Jan 09 · 5 min read
Voice — the next wave of time-saving technology
The biggest reason Uber is so successful is not that Uber is about transportation. This success story is about a company that sells me back time.
When it comes to business, time is your number one asset.
Being able to buy and sell back time is what some of the most successful startups over the last 3 years have done. They capitalize on our craving to get back the time we have to spend on the things we don’t want to do. And we happily pay for it. If you can figure out that trade-off, you’re putting your business in a good position.
Why is voice the future?
Convenience and time! This year alone, more than 35 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple Siri, or Microsoft’s Cortana at least once a month. Voice technology is the three-way intersection of IoT (devices), AI (services), and UX (interactions). The results is a hands-free, frictionless way to use technology that feels more like science fiction than reality.
The trend is real
Voice technology isn’t just a trend; it’s a paradigm shift
Users demand convenient and low-effort experiences.
As user behaviors are shifting from on-screen interaction to voice interfaces, it’s up to companies to meet these demands by offering more seamless experiences. Millennials, in particular, are more comfortable with voice as they are demanding digital experiences that are fast, efficient, and convenient.
A survey conducted by IT analytics company AppDynamics in partnership with Wakefield Research polled 1,000 American millennials and 1,000 IT decision-makers employed in the retail, financial services, media, technology, and health care markets in early June 2018.
The thinking is that brand experiences, like the custom skills and functionality being pushed hard by companies such as Amazon, Google, and Walmart are pushing voice experiences into everyday activities like shopping and banking that were formerly either web or app-based experiences.
SLI Systems Epic Report, n=234, Q3 2017
Brands racing to adopt a voice strategy
Brands are finding new ways to reduce the number of friction points users are experiencing. With larger product directories and more information, voice technology enables users to use natural language to eliminate or reduce the amount of effort users have to put in to complete a goal, make a purchase, and find information. Every day, users are searching for quicker and more efficient ways of accomplishing their goal and voice is quickly becoming the ideal solution for this. Millions of voice-activated digital assistants have been sold already, which is indicative of where our digital world is headed.
Adapt or die
Businesses aren’t moving fast enough to keep up with demand. Sixty-nine percent of surveyed IT decision-makers work at companies that plan to invest in voice technology within the next three years. More than half of those key decision-makers, however, believe it will take over three years for their peers to invest in voice technology.
As “voice-first” technology transforms the way we live, uses will shift from managing playlists to managing purchases to navigating healthcare.
Search engines changed how we approach writing, marketing, and understanding intent. Mobile devices changed the way we design interfaces, interactions, and experiences. Voice technology stands to make a similar impact and those who neglect to ride this wave risk losing out just like those who fell behind on search or missed the mobile wave.
Finance — Royal Bank of Canada and the United Services Automobile Association
In early August 2017, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced that customers can now pay their bills using Apple’s Siri. “By offering bill payments through Siri… we’re providing more convenient solutions to support our client’s payment needs,” said Sean Amato-Gauci, executive vice-president of Cards, Payments, and Banking at RBC, “By giving clients the ability to seamlessly and conveniently bank using voice commands, we’re delivering simple and innovative solutions.”
At the same time, USAA announced the ability for Amazon Alexa to help USAA members access information about account balances, transactions, and spending patterns. Designed to provide a conversational experience, the pilot program also aims to help answer some of the most frequent and basic questions and thus free up time for service representatives to answer more pressing member phone calls.
- Check account balance
- Hear payment due dates and the amount due
- Obtain account transaction history
- Make payments by speaking to an Amazon Alexa device.
Hospitality — Starbucks
by launching voice ordering capabilities within the Starbucks mobile iOS app and the Amazon Alexa platform, Starbucks allows customers to order and pay for their item before arriving at their store, further extending the barista and customer interaction within the company’s digital ecosystem. Both features allow customers to order from Starbucks simply by using their voice.
The messaging interface allows customers to speak or text just as if they were talking to a barista in-store, including modifying their beverage to meet their personal preference.
Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay currently accounts for more than 7 percent of transactions in U.S. company-operated stores.
The possibilities are endless and the technology is still in its early stages?
Will you adopt a voice strategy in your business?
At Story of AMS we are working hard to release a whitepaper where we pick the brains of our most brilliant engineers. Where they think this next wave is headed and how you can profit from this technology.
Those who first moved on SEO are now dominating.
Those who first moved on the mobile wave are now dominating.
Will you move?