There is a shift taking place today in how humans interact with technology that will be as transformative as the graphical user interface, and the platforms supporting it have the potential to become the operating system of the internet of things. In the United States, smart speakers are now in the homes of 53 million people, or 21% of the total adult population.The widespread availability of this exciting new channel for customer communication presents enormous opportunities for brands to interact with, and delight, their customers. As with any emergent and developing technology, best practices are still being formed, and how consumers will prefer to interact with brands is still being explored. However, even at this early stage, compelling use cases have emerged, and they’re worth understanding.
What matters right now is for companies to test voice-first technology for themselves and begin to learn what works for their business and what doesn’t. Start by assigning an internal champion or hiring an external partner to develop a pilot voice experience for your organization. That initial experience can then be discussed internally, shared externally at conferences, and built upon for future growth. A good initial project might be to take aspects of your company’s website, or other individual components of your company’s branding, and build a voice experience around those before moving on to more vanguard uses of voice-first technology.It won’t be long before every company will be expected to own and manage its own voice-first presence and capabilities, much like every company is expected to own and manage their web presence and capabilities. In fact, every time you see someone asking Siri to give them information, or someone asking Google Assistant for directions, you’ll realize that your customers are already way ahead of you.