You’ll find, all around you, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Assistant suite, and Amazon Alexa climbing the staircase of intelligent personal voice assistant potential. These software and hardware combinations use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to carry out commands from human voices.
What’s remarkable is that the major personal assistants are learning, through a combination of artificial intelligence and programmer input, how to parse and interpret language used in everyday life. They then take that input and generate a response that has the potential to decrease or eliminate human effort for ordinary tasks.
One of the goals in marketing is to mitigate the effort to which consumers have to go to purchase a product or service. Intelligent personal assistants, while not fully developed, have presented the possibility of streamlining orders of products and services through automation. Automation through artificial intelligence could be a potent way for business owners to ensure that customers not only try out and buy their products, but that those customers continue to come back for more.
Businesses Are Already Using Intelligent Voice Assistants
Of course, some of the leading enterprises of modern business have started experimenting with personal AI assistants to ease the burden of the purchase process on their customers. Some, like Amazon, have even created their own assistants complete with custom skills and software.
The functions of intelligent personal assistants for businesses split effectively into two categories: products and services.
Consumer products, under which we will include fast food, have certainly enjoyed improvements in their purchase processes with such milestones as online ordering, free shipping, and single day delivery. Often, consumers can save money and effort by ordering products they find at storefronts from online retailers.
The next milestone appears to be voice ordering with intelligent personal assistants like Alexa and Google Now. The flexibility of their skills systems, through which businesses can create custom voice commands, allows for robust ordering functions that don’t require customers to scroll through product lists.
Large-scale examples for both products and fast food include:
- Amazon – Amazon’s Alexa performs many of the functions of other assistants like Cortana and Siri. But since Alexa is Amazon’s creation, she specializes in providing product recommendations and placing orders for customers using natural language processing.
- Dominos & Pizza Hut – Through artificial intelligence platforms that learn, Dominos and Pizza Hut have made it possible for frequent customers to quickly order their favorite pizzas and have them delivered. The assistant stores order and payment information and recalls it by voice commands such as, “Alexa, ask Pizza Hut to reorder.”
Though it may seem like a novelty, voice ordering has the potential to save vast amounts of time and effort as NLP improves. Even more exciting is the fact that designers of personal AI assistants are improving their custom command creation kits, as well. That means that, eventually, even small businesses may be able to enter their products into the voice ordering realm.
Similarly, service-based businesses have found clever ways to circumvent repetitive or tedious tasks that are required by customers when using their services. Doing so automatically gives these companies a competitive edge by providing dominant solutions to consumers who have purchased an intelligent personal assistant.
Major service-based businesses that have taken advantage of voice-activated functionality include:
- Uber & Lyft – Ride share services allow you to find prices for rides to and from recognizable locations, then request those rides without ever having to open your app.
- Kayak – Kayak’s extensive travel database is searchable through voice for tracking flights, checking prices, and discovering flights under a budget designated by you.
- Slack – Slack integration takes dictation a step further by allowing users to post dictated messages to a specified channel.
- Spotify – Spotify and similar music streaming services have enabled users to play music by category, playlist, artist, or song, as well as upvote and downvote songs in compatible apps.
There is potential for other service-based businesses, especially those on subscription, to enhance customer retention and increase service upgrades through intelligent personal assistants. Common services, including local ones such as plumbing and electrical work, may be able to take advantage of the ease of use of voice command technology.
How Can Intelligent Personal Assistants Help Market Your Business?
Working your product or service into ordinary interactions with voice-operated personal assistants will be the number one skill essential to using assistants for marketing. Because the potential is so enormous, it will be more effective to share some examples of how marketing can fit into those interactions.
You can use intelligent personal assistants to integrate your business with consumer home life in such ways as:
- Connecting your food-delivery service to consumer grocery lists and offering instant ordering for items you can sell and ship.
- Creating voice commands for your smart-home enabled furnishings such as lights, appliances, and electronics that consumers can intuitively use.
- Enable your educational tools to work with children’s voice commands to enhance their ability to learn and interact with your software for school.
- Teach voice-operated personal assistants about customer needs for booking hotel rentals, which enables them to name a place and date for immediate booking.
- Tie reservations to an online system that is voice-ready to allow restaurant guests to make their reservations through their devices.
Think first about how your customers ordinarily interact with your staff, storefront, or online business. Look for shortcuts within those interactions where customers could use natural language to shorten the funnel from awareness to conversion. Get your products and services to customers faster than they ever thought possible; once you do, they won’t be able to live without them.
Our Leverage Marketing experts can help you figure out how your product or service integrates with intelligent personal assistants. Get in touch with us today to learn more.