3 Reasons to embrace voice to unlock richer customer insights

Here’s the truth: your customers’ expectations and wants are rapidly changing. How do you keep up? Talk and collaborate with them. Traditional thinking would say you can’t talk to every single customer. That’s no longer the case. Voice presents a unique and special opportunity — the ability to have a direct conversation with your customers. And not just a small sample size through design research but the ability to talk with your customers at scale.

1 .Voice Helps You Experiment Quickly

To converse you have to be present. In the world of voice, that means get a simple skill going. Do some quick research and experiment with voice. Take the learnings from your business whether they’re from your customer service team, sales reps, creative/media, or analytics team and put a stake in the ground. Play and have fun. But show up. Engage with your customers and keep the experiments going. See what sticks.

The barrier to entry is low for voice from both a price and maintenance perspective. Naturally allowing for you to refresh and evolve your skill. And with an iterative approach you can kill what customers don’t engage with or enjoy, and support the unexpected places they take the conversation.

2 .Voice Removes Constraints

You can pull some good insights from your digital experiences whether it’s your website or mobile app. But the findings are confined to the space you’re in — where are people clicking or where are they dropping in the checkout flow. If you are confining your research insights narrowly in a channel, you might miss an insight gleaned from customer behavior.

If you’ll indulge me for a minute let’s go back in time. If you were selling horses back in the late 1800s you would have been convinced that people wanted faster horses. And you would not have been wrong. It’s what people were buying, and the “data” supported it. Speed is and will continue to be very important. I want my phone to be faster. I want my computer to be faster. I want the train to be faster. But faster isn’t always enough. Henry Ford didn’t make the horse faster. He invented the car. A popular story, but the takeaway here: we have to watch for the unexpected.

Digital is the horse. Voice helps you be Henry Ford. Voice helps you discover the unexpected. It’s true your customer can’t always tell you exactly what they want. But what are you not hearing them tell you? What needs have you not addressed yet? What ways are your customers wanting to connect with your brand that you don’t know about? With voice, once a user engages with your Alexa Skill or Google Action, you get all the data from that interaction. I can say:

Alexa, ask Outdoor Voices for a hot yoga playlist OR

Hey Google, ask Ritual how can I get better sleep?

and if Outdoor Voices or Ritual don’t have answers to these questions, that gets collected. With that new data we can take the rich insights we’re gaining to be there for our customers in smart, new ways.

3 .Voice Gives Insights at Scale

The importance of intelligent design cannot be overstated in this new world of data and predictive analytics. There are many ways to collect data and listen to your customers today such as social listening, surveys, interviews and ethnographic research, but to be a truly customer centric company you can’t only engage with your customers during a one week kickoff or the research and discovery phase of each new project. It’s too risky. You need to be engaging with them continuously to gain the most value and avoid losing momentum by having to ramp back up a research team with each new project to stay customer centric. After all, every one of your customers has a voice, are you hearing them?

As Yelp reviews have taught us, the loudest voice in the room isn’t necessarily the right voice to listen to. With voice you’re able to scale and listen to as many customers as you want, not just the loudest. And voice lets you talk to large volumes of your customers continuously. The more data you have the more patterns and insights you can uncover, enabling you to better understand not just a subset of your most vocal customers but all of your customers. And the better you understand them, the better you can serve them holistically as the insights you’ll gain from voice can positively impact all aspects of your business.

What other technology is transforming computing by providing a natural means of interaction? Make sure you’re not up in the stands watching your competition but down in the arena with them, leading the way. As Jack Ma says, “You should learn from your competitors but never copy. Copy and you die.” Voice is the future. Start today.

Download a copy of Moonshot’s Creating a Voice-Based Product with a Design Sprint.

Raika Sarkett

Raika Sarkett

Practice Lead, Voice