Collaboration and communication represents the biggest problem with distributed teams. But with VR becoming more sophisticated, it may be possible to simulate working environments that have the same collaborative effect of the real world. A large part of what makes offices effective for teams is the intermixing of ideas between departments – something lacking in remote teams. VR could potentially solve aspects of this by creating social spaces that allow team members to meet each other, have meetings and work together.
Empathy plays a key role in the ability to identify market opportunities. It is the ability to understand how your customer thinks – their needs and wants – which puts you on the path to effectively providing a solution to them. VR has the capacity to enhance empathy by allowing you to see through the eyes of your customers. We often think that we know who it is that we are selling to, but we rarely ever meet them – particularly senior executives who are making the key decisions.
Although meeting your customers in person is always best, VR can help you model potential customer profiles and decision trees. You can create avatars of who your customer is, how they think, what their day to day life looks like and how they make purchasing decisions. This can be used to train people throughout your organization and remind them of the people they are serving – and how best to serve them.
VR as a marketing tool
Virtual advertising space may also be a new customer acquisition channel if pulled off correctly. Users typically dislike interruption ads such as commercials and pop ups, but in virtual worlds advertisements can be integrated more seamlessly – similar to how they are in the real world. Buying up advertising space in niche virtual worlds could be a thing, and users won’t necessarily be bothered by it as it’s come to be associated with the real world anyway.
Conferences and events are also a significant way for companies to market themselves, but they can be costly and unscalable. If VR gets widespread adoption among your customers, you can host virtual business conferences that can reach customers around the world. As there are no capital costs, these events could even be free of charge leading to greater incentive for your customers to attend. The best part is they can participate around their work or personal schedule, from the office or home.
Catalyze your culture
Everybody recognizes the importance of culture, but it can be hard to transfer your values to new hires. VR can be one of the set of tools that you use to assimilate people into your organization, both in the interviewing stage and during onboarding. For a start, you can create VR experiences that allow potential hires to experience a day in the life of one of your team members. When they are actually in the organization, you could have them undergo an experience that highlights your values such as integrity or healthy competition in a creative way, as opposed to just reading from a checklist.
Education and training
VR job training can also help even if you work in the services or the digital industries. Take for instance if there are particular soft skills you want your team to have to work more effectively together. Simulations that model key competencies such as team building, conflict resolution and collaboration can help people identify and build on their weaknesses in a safe environment.