Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had a personal assistant? Someone in the office standing by to help them find an important file or send a time-sensitive message? Can you imagine how much time you’d save if you didn’t have to drop everything to send that team email or figure out how to access that feature you forgot how to use?
While the idea of having a personal assistant is a little far fetched (and cost prohibitive) for most people, there are tech alternatives out there for people that are looking for ways to boost workplace productivity. Speech recognition technology, and specifically digital assistants have seen widespread adoption since Apple first introduced Siri in 2011. In fact, 75% of US households are projected to have smart speakers by the end of 2020.
For all the benefits they’ve provided us with personally, digital speech assistants haven’t seen widespread adoption in the workplace. Despite that, there’s a strong case for a speech-enabled office that starts with these five advantages:
Every once in a while, we all find ourselves spending time on tasks that aren’t all that productive. If you’ve ever struggled to locate a customer file or find a co-worker’s phone number, then you know what I’m talking about. Sometimes, basic speech recognition technology features like interactive voice response (IVR) systems can help combat wasted time by listening to your voice to route calls and complete tasks (this is what happens when you pay a bill by phone). More advanced offerings like ChitChat take this a step further by also providing you with a digital assistant that allows you to access features, send messages, and set your availability so your coworkers can see when you’re busy or out of the office.
Speech recognition technology doesn’t just help sales pros and customer service reps react to problems; it also lets them proactively address them. For example, if a call center employee is eating lunch but notices a high volume of calls coming in, they can simply use a voice command to insert themselves into the queue and speak with customers before they’re on hold too long. Companies that are prompt and responsive to support-related calls improve their chances of retaining customers - in fact, 71% of customers say the most important thing a brand can do when providing customer service is valuing their time.
We’re all pretty mobile in our jobs these days, so remote connectivity is more of a “must-have” than a “nice-to-have”. Using a digital speech assistant, you can set your presence information, call forwarding, and voicemail to email all by just using your voice. It’s important to be accessible when you’re mobile/working from home, whether you manage a team that uses you as a resource or work in a customer-facing role that requires you to be as responsive as possible.
A major benefit to using a VoIP-based speech recognition product is that it integrates with the rest of your business communication technology. A full integration means that your digital assistant has access to your business contacts and messages, and can also tie-in with your CRM. Rather than struggling to “marry” two separate pieces of tech (like Siri and your business communications), you can hit the ground running with an all-encompassing solution.
Effective team collaboration is essential to overall workplace productivity, whether your employees are all in the same office or widely distributed. Speech recognition technology simplifies internal processes and makes it easier for managers to organize projects and tasks. One feature I’ve found especially useful has been voice messaging - rather than having to type out an email that has a decent chance of getting lost in my coworkers’ inboxes anyway, I can just provide an update using my voice and send it to a designated group. This has saved me time and removed some of the hassle from team collaboration - in my mind, the easier it is to communicate, the better off my team will be.
Speech technology is taking off in our homes, but hasn’t been widely adopted in our offices yet. If you’re looking for ways to leverage technology that makes employees more productive, you should definitely be evaluating the benefits that speech recognition can provide.
If you’re looking for a place to start, check out our speech suite Chitchat - it’s robust, intuitive, and fully integrated with our platform.