Creating a Viable Voice Assistant Strategy for Your Business

Creating a Viable Voice Assistant Strategy for Your Business | HTR

Alexa. Siri. Corona. Google Home. What do these devices and apps have in common? They are voice activated digital assistants that easily connect to IoT devices, search faster than internet browsers and are fully integrated with AI.

Most home users ask about the weather, set alarms or select music from them.

But what about use in your company? While this may seem like a slam dunk, be cautious about adoption on a carte blanc basis.

Why? Because these devices listen to every word, which can lead to positive and negative implications. Here are five policy considerations before buying even one voice assistant device.  

Positive Impact of Voice Assistant Devices on Business

  1. If you have an ecommerce system, customers can order products from a command.
    The ability to select specific items via voice commands is very attractive to most users, especially repeat clients.
     
  2. These devices learn all the time, so they can recommend other products based on a user’s buying pattern.
    This is an opportunity to upsell existing clients without any human interaction. It can educate clients on your products and services.

Negative Side of Voice Activated Devices

  1. If an employee has malicious intent, they could record your voice.
    Imagine someone in your workplace recording your voice that tells Alexa to unlock your office door or turn off the building’s security system. This opens up a whole lot of opportunities, especially for disgruntled employees.
     
  2. These devices often have the lowest level of encryption.
    Identity theft is at a higher risk, especially for credit card purchases.

Digital Assistant Policy Considerations

  1. Don’t use a digital assistant to:
    1. Unlock your doors
    2. Connect to security systems
    3. Keep passwords
    4. Store credit cards
    5. Gather banking information
       
  2. Carefully consider where these devices are located.
    Test one out for a few months and see if it improves visitor interest, employee productivity and engagement. Be certain the unit is under physical lock and key at the end of the workday.
     
  3. Deactivate the unit if you are away for extended periods.
    If you are going on vacation or taking a leave of absence, be sure to deactivate your system while gone.
     
  4. Configure units with strong passwords.
    Ensure your device does not have the default password and if possible, tie the unit to a VPN for an added security layer.
     
  5. Erase your history and recordings every month.
    The best way to avoid being hacked is to reset the unit periodically.

Conclusion: Proceed with Caution

While a digital assistant may be great in your lobby to continuously loop jazz music, let employees know which visitor is in the lobby or turn on and off the “Open” sign, these units still have a way to go before they can be a trusted technology in your business.  

Even in Singapore, the country that nearly 50% of the population has one, they use voice assistants to ask fun questions, conduct online searches and play music.

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