Right now there’s a time-saving technology just sitting at your fingertips, just gathering virtual dust. To be fair, this technology doesn’t even need your fingertips. We’re talking about voice-activated software and one of the most popular options on the market is Alexa.
You’ve heard of Alexa. You’ve seen the ads. Amazon advertises Alexa for every day, cutesy family use. But don’t be fooled. Alexa is incredibly useful for businesses, and its usefulness is only going grow over time.
Businesses Are Already Using Alexa
Voice recognition software like Alexa has already made their way into customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Employees with their hands full can use voice commands to enter customer information, look up data, and send reminders. But the most common place to find speech recognition software in use is over the phone.
For years, customer service departments have used a “press [number] for [service]” system. But customers hated it. Now voice recognition software allows users to state their needs and bypass lengthy phone menu options. Businesses can reduce the volume of their calls, redirect consumers to relevant information, and cut down on wait time.
But don’t get too excited now; streamlined phone services are just the beginning.
Make Way for Your New Assistant
Voice recognition programs are well on their way to becoming valuable employees. Using a “virtual assistant” saves time and cuts down on monotonous tasks in the day, like searching for specific emails or files. At the sound of your voice, Alexa will schedule events on your calendar, give you reminders, and dig up emails from a specific person or date. There’s no need to type into a search box and waste time manually scanning your inbox for the right email anymore.
Alexa isn’t limited to data retrieval. She can also take care of data entry. Today’s speech-to-text software has reached a nearly-perfect level of accuracy. And like a well-trained employee, they only improve over time. These software adapt to the sound of your voice to recognize your patterns of speaking and any pronunciation quirks you may have. Customization options even enable software to learn industry-specific jargon.
The Speedier Way to Work
Speech-to-text software is faster than typing since it takes less time to dictate words than to type them. The average employee types an average of 50 to 70 words per minute (wpm). Alexa and her voice-recognizing cousins range from 120 to 140 wpm.
Unfortunately, typing on your phone is even slower. A Stanford study found that speech recognition software is three times faster than texting. While at first this may not seem important for businesses, many employees now conduct business on their mobile devices.
According to Syntonic, 87 percent of employers expect their employees to use their personal devices for work activities, like accessing business apps. Meanwhile, 23 percent of employees use a corporate-issued mobile device at work.
The bottom line is that work is mobile, and your CRM systems should be smartphone-compatible. Speech recognition software helps you complete work at a faster pace, regardless of whether you choose to use your desktop or phone.
An Easy Transition to the Workplace
We’ve mostly seen Alexa advertised for home use. But that’s to the small business’s advantage. People are becoming familiar with voice recognition software in their personal lives, so making the transition to professional use isn’t a big leap. Small businesses especially are at an advantage, since they can test this software right away, without waiting for corporate approval.
We’ve seen a similar shift in business travel and home-sharing services. Employees used services like Airbnb for vacation, liked the experience, and wanted to know why they couldn’t use it for business trips too. Airbnb has responded with a business option that’s grown to include over 250,000 companies.
While we can’t promise growth this dramatic for voice-recognition software in business, speech-to-text and other voice activated services are increasingly becoming a modern convenience. It’s only natural for businesses to use Alexa for CRMs, data entry, and virtual assistant capabilities. And in the future, who knows what else will be possible?
Harnessing the power of voice-recognition software and Alexa to save time and increase productivity is just one way Act! empowers businesses to compete at a higher level. Learn more about why Act! is the preferred partner of today’s small businesses.