How to deliver business value with custom voice assistants

by | Apr 7, 2022 | Voicify News

custom voice assistant

Ownership of in-home smart speakers exploded over the last five years, introducing more than a hundred million people to conversational voice interfaces for the first time. But while this growth in usage is exciting, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the total opportunity. Organizations can leverage billions of devices to reach customers with a custom voice assistant strategy outside the walled-garden, smart speaker ecosystem.

Meanwhile, the technology used to design, build, and deploy voice experiences is continuously becoming more intelligent, better integrated, and easier to use while the total cost of ownership declines. It’s fair to say it’s long been possible to build a custom voice assistant but costs were prohibitive. With an end-to-end conversational AI platform, it’s now becoming practical.

But the best reason for custom voice assistants is they can deliver real business value. Unfettered by various constraints necessitated by invocation through another brand’s ecosystem, the purpose of deploying custom voice assistants surpasses novelty and aligns with the strategic goals and objectives of the brands that deploy them.

The trendline on custom voice assistants represents excellent news for the business community interested in reaching their customers with conversational voice experiences. A 2022 study surveyed 400 relevant decision-makers about what they wanted from voice, and 87% said improved productivity, 77% said new business opportunities, and 62% said increased revenue.

Why custom voice assistants deliver value

Unlike previous efforts in voice, organizations can deliver real value with custom voice assistants because ownership of the end-to-end experience offers total control and freedom. This flexibility allows them to extend products and services by layering voice into their existing customer experience. This strategy stands in stark contrast to the walled garden approach, where brands often had to fabricate reasons for customers to invoke a separate and disconnected voice app.

Another reason custom voice assistants deliver more value is the ability to be laser-focused on the user’s needs. Unsurprisingly, a top consideration driving the design of the smart speaker ecosystem is the need to handle every possible question a user might ask. But the need to be all things to all users amplifies the well-documented discoverability problem for brands. If a user wants to have a conversation with “wolverine,” are they talking about the animal? The movie? Or the shoe brand?

Custom assistants solve the discoverability problem by narrowing the scope of a potential user’s needs to a specific domain and including thoughtful custom handlers for any edge cases. This focus also allows brands to design custom voice assistants with deeper and more intelligent conversation elements. The result is a far more elegant and seamless experience.

Pick a technology for building end-to-end custom voice assistants

The galaxy of options for creating and publishing voice experiences is evolving fast, and it can be challenging to find the best solution. Fortunately, there are a few characteristics to look for in a conversational AI platform built to design, build, and grow custom voice assistants.

First, because custom voice assistants are not reliant on infrastructure provided by the walled-garden ecosystem, the platform must provide an end-to-end solution set. Therefore it will include features to handle wake words, automatic speech recognition, natural language understanding, a decision engine, and text-to-speech processing. Some organizations may have made previous investments in solutions to one or more of these voice-specific problems, so integration is another critical element.

The importance of interoperability cannot be understated because the point of custom voice assistants is to be an extension of a brand’s products, services, or experiences and not an isolated application. The platform must provide an open and well-documented API, so developers can manage any detail and connect to any other service. At the same time, it must provide an intuitive visual interface for administration and conversation design so business users are not reliant upon developers to create and manage the experience.

Finally, the platform should provide an integrated analytics toolset so business users can find and process information about how users engage with their custom voice assistants. This access to information makes it possible to grow and optimize the experience based on data and provide critical business metrics to prove value.

Inside Custom AssistantsWant to know more?

This post is a derivative of our free Voicify Trend Report: Inside Custom Assistants. Also, if you’ve got questions about how a custom voice assistant strategy can help your business deliver value, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to schedule a no-cost/no-commitment discussion.


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