highly detailed AR experiences allow customers to experience products in a more efficient way—while introducing transparency that aligns product configurations with buyers’ expectations. Ultimately, AR solutions bring buyers and sellers closer together through better collaboration in the product testing and configuration process.
Virtual equipment models also provide customers with rich details about product capabilities that would previously be inaccessible or poorly represented by a printed manual. With AR authoring software, manufacturers can now embed this information directly into the experiences they design, making the customer’s journey of product discovery and education faster—and more enjoyable.
Interactive AR experiences also help users absorb and retain information better, making product demonstrations quicker and more effective. Sales and marketing organizations can access cloud-based AR experiences from anywhere with a mobile or wearable device, equipping them with a show-stopping tool at trade shows and on the road. Additionally, sales teams using AR can more easily personalize product experiences for better engagement with customers and prospects.
By accelerating the sales cycle and optimizing customer-facing product experiences, AR drives faster time to value for businesses investing in built-to-order industrial equipment. Digital AR experiences that are immediately accessible through a smartphone, tablet, or headset can reach larger audiences faster, allowing sales and marketing organizations to scale their efforts globally. Businesses that experience virtual product demos move through the purchase journey faster and with more confidence – and walk away satisfied as a result.
If you'd like to learn more about how industrial organizations are leveraging the powerful capabilities of AR for sales and marketing purposes, check out this complementary infographic.