As the world transition from the digital era to a new period defined by AI (Artificial Intelligence), companies have opportunities to interact with customers more efficiently. At this point, enterprises are already integrating their customer service platforms with voice recognition technology in order to improve their users’ experiences.
Voice-oriented technology is driving the emergence of integrated customer service platforms
Many companies have now developed various applications and services using voice recognition software. Though Alexa, Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant first used in the Amazon Echo, reportedly offers more than 15,000 “skills”, most of the “skills” serve no clear purpose. We don’t know how to use them for work or entertainment. Amazon advertises its technologies’ capabilities, but most people struggle to make use of the full range of options each Echo possesses.
Of these 15,000 “skills”, 70% have no reviews, and consumers continue using just 3% of them after the first week of owning the personal assistants. Some integrated customer service platforms can perform basic services, such as live streaming music through WiFi, reading news, listening to audiobooks, and controlling lights and other devices at home via speaking.
But we believe that improved voice software will reshape the way we interact with devices and companies in a vast array of real business and entertainment situations.
In the past ten years, customers have interacted with companies primarily through digital interfaces, as well as through various smart devices. Graphic user interfaces were the key to offering excellent digital services. Now, we are moving to the AI era, and we are therefore moving away from graphic user interfaces towards new voice user interfaces.
During the digital area, customers had to execute all their actions manually on digital interfaces, such as choosing applications and pressing buttons on phones and computers to finish tasks. In this new era, however, companies, brands and electric devices know more about their customers with the help of AI and big data, which allows them to offer smarter and more proactive services that require very little interaction. Based on this, lots of customers’ demands can be met while they speak.
Innovative conversational user interfaces (UI) and user experiences (UX) will be adopted in more situations
Innovations in voice interaction are already causing UI and UX grow and improve. There is lots of potential in conversational UI; for marketing specialists, it brings with it a new way for brands and users to interact. For example, based on the support of voice recognition and voice interaction software, users can ask questions about the brands they want to know about, and marketers can leave the answering tasks to machines or other devices so that they can focus on providing users with customized services. This will vastly improve users’ experiences with customer services.
Meanwhile, conversational UI and UX enable companies to show their personalities, and these innovations will have major impacts on the public perceptions of brands.
Voice interaction software can be easily adapted to various industries, such as the automotive, hospitality, and consumer electronics sectors. Furthermore, voice-assisted services and devices with built-in voice support are emerging all around us. We can expect that more companies like Facebook and Snap will create one-to-one communications and home assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa platform, which enables all kinds of commerce with simple voice commands.
At present, Google Home, Amazon Echo and other products are competing for the same opportunities to enter people’s homes. While the assistant services are becoming standardized, as many use the same innovations, data, and technology, various companies and voice-related service providers are trying to position themselves in vertical industries in order to become specialists in certain parts of our lives. For example, Google Home takes care of your daily work via its assistant services, Echo specializes in meeting your shopping demands, and XBox takes care of your games and entertainment. We can also see the potential that drives developers to create more skills and real world applications for these home assistants.
Now in the U.S., you can say: “Alexa, tell Uber to get me a ride”, but you can’t say: “Alexa, book me a ride for my colleague’s birthday party”. In the future, however, we expect that these assistants will be able to connect with other apps, such as your calendar and contacts, to provide better services. Then you can will be able to leave more daily routines to your intelligent assistant, which will arrange more of your tasks and become a more important part of your life.
The new rule for the AI era
In the new AI era, the forms of connection between companies and customers have changed significantly. In the past, companies paid attention to promoting their services, brands, and products via multiple channels to attract more users. Now, they understand that they are not supposed to meet all their customers’ demands on the market and that they should care more about how to provide existing customers with better user experiences. The problem is how to satisfy the existing customers via advanced technology in order to offer an enhanced interaction experience. Companies are now answering this question with the use of cutting edge voice-oriented technologies.
Companies will gradually integrate three things: their brand, data and AI. All the companies and brands that want to improve their user interactions will need to clearly define their brands so that they can connect customer’ data through the use of multiple forms of artificial intelligence, as well as machine learning and natural language processing to bring it all together. Bringing the brand, data and AI together will be the key to providing improved customer experiences, and voice-oriented technology is a good partner on which to rely.
(Top photo from Baidu Images.)