With the advent of speech recognition and its democratization with voice assistants, new uses have emerged. These new habits, driven by the advantages of this new human-machine interface, have profoundly rethought the way people design products and services. For example, search engine results are changing rapidly to incorporate voice requests. With this rapid evolution of consumers, a delay has naturally set in in the practices of companies. This imbalance has given rise to new branches of marketing, namely Voice Marketing and Voice UX (VUX).
How to think about your vocal experience (VUX)? How to understand these new practices related to voice assistants?
What is Voice Marketing and Voice UX (VUX)?
Voice Marketing covers all brand experiences and contact points enabled by voice technologies, in the same way that digital marketing has emerged via the Internet and smartphones. This new form of marketing improves the customer experience by being more engaging and fun. In addition, it makes it possible to deliver the brand message to the consumer’s home through uses that constitute real added value for the consumer.
This brings us to the VUX which refers to the art and way of designing vocal experiences designed for (and often by) users. Also called “voice design”, it refers to the development of the user experience as well as the sound design of the experience but also to other considerations such as potential gamification.
It is a set of principles to provide a friction-free and truly engaging experience for the user.
How do we think about VUX strategies ?
The Voice Marketing aspect is the result of consultation with the brand and must respect both the brand discourse and the tone used in its other communication channels. This aspect varies according to the brand’s expectations, which may be attached to a more experiential or ROI dimension, although the two are not incompatible, it is even the opposite.
As far as VUX is concerned, it is more the result of an internal reflection that adapts to the brand’s objectives. Some principles are unavoidable, whatever the experience and some are based on common sense. For example, it is counterproductive to offer more than three options to the user within a single interaction in the sense that the user will have difficulty retaining more than three.
What does it consist of ?
The research part is a major step in the creation of an application, it is even the most important part. It is included in the design design process, it must be methodical with a focus on the end user. Over several stages, many hypotheses will be tested. This makes it possible to determine the nature of the application: from an emotional point of view, from a functional point of view, the tone and nature of the voice…
It also covers many considerations and prerequisites, namely: the choice of voice (we obviously recommend the use of a human actor’s voice) but also the sound universe or sound branding. Sound branding is expressed through music, sound effects, earcons (the audio equivalent of icons), ASMR, etc.
As mentioned above, it is also important to respect conversational design rules in order to make the user experience as pleasant as possible.
What should we pay particular attention to ?
As voice technology is still a relatively new field that remains to be conquered for most brands, every aspect of the experience is important. The most important axis is probably the design because nothing is more frustrating than an experience with which it is difficult or even impossible to interact.
Beyond that, the choice of use case is also of crucial importance. Without careful prior reflection, the experience created may not meet the brand’s expectations while creating no added value for the end user.
What are the best practices today, the case studies in this area ?
Be aware of the limits of technology even if they are likely to evolve, it is useless to think of an experiment that is too complex. This is why the best examples of voice-commerce (Starbucks to name only one) very quickly realized that voice was ideal to repeat an order already placed previously.
No VUX vs. Good VUX: the results ?
It’s simple: not providing your brand with a VUX is missing an opportunity to reach your consumers in a different way. By doing so, the brand is able to offer them an improved and innovative customer experience.
It also means depriving oneself of a privileged conversational universe that allows each consumer to enjoy a space dedicated to him.
With the growing and emerging enthusiasm for voice and the opportunities for customer experience, brands can be tempted to build a voice experience at any cost. However, a number of prerequisites must be studied to really offer an engaging experience. As we have seen previously, it is a question of identifying the right use case(s) and at the same time defining the design associated with the experiment.