The Wonder and the Worry
Research agencies need a technology edge to stay ahead of clients and competitors. If your firm isn’t thinking faster, learning better and seeing farther it can’t connect the dots from research to ROI.
Sure, we’ve already seen head-spinning changes to marketing tech over the past decade that have sometimes outpaced society’s ability to adapt.
- The iPhone shifted our culture
- Social Media altered our relationships
- Marketing automation allowed for near 1:1 marketing
Even at this early stage, AI is already embedded in our lives. According to a recent Qualtrics survey, 61% of US adults already say they are regularly amazed at the capability of their smartphone, and advancements like this will certainly enter the realm of possibility soon.
The New Gateway to Better Customer Experiences
Every industry has a pivot point, and the adoption of digital assistants is a substantial one for market research. Digital assistants like Siri live in our phones. Intelligent agents like Alexa sit on our countertops. Chatbots pop up increasingly often in our apps like Facebook Messenger. They understand natural language. They can perform simple tasks. They’re beginning to feel like people you know.
These and others are already fairly adept at telling you the population of India or who won the game last night, but soon they’ll also be able to tell businesses how to raise the stakes by collecting the valuable customer feedback that consumers choose to share.
This ability will have a massive positive impact for customer experience and market research professionals.
Like a digital version of “The Elf on the Shelf”, virtual assistants are always ready to listen from nearby as a smart speaker or in your phone. They snap to attention when you call their name.
What if this technology could become the new voice interface for market research? Could the majority of your future feedback be sent with your voice instead of your fingertips? Are most future surveys destined to be voice interviews?
After all, since you are already on a first-name basis with your digital assistant, you might as well tell it how you really feel.
Collecting feedback from customers is becoming increasingly necessary for businesses to compete. However, the public is simultaneously becoming increasingly concerned about the data businesses collect. That verb, “collect”, is the key. How is data collected? Is it voluntarily offered by a customer? Or is it collected without explicit permission using cookies, geographic location, clicks, and search queries?
In other words, is feedback volunteered or is it extracted with surveillance? That distinction will be the great dividing line in the AI privacy debate. In may cases, surveillance is the norm, and AI will only introduce new forms of spying tradecraft.
Even in today’s emerging AI world, 33% of consumers say they already don’t think they can control how much information companies collect about them and 43% feel they have a lack of control over their personal information according to McAfee research.
Building AI frameworks may be one of the most ambitious challenges ever taken on by humankind, but the accompanying privacy challenges may be equally challenging.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘a faster horse.’
How Will Digital
Assistants Impact Your
Henry Ford understood that some product concepts leap so far ahead that they cannot yet be imagined by customers. He once said that, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘a faster horse.’” Ford’s Model T wasn’t just a faster horse. It altered the very face of the earth. In our era, artificially intelligent digital assistants are on the cusp of doing the same.
Digital assistants like Siri and Alexa have gone mainstream, but they’re not stopping here. While still in their early stages of adoption, these chatty digital friends have the potential to seep into every aspect of business: customer service, order handling, ecommerce, product recommendations, marketing, and more. With the biggest tech brands on earth betting on digital assistants, it means they absolutely have as much world-changing potential as the Model T.
The data in our study can guide your product and service roadmap as you ponder how digital assistants will shake up the landscape.
How Consumers Prefer to Handle Tasks Today
Make a restaurant
Schedule a doctor’s
Register a product
Get info about a
On the Same Language Page
We’ve all been there--sometimes you ask your digital assistant a question and are astonished at its level of comprehension, and other times you can’t believe it misunderstood something so simple.
These inconsistencies will smooth out as the technology improves, but overall assistants perform well in the face of high expectations. US consumers say they expect their digital assistant to understand what they say 72% of time, and 58% of the time it actually does. While there is a gap between expectation and performance, it’s certainly not an insurmountable one. An important note: the degree to which digital assistants understand English varies if the person speaking to it is a native English speaker or not.
of Other Languages
The Most Common Digital
It’s not surprising that the most common digital assistant uses overlap with many common smartphone uses.
The Top 5 Digital Assistant Uses:
But consumers say that their digital assistant is not capable of performing all tasks with the same level of accuracy.
Consumers say their digital assistant is always helpful for:
There is a simple reason for the growth of digital assistants based on artificial intelligence--they add value to daily life. Considering the young nature of digital assistant technology and the swift advances it is making, it will likely play a growing role in how we shop, travel, communicate, and live.
As you’re building out your product roadmap, make sure you’re asking the right questions to implement artificial intelligence in your offerings. While it is perhaps still a “nice to have” for today’s consumer, tomorrow’s consumer wouldn’t accept anything less.
your products leverage the reach that
digital assistants provide?
you differentiate your product offering by integrating
a digital assistant?
your new service tie into the ways people are
communicating with the cloud?
digital assistants help you manage your technical support, customer feedback, marketing, and ordering programs?