Our consumer tech-driven world continues to outpace itself in terms of the convenience and functionality offered by various tools and services. But by most measures, smart speakers are leading the charge.
Around one in five U.S. adults have a voice-activated smart speaker. What’s more, 40 percent of those households own multiple speakers. And growth is far from slowing; smart home speaker sales have increased by 78 percent year-over-year (YoY).
The widespread popularity of this technology isn’t going unnoticed by workplaces, which are starting to adopt their own versions of voice-activated tools to facilitate knowledge and boost productivity.
Let’s discuss five use cases of voice-activated technology that workplaces are eager to test out.
Improved Customer Service
Automated customer service, or interactive voice response (IVR), has been around for a decade already. But for the most part, this technology has brought people more frustration than convenience (ever have to repeat something a half a dozen times and then get hung up on?).
Voice recognition and natural language processing technologies, on the other hand, have turned the corner. These technologies allow customers to get simple answers without waiting for a live agent or get quickly directed to a human when a question is too complicated for a predefined solution.
Broadened Employee Access to Big Data
Businesses collect and store a boatload of data. Many business leaders believe this raw information holds the insights needed to get ahead of competitors and innovate for long-term success. They’re not wrong, but many haven’t yet been successful at sharing this knowledge with the entire company. That’s changing thanks to various subsets of artificial intelligence. A good example is conversational analytics software offered by companies like ThoughtSpot. Through natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, non-technical users can ask questions as they would to their home speaker, and be fed instant, accurate answers sourced from a company’s entire data archive.
Faster Hiring Processes
Technology has accelerated the process of searching and applying for jobs considerably, but the influx and speed of applications coming in has only burdened human resource departments, resulting in drawn-out hiring processes and lengthy onboarding. Voice technology makes it easier for HR professionals to sort candidates based on specific qualities or expertise, send automated responses to streamline communication, and schedule interviews.
Increased Visibility on the Manufacturing Floor
Some of the most valuable employees to an enterprise don’t sit at desks all day. Manufacturing employees and warehouse managers are often on their feet, ensuring that business is operating properly. But going back to their workstation every time they need to an answer to something is not only inefficient, but it’s also frustrating. During a hectic day, some might elect to go off intuition rather than numbers. Voice technology allows supply chain professionals to access information on the spot so they can keep the company’s output on pace.
Greater Human Resource Transparency
Every company maintains in-depth policies, guidelines, and benefits that employees regularly have questions about. But this information isn’t typically organized in a way where employees can quickly find what they need. This results in one-off emails to the HR team. For large companies, this adds up to a lot of wasted time annually. Incorporating voice technology with the human resources knowledge base gives employees quick answers, allowing them to get back to their work—and freeing HR from solving endless one-off requests.
Voice technology stands to improve dozens of aspects in the average business’s daily operation because employees are already familiar with the technology. Like any workplace shift though, technology is only one part of the battle. Introducing voice technology won’t be the boon to productivity that it can be if companies don’t prioritize the importance of using data on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
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