How to build the business case for Virtual Reality

Long rectangle table in conference room surrounded by 20 empty chairs

It’s no surprise that 97% of B2B technology buyers build a business case for purchase decisions. A business case is the best way to organize many stakeholders from various functional areas around objectives, expectations, and return on investment (ROI).

Strivr’s Immersive Learning platform is no different, as the business applications of Virtual Reality can help achieve multiple business, learning, and employee experience objectives. Top business applications for VR – training for health & safety, operational efficiency, customer service, or soft skills – can all map to a variety of objectives. But how do you select the right objective and use case?

The benefits of learning in VR for business

Before going any further into your business case, you should understand why VR is such a powerful training tool, as well as the many benefits it offers your company and employees.

Why VR for employee training:

  • VR drives behavioral change by strengthening the brain’s connections to translate learning to real life on the job.
  • VR engages learners more powerfully through immersion and physical engagement.
  • VR enables repetition learning anywhere, anytime.
  • VR provides safe access to risky, hard to replicate situations.
  • VR data delivers unique, actionable metrics (performance,  attention, engagement, usage).

Stanford VR expert on why VR for training

VR-based Immersive Learning capitalizes on proven best practices for behavioral learning and is based on decades of neuroscience research. By using VR to immerse employees into “real” work situations, Immersive Learning helps improve learner engagement, preparedness, knowledge retention, and confidence. 

Immersive Learning is not just another piece of training content. It will meaningfully impact your workforce in ways you may have never achieved or measured with traditional training. VR can engage and upskill employees for elevated levels of performance, and arm you with behavioral analytics that show clear ROI. 

The results from Immersive Learning should enable you to draw a direct line from learning to business impact. In fact, we’ve compiled over a dozen examples of how Strivr customers have done this in our ebook, Measuring the impact of Strivr’s Immersive Learning platform.

Here are some tips for taking full advantage of the business applications of Virtual Reality training and building the business case for VR within your company. 

Articulate the challenge or opportunity

Before you can explore the various business applications of Virtual Reality, you need to be able to establish and state the reason for exploring an Immersive Learning solution in the first place. 

For many companies, there are needs like keeping up with customer expectations, saving costs through operational efficiency, developing and scaling company culture, and more. This was true for Walmart, who wanted to streamline operations and service by better preparing store associates for different situations. At Verizon, there was an opportunity to improve customer service to high impact business customers by building empathy in call center associates. 

We’ve also built a business case around more industry-specific challenges, like reducing fraud for a banking customer (it was a multi-million dollar problem). A national distribution company had an expensive onboarding process that significantly reduced productivity and led to high turnover. 

See below for a framework for selecting the right the business applications of Virtual Reality that maps to your business objectives.

Chart outlining the strategic framework for immersive learning
Explore more frameworks in The Ultimate Guide to Immersive Learning.

Collect and examine the data

The next step is to incorporate the data that supports your business objective. This is one place where you’ll likely want to work with other stakeholders in the business to identify knowledge or skills gaps, productivity statistics, and other measurable areas of impact.

For Immersive Learning, we’ve seen a lot of companies have success calculating time spent training at scale. This can be for onboarding, upskilling, or rolling out new processes or technology. You can then begin to multiply the time spent by the total number of employees you’re training. 

We’ve also mapped learning objectives to customer experience, an area that many companies are constantly working to impact. Walmart, Verizon, and a large financial institution each examined data around customer satisfaction scores.

Another key area for many of Strivr’s customers is productivity. One national grocery chain compiled productivity data from new hires at their distribution centers. This helped us to establish learning goals that would move the needle towards higher productivity.

Whether it’s training times, CSAT, or productivity, the key is actually having the data to set the baseline for improvement. From there, Strivr can help demonstrate how VR-based Immersive Learning will make an impact.

Show the impact of VR in your business

Using our expertise working with Fortune 1000 companies to develop and scale their VR applications, Strivr can help you calculate the impact of VR on your business. These are just a few examples of ways we’ve helped customers prove the business value to key stakeholders in their company.

  • Reducing time spent training – Especially when traditional training is conducted in a cluster or classroom setting, Immersive Learning can cut hours off traditional training times.
  • Increasing speed to productivity – If the training and role involves “doing” a process – like loading a truck or talking down an angry customer – Immersive Learning can ramp employees faster than “shadowing” or elearning.
  • Reducing safety incidents – If the environment is dangerous and requires people to identify hazards, Immersive Learning gives them safe access to dangerous situations.
  • Improving customer service – Especially when you’re leaning on role-plays to offer realistic practice before handling live customers, Immersive Learning allows for safe practice in real world environments.  

With a strong business case, we can first show results with a pilot VR application, then expand the impact to the entire workforce. The impact at scale is where Strivr’s Immersive Learning platform brings the greatest return: when it’s not just five locations and 100 employees contributing to a business objective, but rather the entire network and workforce doing so.

Next steps towards VR in your business

Now that you understand the various business applications of Virtual Reality and their benefits, it’s time to get to work sharing your business case with key stakeholders in your company.

Key stakeholders we often work with:

  • CHRO and/or CLO who can champion the initiative at the executive level
  • Heads of various business units like Operations or Customer Experience
  • Learning technology leads
  • Member(s) of IT that can help with integrations and platform strategy

Strivr’s team is ready to help you get started building the business case and finding the greatest area of business impact for VR at your company.

Set up a kickoff call to connect with one of our experts

Related Content