Voice Strategies in Conversational Design
By Shyamala Prayaga
The Future is Spoken is pleased to have Sina Kahen as a guest in our latest episode - Voice Strategies. Sina is a voice strategist based in London, U.K, and he shares a huge amount of information with listeners in this episode.Sina works in the medical technology world and also owns his own company, Vaice. The company name is a made-up word, combining the acronym AI and the word voice.In this episode, Sina discusses the importance of strategy when businesses develop a voice app or voice interface. He explains that a strategic approach is the bridge between AI and the needs of businesses wanting to use voice technology as part of a customer journey. Vaice always takes a strategic approach with clients, and aims to help brands understand what’s possible with voice, and move forward with voice interface development. When Vaice begins working with a new client, its first step is a discussion about why the client is considering using voice technology. Sina recommends that voice tech consulting firms begin at a high level to determine if voice is even a fit for a company. “We focus on getting to know a brand before voice is even discussed as a possible solution. Once you determine that voice is in fact a fit and there is a need for it, you dig into the weeds and begin working on the strategy, on the how.“Brands are being exposed to so many technologies today. So our starting point is looking at a brand’s customer journey and helping them understand what voice might be able to do for them,” he explains. One of the key ways all of determining whether voice is a good fit for a client is by analyzing the amount of involvement a consumer will have with a service or product. “It's our job to look up the level of involvement a customer might have with a product or service to determine if voice technology is a good fit,” says Sina.For example, a service such as insurance is a high-involvement purchase because a consumer usually needs a lot of information and has questions before buying. They will want to speak to a human, not a voice interface. If a voice interface is involved with this purchase, it will only be at the very beginning, in a superficial way, such as directing a consumer to making a call.In this episode, Sina discusses the challenges voice tech pros face, including the fact that companies believe voice tech can do more than it can in its current state. He explores the need for the voice industry to focus on utility and customer convenience, and the importance of adding personality to voice content. Sina recommends the following books for individuals entering the voice tech industry:Wired for Speech, by Clifford Nass and Scott BraveThe Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, by Kevin KellyFind Sina on LinkedIn and Instagram.