The importance of versatility with a strategy tool
We recently published our custom voice assistant strategy tool. Like many things, it was born out of necessity. In well-established spaces like the web or native mobile, these tools are widespread and nuanced against the platforms for which they were created, but with custom voice assistants, the maturity is lower than the spaces it follows.
My point isn’t to say there are not intelligent people doing extraordinary things in this space; quite the opposite. But the volume of resources most companies have access to is limited.
Initially, we used the tool at Voicify to help our customers identify opportunities and differentiators for them against their competitors. We then released it to our 100+ agency partners for use with their clients. And now, we offer it to everyone in the spirit of sharing and success in the space.
The tool is consciously structured to be modified. No two companies are alike, and any valuable strategy tool should be versatile enough to allow customization against various nuances in process, culture, and knowledge.
To illustrate this point, allow me to share the story of two different-sized organizations for whom we’ve facilitated a voice strategy workshop.
The small group
In 2019 Principal Financial came on board as a customer of Voicify. And like so many companies, they needed to determine what they should be doing and what they would be capable of doing. This strategy tool was used with a small group of 8-10 people in a conference room across two days. Sensitivity was given to their specific level of knowledge and comfort with the space. This level of attention is possible with a smaller group, whereas with larger groups, it is typically not. The use of whiteboards, post-its, casual lunch conversations, and pulling people in and out of the room as needed for expertise were all components of the sessions. Ultimately this led to a clearly articulated and well-bought in strategy PFG continues to execute today.
The large group
On the other end of the spectrum, Audacy (the second-largest radio station owner in North America) arrived with the same question but a much different need for participation. In this case, the strategy tool was executed four separate times across as many business units with nearly 60 participants. Greater rigidity was required for this. Not only to confirm a shared level of knowledge across the board but also with thought to normalize the outputs so that a full array of data could be looked at with consistent terminology and metadata. While the small group exercise can be done in days, this large group required nearly three months.
As a facilitator running the same session multiple times can feel redundant. One’s energy levels need to be paid attention to. In this case, we ran the first session with senior leaders at a corporate level and the subsequent sessions with leaders across different business units. Understanding this cadence allowed our team to divide up the facilitation capabilities to ensure a feeling of freshness in the sessions. After taking the lead on the corporate session, I handed off pieces of the following sessions to peers and maintained a holistic view of what was happening across the conversations. Having someone in this role for extensive sessions or a strategy spanning many sessions is critical. While in small settings, the holistic view is tightly coupled with the detailed data coming out of the work, in longer format sessions, the details can have such a volume that demands different people to observe what is happening at different levels of the process.
I hope you find our custom voice assistant strategy tool valuable in your work. It is not a silver bullet; there is work to be done to put this tool into play and the results it yields. But knowing how to start and facilitate a discussion can be daunting in and of itself, and where we can offer acceleration, we like to.
Keep in touch
If you have questions about custom voice assistants or how Voicify can help, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a no-cost, no-commitment conversation.
Voicify, LLC is the world’s only end-to-end solution for creating, managing, and optimizing enterprise-owned voice assistants Our platform enables brands to create highly engaging and personalized voice experiences that can be automatically deployed to web and mobile products and services as well as a broad array of voice platforms, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IVR telephony systems, and more. You can learn more at www.voicify.com and on Twitter (@Voicify) or LinkedIn.
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