We are surrounded by talk about disruption and disruptive innovation. And yes, advancements like blockchain technology and 3D printing promise to transform the way we work and play. Having said that, there is one technology that is constantly underrated, yet will be a true game-changer in the coming decades.
We are speaking about voice-enabled technology.
Speech technology, powered by other disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence and Big Data, will tear down computing barriers and will be the next transformative platform that your company can leverage.
We are already on our way toward the voice revolution. In all likelihood, when you hear about voice-enabled technology, you think of Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. Consumers who purchase these voice assistants already love them: according to one study by Google, 72 per cent of individuals who own a voice-activated speaker rely on those devices as part of their daily routine.
What you may not know is that Apple, Amazon, and Google have already created platforms allowing third-party developers to develop “skills” (or a synonymous term) for these voice assistants. Essentially, Apple, Amazon, and Google have granted solo entrepreneurs, small businesses, and large corporations the ability to leverage their groundbreaking technology.
Similar to how the advancement of the smartphone and app store enabled a Cambrian explosion of innovation, voice-enabled technology will empower creators and longstanding companies. The potential applications are endless. That said, voice-activated speaker owners told Google that they want to receive particular information from brands. Specifically, they are looking for information about deals, sales and promotions, personalized tips and information to make users’ lives easier, information about upcoming events or activities, options to find business information, and access to customer or service support.
We are still in the early innings of voice-enabled technology. But having said that, users are already envisioning how it will make their lives easier.
You and your company should be participating in this same thought exercise.
Creativity will be rewarded here. To proceed, you will want to gather all the stakeholders in your company. Whether you sell a product or service, sit down and determine how you can serve your customers through this new platform. It can be as simple as allowing users to ask Alexa (or the equivalent) for basic information about your business or the ability for customers to submit support tickets through their voice-activated speaker. Whatever it is, think about how you can solve a customer’s job through this technology. By taking this perspective, you will continue to surprise and delight your customers.
Ultimately, you and your business shouldn’t ignore voice-enabled technology. Your competitors certainly aren’t. Embracing this technology and developing an action plan will help you prepare for this game-changing revolution.
Dr Sterling Carter and Mr Stephen Levi Carter co-founded Sterling Staffing Solutions and are the authors of Double.