In recent years, names like Siri and Alexa have become part of our daily lives. From calling a friend to searching for the closest café, we are embracing voice technology increasingly more every day.
Data shows the number of people using voice technology will only increase in the coming years. According to the Capgemini Research Institute, in the next two years, 70% of people will start using voice assistants instead of using brick-and-mortar stores. Over the past three years, consumer satisfaction with voice assistants has also increased greatly. Between 2017 and 2019, this percentage grew from 61% to 72%. The number of people using voice assistants to buy products also rose from 35% in 2017 to 53% in 2019. This increasing popularity has led to many businesses hiring an IT programmer team to develop voice assistant technology to integrate into their business processes.
What’s Causing the Shift Towards Voice Assistants?
Voice assistants have been around for some time, but the technology has mostly been used by big corporates such as Google and Amazon. Only recently have smaller-sized businesses begun to show interest in it.
In 2015, Gartner carried out research which stated that by 2018, 30% of our interactions with technology would be through conversations. This prediction turned out to be true. And this figure is only increasing. But what is causing the shift towards voice assistants?
Voice assistant technology can be used to automate tasks to a voice-activated personal assistant. This frees up time and resources. It also allows for a smooth customer journey as consumers can gain better information faster and more efficiently, while also being guided through the customer journey in a more effective way. According to Retaildive, around 68% of consumers said voice assistant technology allows them to multitask, while 59% said personalisation around the use of chat assistants has improved significantly.
As more and more consumers become aware of the benefits of voice assistants, businesses have taken the chance to include them in their customer service experience.
This is mostly in the case for online businesses where customers cannot see the representatives face to face. Voice assistants are also used in the e-commerce, marketing, human resources, banking, the legal system, education, hospitality, transportation and healthcare industries.
How You Can Improve Your Website for Better Customer Experience With a Voice Assistant
Today, one of the most innovative ways to enhance your website is with a voice assistant. With the improvement in this technology, you can do more than use voice assistants as customer service representatives. They can also be developed and used as a channel for the customer’s journey on your website or app. From the moment they open it and sign in, the voice assistant can greet and ask them what they are looking for. They can also take care of the purchasing process and delivery arrangement with the customer through conversations.
Here are the different ways you can use voice assistant technology to improve your website’s customer service experience:
- Personalized Conversation Openings
The most essential part of any conversation is the first few moments, especially when the conversation is based on asking for help. If the conversation’s beginning does not set the right tone, the customer can easily become irritated and lose interest in the rest of the conversation. Unfortunately, humans cannot always set the right tone. But voice assistants, on the other hand, are consistent in this aspect.
Voice assistants always have a marked welcome and because customers’ know they are speaking to software, they focus more on information gathering than on voice tone. Voice assistants can also give personalized greetings with the customer’s name.
- No More Putting on Hold
Suppose you’ve been having trouble serving a large customer base or receiving a lot of traffic on your website with not enough customer service representatives. In this case, a voice assistant is the perfect solution. Usually, websites collect personally identifiable data on their customers before responding to them. With the help of voice assistants, the information can be used quickly, and the customer’s problem can be solved speedily without having to keep them on hold.
- Better Understanding of the Customer’s Needs
Through machine learning, voice assistants can easily understand the customer’s needs, based on their previous data and searches, accurately. While it may sometimes be difficult for humans to follow the conversation, a voice assistant looks for keywords in the discussion to understand the question or query. It will then give a quick answer based on the data it has on that customer and the questions the customer asks. Therefore, the voice assistant will leave the customer feeling pleased, satisfied and valued.
- Presence of the Human Touch
Most online businesses are limited to communication methods of phone, email and live chat on their websites. The phone is the only way to have a completely human touch when communicating with customers, but this can still end up in misunderstandings when agents sound uninterested, give fixed replies or have the wrong information available.
On the contrary, voice assistants integrated on a website can be highly enhanced, so that they react like real humans when communicating with humans. There is no problem with them coming across as unprofessional. Instead, they can ask follow-up questions and use past data to provide the best solution for the customer. This offers a very human touch, without the expensive and resources needed for an in-house team.
When considering the cost of hiring in-house agents compared to the IT developer cost of creating a voice assistant product for a website, the latter is much more cost-effective. IT programmer salaries are often based on one-off projects. Especially when it comes to hiring freelance developer teams. This allows you to invest capital in a software development product that will boost your business without any long-term costs.
Can Voice Assistants Be Used to Cover the Entire Customer Journey?
Voice technology is very much a new shift in the customer journey. Not only can it improve the way customers interact with a business, but it can also enhance the traditional sales funnel to guide customers to make a purchase. Voice assistants are being used for search, discovery and recommendation, allowing customers to receive information fast and efficiently every step of the way. It enables customers the possibility to compare products and double-check product information. But can this new technology be used to cover the entire customer journey?
While voice assistants like Siri and Alexa have been incredibly successful in assisting consumers with queries, it is still early days for the development of voice technology. Unfortunately, this leads to a discrepancy in quality. As a result, the customer journey can even be negatively affected by the use of voice technology. If the right quality voice assistant software is not used along with careful linking to the internal systems of a business, it can lead to poor outcomes. Therefore, it is important to consider the right technology, along with quality integration.
However, there is no doubt that voice assistant technology is the new future. It is just important to get the right software development for business to create and implement the right technology. By hiring the right IT programmer team, you can gain the benefits of a well-developed voice assistant product for your website.
Looking Forward: Voice Assistants for Better Customer Experiences
Customer service is undeniably an essential part of any business. One of the most innovative ways to enhance the experience for customers today is through the use of voice assistants. Apart from the different ways you can offer better customer service, adding a voice assistant to your present structure is an excellent way to communicate with your customers in a new, fresh and exciting way. It is, however, important to get in the help of an expert IT programmer analyst and development team to ensure you invest in high-quality voice assistant technology and implementation.