How enterprises can benefit from a voice-based user interface

Published: June 21, 2018

Voice assistants are all the rage, and this trend is here to stay. By 2020, 30% of all browsing will be through screenless interactions. Emerging fields such as natural language processing (NLP) are set to drive the next wave of innovation. NLP enables machines to interact with humans in a natural manner, resulting in an interaction that is no longer limited to a few key phrases and can include natural user conversations. A Voice-Based User Interface (VUI) will be to customer service what RPA is to businesses today. This blog, in a Q&A format, highlights a few aspects of VUI and how businesses can adapt it for competitive advantage.

Is VUI relevant to my business vertical?

Yes. VUI technology applies to all industries. This technology has the power to influence customer interactions across numerous touchpoints. We already see glimpses of this in the travel, hospitality, automobile (wearables), and banking (smart banking) industries.

What's in it for me?

VUI promises many enterprise-level benefits:

  • Drastic reduction in errors due to deep learning algorithms
  • Significant increase in wearable tech as part of a larger IoT ecosystem
  • Ease of access for people with visual impairment

How soon do I need to invest in VUI technology?

Companies are already developing new products such as autonomous cars, smart homes, and intelligent pharmacies using VUI. Being an early adopter will definitely provide a leg up in customer engagement.

Will my existing graphical user interface (GUI) applications become redundant?

Mostly yes. GUI-based applications can still exist to support complex user interfaces. However, the future belongs to clutter free VUI environments. Your applications will need to go for a modernization makeover.

Is the data transmitted through VUI safe and secure?

Similar to GUI and visual interfaces, VUI is also exposed to security vulnerabilities. Hence most of the VUI Providers today feature account linking to authenticate and secure data transmission.

Which service providers are available today?

Consumers are already experiencing VUI in very inexpensive customer electronics devices such as voice assistants. Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana, and Apple Siri are the most popular VUI service providers. These personal, digital assistants can perform a variety of activities from playing music to simplifying your shopping.

Are these assistants multi-lingual?

Siri tops the chart in supporting the greatest number of languages. Cortana is the next, supporting more than a dozen languages, and Google Home supports four languages. Alexa, for now, works only in English and German.

Companies spend quite a bit to continually improve product usability and enhance customer experiences. UX design plays a key role in guiding these efforts. With VUI clearly being the future, companies that start early can drive competitive advantage. Choosing the right set of use cases for adoption and evaluating the application on all types of devices with diverse commands, pronunciations, and voice ranges is how firms can get started on the VUI journey.

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