How do you order your morning coffee from your barista? You speak to them.
And how would you direct your taxi driver to your precise destination? Again, you speak to them.
Speech is the most traditional and innate method of communication. So wouldn’t it make sense for brands to speak to their customers using search technology’s most personal and efficient latest software? The answer is a giant YES. Voice search is now your brands best friend and it’s crucial that you start using Siri, Alexa or even Google Home to do more than set your alarms for the morning. By 2020, the voice search/ virtual assistant market is set to be worth more than $3 billion1 and luckily for you, we’ve created the 4-point expert guide to the benefits of voice search and how your brand can respond to it accordingly.
1) The emotional customer is a loyal customer
The gold dust of customer experience is brand loyalty. A loyal customer is a evidence your brand is making the right moves in your industry. But how do you create loyalty? It isn’t by offering seasonal sales, that’s for sure. Creating brand loyalty is all about the emotional connection your brand makes with your customers. Voice search is one of the most prominent and effective ways you can do this.
If your brand is suggested by multiple virtual assistants for providing a sleek service which enhances a customer’s life, then you soon become the ‘go-to’ brand for your industry. If a virtual assistant is recognising your brand's benefits, it’s verbally communicating this back to your customers; thus creating an instant emotional connection.
Take a moment and think about the connections you make daily just by speaking to others?
“People respond to sound with profound depth emotionally and physically, but they don’t necessarily understand that what they are being moved by is audio.”
Nick Ryan | Composer, Sound Designs, Artist and Specialist
But, how do you become a suggested brand in order to have these conversations? Most search engine results pages (SERPS) can be separated into two categories: paid advertisements and organic search results. This is also the same with voice search. The way in which we conduct search engine optimization (SEO) however, will change. Webmasters will no longer try to cram their sites full of keywords so they appear in the rankings of the golden 1st page of the SERPs. Long tail keywords will now start to become the norm with customers no longer typing “Coffee” into their browser, but rather speaking into their mobile phones asking, “Where is the best coffee shop near me?” Incorporate this into your SEO strategy and you’ll see a spike in website hits.
2) Your customer’s virtual assistant
We all ask Siri to see what the weather is, or to tell us a joke, but voice search is about to become far more sophisticated than a gimmick.
“It is interesting, when something acts naturally and human back to you, how much we imbue it with sentience, with human personality.”
Martin Reddy | Co-founder and CTO, PullString
This could be booking the best restaurant near them or even asking Starbuck’s Barista Bot to start brewing their morning latte. Comparatively, most users are now turning to voice search to help provide inspiration to life’s problems. Whether this be deciding on which mortgage to go with or how to care for your new car. Could your brand be the inspiration they need?
3) A natural chit-chat
How often do our children ask us “Hey Mum? Tell me where the nearest bus stop is?" Who really speaks that way? Sadly, this is the case for how we verbally structure our commands to our current voice assistants. Fear not, software companies are producing bots with superior recognition software and a far better understanding of the intent behind words by using Natural Language Processing (NLP).
NLP will allow consumers to have back and forth dialogue with their virtual assistant; resulting in more accurate responses, fully flowing conversations and even anticipating what brands will fulfil their master's requirements.
4) The GDPR black cloud
You’ve all had the emails regarding GDPR, and most likely deleted them. But data privacy is the hot topic of the season and voice search has responded phenomenally to it. 44% of regular users are worried about companies listening to their conversation. Voice search algorithms have responded to this qualm by ensuring that brands that respect their customer’s privacy and collect their data with integrity are pushed to the top of the suggested SERPs during voice searches. Work on your data privacy policies and you could see yourself welcoming hundreds of new customers.
Keep your finger on the pulse and voice search could soon become how your next customer finds you online. Text-based searches will still exist, but will no longer dominate mobile and computer search queries. Voice search is steadily rising through the search ranks. You can feel confident in embracing it with the knowledge that companies such as Starbucks, Google, Amazon, Apple and even Hey Barbie are the pioneers in this new discoverability software. There’s never been a more crucial time for your brand to start developing its voice search capability.