Even Amazon is surprised by how much people love Alexa. The enthusiasm for the voice-enabled assistant that powers the company’s Echo line of devices should really come as no surprise. People love convenience, and what’s more convenient than a simple piece of equipment that helps you shop, listen to music, check the weather, stream video, and offers a joke of the day? And it does it all by responding to your voice.
The world of voice-first devices is booming and forward-thinking credit unions are wise to jump on the bandwagon.
When members talk, it’s always a good idea for credit unions to listen. While it’s true that credit union members love the personal service they receive in their branches, voice-first devices offer them the opportunity to interact with their financial institution in much the same way without leaving the comfort of their home. The message being sent by members today is loud and clear. They want:
- Things done fast. Since humans can speak far faster than they type, a voice-driven assistant helps them get tasks done much more quickly.
- Devices that are easy to operate. What’s simpler than speaking commands and asking questions? It doesn’t get any easier than hands-free operation and instant feedback.
- Personalized content that reflects their interests and helps them be more productive.
How Credit Unions Can Benefit
Voice-first applications offer credit unions a valuable opportunity to satisfy member desire for immediate account access, while maintaining personalized service. Besides offering their members more of what they do best – personalized attention - credit unions can use the data that voice-first devices collect to better serve their customers. For example, when a member checks a credit card balance, the credit union can make offers based on usage or offer debt relief solutions.
As the technology landscape evolves, there will be even greater potential to expand member services.
The Future Looks Bright
As members discover convenient it is to "ask Alexa" rather than tap on their smartphone’s tiny keyboard, credit unions can expect to see voice-first use greatly increase. Indeed, experts agree that by 2020, voice-based interactions with devices will make up at least 50% of all searches. Gartner predicts in that same period, 30% of web browsing sessions will be performed without a screen. As voice-first devices come to dominate how members obtain products and services, credit unions will find they are an exciting way to engage with members in a more meaningful way.