Make Your Voice Heard


I can still hear the voices of my elementary teachers echoing in my head about how we all have a voice so make sure it’s heard. Fast forward thirty years and I can now confidently say people don’t have trouble hearing me, read I’m a loud talker, but it doesn’t mean I’m heard or it’s always easy to find the help I need.

Think about the last time you had a question in your favorite big box store and couldn’t find someone to point you in the right direction. Or maybe you’re planted in your favorite seat, the remote is across the room and no one’s there to lend you a hand. Maybe you’re cooking your favorite meal, your hands are covered in sauce and you need to set a timer. I’ve lived every one of those scenarios never thinking twice about how my voice could be the ultimate solution.

While I could start screaming for help no matter how loud I yell a timer won’t miraculously turn itself on… right? Well maybe it will; cool devices like Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Home have begun to fill in those gaps in ways I never realized I needed or wanted. I may have even taken it to the epitome of laziness where I now find myself using voice more than physically searching for contacts on my phone, using Alexa for timers, looking up directions and much more.

Today’s Use Cases for Voice

Today’s voice technologies, while still fairly new are evolving so rapidly and becoming so helpful that their original promises of being your own personal assistants are becoming more real than ever. We recently spent some time with the Alexa platform and were pleasantly surprised by the ease of designing our skills and interconnections to services for retrieving data. We were able to quickly find a use case when our Director of Business Development, Gordon Kelly, asked for an easy way to get his teams statistics. After sharing that story, we began to think of even more awesome ways businesses could leverage voice services to better serve themselves and their customers, here are just two:

Immediate Order Fulfillment

Imagine you sell goods and you provide an easy way for your customers to reach you without lifting a finger or dialing a number, “Alexa order <enter product name here> from <enter your business name here>.”, behind the scenes you can integrate and auto fulfill their order or at minimum alert the appropriate salesperson to reach out and confirm the request without your customer having to really think any more about it.

OnDemand Service

Maybe you’re a retailer and pride yourself on customer service but sometimes your customers’ questions out number your staff. You could have a small display item in each aisle in which your customers could ask simple questions like where to find an item, or how much something costs. Making a quick connection and lookup from your inventory system and you can see how easy it is to automate high value customer service solutions.

If you’ve been wondering how voice can work for your business don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can work with you to think through the feasibility of voice and how complex it might be to integrate with your existing systems. Best of all we’re here to help if you decide you want to build a solution or even prototype a sample interaction to gain a better perspective.

About The Author

Andrew Duncan is the Director of Software for Richmond. He is a driven technologist focused on modern technology stacks and best practices. Andrew believes nothing is more rewarding than making software needs a reality with a focus on flexible, scalable and supportable code.