Why Alexa Is A Big Deal For Businesses Of All Shapes & Sizes
Everyone’s talking about voice assistants – particularly Alexa – of late. But what can she (?) really offer businesses?
“Alexa, can you…
…turn on the lights?
…tell me when my meeting is?
…let me know when it’s 3 pm in Toronto?
…play Lionel Richie’s ‘Dancing On The Ceiling’ at full volume?”
You bet she can.
Voice interfaces are all the rage right now. But they’re no fad. You only have to look at the record number of Amazon Echos sold during the last holiday season to get a sense of their growing popularity.
While their appeal is pretty obvious from a consumer point-of-view – ease of use, handsfree interactivity, instant results, convenience – from a business perspective, particularly if you’re not tech-focused, the benefits aren’t immediately blatant. However, voice assistants like Alexa are poised to disrupt the way brands and consumers interact; and as a result their impact on customer service, loyalty, and their role in the overall customer experience will only get bigger.
There are currently some 70,000 Alexa Skills – ‘skills are to Alexa what apps are to your smartphone’ used by Alexa – available worldwide (at last count). They range from the blissfully mundane (alarms, timers, reminders) to the comical inane (check out ‘Meow’!).
However, as more and more brands focus on automation as a way of optimizing efficiency – particularly when it comes to customer service – Alexa Skills offer a frictionless way for them to provide instant responses to questions about their company’s products and services: 24/7. Not only that, but branded Skills can also facilitate payment transactions, making ordering-on-the fly even easier than pushing a button (pizza, anyone?).
But customers don’t just want to be sold to. They want advice, entertainment, and ways to streamline their lives too. That’s why branded utility presents a huge opportunity for companies to add value to customers’ lives in a useful and meaningful way – while presenting their business in a positive, and often authoritative light.
For example, detergent brand, Tide, has an Alexa Skill that advises users on how to remove over 200 types of stain. Similarly, Lego offers Duplo Stories – a storytelling app that encourages creative play (using blocks!) for kids aged 2-5. And there are thousands more.
Call it good content marketing. Call it fostering brand loyalty. But as voice search, Natural Language Processing, and machine learning come on leaps and bounds in terms of sophistication, Alexa’s understanding will only improve, and even more customers will get on board.
Can your brand afford to miss out?
Want to talk Alexa Skills? Contact the marketing experts at Didjet today!