Flash briefing 48 – Amazon Alexa introduced customer contact access for skills

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Amazon announced yesterday that you can now request customer permission to access customer contact information using the Customer Profile API. Once a customer consents, you can access certain contact information in their customer profile, and use it to deliver a more personalized experience and provide additional information to your customers. For instance you could use the name to request a service and then send a confirmation to the user. You can also use text or email to provide additional information that’s not easily shared through voice. With contact information, skill builders can now request

  • Full Name
  • Given Name (First Name)
  • Email Address
  • Mobile Number

Requirements to use contact information

To use the contact information, skills must meet certain requirements, like having a privacy policy, it can not be a child-directed skill and it does not allow account linking in the background with the customer information. Amazon is showing its concern with privacy and user information. Restricting the contact information not be able to link the user in real life protects the user’s data.

Prior to this announcement, Alexa skills provided only account linking to get customer contact information, which introduced a lot of bumps and was avoided in general. The fact that skills can now access contact information can enhance skill experience and drive new use cases and skill engagement. You can now send follow up content or reminders through emails and text.

Google has had this feature with the emails for a while and Amazon is catching up to the features box of smart assistants.

 

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