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Pandemics of today, technology for tomorrow; what part will voice play in the future?

The Drum 01 Apr 2020 12:47
By John Campbell-01 April 2020 13:47pm

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Alexa, tell me the truth.

Previously, large tech companies have been accused of playing a part in the spread of fake news by not monitoring the truth of what is being posted and advertised. Positively, the current environment has led to tech giants taking on more responsibility, with Google, Amazon and other voice answer providers quickly ensuring that accurate up-to-date information about the epidemic pulled from reliable sources is being provided to users. Google is currently answering ‘What is coronavirus’ with an in-depth description from the NHS website. Alexa gives a definition from gov.uk.

The new normal: customer behaviour inside the home

In the home, the current environment will drive consumers to rely more on their assistants for entertainment, deliveries, mental health support, calling and community connections, work outs and practical instructions such as cooking tips. After normality returns, the new need and deeper understanding of the devices will remain, and voice will have a new solid consumer base.

A current example we’re seeing of this is with the sudden movement of most of the UK’s workforce to a home environment, there is newfound use for voice technology and remote working.

The new normal: customer behaviour outside the home

Example: Moving towards a cashless future

Streamlining communication services

Brands will need to adopt new ways to manage the influx of customer communications both in terms of positive and negative queries. Delivery services will need to have ways to communicate on service availability, booking slots and ways they are safeguarding both their staff and customers. Equally, insurance and travel businesses are dealing with large volumes of claims, refunds and complaints.

Example: Mitigating the strain on our healthcare systems

Voice looks to play a key part in the health system moving forwards if as bots become more capable of spotting symptoms and providing advice. If we can provide accurate advice to people in the comfort of their homes, voice might be key in supporting overwhelmed NHS 111 lines or A&E waiting rooms in the coming period.

We are now seeing many brands who have been biding their time with voice pulling out of channels such as experiential and outdoor and accelerating their efforts in building actions and skills as well as ensuring that content such as FAQs are optimised for voice.

John Campbell, founder, Rabbit and Pork

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