Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Samsung’s Bixby are prime voice assistant examples (VAs), but the technology itself is no longer limited to megacorporations. Instead, various voice assistant use cases are increasingly being adopted at the enterprise level. This new wave of adoption is evident in recent statistics:
- Global Banking and Finance Review reported that 88 percent of global business leaders think VA technology has the potential to grow their businesses.
- By 2020, 4.2 billion digital voice assistants were in use across various devices globally. By 2024, the number of these assistants will double to 8.4 billion units, surpassing the world’s population.
- On the consumer side, a survey from Google reported that 72 % of Google Pixel owners utilize the phone’s AI voice assistant daily. Additionally, 52 % of those customers expressed that they would like to receive information about various products and brands via VAs.
- In 2021, 64.2% of US adults aged 25–34 utilized a voice assistant. A total of 93% of individuals express satisfaction with their assistants.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have breathed new life into VAs and are now reshaping consumer behavior trends. These changes open up a plethora of opportunities for businesses to capitalize on.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the popular use cases for VAs for businesses, as well as the benefits driving these implementations.
Why Are Businesses Investing in Voice Assistants?
AI Voice assistants typically found on mobile devices like Siri and Google Assistant are examples of Voice User Interfaces (VUIs). Although VUIs existed as early as the 1950s, greater technological challenges meant that modes of communication like typing took precedence in most business implementations.
However, most of those technological barriers have been overcome, and VUIs of today show many significant advantages over their counterparts, such as:
- Speed. As accustomed as some of us have become to typing, speaking (or dictating messages) is still a much faster way of communicating. A study showed that even expert typists were slower than modern VUIs at taking down messages.
- Hands-free. Another major benefit of using VAs is having both hands free. This further expands the possibility of multitasking, especially for employees who often have to stop what they are doing in order to respond to an urgent text message or send a file to a colleague. Not only can voice assistants improve productivity in and around the workplace, they can also improve safety. In many cases, communicating through voice instead of typing is more practical and safer.
- Easy-of-use. Speaking is natural, more so than typing, even in 2023. This becomes especially important when the technology is consumer-facing. For instance, a parking lot’s automated toll booth or an iPad taking customer feedback are far more intuitive when they are designed to understand the user’s verbal commands and provide assistance. Not to mention, VUIs began their comeback only recently, so the technology is still a novelty that many customers would enjoy.
- Intonation. Text messages often lack factors that convey emotion, often leading to ambiguity and even miscommunication. Voice assistants in business, on the other hand, are designed with the tone, volume, intonation, and rate of speech in mind to convey a greater range of emotions.
- Screenless devices. Finally, with wearable tech with displays like smartwatches and IoTs like smart speakers, voice is the only way of interacting effectively. This is both an incentive to invest in VUIs as IoTs will become more commonplace and also a benefit of already pursuing this technology.
How Businesses are Using Voice Assistants or VUIs in 2024
The ability to speak and get things done has virtually unlimited applications, but the following five use cases explore some popular implementations of voice assistants or VUIs in general:
Embeddable Voice Assistant Technology for Chatbots
Text-based chatbots have become commonplace, especially in retail, eCommerce, and banking applications (check out the evaluation report on top Canadian banking virtual assistants). And since improving customer experience is the top priority, many businesses want to add voice recognition capabilities to their existing applications.
Embeddable Voice Assistant is a technology developed by Master of Code. It allows existing mobile apps to communicate with Microsoft Azure Bot via Direct Line or any other bot framework. This brings VA capabilities to existing apps at a fraction of the cost of developing one from the ground up.
Elevating Organizational Efficiency
Apart from enhancing the consumer experience, AI-based voice assistant for business offers great potential to increase productivity levels. Results from a survey indicated that using digital assistants can compensate for up to 6.2 billion work hours. This is not just effective; it allows companies to achieve superhuman levels of performance efficiency and minimize human labor wastage.
Automated IT Helpdesk
In the realm of corporate efficiency, voice AI for business is revolutionizing IT helpdesks. By automating routine tasks like resetting logins and answering FAQs, these intelligent virtual assistants offer 24/7 support to employees. They significantly reduce the need for human intervention. This streamlines services and cuts down on the operational costs associated with running an IT helpdesk. The transformation here is akin to enhancing an internal customer service department with the power of conversational UI, thus boosting overall employee productivity.
The Capgemini Research Institute Survey found that enterprises increasingly rely on highly accurate natural-language understanding (NLU) to trigger automated workflows with voice commands, especially in document management, customer relations management, and HR. AI-powered voice assistants can also process and analyze huge chunks of data. This can be used to automate repetitive tasks or labor-intensive tasks.
An interesting implementation of this can be found in numerous HR departments worldwide. HR managers rely on VAs to evaluate multiple recruitment databases simultaneously and add a conversational medium between the applicants, which can be further employed for automated screening. Check out Top 5 Human Resources Functions to Automate for Business Efficiency. Furthermore, VUIs like Darwin give employers an easy way to evaluate team performance and view attendance, payrolls, etc.
Efficient Meeting Management
Voice technology is changing the face of corporate meetings through systems like Amazon’s Alexa for Business. These systems allow the scheduling of rooms and AV control via voice commands. Setting up and managing calls is now more efficient. Voice control integrates seamlessly with online calendars and other services. Sessions begin swiftly, with minimal setup time. This enhances the business calls experience greatly.
Inventory Management for Office Supply Rooms
In inventory management, VAs are bringing a new level of efficiency to office supply rooms. Voice commands now handle tasks like replenishing printer paper or initiating orders. This is especially useful in dispatch and delivery rooms. AI voice assistants are innovating these processes, making them simpler and more efficient. As a result, backend operations in businesses are streamlined significantly.
Collecting Strategic Consumer Insights
VA bots can gather client data about their interests quickly and efficiently. A company can use this data to understand trends in customer interests and develop products and marketing strategies accordingly. As of 2023, the global value of transactions made through voice assistants in e-commerce is estimated to be around $19.4 billion, a 400% increase within two years.
Therefore, global brands like Johnnie Walker and L’Oreal are partnering with companies like Amazon to make their product information easily accessible through Alexa and other VUIs. VUIs have such a large market that companies have started considering voice technology in product design, delivery, and marketing strategies to better connect with their customers.
AI-driven voice technology allows companies to improve customer and employee experience alike
Advertising and Marketing
The eCommerce global market has risen to a noteworthy $6.3 trillion, a 177% increase since 2019. As a result, many businesses have switched to digital marketing to support this shift. Mass marketing, especially out-of-home (OOH) advertising, is becoming a less appealing form of marketing for enterprise-level businesses every year. Companies are adjusting their investment strategies in response to the noticeable decline in the global print advertising market, indicating a shift towards other forms of advertising.
In fact, as consumers spend more time on their smartphones and computers, the most effective way to advertise is shifting in favor of voice technology. As customers embrace VAs as a normal part of their lives, the way they interact with marketing campaigns is also changing considerably.
Forecasts suggest that global marketing efforts will continue focusing heavily on VAs. Some of the reasons behind this shift include:
- Voice assistants present personalized recommendations to users, enhancing the shopping process and leading to improved sales outcomes;
- Marketing strategies such as upselling and cross-selling can be employed more naturally through voice. Check out the latest trend of Chatbots in Conversation Marketing;
- VAs provide direct consumer insights and feedback to marketers.
Inclusiveness and Accessibility
Every organization has consumers with motor and linguistic disabilities that make it difficult for them to use certain types of interfaces – handheld or text-based interfaces being one of them. And even though nearly one billion in the world experience some form of disability, most computer systems aren’t designed for inclusiveness -in essence, creating a barrier for almost 15% of the population. Federal legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is helping improve the situation, but compliance can be costly (non-compliance even more so).
This is where voice assistants offer a cost-effective solution by providing both verbal and visual aids. They do not require owners to read the text on the screen or be able to touch it (type responses back into it). In fact, a peer-reviewed study from 2020 found that users with disabilities could effectively adopt VA and take control over daily tasks (which would be a great boost for mental health as well). VAs also ensure that individuals with temporary disabilities like hand fractures can still utilize their favorite mobile apps.
Voice Technology Application Across Industries
In the finance industry, voice assistants are redefining customer service and operational efficiency. Common queries like account balances, ATM locations, and address updates are handled smoothly by VAs. They offer quick and accurate responses that enhance user experience.
Beyond basic inquiries, these AI-powered assistants intelligently upsell and cross-sell products, provide personalized suggestions based on user profiles, and even detect fraudulent activities through advanced vocal and behavioral analysis. This level of personalization and security is a significant leap from traditional IVR systems. VAs enable banks to deliver more tailored and secure services to their customers.
Organizations that have integrated VAs report significant improvements:
- a reduction in customer service calls by over 20%;
- a decrease in customer loss by 20%;
- a notable reduction in customer wait times on calls, often by at least 5 minutes;
- a 20% increase in first-call resolution of problems or queries.
These numbers highlight the effectiveness of VAs in enhancing customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
A compelling example of voice assistant in banking is Garanti Bank’s implementation of the Mobile Interactive Assistant (MIA). Customers can use MIA for their mobile banking app through voice commands. Communication is not strictly one-directional. The assistant can also notify customers about recent promotions/offers and analyze their usage patterns to create a personalized experience.
This is a big move as it helped dispel some of the security concerns surrounding voice-based chatbots. Since Conversational AI in finance continues to develop and embrace voice-based technologies, the adoption rate in the sector will rise. That said, VA technology still has some ways to go before it becomes mainstream in the banking sector, mostly because of the security challenges it entails.
Travel & Hospitality
In the travel and hospitality industry, voice assistants are revolutionizing the way services are delivered to guests. VAs offer quick access to information about hotel amenities, local attractions, and dining options. This leads to a greatly enhanced guest experience, adding a layer of convenience and personalization.
These tools also simplify tasks such as checking in, setting alarms, or adjusting room controls. This seamless interaction makes stays more enjoyable and reflects the industry’s commitment to applying cutting-edge technology for superior service.
VAs also significantly streamline hotel operations. By efficiently managing routine guest inquiries and requests, they allow hotel staff to focus more on providing personalized, high-touch services. This shift towards automation translates into reduced wait times and a responsive service environment. Voice technology gains traction in hospitality, promising enhanced efficiency and guest experiences.
Voice assistants in healthcare are revolutionizing patient care and clinical workflows. They efficiently manage routine tasks, easing the administrative load on staff. For example, these assistants handle appointment scheduling and medication reminders effectively. This reduces no-show rates and improves adherence to treatment schedules. VAs support healthcare providers by automating tasks like medical note transcription. Accurate real-time data capture into electronic health records (EHRs) becomes seamless. Consequently, voice assistants offer more than convenience; they are vital for improved healthcare.
Commonwealth Care Alliance has been piloting the use of voice technology for enhanced care, specifically LifePod Solutions. It targets those with complex needs, especially with disabilities or impairments. Members employ voice commands for tasks, aiding those with specific challenges. The technology enables hands-free communication and management of personal care schedules. This implementation reflects the potential of voice technology to significantly improve the quality of life and healthcare management for individuals with various needs and challenges.
In the automotive sector, voice assistants are key, boosting the driving experience with hands-free use and enhanced features. They allow drivers to control navigation, music, and climate by voice, improving multitasking safety and efficiency. Voice technology in cars offers more than basic commands. It provides real-time traffic updates, route suggestions, and remote car control. This is crucial in autonomous and software-defined vehicles for smooth human-vehicle interaction.
VAs in cars are vital for the shift to more autonomous driving. They offer intuitive interactions, building trust with the vehicle’s AI. These tools go beyond convenience, becoming essential for car functions and safety. In future automotive technology, voice assistants will be central. They will connect drivers, vehicles, and our increasingly connected world, leading to safer, more interconnected, and more efficient transportation.
eCommerce and Retail
A recent report on voice and text-based assistants found that consumers of the retail industry demonstrated a 15 % higher future preference for voice assistant technology to chat assistance. There are a few reasons behind this shift, one of the most prominent reasons being that many online shoppers need a more efficient alternative to browsing dozens of product pages in modern eCommerce stores. AI shopping assistant effortlessly directs them to the relevant products through a single voice command.
A prime voice assistant example in retail is Nike’s 2019 collaboration with Google. Together they launched a voice-activated shopping experience for the Adapt BB sneakers. Fans were invited to purchase these shoes using Google Assistant during the NBA halftime. This unique approach showcased the convenience of voice technology in shopping and its powerful impact on consumer behavior. Remarkably, the shoes sold out within 6 minutes. Such a success demonstrates the effectiveness and potential of VAs in the retail sector.
The Future of Voice Assistants: A Glimpse into Tomorrow
As we look towards the future, voice assistants are poised to become an even more integral part of our daily lives. Their evolution and integration across various platforms are expected to grow substantially:
- The global VA market was valued at US$ 4,662.7 million in 2022. It is anticipated to reach US$ 38,539.5 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 26.45% from 2023 to 2031.
- By the end of 2023, the US is projected to have 145.1 million VAs users. Annual growth is estimated at around 3% each year through 2027.
- In 2023, 142.0 million people in the US, or 42.1% of the population, were expected to utilize a voice assistant. Over half of internet users in the US will likely have a VA by 2026.
- In 2023, 88.4% of US voice assistant owners will engage with the technology on smartphones. This figure is anticipated to rise to 89.7% by 2027. The use of voice assistants in smart homes, connected cars, and smart TVs is expected to broaden.
- Alexa adopters were forecasted to make up 21.2% of the population in 2023, growing to 22.1% by 2024.
- Gartner predicted that 25% of employee interactions with applications would be via voice by 2023, a significant increase from under 3% in 2019.
- Approximately 80% of voice searches are foreseen to be conversational by 2024.
Voice assistants’ expanding presence across diverse industries signifies a future where voice interaction is an even more ubiquitous and integral aspect of our digital experience.
Complete Guide to Conversational AI in CX
Where Conversational User Interface Is Headed
Voice assistants are part of a broader spectrum of Conversational User Interfaces (CUIs) that also include text-based chatbots. The emerging popularity of these CUIs is the result of a major global shift to make everything conversational – from controlling your home electronics to creating a digital shopping list.
But, like all consumer trends, is conversational user interface like VAs and chatbots going to go out of fashion? Perhaps at some point, but certainly not for the next few decades. If anything, the technology will only grow as 64 % of consumers want their AI virtual assistants to be more human-like.
For now, VA technology is changing the business landscape, as evidenced by the discussed voice assistant use cases. From eliminating human redundancies to making business operations more efficient to improving customer engagement, voice technology is being rapidly incorporated across industries globally.
For businesses looking to stay ahead in this evolving landscape, leveraging VA technology is key. At Master of Code Global, a Conversational AI company, we help create dynamic voice assistant solutions customized to your business needs. Our use of advanced Natural Language Processing, NLU, and Generative AI transforms voice interactions into meaningful and engaging customer experiences.
By recognizing voice inputs, converting them to text, generating intelligent responses, and voicing them back in real-time, we bridge the gap between human and machine communication, ensuring your business not only keeps pace but leads in the digital era. Eager to enhance customer engagement with voice technology? Connect with Master of Code Global today and elevate your brand’s digital presence.
Let us help you connect your brand with customers where they communicate today. Chat or voice.