Splice Software, a provider of automated customer communication solutions, today released data-driven voice applications for devices that run Amazon Alexa’s Skills, including the Echo and Echo Dot. Using existing APIs that enable simplified deployment processes, the apps aim to give businesses the means with which to automatically interact with, and engage, customers in their homes.
It’s no secret that voice-activated apps are becoming increasingly popular additions to the smart assistant devices that run in the home. The apps can be downloaded and tacked onto devices like Amazon’s Echo to provide users with additional capabilities and convenience, similar to the ways in which apps can be added to smartphones. Alexa-enabled devices—which are not limited to Echo, but include Samsung’s smart TVs—currently support more than 10,000 Alexa Skills, which allow customers to speak to a device to check the weather, open the garage door, turn off a light, etc.
With its release, Splice Software expands the possibilities and addresses a range of use cases to make it easier for businesses to hold dialogues with their customers. The vendor’s Alexa Skills offerings allow users to ask the device about the status of deliveries, appointment information, service completion times, and other areas that can be useful to insurance, finance, and retail companies, among others. With a voice assistant, for instance, someone who is waiting on a couch delivery can request its location to find out when it will likely arrive. Bank customers can inquire about an upcoming appointment with an adviser, and ask the company to reschedule. A driver who has had a car accident can ask his insurance company about renting another car while his primary vehicle is in the shop for repairs.
What a customer would do, explains Tara Kelly, Splice Software’s president and CEO, is ask Triple A, via a connected device, “Is my car ready for pickup?” And, “imagine you’re home, making supper, trying to get the dog out, get the kids—whatever it is that happens in your life when you walk through that door—and [Alexa] says ‘No,’ but asks you in the right voice, tone, and dialect, ‘Would you like to [keep] your rental car?'” The process is thus made easier, Kelly concludes.
Splice Software’s cloud-based Dialog Suite allows end users to create personalized, automated messages for their customers, drawing data from multiple sources of text-based dialogue and customer analytics.
Companies that are using data-driven dialogues for human voice communications through Splice’s services can transfer those to Alexa Skills.
According to Kelly, customers are more trusting of companies represented robots that speak in cogent phrases and express emotions, and are more likely to carry out transactions with them. This is one way the vendor hopes to distinguish its offerings from those of Nuance, who also released capabilities for Alexa last week. The vendor is also developing applications for the Google Home platform, Kelly says.
“People are starting to be able to talk to anything; If you’re alone, it’s comfortable, it’s easy, and you’re in a quiet space, people will just ask their phone over type all day long,” Kelly says. “For our clients, and for brands, this is a really important next step, and I think people are going to be alarmed at just how fast these connected talking home devices become part of a must-have list, like a website was 15 to 20 years ago.”