Home assistants are becoming more and more popular with the likes of Alexa and Google Home.
Being a company that likes to stay ahead of the curve, we have recognised that voice will be a huge part of how we interact with technology in the future. Currently, voice is a very unsaturated market. As a result, this is a great time to be take advantage of this and offer something your competitors are not. More importantly, it’s not just about being ahead of the curve – the technology can change the way people do things while making life easier in the process.
So, What is an Alexa Skill?
Think of an Alexa Skill as an app. Alexa has it’s own app store but for skills that users can download. The Amazon Echo device is made up of these skills. Such skills give Alexa the ability to turn off the lights in your house or tell you what the weather forecast is this week.
Looking at the Big Players
Lets take BMW as an example. BMW have an Alexa skill that links to their latest range of vehicles (2014 models onwards), allowing their users to unlock/lock doors and set up the journey on the car’s sat nav, all by using their voice. This offers a unique experience for their consumers, something their competitors don’t offer. It makes a statement showing that they are going above an beyond to provide free tools to their customers, using the latest technology.
Skills on the Alexa store tend to be free but some have “in-skill purchasing”. In-skill Purchasing allows developers to restrict access to specific features of the skill. An example of this is a skill that plays ambient sounds. To unlock all the sounds you may need to pay a small fee. This is one way you can generate a revenue stream through Alexa.
Your Alexa skill doesn’t necessarily need to generate sales. Your skill can simply be a tool, providing more value to your consumer. A skill we have developed as part of the Yep Career suite of products is called ‘The Interviewer’ that emulates the interview process at home. By saying, “Alexa, new interview question”, Alexa gives the user a common interview question to answer, as practice. This separates us from our competitors, coming up with innovative and free ways to provide value to our customers. Another example of a tool we have made is Emergency CPR, that gives a step-by-step walkthrough of how to give CPR with a 120 beats per minute audio track to be in-sync with the rhythm. These examples give you an idea of the kind of skills you can build to help grow your brand, get your name out there but most of all provide real value.
In the not so distant future, not being able to interact with your customers through voice will be like not having an online presence in 2018. The reality is having an Alexa skill in 2018 is a cool, quirky addition to your business that will help you stand out amongst competitors, but it is not a requirement to interact with your consumers, yet.
Lawlor Technologies specialise in building Alexa skills, designing a seamless communication between Alexa and the user. We believe Alexa skills should flow like a conversation and factor in a multitude of possible responses the user could give. If you would like to know more about Alexa skills and are thinking about creating one for your business, please feel free to get in touch with us.