Smart industrial chiller buyers want to “kick the tires” before they write the check. Engineering firms, contractors and building owners like to walk around, look inside and see the features before investing in equipment that needs to last 50 years, but these products are as big as a bus and are designed to keep a hospital or skyscraper cool, which makes demos challenging.
Customers need to travel to a location that has them installed or to the factory where they’re built. And they still can’t see much more than a giant box, since the competitive advantages are under the hood.
Global HVAC leader Daikin partnered with the Gronstedt Group to create the ultimate customer experience of a hyper-realistic, life-sized 3D version of their giant “WMT” industrial chiller in virtual reality. Customers don the Oculus Quest headset and experience the superpower of X-ray vision, which lets them see how water and refrigerant work together to keep building temperatures comfortable. A 3D audio soundtrack shows how quietly the unit operates and the room goes dark for a demonstration of how rapidly service is restored during a power outage.
The multi-user VR showroom lets sales reps show customers around the digital chiller, pointing out features and benefits, like low refrigerant and oil-free magnetic bearings. Users can control the chiller from a wrist menu and run it at 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% capacity. Customers and sales reps enjoy a sense of social presence as they explore the competitive advantages of the equipment together.
“I can’t believe you took all our technical information and created such a phenomenal user experience,”
– Arthur Rizoli, Director of Centrifugal Products, Daikin.
The VR program launched to rave reviews at an event in Phoenix with some 1,500 customers and sales reps. Five days of demos with 16 Oculus Quest headsets afforded a first-hand taste of the VR experience. Every single survey participant saw value in the experience, with 80 percent indicating “Great Value.”
Daikin will reduce both travel cost and carbon footprint with multi-player VR sessions.
Comments from users included:
– When can we see all the other products?
– You can show in five minutes what takes five years to understand about chillers
– This was worth my trip to Phoenix
– @!#$% b@#$%…this is amazing!
“The introduction of VR was a success, there is a buzz, even a bit of a frothed frenzy among our reps, service partners and engineers to use VR.”
– Brian Dewhirst, Sr. Manager, Learning Technology, Daikin.
This is only Daikin’s first step into the metaverse. The virtual showroom will be a venue for sales meetings. Senior Daikin executives can join customer meetings remotely using a VR headset or PC for a virtual walk-around. And it will be used for recruitment, training and development.
“This is an investment that will not just pay dividend for sales and marketing, we will leverage the same 3D assets to develop installation and service training.”
– Laura Masica, Senior Director, Daikin Learning Institute, Daikin
COMPANY: Gronstedt Group