Year 2020 started with the unprecedented global Covid-19 (#Coronavirus) plague, and in a hyper connected world – every story, piece of news, progress or tragedy are quickly shared throughout the entire world. In this article, I will share some insights from our understanding of this biblical-scale event, and try to suggest a few opportunities – on the optimistic side of things- for the voice related tech scene.
After a few weeks observing the plague from afar, seeing its pandemic evolution first in China, then in Italy and the rest of Europe, and finally Israel (by now, early April 2020, the virus reached almost the entire globe) – there are several key point which we believe many people will take with them, as the plague will be contained and resolved [needless to say, this article is our modest contribution to the general “virtual round circles” of thoughts around preparing for life after Coronavirus]:
Staying home. Work From Home (#WFH), remote schooling, telemedicine and beyond. We think that the experience many people were forced to adopt will continue to effect the future behavior. People will be less reluctant to work from home (both employer and employee), acknowledging its efficiency’s feasibility.
Personal Hygiene in public areas. People traveling or moving in public areas (transportation, governmental services, entertainment etc) will be significantly more self-aware to personal hygiene, touching surfaces, and any type of physical contact;
Services provided remotely. From the online grocery (up from 13% to 31% in the US) ramping up, to delivery of medicine, home repair, home-aid to the elderly and to the various consumers’ services now being accessed over the phone \ online. Where the user experience was decent or good, it is much likely that, to some extent, people will continue to seek for such experience in the post-coronavirus times.
Sources: Brick Meets Click and ShopperKit survey
Which opportunities does this crisis brings to the voice technology solutions?
Better Communication. People will be looking for a better communication with their service providers – whether in the form of excellent self service, or simply getting the information and products they seek- in a pleasant and intuitive manner.
Intuitive. People look for intuitive touch-less interface, mainly in residential buildings and public areas, such as elevators, vending machines, information kiosk and others.
Brands – experienced with the new form of interacting with their users – will enhance the online \ in-direct services.
Moving forward – looking at the near and far future, with an optimistic view:
Kiosk\ATM\Vending. For physical hardware solutions, located in open public areas and used by people in commute or travel – Kiosk, TVM, etc - >> Invest in redesigning your service to make it voice enabled – make your services voice ready. A great example is demonstrated with Thales RCS’ TransCity Voice.
Governments. Government administrations around the world should take proactive approach to facilitate the ennoblement of touch-free interfaces in public areas, similar to the accessibility acts.
Consumer. Invest in better self service, intuitive solutions for your consumer engagement, available across all channels, mobile application, web site and support. In most of the cases, applying the voice layer, or voice functionality, will require minimal efforts, in order to evaluate it and plan it ahead, for a large scale deployment.
Elderly. Make your solution elderly friendly – using intuitive voice interface, so that the elderly audience, can access it, without complicated technical prerequisites.
Touch-Free. Find ways to convert you service to touch-free. One perfect example is the Elevator – it must become voice enabled. Coming out of quarantine, people will be reluctant to touch a public area interface, especially when elevators are know to be some of the most infectious vehicles during the #coronavirus.
Worth mentioning - the Open Voice Network or OVN, a non profit organization, plays an instrumental role in setting up global standard for voice AI implementation and data privacy. We recommend reaching out to them to learn and consult.
It doesn’t take a lot of resources to start engaging with voice technology. Also, there are solutions which will comply with your privacy requirements, and user privacy regulations.
So - What now?
Now is the time to redesign, install and evaluate voice interfaces. If you’re in charge of customer experience, innovation or product – you need to start doing it now, and be ready when the world is out of quarantine - soon enough :). There are several articles about it online. Or you can talk to us.
Tukuoro is the Voice Open Platform. The insights and observations outlined in this article are based on Tukuoro team's perception of current market behavior, trends and on customer's feedback in these challenging times.
Reach out to us and learn how to make your interface Voice enabled.
We send our deep appreciation and feel thankful for the never-ending human work performed by medical teams around the globe.