We’re just wrapping up the fielding portion of a groundbreaking, multi-market new customer experience test for H&R Block using Virtual Reality, aka, VR. Coming on the heels of strategic segmentation and exploratory qualitative research, H&R Block hopes to reinvent their brick and mortar experience, in terms of both interior design and customer interaction approach. Before any big investments were made in static-location mock-ups or test store remodels, H&R Block opted for a comparatively smaller investment using immersive virtual reality experiences as a stimulus.
The project includes a significant qualitative component, with discussion and inquiry around all aspects of the customer’s experience. This work is augmented with quantitative analysis, using pre and post-VR experience surveys, “within-VR” measures of movement and attention. The findings are informing later stage design decisions.
Customer experience testing using virtual reality is a great fit between business decisions and MR method, because the decisions entail customer experiences and the method entails literally creating those experiences… and with greater flexibility, control, and less cost than doing it “for real.”
Applications for virtual reality in marketing research go beyond customer experience design. Researchers can benefit from the immersive and realistic nature of VR for new product development, pricing and menu optimization, and even brand equity explorations.
Thanks to VR and to companies like H&R Block that are willing to innovate and pioneer, it’s shaping up to be an exciting time in the world of technology, business, and market research!
Check out CNBC’s coverage of H&R Block’s pioneering work.