Key Industries are Using Voice AI to Improve User Experiences
Sep 14, 2021
7 MIN READ

How 8 Key Industries are Using Voice AI to Improve User Experiences

How does a voice assistant provide a great user experience? User research has shown that it often comes down to performance factors such as the ability to deliver helpful suggestions and access to vital information, the accuracy of search results, and the reliability of things like navigation or point of interest identification. Depending on the use case, all of these elements may contribute to positive voice experiences that build lasting impressions with the user. While users agree about what makes a voice assistant useful, the businesses that deploy them also have a common goal: create exceptional user experiences to grow the bottom line.

Positive user experiences are essential to good reviews, increased Net Promoter Scores (NPS), creating brand evangelists, and users recommending the product to others or purchasing again in the future. A poor user experience, though, can do a lot of damage to a company. According to a study by PwC, 32% of customers would leave a brand they loved after just one bad experience, proving that consistent, positive interactions are key to retaining loyal customers. 

Whether it’s a kiosk at a QSR, a smart TV in a hotel room, or a mobile app for trains, brands are voice-enabling their products and services to create user experiences that are fast, convenient, efficient, and hands-free. Although voice strategy goals are consistent across businesses in a variety of industries, how each brand implements a voice assistant can vary greatly.

8 key industries leading the way for voice AI innovation include:

  • Banking and finance
  • Hospitality
  • QSRs
  • IoT
  • Retail
  • Telecom
  • Transportation
  • Entertainment and media

Leading brands in each of these industries have already established voice assistants and voice-enabled products that are setting the standard for others to follow. Let’s take a deeper dive into what’s happening in the voice-first era in these industries.

Banking and finance

Houndify Banking & Finance Infographic

Voice assistants in banking and finance create exceptional user experiences on mobile apps, websites, and contact centers. Users of voice-enabled mobile apps for banking are getting the answers they need quickly, securely and fiction-free, and voice assistants in call centers are finally delivering on the promise of fast and easy resolutions to a variety of customer concerns.

Voice-enabled mobile apps offer key benefits to users, including:

  • Easier to navigate menus
  • Faster search
  • Increased accessibility
  • Improved accuracy
  • Personalization
  • Privacy

Conversational AI call centers have immense advantages for financial institutions by offering personalized experiences and natural interactions. According to the Opus Research Survey, 94% of respondents say customer service is the number one business function fulfilled by voice assistants. Instead of having to listen to lengthy and complex menus in legacy IVR systems, conversational AI allows the user to state their need simply by asking. Advanced technologies also provide the voice assistant with the ability to look up and analyze account information in seconds that would otherwise take minutes for a human operative to find.

94% of respondents say customer service is the number one business function fulfilled by voice assistants.

Opus Research Survey

For those with established voice assistants, the next step across the industry is to invest in voice ads and monetization. In fact, 44% of respondents to the Opus Research Survey stated that investing in voice ads and shopping is in their future. Unintrusive monetization opportunities provide value to users by offering them opportunities that align with their interests. 

Uncover more advantages of integrating voice assistants in banking and finance with our infographic, “Voice AI: Improving Customer Support in Financial Services.”

Hospitality

Hospitality is booking voice technology for improved customer experiences in their hotel rooms through smart TVs and technology, in their lobbies through voice-enabled kiosks, and in their mobile apps and websites for easier booking experiences.

Voice assistants offer many vital services to customers in the hospitality industry, including: 

  • Better customer service
  • Shorter customer service wait times
  • More hygienic stays
  • Increased accessibility
  • Improved customer satisfaction 

With voice assistants and voice-enabled TVs, hotel rooms can become completely touchless—eliminating guest concerns about contact with common surfaces. Lighting, room temperature, TVs, drapes, and music can all be controlled through a custom, embedded voice assistant. Voice-enabled kiosks can offer the same hands-free experience for check-ins, check-outs, and common questions.

Hotel rooms can become completely touchless—eliminating guest concerns about contact with common surfaces. 

Also, voice assistants can improve on a variety of tasks that guests would otherwise have to call down to the front desk or head downstairs to talk to the concierge to achieve. For example, a voice assistant can manage wake-up calls, requests for more towels or blankets, reserve a table at the hotel restaurant, provide local information, order in-room dining, handle maintenance requests, and some can even perform guest checkouts. 

As voice assistants continue to evolve, those connected to the cloud could offer personalized experiences to guests by customizing future bookings by saving stay preferences, such as room temperature, lighting, drapes opened or closed, wake-up calls, and the number of towels, pillows, or blankets required. 

Want to discover more about voice AI in the hospitality industry? Check out our infographic, “Voice AI Boosts Trust in Hospitality.” 

QSRs

Hygiene and safety spur voice assistant adoption in QSRs

Houndify QSRs Infographic

QSRs are serving up voice assistants on their mobile apps, kiosksdrive-thrus, and drive-ins to make it easier than ever for customers to order their favorite meals. Quick-service and fast-casual restaurants increase customer loyalty and user experiences from voice AI technology through the following advantages:

  • Conversational interfaces
  • Personalized voice experiences
  • Greater hygiene
  • Faster, more convenient customer service
  • More accurate ordering

With conversational AI, voice assistants have evolved from understanding simple commands and scripted questions to processing complex and multi-part queries, making for more natural, conversational interactions. This allows for users to ask at a voice-enabled drive-thru, drive-in, or kiosk what they want even if they don’t know exactly what it is called or where it is on the menu.

Personalization offers tailored ordering experiences for loyal and returning customers.

By providing greater hygiene through touchless voice assistants, QSRs can reassure customers of safety precautions while providing a hands-free experience. Voice assistants can also increase the speed and accuracy of orders by freeing up staff to focus on creating consistently great meals. 

QSRs that already have a voice AI strategy can look into personalization to offer an even more interactive and engaging experience for users. Voice assistants can tailor ordering experiences for loyal and returning customers by remembering past order history, dietary preferences, and favorite meals. 

Interested in learning more about voice technology in QSRs? Dive into our infographic, “Hygiene and Safety Spur Voice Assistant Adoption in QSRs.”

IoT

Custom voice assistants improve the user experience for IoT devices that are embedded, hybrid, or cloud-only. Smart home technology, such as a voice-enabled coffee maker, fridge, TV, oven, air conditioning, or lighting, all create more accessible user experiences that are elevated even further by connecting to other devices and having specialty content domains. 

Voice-enabled IoT devices provide the following benefits to users: 

  • Greater connectivity options
  • Connection to other devices
  • Natural voice user interfaces
  • Specialty content domains

IoT devices that use custom voice assistants can choose from embedded, hybrid, or cloud connectivity to customize the experience based on what option would best serve the user’s needs. By connecting to other devices, such as a mobile phone or in-car voice assistant, users can control their smart home technology via voice at any time, even while they are at work or driving home.

Users can control their smart home technology via voice at any time, even while they are at work or driving home.

The importance of having a voice user interface that mimics humans and understands complex and compound queries is the foundation upon which good user experiences are built. In addition, specialty content domains help the voice assistant understand the user’s request within the context of the device’s purpose. 

For IoT devices that already employ a voice assistant, the future outlook includes consistent customer experiences, an increased number of voice-enabled channels, and increased breadth of use cases supported by voice, according to the Opus Research Survey. By having an omnichannel experience, IoT companies will further be able to support their customers and meet them where they are. 

Find out more about how custom voice assistants benefit IoT devices in our infographic, “AI-Powered IoT Devices Improve Convenience and Efficiency.”

Retail

Voice shopping increases convenience and customer loyalty

Houndify Retail Infographic

Retail is buying into voice assistants for omnichannel experiences that provide users with a fast, convenient, efficient, hands-free experience across multiple devices, including mobile apps, websites, and kiosks. 

Mobile apps are a natural first step for integrating voice assistants since they already come equipped with the necessary technology, a microphone and a speaker. Voice-enabled mobile apps also provide superior filtering functionality for users, so they don’t get lost in a sea of unrelated suggestions and buried products. Instead, users can set filters naturally and quickly, just by using their voice.

Voice-enabled mobile apps also provide superior filtering functionality for users, so they don’t get lost in a sea of unrelated suggestions and buried products.

Voice-enabled retail websites can also benefit from superior filtering capabilities and also use voice for improved customer service experiences that are available 24/7 with real-time responses. Voice AI kiosks in retail stores provide an exceptional customer experience by allowing customers to locate items or shop for additional sizes, colors, and products that may not be available in-store and order them, compare product features, and determine product availability.

For retail stores that are looking to expand upon their voice AI strategy, retail respondents of the Opus Research Survey stated that increase awareness, adoption, and engagement is the future of voice AI. User education is essential for making users knowledgeable about how they can use their voice assistants. The more elements they are aware of, the more they will use the voice assistant, have a positive experience with it, and even recommend it to others. 

Explore how voice assistants are expanding retail with our infographic, “Voice Shopping Increases Convenience and Customer Loyalty.”

Telecom

Telecom is dialing in voice assistants to provide faster, more convenient customer service that leads to greater customer loyalty in contact and customer service centers. Conversational voice AI provides many user benefits, including increased personalization and conversational interactions.

Telecom is dialing in voice assistants to provide faster, more convenient customer service that leads to greater customer loyalty in contact and customer service centers.

Voice assistants can make contact center interactions more personal and efficient by recognizing the phone number of the caller and associating it with the name and profile on record, making the customer feel heard and understood and increasing customer loyalty. Also, conversational voice AI can eliminate much of the frustration many people experience with legacy IVR systems by saving time and allowing callers to speak just as they would to another human.

Telecom providers that already implement voice AI in their contact centers may want to consider monetization as their next step along their voice roadmap. According to the Opus Research Survey, 88% of telecom respondents stated that monetization is important compared with other goals. By monetizing voice solutions, telecom can further provide value to their users while proving the ROI of their voice AI investments. 

Discover more about voice AI in the telecom industry by reading our infographic, “Contact Centers and Mobile Apps Get a Boost from Voice AI.”

Transportation

Custom Voice Experiences Deliver Convenient Travel Booking

Houndify Transportation Infographic

Transportation is navigating voice-enabled technology through airlines, trains, buses, trucks, and rideshares to improve user experiences. Voice assistants create better interactions in the transportation industry through a variety of advantages, including: 

  • Easing travel booking
  • Improving rider hygiene and convenience
  • Increasing on-road safety and efficiency
  • Helping customers stay connected

With voice-enabled mobile apps, websites, and kiosks, users can book their next flight, train, bus, or rideshare just by using their voice. Voice search also offers a more streamlined and quicker filtering process instead of engaging in a series of types and swipes. By voice-enabling kiosks at airports, train stations, and bus terminals, customers can buy tickets, check-in, and receive answers to common questions without having to touch any surfaces, increasing hygiene and convenience.

Voice search also offers a more streamlined and quicker filtering process instead of engaging in a series of types and swipes.

The trucking industry is also turning to voice assistants to improve driver safety and experiences in their mobile apps, in-truck devices, and contact centers. Voice-enabled mobile apps help truckers by streamlining the process of sending in updates and check-ins, so they can continue on their journey without having to pull over to use their phone. 

For those in the transportation industry that already implement voice assistants across devices, you may want to consider the long-term roadmap, which is a top voice investment consideration according to the Opus Research Survey. A long-term roadmap includes further iterations, feedback, and testing, along with looking toward the future of possibilities of what voice AI can achieve. 

Want to know more about voice-enabled technology in the transportation industry? Check out our infographic, “Custom Voice Experiences Deliver Convenient Travel Booking.”

Entertainment & media

The entertainment industry is tuning in to voice assistants to provide users with fast, relevant search results, personalized experiences, and quick access to their favorite media. Voice assistants are innovating how customers use their televisions, music, and entertainment apps through the following benefits: 

  • Television voice control offers fast, hands-free experiences
  • Music streaming services personalize preferences with voice AI
  • Voice-enabled entertainment apps create convenience and ease of use

The entertainment industry is tuning in to voice assistants to provide users with fast, relevant search results, personalized experiences, and quick access to their favorite media.

In addition to basic functions, such as turning up and down the volume, changing channels and settings, accessing streaming services, and pausing and turning off the TV, custom voice assistants in smart TVs built with advanced voice AI technologies can understand complex and compound questions and remember previously stated questions—making them more conversational. 

With voice AI, users can search for music, turn the volume up and down, pause, repeat, and skip songs. In some applications, users can also ask more complex questions like, “Play party music,” where the voice assistant needs to know the user’s specific tastes and preferences to personalize the experience. Entertainment apps are also using voice assistants to offer quick, convenient, hands-free customer experiences for either the entire app or specific functionality. 

Entertainment and media companies that already use voice assistants may want to increase the number of voice-enabled channels, which is the top future outlook for voice, according to respondents of the Opus Research Survey. Providing more devices that are voice-enabled will lead to a greater customer experience by offering more points where users can have a fast, convenient, and hands-free experience. 

Learn more about voice assistants in the entertainment industry with our infographic, “Consistent User Experiences Top Entertainment & Media Voice Roadmap.”

By voice-enabling a variety of devices from a mobile app to a smart TV, companies in these 8 industries are providing exceptional user experiences through convenient, fast, efficient, and hands-free interactions. Companies within these industries that currently don’t have a voice AI roadmap should seriously evaluate the benefits of voice technology before their customers turn to better experiences in a voice-enabled competitor. 

At SoundHound Inc., we have all the tools and expertise needed to create custom voice assistants and a consistent brand voice. Explore Houndify’s independent voice AI platform at Houndify.com and register for a free account. Want to learn more? Talk to us about how we can help bring your voice strategy to life.

Kristen is a content writer with a passion for storytelling and marketing. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking, reading, and spending time with her nieces and nephew.

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