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Time To Take Voice Seriously – Part 1

At CX Talks Atlanta 2018, Will Payman (VP of Strategy at Macquarium), gave a compelling presentation on the growth of voice experiences. He takes us back to June 29th, 2007 when the smartphone was launched. He reminded us how many industry pundits questioned its viability, yet it soon began to play a role in every step of a customer’s journey. 10 years later, there are now 230M smartphones in the US, with over 70% of adults owning one.

He introduced the idea that there was another experience revolution that happened in November 2014 with the launch of the smart speaker. Today over 20% of American adults have access to a smart speaker.

Over 50% of households are expected to have a smart speaker within 5 years.-

Will also challenged us to think beyond the 100M smart speakers market, and consider new touch-points like cars, TVs fridges, and our homes. He quoted a recent report citing that over 1 billion devices provide voice assistant access today. Will pointed out that smart speakers had faster adoption rate than that of the smartphone.

He asked the audience to consider a statistic from Comscore that suggested that in just 2 years, 50% of all searches will be using voice, and what impact of voice on a brand. A brand doesn’t control the user interface, or the AI Layer! What does this mean for the digital ecosystems you have in place today?

Will then gave some examples of current voice applications. Capital One is providing features like checking account balance, available credit, due dates and making payments. IHG and Marriott are using voice to manage in-room equipment, room service and housekeeping requests. Dominoes allows you to order pizza with your voice, and track it’s preparation and delivery. And you can tell Starbucks you are on your way to pick up your favorite latte.

He also suggested that we are already seeing the next-generation of voice applications emerge. Bank of America’s Erica combines the power of voice, text, AI to allow you to manage your financial needs by asking questions. Talk about a disruptive experience – no going to Google, clicking on a result, no global navigation to understand, or pages to navigate too, marketing copy to wade through.

Will stressed that voice is not emerging, it’s already here. Consumers are already adapting their behaviors to leverage this medium, bringing into their kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, automobiles, and offices. Given the parallels drawn to smartphone growth and adoption, he predicted that 10 years after the launch of the smart speaker (that by November 2024), we should expect to see voice as ubiquitous as the smartphone of today.

He ended his compelling presentation noting that we live in a mobile-first world today, but he wanted to be the first to welcome everyone to the voice first world.

Check back soon to watch the video of the speech.