Remote Assistant Real Experience
A system of semi-autonomous showrooms with remote customer support, creating a bridge between e-commerce and physical stores.
R.A.R.E (Remote Assistant Real Experience) is a system for operating the showroom, using a combination of audiovisual, communication and remote access technologies. Its essence is remote presence of an assistant in a physical showroom, helping customers anywhere in the world. Thanks to this system, the showroom becomes semi-autonomous. The advisor has full visibility and control over the showroom, assisting the customer in self-service and testing the products physically present in the store. Communication is seamless and completely natural, and the line between remote and physical service becomes blurred.
How does it work from the Customer’s perspective?
Our customer finds a product online. Seeing an opportunity to test it in a semi-autonomous showroom, the customer books an appointment. In good time, the advisor discusses the appointment with the customer over the phone to explain everything, answer questions and maximise the comfort of the visit. The customer is then given access – a code – to enter the showroom. At the designated time, the customer enters the code, opens the door, enters and sees the full image of the Advisor on a large monitor in 1:1 scale. After a greeting, the exciting visit to our unique showroom begins.
The customer is free to test the product, touch the fabric, get a sense of how the product works, can ask questions and talk to the Advisor. Additional monitors display a presentation with details about the product or its operation. The customer gets to know the product thoroughly to make sure it is „the one„. Orders can be placed on the spot and the product will be delivered to the customer’s address.
How does it work from the Seller’s perspective?
Before the visit, the advisor enters a dedicated, soundproof streaming room and activates the showroom’s 'vital’ functions: unlocks the showroom, turns off the alarm, sets the appropriate temperature, activates all the hardware. Everything is operated remotely using smart home technology. By the time the customer enters, the adviser has everything up and running. There are monitors with a preview of the showroom, a preview of the surveillance cameras, a preview of the presentation in front of him. Directly next to the adviser is a control panel.
The adviser can control not only the parameters of the showroom, but also the main camera and the microphones that allow direct communication with the customer. Everything is set up so that the advisor can concentrate on serving the customer, rather than the equipment.. The visit follows a carefully developed route adjusted to the type of products that is in the showroom and to the company’s sales policy. If the customer decides to make a purchase, the adviser has the option of taking the order during the visit and arranging delivery details. Each visit needs to be reserved in advance and has a pre-scheduled time with appropriate time buffers between customers.
Origin of the idea
There is a specific, premium product, but presented mainly through the e-commerce channel. There is also a customer who would like to test the product beforehand, because its nature requires it to be felt, touched, perhaps even smelled. However, the product is not available in typical retail outlets, and having numerous showrooms generates considerable costs, especially for a niche product.
All this provided the basis for the development of the R.A.R.E system, and the 'zero’ product was the massage chairs. The entire system and the concept itself was developed by Rest Lords.
The peculiar and unfamiliar features of the chairs, in order to be fully understood, frequently require prior testing, the experience of a massage on one’s own skin, something that a website cannot convey. The shipping, assembly or return is not as easy as with shoes or clothing. The dimensions also prevent the chairs from occupying entire aisles in retail markets. This is where the idea of semi-autonomous showrooms originated – anywhere in the world (just like e-commerce), aimed at the already interested customers, not random, with reservation system, remote assistance, semi-autonomous.
Why not a regular showroom with employed sales personnel? True experts, passionate about massage chairs are few and far between, and they prove indispensable to maintain the highest quality and reliability of service. Expert service can be present anywhere in the world and, most importantly, not necessarily in the same place as the showroom… and preferably at the company’s headquarters. The system also reduces staffing costs and gives full control over the company’s sales policy.
R-ShowRoom Warsaw – First implementation of the R.A.R.E concept
The semi-autonomous showroom with massage chairs in Warsaw is located at Płosa 1/U3.
R-ShowRoom is the first and so far the only project of its kind in the world, where customers can test massage chairs in a technologically advanced space with a remote advisor who physically is in another city. The showroom is owned by Rest Lords, the originator of the concept and the coordinator of the implementation. In close cooperation with Brill AV Media, which was responsible for the design, implementation and integration of the AV solutions, and a number of contractors providing electrical solutions, remote access, interior design or finishing work, a remarkable 100 m2 space with 12 luxury massage chairs was arranged. Inside the showroom, special attention has been paid to the audio-visual parameters to make every customer feel incredibly comfortable. Particular attention has been paid to appropriate acoustic adaptation and the highest quality of video and sound has been ensured.
The entire AV system has been designed and configured to best cope with demanding applications such as object tracking, image cropping, capturing speaker’s voice as well as audio amplification. A display suitable for 24/7 operation has been mounted vertically in the centre of the showroom, where the customer can see their life-size advisor. Additionally, there are two repeat screens in the room that can display remote control diagrams or other information provided by the seller. The room also featured a PTZ camera with 12x optical zoom, which is capable of panning, tilting and zooming to optimally adapt to the layout and size of the space.
A ceiling microphone was placed in the centre, with automatic coverage technology. The system was enriched with two active near-field studio speakers with double bass-reflex amplification for outstanding sound quality and excellent monitoring performance.
Communication between showroom visitors and our personnel happens in real time, so a dedicated streaming studio was designed and built at the Rest Lords headquarters in Olsztyn. In order to ensure that streaming quality is maintained and communication is seamless, both locations have a symmetrical fibre-optic link. The Rest Lords headquarters has become an advanced management and control centre. A dedicated studio for online streaming is equipped with monitors with a preview of the advisor and a camera view from Warsaw, a touch screen for controlling presets, a professional camera, microphone and studio lighting. Communication security is ensured by means of a VPN connection.
It was our own product, the customer’s need to try it out and our desire to scale sales based on something more than just ecommerce that underpinned the idea. A number of motivated people with great commitment have worked and will continue to work on this pioneering project, combining our experience with this newly developed system
concluded Paweł Majer, CEO of Rest Lords.
We enjoy challenges and non-standard projects, and this is one of them. The space impresses with its unconventional solutions and, at the same time, makes use of technology for easy and efficient remote communication between the customer and the advisor in the showroom. One crucial point was the dependability of the AV and system solutions used, given the lack of physical presence of the personnel. We are proud to have been entrusted with this task and to have been the first company in Poland to implement the R.A.R.E concept
said Michał Czerniak, CEO of Brill AV Media.
Thanks to reliable, high-speed connectivity, Rest Lords can provide its customers with a truly remarkable virtual experience. The use of fibre optics guarantees low latency, which is crucial for real-time video streaming.
By choosing Orange, Rest Lords have gained access to a professional service with proven technology and the confidence to rely on a dependable partner for digital transformation
said Robert Syty, Director of Field Sales Forces Orange Polska.
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Drawing on cooperation with experts in audiovisual solutions, cutting-edge technology and remote access, and consequently on the experience gained and proven solutions, we were able to develop our own approach and procedures: from conceptual design through detailed working design right up to project implementation and unique sales training.