When the coronavirus disease first began spreading in late 2019 in China, the global effects, change, and adaptation that the world would endure couldn’t have been predicted.
Now, nearly eight months into 2020, living the day-to-day reality of the changes wrought by COVID-19, it’s hard to imagine our world as it was months ago.
We’ve effectively shifted from our old version of normal to something new entirely.
But this dramatic shift to a new normal isn’t entirely rooted in negativity.
The pandemic—though indescribably tragic, damaging, and still baffling to researchers, scientists, and medical professionals alike—forced us to adapt, change, and pivot the way we do everything.
From our normal, day-to-day routines to how we do business, COVID-19 has caused a tangible evolution of how we live. One of the biggest shifts? Our reliance and dependence on the convenience of voice technology. Due to the expedited reliance on voice technology (thanks to the pandemic), it’s expected that voice tech will forever change the way we live—even in a post-COVID-19 world.
Voice Tech is Growing Faster Than Ever
Though voice technology was already a rapidly growing trend, COVID-19 pushed it along and into popularity at a much more expedited pace. With consistent worry about contact in a COVID-19 world, consumers are seeking “touchless” channels more than ever before for shopping, eating, and interacting with brands.
Organizations, businesses, and brands, on the flip side, are rushing to provide and adapt as many safe channels as possible for reaching customers in a way that they want (and need). One of the ways this is developing is through voice ads—which, as a note, are considered to be less intrusive than other types of advertising.
According to a 2019 Adobe study, about 38 percent of consumers find voice ads less intrusive and more engaging than other types of ads (like digital, TV, and print ads).
With the current state of the world—and the permanent changes that will be made as a result of the pandemic—voice technology is expected to continue making a deep impact on the way we live our lives and conduct business.
“Over the past few months, the world has shifted dramatically,” said Peter Peng, CEO of Jetson, which helps companies establish and optimize their presence on voice tech platforms. “Forward-thinking businesses are now implementing ‘touchless’ voice-first strategies that incorporate some of today’s pandemic-related restrictions in their strategies. The two industries that are investing heavily in conversational commerce are food and retail.”
As the founder of Leave Normal Behind (LNB), I am always connecting with individuals like Peng who are making an impact and innovating in their industry. The mission of LNB is to influence humanity in a positive way by inspiring and helping others become the best version of themselves, give back, create things that matter, love, and encourage others to do the same.
Peng and Jetson are using Voice Technology AI to give brands a voice and help them get discovered.
Retail, Restaurants, and Customer Services—Changes We Can Expect
When it comes to the way retail establishments, restaurants, and customer service organizations are applying voice tech, each industry is taking unique strides—and those strides will continue, even in the event of a post-COVID-19 world.
Restaurants are offering delivery through voice technology, along with in-person dining options that implement QR code scanning to view a menu on your phone and then order with voice technology. During the pandemic, Jetson has assisted more than 10,000 restaurants in implementing voice technology measures to navigate their workflow and provide convenience for customers.
Retail establishments and customer service organizations have also been utilizing voice technology. “There’s a significant amount of interest from online retailers to become voice-first,” Peng said. “Our partnership with Shopify is signaling that smaller online retailers may be quicker to dominate this space.”
Further, AI and voice technology automation have helped call centers meet customer demands in these chaotic times. Voice response technology has helped customer service departments work more efficiently by immediately answering calls (no long waits on hold), classifying calls based on topic, and triaging calls to respond to common questions automatically without the need to use live agents.
Obviously, these examples are not the only industries implementing and benefitting from the use of voice technology. At the rate that voice technology was already weaving into our lives before COVID-19, the convenience of touchless channels in a world currently—or previously—affected by a global pandemic.