The new kid in town: Voice!

What does it mean when children yell: “Hey Siri, how’s the weather?” It’s simple: The next generation is questioning our tired old input methods with mouse and keyboard. The old “tools” for navigating the digital world are increasingly being replaced by touch, gesture, and voice.

Ray Sono

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Voice interfaces – they’re getting smarter every day

“We think that searching via keyboard is dead.” A clear statement from Fabrice Otaño, Chief Data Officer of the AccorHotels Group, which highlights the urgency of the change.

It is vital for companies to recognise these trends in advance and actively respond to them. There is a lot to consider, such as the special SEO optimisation of content, the definition of new user experiences or new customer journeys, or the transfer of your own corporate identity into the voice world. Sebastian Krüger, Managing Partner at Ray Sono, explains the details.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that” – we’ll hear this sentence less in the future because smart assistants are getting smarter. Market researchers from Loup Ventures put the Google, Apple, and Amazon homepods to the test and asked them around 800 questions. The Google Assistant answered 81 percent of the questions correctly. Alexa managed 64 percent, while Siri only managed 52.3 percent correctly. But technical developments are progressing rapidly, so that even better quotas can be expected soon.

Example of Google I/O

An impressive example was shown at the Google I/O Conference, where the Duplex language module for Google Assistant booked a hairdresser appointment and reserved a table in a restaurant without the other person noticing that it was a machine. The AI sounds so convincing that the person on the other end thinks they’re talking to a real person. That’s why Google promises that Duplex will identify itself as a machine. 

Machine learning and the artificial intelligence behind the voice interface will expand application areas to an extreme degree and further reduce the current limits.

Voice facts in 2018

  • 95% accuracy in Google AI’s word recognition.
  • 40% of US millennials use voice assistants before making a purchase decision.
  • 36% of Germans already use voice assistants in their daily lives.
  • 10% of Germans prefer to use voice assistants rather than go to a shop or bank branch.
  • In 2020, 50% of all searches will be conducted via speech.

Voice in product and service development

To harness the potential of voice, the following basic findings should be considered in product and service development:

  1. The search engine must become the answer machine – dialogue drives experience.
  2. Voice UX is not the mirror of a website. It has its own voice, behaviour, and tonality.
  3. Voice interfaces must create added value. They must get to the point fast, be better informed, and always be service- and customer-centric.


Voice is a new interface that no brand will be able to ignore for long.

Voice search is revolutionising the way we search for and consume content. It is vital for companies to recognise this in advance and actively respond to it.

Sebastian Krüger, Managing Partner, Ray Sono

Voice and SEO

The big question, however, is how to prepare content in the future so that smart assistants can find it. Google is currently testing the specification “Speakable”. It can implement publishers into text, with these displaying sections of news articles that seem most relevant for the wizard to read. This step represents a completely new SEO field, because Speakable can also optimise information on websites to make them readable for speech assistants.

Voice in the corporate identity

In the future, the challenge of corporate identity will no longer be only to arouse emotions with graphic aids or images, but how to present itself acoustically to persuade the customer to buy or use its products. This is much more difficult and at the same time more important.

Voice will accelerate the trend toward sophisticated branding and suddenly make the sound of a brand an important part of brand management. It will be vital to combine good, friendly, and possibly even charismatic “consultation” with the precise results of an online research. If the two are successfully combined, we have a real virtual assistant: a character, a friend, an expert – not just an effective and simple interaction.

In general, one key success principle for voice searches can be predicted: the higher the quality of the answer is, the better the user experience will be. From an entrepreneurial perspective, this means that the more satisfactory the answer is for the user, the more willing they will be to ask further questions and ultimately realise the desired conversion.

You want to learn more about Ray Sono? Get in touch!

You want to learn more about Ray Sono? Get in touch!

Nancy Forner
Marketing & Communications
Contact us here

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