A lot has changed in the last few years and things that we thought were priorities have moved to the bottom of the list. Other things have risen to the top as key areas of focus for businesses of all types. Customer service and better customer-center experiences have emerged as key factors in business survival and growth in industries across the globe. Following nearly two years of a pandemic-altered reality, customers now have different expectations for brands, including increased demands for greater convenience, and hygiene.
One hallmark of brands that have remained viable during this unprecedented time, has been their ability to innovate and meet customer demands in new ways. One of those innovations has been the accelerated adoption of voice AI technology. Throughout the pandemic, voice AI has provided consumers with safer, more hygienic, and touchless ways to interact with devices of all types in retail, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR)s, hotels, and other industries.
The exponential growth of voice assistants has not been confined to high-traffic public spaces but has shown increased adoption across industries. In fact, voice AI is shaping the post-pandemic world by evolving from an exciting feature to a necessary user interface that is either replacing or supplementing touchscreens in a variety of applications.
At the beginning of the pandemic—when we thought the world would be opening up in 3 months, we interviewed experts in academia, industry, and organizations to find out what companies should be doing to come out on the other side stronger. That advice is still applicable today as we continue to ride the ever-changing fortunes of a pandemic that has ebbed and flowed through our lives.
We’ve recapped their advice and applied it to our own journey in the voice AI space to see how innovation, communication, and customer-centricity have influenced the rapid rise of the voice assistant.
Brand innovation through voice AI during a pandemic
With changes happening faster than anticipated, many brands have wondered how to innovate and survive during a pandemic. One of the key factors to keep in mind is that the pandemic has accelerated many changes that beforehand were on a future horizon.
For example, we’ve seen a significant drop in cash payments—igniting a shortage in change, and a reduction in the use of credit card machines that require swiping and typing. In their stead, touchless payments are rapidly growing in popularity as a more hygienic and convenient option. During the last year and a half, E-commerce saw sales increase as people prefer to avoid crowded stores or are limited by quarantine orders. Voice AI, an expanding and exciting technology, is now taking center stage as the interface for contactless interactions.