It seems like a day doesn’t go by without news of a major company investing in a metaverse futuristic project. Big brands continue to push forward with these investments despite doubt from more skeptical CEOs who worry about how practical they really could be for enterprise businesses.
With so much hype surrounding the metaverse, its easy to dismiss it as simple vaporware. Smart tech companies realize the metaverse has endless potential to revolutionize enterprise business. But it’s a fair question then to ask how enterprise businesses will be impacted.
Although this is all still evolving, the big tech companies are making progress on the VR and AR hardware that will allow us to enter this new digital realm.
There is no doubt that VR and AR have been gaining traction over the past few years, but one of their biggest drawbacks was cost. However as prices for headsets have dropped there has been an increased interest from consumers in these technologies.
Metaverse for Enterprise
IDC predicts that the VR/AR market will grow to $36.11 billion by 2025.
In fact, the IDC predicts that the VR/AR market will reach a value of $4.43 billion by the end of 2021 and grow to $36.11 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 68.4%. Impressive growth predictions for sure. Its clear as this virtual economy grows in importance, enterprise businesses will have no other option but to join it.
But how exactly might enterprise businesses benefit from this new virtual world? Well, the metaverse might very well be that next level of customer engagement that helps boost sustainable, long-term relationships with customers. Just as social media helped to drive loyalty and business growth, so too might the metaverse.
Let’s take a look at five ways the metaverse could benefit enterprise businesses.
Remote Work in the Metaverse
The future of work is now an office without walls. The idea that soon we’ll be able to telecommute and communicate with each other via video conferences, chat rooms or even virtual worlds. What many are calling an “infinite workspace” could just be where new forms of employment may take shape in the near future.
The idea of a metaverse for enterprise where you can enter through your VR/AR glasses and be transported into another place without ever leaving the comfort of home is not just something for entertainment purposes.
Businesses will conduct meetings with employees all around the world, review work in collaborative environment, even conduct job interviews in this virtual space.
One need not look any further than Horizon Workrooms by Meta or Mesh from Microsoft to get a glimpse of what metaverse for enterprise businesses might just look like in the future.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said that his company is working on building the “enterprise metaverse.”
“As the digital and physical worlds converge, we are leading in a new layer of the infrastructure stack; the enterprise metaverse,”
Nadella during Microsoft’s fourth-quarter earnings conference call.
Customer Service in the Metaverse
Customers want to feel like they are in the company of someone who understands them, and avatars in the metaverse allow you do just that.
Customers equate customer service to your values as a business. This is why solving customer problems quickly demonstrates that you are compassionate, and that you care about your customers.
This is how the metaverse for the enterprise will improve customer service. Being able to quickly solve problems speaks significantly about the company’s underlying values, morals, and ethics.
When businesses don’t respond promptly, people get ideas and start making assumptions, and these assumptions are never good.
By having your customer service operation staffed with real agents rather than chatbots, customers will have an opportunity for more empathetic engagement than ever before.
The metaverse for enterprise businesses might just be the key to managing customer complaints and resolving them quickly.
Sponsorship of Events in the Metaverse
As the mass adoption of the metaverse grows, so do the possibilities for sponsorships at conferences and events. Sponsorship opportunities in the metaverse can feature anything one can imagine, and digital teams have an incredible opportunity to really explore their creativity.
In the metaverse, imagine the possibilities of your products opening and building on demand. Sponsors who invest in metaverse content can take it with them afterwards and use it on social media, making the investment a strong value.
Trade Shows in the Metaverse
The pandemic has changed how we conduct meetings and conferences forever. Trade show swagger will be sorely missed
In a recent survey of more than 3,000 respondents conducted by Wunderman Thompson revealed that 74 percent of those who are familiar with the term “metaverse” are interested in attending a digital business conference.
Before the pandemic virtual trade shows used to be the exception. Now the vast majority of companies are planning to host or attend a trade show in the virtual world. Imagine with a metaverse trade show, you could have unlimited attendance.
This trend has inspired over 90% of event organizers to plan even more virtual events in 2022, according to a fall 2021 survey by Kaltura.
With the pandemic showing no signs of fading away, the likely hood of trade shows in the metaverse begins to look more likely.
Employee Training in the Metaverse
A 2020 report from consultancy PwC predicts that nearly 23.5 million jobs worldwide will use AR and VR by 2030. Tasks such as employee training, meetings, and customer service most certainly will require some level of VR/AR interaction.
Some brands and companies are beginning to look to see how they can use these virtual worlds to train new employees in immersive educational environments.
One such brand jumping into the metaverse is Hyundai. Hyundai is using a virtual world to train it’s new employees.
In the remote-first age, tools are needed that are more immersive than just email and Zoom meetings.
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What Challenges Enterprise Businesses Might Need to Address?
There have been many concerns raised about the use of the metaverse for enterprise businesses, with privacy and safety being at the top. Generation gaps may also be an issue – as young people are less likely than older generations to connect through face-to-face interactions for fear that this could harm their future careers or even personal lives online.
Maintaining authenticity in the metaverse is essential if we want to evolve business interactions into something meaningful over time.
In addition to the typical user education needed with any change, virtual offices will need specialized attention.
A major issue is avatar definitions – which means setting up standards for how your characters look and behave in a 3D space as opposed to 2 dimensional marketing materials or social media posts. Enterprises may need to hire avatar builders rather than burden employees with creating them.
Change can be difficult, and that scares enterprise businesses. Enterprises will need to think boldly if they have to transform the employee experience.
The CEO of the business will need to be the driving force behind mass adoption of the metaverse for enterprise business.
If the CEO believes that talent strategy, seamless collaboration and brand value are all important then they need to lead an enterprise metaverse charge within their workplace.
Metaverse for Enterprise Final Thoughts
The future of work in the post-pandemic world is more immersive than ever. Virtual reality has permeated physical workspaces, creating a truly exciting environment for employees and employers alike.
The likelihood of a metaverse for enterprise business will not be an option, but necessary in order to stay relevant with current trends.
The metaverse offers enterprise businesses the opportunity to develop deeper personal and meaningful relationships with employees by creating virtual experiences that combine entertainment, personalization and value.