How to design branded voice experiences that engage and deliver long-term benefits to customers

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Nearly every aspiring brand is looking to build and monetize long-term, engaged customer relationships. In 2022, however, vying for their attention can seem like a daunting, almost insurmountable task. As the increased demand for attention dwindles, some desperate tactics emerge: Hong Kong redesigned its traffic lights trying to get the attention of pedestrians glued to their phones; or increasing number brands that rely on the “dark model” in an effort to access more data and protect more eyeballs.

The good news is, a simpler way is emerging to effectively interact with an increasingly distracting community. More than a quarter (27%) global online population is using voice search on their mobile devices and 500 million people use Siri Daily. High-quality voice experiences are an exceptionally promising vehicle for engaging with consumers in a meaningful, responsive, and consistent manner, where the value exchanged between the brand and the customer is balanced. again.

We learned – necessary – how to use our fingers to talk. Now, a much more natural and intuitive form of communication, the voice experience, allows people to do what they need and want to do — but with the ease and simplicity of talking to friends.

For brands, voice experiences can create a direct and immediate bridge between consumer needs and brand products and services without a hitch. It is this speed of access that has changed consumer behavior today. Erica, the virtual assistant that Bank of America brought to market in 2018, has been used more than one Billion time because customers want information about transactions, refunds and fees.


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Voice experiences also allow brands to interact with consumers when the screen is bulky (i.e. when cooking, driving, or running on the treadmill) or even when multitasking (such as while walking). or listen to podcasts). Today’s leading brands have recognized the shift of commerce from screen to voice and are moving first to maintain and increase market share in this new channel. Juniper Research’s forecast that the value of e-commerce transactions through voice assistants will reach $19.4 billion by 2023.

We’ve seen the likes of SONOS, Disney, Samsung and Bank of America take the lead in developing branded voice services. And like Wikipedia project sponsor Wikimedia Foundation said: “When a virtual voice assistant answers a question using Wikimedia knowledge, people don’t always know where the information is coming from.” It is justification for the effort to design a new audio logo that defines Wikimedia content and a testament to the growing market demand for voice. The number of voice assistant users has multiplied from 544.1 million in 2015 to 2.6 billion in 2021, speaking platform.

Design a new itinerary from scratch

To unlock the value that voice can deliver, brands must design branded voice experiences that truly complement users’ everyday lives. As studies have shown, “A 20% increase in simplicity leads to a 96% increase in customer loyalty. It can lead to consumers being 86% more likely to buy brands and 115% more likely to recommend those brands to others.

However, it is not enough to simply add general voice commands to an existing screen-based experience while continuing to draw attention and interact with the screen to execute the final command. It’s also not a matter of transferring everything inside the app to voice. To win customer loyalty and maintain brand trust, brand new journeys must be designed from the ground up — ones that are optimized for their usage context and often move seamlessly. middle circuit voice and intuitive interface.

So what should brands keep in mind when first starting to build impactful voice experiences? Here are five best practices we’ve reviewed over and over again:

Prioritize simple use cases

Cognitive offloading is what gives consumers a sense of relief when using voice technology, and that simple relief is what makes voice experiences so valuable. Instead of investing in complex, multi-player use cases that sound impressive, prioritize implementing simple use cases that allow you to deliver voice experiences that reduce time to value creation. users and make consumers’ lives easier. Simpler, simpler use cases are easier to learn and increase the ability to meet user expectations.

Quality is everything

One of the most common complaints about the voice experience is not the lack of complex, enhanced interactions but the frequency with which requests are misinterpreted. Tolerance for delay is thinner. This means ensuring that every connection point in the voice assistant — from device connectivity to automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language processing (NLP) (i.e. parsing) , tagging, and reliably conveying meaning from words) — all successfully conveyed before moving on to anything more advanced.

Notice when voice is the most effective experience (and when it isn’t).

While a branded voice assistant can be viewed through the same lens as a branded app — as a container of use cases that are connected to one brand and separate from others — the creation of a voice assistant is not a matter of duplicating the functionality of an existing application through channel audio. We already know that good apps don’t just copy good websites, and the same logic holds true when moving from apps to voice assistants.

When consumers know and can articulate what they want, voice can work effectively to meet their needs easily and quickly. For many interactions, including when consumers aren’t sure exactly what they want or when the range of decisions is complex, the display will likely remain optimal. And as more and more visual interfaces are introduced into our lives (and virtual lives), voice will increasingly complement these rich visual experiences as part of the same product or service. service experience.

Build continuity across a wide range of devices

To create a seamless voice experience, you must understand the wide range of devices consumers are accessing throughout the day, and then coordinate the experience across those devices. For example, a user might want to order a pair of sneakers in the morning while in the kitchen via a smart speaker, and then register the order when going to work in the evening via a smart headset, so experience Your voice experience needs to support that. Furthermore, interaction patterns, audio cues, language, and tone must be consistent to build familiarity and trust with your brand over time.

Own your brand experience

Just as apps and websites have become central to a brand’s personality and what it means to be, voice experiences can and should evolve alike. From your use case to awakening work, voice, content and performance, every element must be considered and combined to create a brand experience your customers will enjoy. Creating a direct relationship with consumers through a branded voice assistant is the most effective way to own your brand and capture signals from your customers to quickly improve your service experience. .

Enabling a ‘backwards’ culture

Designing voice-based multimedia user experiences from scratch can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. Brands should remember that the best voice experiences simply address the current needs of their users and make them noticeably faster and easier to respond. The goal is not to overwhelm consumers with new technology that they only use once. Instead, the goal is to build daily usage and monetize relationships with consumers in places where voice can make their lives easier. If we do, the hope is that we can avoid redesigning our cities for distracted citizens and instead create a “peer-to-peer” future where people are more present. a little bit.

John Goscha is the Founder and CEO of Native Voices.

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