Category Archives for flashbriefing

Flash briefing 12 – Best practices for welcoming experience in voice apps

In voice, as in life, there are not second chances to make first impressions. Particularly at this stage in a technology that has not gained all users attention. To increase engagement with your voice app – start with the welcoming experience.

Voice adds a new dimension to how customers interact with your service, brand, or content. A customer’s first interaction with your skill will leave a lasting impression, which is why it’s important to ensure your welcome experience is positive and memorable. Also, providing a guided experience is vital for both new and repeat customers.  A welcome prompt (something as simple as “Welcome back to MySkill”) reinforces to the customer that they are in a skill experience, and that they correctly invoked the desired skill. Customers may not realize they invoked a skill and a generic question like “What would you like to do?” could cause confusion.

In addition to helping new customers have a positive experience, the welcome message is your first opportunity to establish your brand identity on Alexa and create a memorable first impression.

In a separate article by The Verge, How to get voice-enabled apps right in the age of smart everything there’s an interesting observation “It doesn’t make sense to only study what people want from voice interactions using traditional UX research methods like lab-based usability studies, and yet that’s what most brands are doing.”

Voice is the platform for context. And to better define what your users want or expect from your app you need to observe them on their environment and in the context they are in. Forget content, for a voice-first world, context is king and your welcoming experience is the door to that kingdom.

Thank you for listening and until next time. Find us @voicefirstlabs on Twitter, @voicefirstweekly on Instagram. 

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Flash briefing 11 – Connected cars, Lexus ES 2019 will have Alexa and Apple Play

Your car will talk way before it flies. We were promised flying cars instead we got talking, connected cars. And that might be a good thing. We are not ready for flying cars.

In the late 2017 Smart audio report by NPR and Edison Research, is said that 64% of Smart Speaker owners are interested in having Smart Speaker technology in their car.

Mercedes Benz recently announced voice control for models A-B-Class, CLA and GLA. The app is available in 10 languages and can be used from your phone connected to the car. Featuring weather reports, navigation and music playing, Mercedes built their own assistant, a decision that separate them from other manufacturers that have chosen Google or Amazon assistants.

Lexus also announced that the seventh generation of ES 2019 will come with Apple play and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

Tesla, which will have voice controlled commands in its Model 3, according to a tweet by Elon Musk it’s another one of the car companies announcing features with voice tech. Connected cars have arrived, we are not sure about all the implications it’ll have, but it’s clearly one application of voice it’s hard to argue against. After all where is more convenient to use voice that when you are driving or using your hands? Until we get self-driving and flying cars, voice tech is here to command it.

Thank you for listening and until next time. Find us @voicefirstlabs in Twitter, @voicefirstweekly in Instagram and our website is That’s

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Flash briefing 10 June 24 – What Voice Search Optimization Means For Your Industrial Marketing

We talked in one of last week flash briefings how businesses should pay attention to voice search. The trend in voice search uprising pose a new challenge for marketers and search engine optimization practitioners: Optimizing for voice search.

For industrial marketers the advent of voice search could change how their potential customers look for parts and services. Imagine a procurement manager who holds up his phone and shouts out a keyword like this (formatted the way a search engine would process it): “Ok google search for aluminum suppliers.” Or maybe it would be “Alexa show me CPVC pipe manufacturers.”

Some real keywords that illustrate how people in the manufacturing and industrial world are voice searching. In this example they are attempting to find solutions for sound and noise-related problems.

  • Ok Google show me a product for stopping noise
  • Ok Google give me install instructions on ibn f10 noise filter
  • Ok Google looking for legalities of noise in business
  • Ok Google i’m looking for soundproof panels
  • Alexa show me how to soundproof a room

Here are two about finding companies that provide craning and relevant equipment:

  • Ok Google crane companies
  • Ok Google crane companies new london county connecticut
  • Alexa show me an overhead crane

Some of the queries are structured exactly like standard typed searches, while others are more conversational. Manufacturing companies will need to account for both styles to fully succeed in optimizing their content for search engines. This means you have to pay closed attention to what users are searching now so you can optimize your content for it.

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Flash briefing 9 – June 23 – What will be the role of your Alexa skills or Google Action in your decision making process?

You decided to enter voice tech and smart speakers market. You want to be ahead of the game and you took the leap to create Alexa skills and Google Actions, now what?

As a brand you should be considering your strategy for voice platforms and how consumers can reach you in those channels. Begin with defining a persona for your brand, how will it sound, what language will it use, will it be relaxed, formal, even good morning vs hello makes a difference. In what channels should you launch first, should it be smart speakers, if so, which first, Amazon Alexa, Google, others, voice actors or the platform’s voice, chatbots or all at once? And when you finally deploy your conversational solution in front of users, two more questions arise. One measuring how the users are interacting with your chatbot/skill/action, you should look into this as soon as possible to see how users are reacting to your conversational design, if they are getting frustrated and how can you improve the interaction. And the second, and most important, what role will this collected data of conversational interaction of users with your service will have in your decision making process. Part of the answer depends on the goals and key opportunities you have set and part you’ll need to discover it on the way, but you have to be willing to. This is the time for experimentation to figure out what is the best returns on voice technology for your company.

Thanks for listening!

Flash briefing 8 – Voice in a Can app: Alexa in Apple Watch

Did you know that Alexa can now run on the Apple watch?

Thanks to Voice in a can app, a standalone Apple Watch app, which means you don’t need to tether to an iPhone to use Alexa.

Apple has restricted the Apple Watch to easily access Siri and no other digital assistants, but Voice in a Can uses a watch complication to make it easy to launch the app from the watchface. As this is a third-party Alexa app, it also means you won’t be able to use it to make calls, play music, or do Echo announcements. However, it will fully support the smart home features of Alexa, you’ll be able to trigger your lights or other devices like an Alexa-enabled coffee machine while you’re out of the house. This is the best alternative out there for Alexa on your wrist since Amazon still does not support the Apple Watch. You can buy the app for $1.99 at the App Store.


Flashbriefing 7 – June 21 – Top trending skills and Google Actions analysis

Today we are exploring some of the trending skills in Amazon Alexa and popular Google Actions.

We asked Alexa ” what are your trending skills?” and this is are the eight first answers.

  1. Question of the day.
  2. Peaceful meditation.
  3. Eighties letters.
  4. True or false
  5. Jurassic bark
  6. Clean joke of the day
  7. Inspire me
  8. Find my phone

Then we ask Google Home its popular actions:

  1. I’m home routine. Turn your lights on, give home reminders and play music.
  2. Pandora
  3. Google Play music
  4. Restaurant recommendations
  5. Opens apps and websites
  6. TuneIn. Audio app with more than 100 000 radio stations.
  7. Reminders
  8. Google Maps

Trending Alexa skills shows an user interaction more entertainment based than Google home, more utility based. Besides the pervasive use of playing music no major brand is in the first eight or 10 skills or actions. It seems like a preeminent trend the use of smart speakers for playing sounds, music, games and utilities like reminders, home automation and search.


Flash briefing 6 June 20- Voice Interfaces are Making Banking and Finances Less Frustrating

There is no doubt of the convenience of voice for a lot of everyday tasks. And banking and finance institutions are quickly adopting voice technologies. Saying Alexa send 500 from my checking account to John Doe is faster and easier than to log in into your banking app, look for transfers, confirm amount and transfer the money. Granted, there are security concerns and you probably won’t like other people present in the house to hear your balance of zero, but there’s no doubt of the convenience of using voice for everyday money management. This are the companies that are already taking a leap into voice in banking and finance:

Bank of America: Erica, an AI-powered, voice-activated virtual financial assistant. Erica lives in the bank’s mobile app and just recently surpassed one million users, according to a press release on BusinessWire.

Intuit: At the end of 2017, Intuit released the QuickBooks Assistant, an AI-driven voice interface to help self-employed users glean insights from their financial data. Now, thanks to their latest virtual assistant, users can open the Quickbooks Self-Employed mobile app and ask questions like, “how are my numbers this month?” the company we already talked about last week that allows you to create conversational  reached an agreement with Fintech giant Finastra to integrate their platforms. This allows to extend their voice solution to Finastra’s 9,000+ financial institutions. It also means a lot more banks and credit unions will be able to offer omni-channel customer experiences without having to drop a single line of code.

This companies are leading the way in VoiceFirst finance and banking applications but are only scratching the surface on what it’s possible and we’ll see in a few years.


Flash briefing 5 – week June 18 – Board games arriving to Alexa

Alexa, play when in Rome. Company Sensible Object announced on Monday it has raised $3.2 million to grow its experiences that combine Alexa with board games. “The company’s first game, When in Rome, will go on sale July 2 on Amazon in Australia, Canada, the US, and UK.”

When in Rome is a multiplayer game that uses Alexa as your guide and provider of a multimedia experience. The game introduces players to locals in cities around the world through trivia questions and was created with the help of a team of creatives that includes writers, composers, and theater directors who managed the dialogue of local voice actors. The experience, which visits 20 cities, can be tried for free by speaking with the When in Rome Alexa skill in the US.

Instead of the typical board game that remains an unaltered, static experience, Sensible Object is using Alexa as a way to provide an interactive experience, one that keeps people coming back through consistent updates and improvements.

Investors in the $3.2 million round include London Venture Partners, NCSOFT, March Capital, and Alexa Fund — a $200 million initiative by Amazon to support promising startups that are growing the ecosystem of products and services that work with virtual assistants.

Will this open a new frontier for interactive games using voice technologies? Games are an instrumental element in voice tech adoption and this investment shines in the type of experiences that investors are looking for.

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Flash briefing 4 – It’s time for small businesses to take search seriously

Google has stated that voice search accounts for 20% of its mobile queries. For context, half of all search queries originated on mobile devices. This frequency of voice search use shows how relevant this technology is to brick-and-mortar locations, altho it’s worth noting that elsewhere in the cited research it’s clear that consumers are using voice search to get information on businesses of which they’re already aware, rather than discovering new ones. For now. We still have to see how advertising and promotion will work in voice assistants, however it’s a good strategy to start on voice search today and evolve as the platform grows. Remember that it’s more important to be the first that it’s to be the best.



Flashbriefing 3 – How can you leverage voice tech for your business today?

Voice technologies reduce friction for consumers and you could make the most of the new voice platforms. We recommend start thinking about your voice strategy today, how do you want to sound and what’s your sonic identity. Here is some ways where you could leverage voice tech.

  1. Giving out specific information about your product and only when asked for.
  2. Dedicated attention to all your customers without involving manual interference.
  3. Take orders, subscriptions or service requests with just a simple voice command.
  4. Collect invaluable feedback without troubling your customer much, by just asking relevant questions.
  5. Educate and inform about new services and products based on context and user interests
  6. Personalized affinity based recommendations to upsell products and services.

Other services include:
Round the clock service: Service can be booked at any given time.
Automation: Processes that occur again and again can be automated easily with tools. This saves so much time.

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