Late Voice AI Adopters Industries
Jul 26, 2022
5 MIN READ

How Late Voice AI Adopters Can Bloom With Conversational Technology

Industries, such as hospitality, retail, and transportation, have a high standard for customer service but are also late arrivals into the voice-first era. These late adopters have previously encountered barriers to entry that are being lifted as conversational AI expands to new connectivity options and becomes more widespread. The investment in voice AI technology is worth it for this late majority. They are customer service organizations at heart and can’t afford to not meet rising consumer demand. 

To stay ahead of the competition and meet customers’ needs, industries are turning to new technologies, such as conversational AI, to deliver superior customer experiences. According to Voicebot.ai, total voice assistant use across devices is around 64% of the U.S. population, showing that more and more customers are turning to voice interfaces to meet their needs. 

In our previous blog, How to Deliver Exceptional Experiences with Conversational AI, we covered industries that are early adopters of conversational AI. Now, we are diving into the late majority of adopters who are still learning how conversational AI can best serve their unique needs and those of their customers.

In this blog, we will explore how the following industries could use conversational AI for exceptional customer experiences: 

  • Hospitality
  • Retail
  • Transportation

1. Hospitality

The hospitality industry is just beginning to realize the potential of conversational AI for touchless rooms and personalized stays. Hotels have evolved over the years to provide guests with the highest level of customer service, convenience, and luxury. As voice AI continues to expand its capabilities, hotels will be the next adopters of conversational AI for superior experiences. 

The hospitality industry is just beginning to realize the potential of conversational AI for touchless rooms and personalized stays. 

voice-enabled hotel room, with a smart TV as the central hub, means guests can access their air conditioning, blinds, and lights with just their voice, creating a more hygienic stay. An in-room voice assistant can also answer questions about amenities, make reservations, put in room service or blankets requests, check out, make a future reservation, and other queries that would normally require calling a concierge and sometimes being put on hold. With personalization, set preferences for temperature, the number of blankets or towels, and reservations can also be saved on the voice assistant with a guest profile for their next visit.

Many large brands, such as Mariott, Wynn Resorts, and Best Western, are using voice-enabled rooms to improve their guests’ experiences. Hotels looking to adopt conversational AI for their rooms need to consider the privacy of their guests, how much transparency they have with data, and what data they want access to. With a big tech solution, hotels won’t have access to their guests’ data or the ability to set or communicate privacy options. 

With a big tech solution, hotels won’t have access to their guests’ data or the ability to set or communicate privacy options. 

By partnering with a voice AI platform provider, hoteliers can implement their own policies on guests’ privacy. For example, an Edge voice assistant that does not connect to the cloud will only store data locally on the device without reaching the internet. In addition, if guests are concerned about their privacy, they can have the voice assistant erase the data from their visit.  Hotels can meet guests’ needs for convenience and privacy with an independent conversational AI solution, opening up a vast amount of possibilities for exceptional customer service.

2. Retail

Retail stores have widely adapted to changing technologies and customer preferences over the years, adjusting their brick and mortar stores to keep up with the times and also creating mobile apps and websites for online shopping. Conversational AI is starting to make its way into both physical stores and online experiences. 

Conversational AI is starting to make its way into both physical stores and online experiences. 

Retail is beginning to put voice assistants in the hands of employees to help them with their customer service on the floor. With a voice-enabled device, employees can easily answer customers’ questions by checking inventory statuses, finding the location of an item in-store, checking if something is available at another store, or even shipping an out-of-stock item to the customer’s home. The hands-free capability of voice AI provides speed and convenience for employees who can ask their questions without having to perform lengthy types or swipes for the answer, or even leaving their posts to find the answer elsewhere in the store. 

Voice-enabled kiosks can also help customers locate items in store, get a price check, compare items, or look up item details. The hands-free element adds hygiene by not having to touch a public surface, convenience by not having to put down items or baskets, and ease of use with conversational capabilities. 

Retail is also learning of the benefits of conversational AI for their online catalogs. As online shopping has taken off, with Statista reporting the e-commerce industry to reach 284.6 million users by 2025, users are being presented with large catalogs of products that take lots of searching and many filters to find what they are looking for. With compound and complex queries, conversational AI can narrow down the sea of unrelated products to help users find their exact match. 

The e-commerce industry to reach 284.6 million users by 2025.

Statista

For example, users could ask their voice assistant: 

  • “Find men’s shoes that are size 8, sneakers, blue, and are waterproof.” 
  • “Show me children’s toys that are for ages 2-3, rated 4 stars or more, are non-toxic, and will arrive by this Friday.” 
  • “I need women’s jeans that are size 30, skinny, black, and less than one hundred dollars.” 

Conversational AI can also assist with customer support in retail call centers for customers wanting to return or exchange items or receive other assistance with their account, reducing long hold times and promptly answering their questions. 

3. Transportation

The transportation industry is a giant that encompasses airlines, trains, buses, trucks, and rideshares, with each mode of transportation implementing conversational AI in unique ways. Travelling can be some of the most stressful times for customers, and conversational AI in airports, train stations, and bus terminals can create a more efficient and seamless experience by providing voice-enabled apps, kiosks, and call centers to simplify journeys. 

Throughout journeys on trains and buses, internet connections come and go. With Edge+Cloud connectivity, passengers can access the cloud for queries when the internet is available while still being able to use the voice assistant when the internet is lost. Some queries include: 

  • “How long until Eugene?”
  • “Where are we now?”
  • “How long is the stop in Sacramento?”
  • “Why are we delayed?”

Other transportation situations, such as airports, might only require Cloud connectivity for travelers to ask queries about flight statuses, gate numbers, and departure and arrival times. 

Trucking is also beginning to add conversational AI to its haul to improve driver safety and experiences. With so many hours spent behind the wheel, fatigue and brake problems are some of the largest reasons for truck accidents, and conversational AI can help inform drivers of better routes, keep them entertained, and provide maintenance alerts. In-truck voice assistants can provide communication and navigation to truckers during the long hours they spend on the road. Popular truck routes, updates, and check-ins are important elements that, with voice AI, can be done while still keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. 

Fatigue and brake problems are some of the largest reasons for truck accidents, and conversational AI can help inform drivers of better routes, keep them entertained, and provide maintenance alerts. 

Rideshares are an increasingly popular method of transportation, with a U.S. market size worth $85.8 billion, according to Statista. Voice-enabled mobile apps can improve the customer experience by allowing users to easily ask for a car and receive updates on their ride, while drivers can accept new passengers and improve their routes without taking their hands off the wheel. 

Rideshares have a U.S. market size worth $85.8 billion.

Statista

Conversational AI is expanding across industries, and in years to come, more will be added to our list of industries while others on here will have found more innovative ways to use conversational AI to improve their user experiences. Whether it’s an in-car voice assistant, voice-enabled kiosk, or voice AI contact center, conversational AI is the key to delivering interactions that keep users coming back for more. 

Want to know more about conversational AI in specific industries? Check out the following blogs:

At SoundHound, we have all the tools and expertise needed to create custom voice assistants and a consistent brand voice. Explore SoundHound’s independent voice AI platform at SoundHound.com and register for a free account here. 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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