Voice Products

Notes from Voice Summit 2019

I spent some of this past week at the massive Voice Summit 2019.  Thousands attended to learn and share their experience in the Voice space.  Attendees and speakers were all from a broad set of backgrounds. A lot of the Summit’s speakers and workshops were given by the companies that provide smart speakers and digital Assistants, like Amazon with Alexa and Google.  In addition to helping to market the event, Amazon Alexa staffed a lot of Workshops and Breakout sessions, most of which were aimed at helping developers hone their skills in the voice space. Never used AWS services to boost your skills feature set? They held sessions to walk attendees through exactly what to do.  Samsung's Bixby and Microsoft’s Cortana also made appearances at the summit, by also hosting workshops and announcing new feature releases on the big stage.

It appears that the major Voice Platforms are going about their devices differently. However, one big takeaway from the event is the area that all the platforms seem to agree on. These devices require serious computing services.  Between storage, compute power, scalability, etc. the main platforms agree, you need a strong back-end to make a powerful voice application. Amazon, through their AWS services, Google through its “Cloud Computing” and Microsoft through Azure, all offer options to support an amazing voice experience.  It became a major theme of the Summit. Voice is able to work because of a culmination of technology. Great 4G or WiFi allows the voice devices to communicate with servers in the cloud to quickly give the user helpful information. It is the expertise of all these things that make the most compelling voice applications. This was one side of the conference, the other was all about making great dialog.

The consensus seemed to be, in order to make a compelling voice application, you need great computing, and you need great dialog. Voice applications are easy enough to make and implement; they are hard to make helpful and sticky.  On Alexa alone, a massive amount (over 90%) of skills are used once by a user, and they never return. The emphasis was put on the computing, you need useful information and tasks for a compelling skill, but more than that, you need to get the user in a compelling way.  The voice interaction needs to be quick and to the point.

Alexa and other devices allow for you to change the native assistant’s voice and replace it with actual human voice overs. The number of voice actors at the Summit was quite astonishing.  I counted at least 5 sessions that were focused on voice acting for the voice assistant age. Speakers talked about how the use of human voice differentiated their voice application and made it feel more natural.  

Many other speakers talked about how they use context to help speed up their voice experiences.  By remembering users, skills can quickly repeat actions without re-entering data. Every time I check the weather, I shouldn’t need to tell Alexa where I am.  Voice applications, that take advantage of this have succeeded. Voice applications even allow for third party integration. Want to know the balance of your bank account? Use your username and password once, then get the answer quickly every time you ask.  Similar to other Applications driven by User Experience, voice applications that are able to reduce customer friction have found the most success to date. Just because its called Conversational UI doesn’t mean you have to architect a half hour gab session just to get some basic information from your device.  Interactions designed for efficiency are getting the most utilization.

Find out more about how Voice could help you by reaching out to our team Alexa Subject Matter Experts, VUI designers and Developers:

https://www.bluefintechnologypartners.com/voice-interface-development

The Voice Age Realtor

Transforming Real Estate with Technology

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The real estate industry is the largest commodity in the world at an estimation of $217 trillion in valuation. Technology, such as voice products and AI, are growing rapidly and affecting many markets. Because of these new technologies, about 10’s of millions of dollars have been raised to speed up the process of getting feedback from tenants.

Further, realtors are using big data to solve client needs by finding trends and associations.

Current examples include mobile home-search apps based on buyer preferences. Now, AI can personalize customer interactions to aggregate data and figure out the clients’ needs and preferences. Virtual reality could also allow potential buyers to view the house virtually and customize a house virtually.

Well-known real estate companies, such as Zillow, Truilia, and Realtor, have created proprietary formulas to assist customers. For example, Zillow has a tool called Zestimate.This home valuation tool estimates the market value of a home using a computerized proprietary formula.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI will aggregate the data from customer interactions and tailor messaging based on successful interactions with similar past clients. Many now have chatbots on websites, which can be implemented as a voice feature.

Moreover, AI can create CRM systems, manage property management systems by monitoring vital metrics to predict when maintenance errors may occur. In addition, AI monitors geographic areas for property price fluctuations and other trends.

Voice Technology

Now with innovative voice technology, it is time for the real estate industry to start to adopt these new technological advances. Voice products can help realtors in a number of areas - from generating new prospects to setting home showings. Below are just a few features and questions prospects can use when they start their home-buying search.

Types of features for a real estate skill:

  • Search for houses in your area

  • Connect with local real estate agents

  • Hear daily home listings

  • Review weekly real estate market information

  • Track valuation of a home

  • Email results of your searches

Questions to ask:

  • How much is my home worth?

  • How many homes have sold in my ZIP code?

  • Where do I find an agent in my city?

  • Who are my local realtors?

The Future of Voice Technology in Real Estate

Right now, voice assistants are following up through text messages and emails. Soon, they will be able to follow-up with leads over the phone and through smart speakers.

Your prospects will soon be using virtual assistants primarily to find a home or an agent. It is important to make sure you’re business is connected to these voice searches or you’ll miss the opportunity.

Are you ready to bring your agency to the voice age? Close your next deal with the help of a voice product. Contact us now for a free demo!

Serving Your Customer Through Voice

Customer Service in the Voice Age Customer engagement, brand loyalty, and customer retention are all rewards for having outstanding customer service. With long waiting times, waiting on hold is a customer’s worst nightmare.

In this age, technology is being used to improve their customer experience. From cutting down wait time to understanding a caller’s intent better, voice is bettering a customer’s journey. Being customer-centric is essential for any company. So how can voice bring your customer service to the top?

Amazon Chat Bots

Last year, Amazon delivered Amazon Chat Bots. Amazon’s Lex allows companies to create intelligent conversational chatbots. These chatbots are able to recognize human speech and can understand the caller’s intent - thus, minimizing the need to speak in specific phrases. Without even talking with an agent, a caller can change their password, request a balance on an account, and even schedule an appointment through these chatbots.

Maximizing Voice in Customer Service

Now, speech recognition software is used in call centers to handle incoming customer calls. Instead of pushing a button to answer a question, the customer interacts with the system by speaking instead. With speech recognition software, companies can route callers to many different services during a call based on answers.

Now with AI technology, companies are using AI voice services through:

  • Automating call types and chats, meaning routing to order status, payment, reservations, and return services easier
  • Gathering data before talking to a live agent
  • Conducting outbound calls and texts to remind or alert customers.

Voice will significantly cut down those pesky wait call lines and improve customer morale. Contact us to learn how you can integrate voice into your customer service.

Sources:

https://aws.amazon.com/chatbots-in-call-centers/

https://searchcrm.techtarget.com/report/Leveraging-speech-recognition-technology-in-call-centers

Photo Source: https://www.getcontactnumber.com/computer-hardware/echo-alexa-customer-service/

Happy Holidays with Voice Products

Happy holidays from our team to yours! With new voice products out just in time for the holiday season 2018, we’re ready to add them to our wish list.

Dominating the Holiday Season

Last year, Alexa Echo Dot outsold all other products on Amazon over the holidays and the Amazon’s Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote was the second highest in sales. In addition, the Echo Dot, Echo Spot, and Echo Buttons all sold out during the 2017 holiday season.

Additionally, Google voice products are in high demand. During the holiday season last year, Business Insider predicted they sold at least 6.8 million Home devices.

Amazon is already gearing up for the holiday season and just announced that they will be offering free shipping to all customers during the holiday season starting this Monday. With Alexa products already on sale, we’re certain voice products are sure to be a hit.

What does that mean for you?

Now is your time capitalize on these popular Voice products! The numbers don’t lie. These popular voice products will be the hot gift of the holiday season. Get your company’s skill on the list. Contact us now and beat the holiday rush!

 

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-offering-free-shipping-to-all-customers-for-holiday-2018-11

https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/312184/amazon-echo-dot-tops-all-holiday-sales.html

https://www.businessinsider.com/google-home-features-tips-tricks-2018-2 Photo Source: https://www.adweek.com/digital/amazon-has-great-strategy-lure-consumers-echo-exclusive-holiday-deals-174714/