Voice, the Next BIG Thing

In a minute you can type around 41 words, while you can speak around 270. And, let’s be honest, isn’t it way easier?

After Asia and America, speech technology is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. In July 2018 Google introduced the Dutch version of Google Assistant; a virtual assistant you can talk to. It turned out to be an immediate success.

Those who are familiar with the virtual assistant of Apple, Siri, may still be sceptical. However, Google Assistant has learned fast through machine learning and is becoming smarter every single day. At the end of 2018, Google Netherlands representative Rachid Finge shared that the Netherlands had the highest adoption rate after a new language was released. “We truly are digital early adopters. Looking forward to 2019!” – Finge. It is clear voice is rapidly gaining ground in the Netherlands. So, what are the possibilities for companies?

From web and app to chat and voice

At the end of January, Google organized a session about Google Assistant. One of the most remarkable statements concerned the method organizations allocate their budget. Budget, which was traditionally used for website or app development, shifted towards chat and voice bots according to Google. The reason? The user interface of chat and voice bots is significantly easier to use. It is expected that consumers will not even independently look for information in the future. They would receive this fast, automated and fully personalised through a smart voice assistant.

Reaching your target group in an accessible way

In a minute you can type around 41 words, while you can speak around 270. And, let’s be honest, isn’t it way easier to take care of something from your chair or while you are preparing dinner? The first 150 organizations in the Netherlands have already developed a dialogue for the Google Assistant, or a so called ‘action on Google’. So far this comprises voice services such as creating a shopping list using Appie, controlling the lighting in your house using Philips Hue or quickly checking your balance using Rabobank.

Talking to your refrigerator

Voice technology may remind you of your car’s satnav, the smart speaker on your kitchen counter or the digital assistant on your smartphone. The tech industry is also rapidly developing when it comes to voice command devices (VCD). We are seeing an increase in other Smart Home solutions or ‘on-the-go’ applications. Personalized voice control is increasingly becoming a commodity. This means smart speakers such as the Google Home are playing a vital function as a central control hub for all smart devices. From lighting and television to the refrigerator and doorbell-camera systems. With the recent introduction of the Google Nest Hub in the Netherlands, every conversation with Google Assistant will soon be supported through visual aid. Making your smart home increasingly easier to use.

The rise of conversational commerce

The first cases in the area of voice services are primarily focused on the service phase of the customer journey. In 2019 there will be an increased focus on voice as a distribution channel within the customer journey. Before this is possible there are two hurdles which have to be overcome. On the one hand, the importance of voice authentication will increase. In order to reduce mistakes and fraud, an organization wants to ensure someone is who they say they are. On the other hand, the absence of Google Pay in the Dutch market raises the question of how paying by voice will develop. Voice is aimed at convenience, payments using voice makes the ‘seamless’ customer experience complete.

It is expected that consumers will not even independently look for information in the future.

Voice connects everything

The prediction is that in the future we will talk more with our devices than with our partner. This signals how serious voice will play a role between organizations and their customers. Nothing is as intuitive as speech. Consumers increasingly experience the convenience of speech and will expect more and more of voice experiences offered by organizations. Time for a well thought out strategy. Yet how do you tackle this?

From idea to a concrete end result with a sustainable impact

Carla Verwijmeren and Karin Wekema from Smartvoices are specialized in voice services that make the lives of consumers more fun and convenient. They guide organizations with strategic advice, concept development, and take care of and guide technical realization. The foundation of a successful customer experience starts at determining the right customer insights. Having an in-depth understanding of the pains & gains of the customer is the foundation for creating relevant and distinguishable voice services. A successful conversational solution requires 80% strategy and 20% technology. And, what organizations should not forget, voice design is by nature different in design than text and visuals. Simply translating a chatbot to voice will result in failure. Piloting your concept with your customers is, therefore, an extremely valuable step. Finally, a voice app demands structured attention. Training using a ‘no-hit’ list and a dialogue analysis cannot be forgotten.

Be Informed and Smartvoices

Be Informed and Smartvoices cooperate to give voice interaction real depth and meaning. Smartvoices ensures the right interaction with the customer and collects the necessary data to ensure the desired result is achieved. Be Informed ensures the connection with internal systems and that the right decisions are made, using customer data, system data and process rules, that the right decisions are made. This ensures the customer is helped as desired. Resulting in actions exceeding basic information exchange. For example, making payments, claim settlements, purchasing services or products, advice, etc. In the end benefitting your revenue.


Voice Talks: Up to date in an afternoon

Many organizations realize voice is an important development. Smartvoices offers an accessible workshop called ‘This is Voice’ in which they immediately work from the organization’s perspective. Interested? Book a workshop at www.smartvoices.nl

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