With all of the recent news about privacy breaches — or those persistent rumors about your iPhone listening to you and then presenting ads that you just talked about last night with your friends — it’s a little surprising that there’s such a positive outlook on voice and virtual assistants.
According to Adobe, 48% of consumers use voice assistants for general web searches, showing how much this new technology has grown since Apple's virtual assistant launched in 2011. One of the main reasons why it has become such a part of consumers’ lives is because it’s seen by almost all users, 94% of them, in fact, as a way to improve their quality of life.
While it has proven to help users in their daily lives, one of the main concerns about the technology is privacy. 81% of users from the Adobe survey said privacy was their biggest complaint about voice, and another study by NPR found that privacy may even be affecting smart speaker adoption.
With everyone jumping on the voice assistant bandwagon, but also being cautious about privacy concerns, how should you start implementing this into your company? Well, 91% of brands are already making investments into voice, so you have a ton of places to look for inspiration.
How to make it work for you
With all of this in mind, the first thing you should do is really look into the privacy laws and concerns of users. You need to make sure you’re not only addressing privacy with this new technology but that when you’re ready to market your new use of voice assistance, you’re addressing this in your messaging.
Thus, your users will know you have their best interests in mind and before they even have to ask, they know their information is safe as soon as they read any associated messaging.
Once you have a handle on what the privacy laws entail, you can start planning how you can use voice assistance for your company. Will it be for navigating your site, looking for product information, or could you do something even more with it, like an app?
For example, Patron partnered with Amazon’s Alexa to build an app that has its 'Cocktail Lab' library available to users with voice activation. Or another voice assistant example is Pandora allowing you to speak directly to the app in order to play music, control volume, skip songs, and more. Overall, there are multiple ways you can go about using this type of technology in your company, but you need to think about how you can solve your user's problems and stand out from everyone else.
Once you know what you want to do, it’s time to design and build this feature. It’s important to make sure it fits with your brand, and that you’re testing it before you share it with the public.
You want to make sure it’s addressing their concerns, like privacy, and that all bugs are fixed before you fully launch. Then you need to make sure you have a strong marketing strategy around promotion and lead generation. This way, once you start using it you're able to track how well it’s doing, if people are having issues, and if it’s an actual revenue-producing technology for your company.
The bottom line is whether or not you’re ready to make the investment. This study proves that voice is here to stay and will continue to become a bigger part of consumers’ and companies’ lives. Exploring the technology today will help make sure you’re ahead of the game.