The Rise of Alexa, Google Home, and Siri and How It Has Changed the World of Customer Service Forever
Amid all of the buzz surrounding chat, text, and social media in customer service, voice has reemerged as the preferred method of communication for consumers – including millennials. Thanks to the huge success of personal digital assistants like Amazon’s Echo, people are now willing to talk to machines. Re-read that sentence. They are willing to talk to machines. What a drastic shift from the customer expectations of the past! For so many years, robotic voices made customers shudder as they equated it with the black hole of customer service. Fast forward and now conversational AI consumer products with excellent speech recognition have flipped customer preferences 180 degrees.
For so long, the primary roadblock to excellent voice applications was that the machine could not understand the human. Natural language processing was never accurate or advanced enough to actually understand people if they did not speak in very directed phrasing that fell within specific, fixed business rules.
But then, Apple introduced Siri to the iPhone and people began see the potential for how much could be done with voice technology. Things really started to change when Amazon launched the Echo a few years ago and the industry hasn’t looked back.
As more of these conversational AI products are introduced to the consumer market people have become comfortable using them. It has become part of the human experience to use your voice to interact with technology on a regular basis – it is expected. That experience is impacted by the fact that machines can actually understand them. People are more technology-forward and in many cases, especially millennials, people prefer to do things themselves (i.e. self-service, to use an industry term). Their growing expectation is that an automated customer service line should understand them just as well as the Alexa in their living room.
And then it doesn’t.
They get frustrated because they don’t understand why. Customers do not realize that it is not as simple as a $50 online purchase to implement a fully conversational AI voice system for enterprises. Truthfully, they don’t care either. All they care about is accomplishing their goal in as little time and with as little effort as possible. Enterprises need to meet customers where they’re at – with a tech-forward approach. The tech of the future is voice. We’ve all seen the movies about the future: humans are not using a screen to interface with robots, they are using their voices. Why is that? It’s because voice is the easiest and most natural form of communication, and if the machine can understand, it is the best interface.
If you want to meet customer expectations for advanced technology and learn best practices reach out to us – we have been perfecting conversational AI for enterprises since 2009.