wearable contact centerAn estimated 1 million Apple watches were sold in the U.S. in first 24 hours for pre-order. This week with the official launch, and back ordered until July,  I am sure more numbers will be astounding. How telling is this product’s popularity to those of us who work in customer experience industry? That without any lingering doubt the era of wearable technology is here to stay.

GlobalWebIndex study from the fall revealed that 71 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds crave “wearable tech,” which the report defines as a smart watch, smart wristband, or virtual reality glasses. That’s a lot of young people which – in business terms – means potential lifelong customers, who upgrade and update their gadgets.

Not too long ago, kids had to make the effort to reach into their pockets if they wanted to use a computer. But those smartphone days were simpler times.

Wearables are another connection to our customers, so what does this mean for those of us who work in customer experience? It means a lot!  Wearables are another digital channel that can interact both inbound and outbound to reach customers.  Below are three ways wearables will affect the customer experience.

Using Cognitive Systems for Great Customer Service

Miniaturization and convenience are considered to be the hallmarks of wearables.  But according to Computerworld, “computers will find out what you want to know, then make you know it.” Indeed, wearable devices offer not only convenience, but also all of the information-processing power that comes with computers’ increasingly advanced artificial intelligence (AI).

Wearables are therefore bound to become the natural access interface between computerized cognitive systems and human service representatives, offering front-line employees instant access to a vast big-data reservoir of knowledge that enables them to serve customers efficiently.

An Augmented Reality of Customer Journeys

One of the key benefits of wearable technologies is that they can function as an immersive extension of the web or mobile brand experience. By potentially adding augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to the web and mobile channels —for instance, 3D, life-size, “touchable” examples of clothing in one’s field of vision — wearables offer a great way to help customers truly experience what a product has to offer, how it works, or how it can be fixed or assembled. This would deliver a unique fun factor to the customer journey be it at purchase or customer service stages.

The potential uses of AR/VR for both improved customer experiences and customer service are numerous indeed, but we can rest assured that AR/VR-enabled wearables will continue to increase customers’ expectations for a personalized, proactive and interactive experience. Just have a look at how Chevrolet uses Oculus for Off-Terrain showroom experience.

Better Service for Contact Center Managers

The Human Cloud at Work (HCAW), a recent study from RackSpace, shows that employees with wearable devices increased their productivity by 8.5 percent and their job satisfaction by 3.5 percent. There is much to suggest that these numbers would apply to customer service workforces in the same way.

Among other things, wearables will undoubtedly enable call center managers to be more connected to key performance metrics, so that they can dynamically adjust staffing levels to correspond with fluctuating customer contact volumes. The same applies to retail sales associates in brick-and-mortar storefronts. It’s counter intuitive, but all of this virtual technolgy may just help to humanize things. Already, Amazon’s Mayday service allows customers to see the customer service agent they’re speaking to, right on the display of their Kindle Fire HDX.

You may have seen a number of demonstrations on how the Genesys CX platform allows you to support wearable devices such as connected glasses and smart watches. The ability to support any new digital channel and touch point in the customer journey orchestration is definitely the key milestone to the Wearable Customer Experience. Be ready!

Learn more How to Transform Digital Customer Experiences for the Connected Customer in our recent whitepaper from Altimeter.

Attending our upcoming G-Summits? We will be featuring wearables many of our digital CX discussions. See the complete calender of global G-Summit events here.

Remy Claret

Remy Claret, Product Marketing Director at Genesys, has over 15 years of experience in Customer Experience Management. He has worked in a variety of strategic roles in his career including Product Marketing, Sales Engineering and Business Consulting. Prior to joining...