There’s a lot of good news surrounding the growth of voice-first devices. As reported by VoiceLabs, nearly 25 million of the devices shipped in 2017, bringing the total in use to 33 million. Voice-first devices are becoming a regular tool in homes and people are looking to their Amazon Echo or Google Home, for example, to help them accomplish everyday tasks such as shopping, banking and home automation. In response to this demand, many credit unions have begun to consider implementing a voice-first application. As part of any voice technology roll out, credit unions should create a marketing plan to introduce their voice technology to members. A good plan will focus on ease of use and speed, while overcoming skepticism.
What Members Want from Voice
Many members already have experience with other methods of interacting with their credit union such as ATMs, online or telebanking. A voice-first app is simply an additional channel of engagement, but the desire from members is no different. What members want is a personalized experience that delivers information relevant to their needs.
New experiences often leave people unsure about what to do or what will happen. As convenient as voice-first may be, members may still have concerns about its use, especially in the areas of privacy and hacking. They’re also turned off by impersonal experiences that lack the empathy they get from face-to-face interactions. The VoiceLabs report offers a sobering statistic: when a voice application acquires a new user, there is only a 3% chance the user will still be active in the second week. Why? Because the app or skill doesn’t work properly, is inconsistent, or isn’t designed to cater to the user’s needs.
Marketing Voice to Members
Credit unions experience a high level of member trust. That puts your organization in a great position to convince customers to give voice-first financial activity a try. The road to adoption starts with pointing out the benefits:
- When you interact with a voice-based system it remembers your history with the credit union, including your past interactions, transactions, and preferences.
- Accuracy with voice recognition is nearly 100%.
- You can check account balances, move money, and manage financial goals with simple voice commands. All without turning on your computer or touching a keyboard.
- Voice calling features let you connect to a credit union representative.
It’s important, then, that credit unions offer a seamless voice experience to their members. Those that do will be rewarded with customers who remain invested in voice-first banking.
What Lies Ahead
Full voice technology adoption won’t happen overnight, but the rise of voice-first devices indicates some truly revolutionary developments for the credit union industry. Consider this: at the start of 2016, Alexa had just north of 130 apps (or skills). By the end of the year, it had over 5,000 and today consumers have their choice of over 25,000, including Best Innovation Group’s FIVE (Financial Innovations Voice Experience).
The bottom line: voice represents an incredible opportunity for credit unions to introduce and market a new technology to members in a meaningful way that doesn’t diminish the traditional personal relationship.