The best use cases for voice technology

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    Voice-enabled devices have slowly been solidifying their presence in our lives. A decade ago, Siri became the first mainstream voice-activated virtual assistant. Since then, smart speakers and digital assistants have continued to grow in popularity, with almost 90 million smart speakers installed in the US today. There has also been growth in voice search, with nearly 40% of the US population using a voice assistant monthly on any device. But, despite this growth, voice content isn’t entirely mainstream just yet.

    This article will look at the current best use cases for voice technology for B2B and B2C companies and across several industries. We’ll also assess some of the challenges preventing greater adoption of voice content and show how you can use a headless CMS like Storyblok to meet your voice content needs.

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    B2B voice technology use cases

    Virtual assistant

    According to Gartner, 50% of knowledge workers will use a virtual assistant every day by 2025, increasing from just 2% in 2019. These voice-activated assistants can be integrated into existing tools and software that businesses frequently use, allowing workers to issue a simple command and have the assistant execute a task. This can help improve productivity by scheduling meetings, sending emails, and more.

    In many cases, the service that enables these virtual assistants is Alexa for Business, which leverages Alexa Skills that can be customized to fit the needs of an individual business and enhance the employee experience.

    Read More: Best practices for creating Alexa Skills

    Supply chain & inventory management

    For businesses with supply chains across the globe, voice technology can be used to access relevant data more quickly. Rather than scouring through tracking details and emails to find the latest status on an item, voice queries can be used to find out the delivery status or the location of an order.

    Within offices, voice technology can also be used to place orders for fresh supplies rather than having to manually enter details on a computer or tell a person. The integration of voice with the other systems in the office would enable devices to scan current inventory levels themselves to avoid over-ordering.

    Customer relations management & HR

    Fetching customer data can be challenging depending on how optimized the CRM database is. With voice technology, records can be updated and relevant information provided to those looking for it. These voice assistants can also help HR departments schedule training, performance reviews, and vacation time for in-office employees and remote workers.

    Transcription

    With the prevalence of meetings via Zoom and other video conferencing tools, voice technology can be used to record and transcribe meetings, identifying speakers and tagging key areas so that the meeting minutes can be searched at a later time — also using voice technology. These transcription capabilities can also help HR teams organize the hiring and recruiting process and pinpoint key skills listed in job descriptions during video interviews.

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    B2C voice technology use cases

    Smart speakers

    The millions of installed smart speakers have several use cases, particularly for the B2C audience. Entertainment is quite prevalent, with many using devices like Alexa and Google Home to play their favorite music. But these devices are also being used to conduct easy voice searches and also eCommerce.

    Consumers can use Alexa to search for items on the eCommerce site, add them to carts and proceed to checkout without picking up another device. This voice-enabled shopping extends to tracking the status of items and receiving delivery updates.

    Smart speakers can also help users to stay organized and productive. For example, the Alexa integration for Todoist can help users keep track of their tasks and schedule.

    Smart appliances

    Voice-enabled smart home devices aren’t limited to smart speakers. Home security systems, kitchen appliances, lights, and even vacuum cleaners that use voice technology are now available. Whirlpool’s voice-activated kitchen and laundry appliances can start the cooking and laundry processes with simple commands and save you time while you do other things around the house.

    Personal stylist

    Another application for Alexa Skills that benefits the everyday consumer is the personal stylist from Perry Ellis. The voice-activated stylist can make recommendations for men based on the event, dress code, and weather.

    Smart cars

    Several car companies, from Toyota and Honda to Ford and Dodge, feature a host of voice-activated commands that improve the driver experience. Deep integrations with the likes of Alexa and Apple CarPlay enable voice-activated controls to stream music, get directions, and ask general questions just as would be done with the device at home.

    Industry-specific voice technology use cases

    Voice technology can also be used across multiple industries to great effect. Here are some of the more popular areas where it’s already in use:

    Banking

    Banks have employed voice assistants to help not only their internal staff but also customers. Customers at banks like Capital One and American Express can receive account information such as their balance and latest transactions, transfer funds, pay bills and gather interest and exchange rate information. FinTech companies like PayPal also allow customers to send money using Siri.

    Healthcare

    Contactless systems are even more prevalent today and voice-activated systems in healthcare is one example. Some of the applications include personal health assistants that can act as personal trainers, help book doctor’s appointments, call a nurse, and receive medication reminders. Also, persons with diabetes can use Sugarpod’s voice-enabled scale to track their blood sugar and scan their feet for cuts.

    Hotel

    The hotel industry has also been adopting voice technology. Guests can use voice commands to operate appliances, find recommendations for tourist attractions in the area, book transportation, order room service, and query information about the hotel.

    Car dealership

    Not only is voice technology used in cars, but dealerships are also leveraging the technology to enhance the customer experience. Consumers can receive sales support, book test-drives, and showings and receive service reminders and book appointments using voice technology.

    Current state of voice technology adoption

    Voice technology continues to improve, yet given that Siri was created over a decade ago and there have been significant advancements in platforms like Alexa, the fact that businesses aren’t using voice technology more to launch experiences for customers and employees must be considered. The reason for this is that there are still several challenges associated with voice content.

    Voice content in the context of language is a lot more complicated than written content. There is a lot to consider, from dealing with multiple languages to the differences between dialects and the meanings of words across cultures.

    There are also formatting issues that need to be taken into account, such as the underlying technology of popular virtual assistants like Alexa and Google Home being different, creating a lack of standard for implementing voice technology. However, there are some positive signs, such as Mozilla’s Common Voice which aims to collect voice data to help train machines and make voice recognition and technology more accessible.

    Creating and delivering voice content with Storyblok

    To create voice content and get the most out of the myriad of use cases for voice technology, you need a content management system with the right capabilities. Storyblok provides a headless CMS that enables you to create and deliver content to any device.

    Whether you want content for a smart speaker, need to program responses for voice queries, or develop an Alexa skill for your business, Storyblok arms both developers and marketers with the tools they need. From REST and GraphQL APIs that effortlessly connect to any frontend, and modular content blocks that help marketers organize content not meant for a website and provide an authentic omnichannel experience for your customers.

    Learn more about how Storyblok can be used by reading: 6 Ways a Headless CMS Plays a Crucial Role in Omnichannel Digital Strategy.