Voice technology, like most technologies, is moving and developing at a staggering pace. A few short years ago, voice technologies were a niche technology, utilised only by tech evangelists and experimenters in specialist apps and software, often purely as a tech demo.
Nowadays, voice technology is present in our everyday lives in a number of different ways. Millions of people use voice technology every single day to search for information, compose and send messages, initiate phone calls, and control a variety of internet-connected devices from lighting to heating, security systems to cars. People are forever finding and utilising new ways to interact with their devices entirely hands-free using voice technology.
Voice technology has been readily embraced by both tech enthusiasts and the public, and for obvious reasons. Voice technology makes interacting with our apps, devices, and homes, easier than ever before. It also brings with it a variety of new usage cases that were previously never even considered before its rise in popularity. The versatility and popular acceptance of voice technology mean it's not surprising that millions of dollars have been funnelled into research and development by some of the biggest companies and best minds in the world.
The end product of all that research and development is the AI and voice technology systems we have all grown to embrace in our everyday lives: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana. These assistants are baked right into our phones, tablets, computers, smartwatches, and other "smart" devices. In some cases, they have become so ingrained that it's impossible to imagine doing certain tasks without them.
With the prevalence of voice technologies in everyday life and the advancements that have been made, it's no wonder that it is changing the way we shop and interact with businesses. Here are 5 key ways that voice technology is transforming the way we shop:
#1 Providing Frictionless Experiences
Offering a seamless and unified experience to your customers is important to both not frustrate them into abandoning their interaction, and to present a unified and consistent brand. Digital experiences can vary drastically depending on the hardware and software systems your customers are using: desktops, laptops, keyboards and mice, touchscreens. Even within the mobile market, devices from different manufacturers present users with a drastically different visual and interaction experience.
Voice technology offers businesses the chance to take away these variables that can alter and distract from a customers’ interaction. Voice systems are generally abstracted from the system they are running on, which allows businesses to offer a singular and unified experience across platforms, devices, and ecosystems for customers.
#2 Delivering Personalised Consumer Experiences
Before the advent of voice technology, offering customers a personalised experience involved deploying a small army of customer service operators to answer messages or calls. Maintaining that level of service is both costly and ultimately detrimental to customers when they are forced to wait in long queues to speak to someone.
Voice technology offers customers a way to interact with a business, in a personalised manner, with a real-sounding voice and natural responses, but without the high cost to the business and without long wait times. Voice systems are also guaranteed constituency, offering every customer the same high-quality personalised experience, rather than being dependent on the mood of the operator.
#3 Voice Is Its Own Platform
When voice technology was first introduced it was only to be found built into the latest mobile devices from the top tech companies. It had great potential, as we are now witnessing, but in the early days, it was mostly used to set reminders, alarms, make the occasional hands-free call, and impress friends with gimmicks.
Voice technology has come a long way since those early days and now it is more than just a minor feature of the latest mobile devices, it is a platform in its own right. More and more devices of all kinds from speaker systems to fridges are coming with voice technology built in to allow users to interact with them in new and interesting ways. For businesses that manufacture and sell electronics, incorporating voice systems as standard is becoming a necessity to maintain their market position.
#4 Allowing Businesses to Leverage AI
Many businesses across the world are just beginning to discover the benefits of incorporating voice technology systems into their business workflow and customer relation systems, but another technology goes hand-in-hand with voice technology that businesses have already been using for a number of years—artificial intelligence (AI).
Artificial intelligence systems are the perfect match for voice technologies. AI systems are intelligent; they can learn and adapt to customers in real time with little to no interaction required from staff. Blending these two systems can result in some powerful new ways for businesses to engage with their customers.
#5 Raising Conversion Rates
As the points in this article show, voice technologies improve the customers' experience in a variety of different ways, offering personalised and tailored experiences, and new ways for businesses to connect with and interact with their customers. Improving customer experience and offering instant feedback to consumers can help to convert at a higher rate. With higher conversion rates, businesses can afford to offer more targeted and cost-effective advertising and marketing, a net win for any business.
Voice technology has the power to change the way businesses operate, and how their customers interact with them. By leveraging voice technology businesses can offer their customers a better experience, experience higher conversion rates, and benefit from advances in AI systems to overall accelerate their business growth and engagement.
To get the most out of voice technologies, businesses must carefully consider how it can be best deployed to their customers in a way that will both benefit the business and the customers. Even if the business has no interest in utilising voice technology directly with their customers, they must still consider how voice technology changes the way customers search and interact with their digital presence outside their control (i.e. different search terms when spoken vs. written) and be ready to adapt accordingly if they want to remain competitive in today's saturated market.
To find out more about how voice technology can transform your website or ecommerce store, please get in touch with our team at telbee today. We'd love to hear from you!