New research from professional services company Cognizant has revealed Australian businesses are well-positioned to lead in the future of voice, but there’s more to be done to make this a reality:
- COVID-19: The ‘technology moment’ for voice: 93 per cent of Australian respondents believe the shift from touch to voice will only accelerate further in the future and 78 per cent (APAC regional average 74 per cent) view voice as important or extremely important for their brand’s future success.
- Voice is no longer optional: Australian businesses are leading the rest of APAC, with 22 per cent of respondents saying they already have a formal voice strategy in place. Moreover, within the next one to two years, another 53 per cent of businesses (APAC regional average 50 per cent) will join those ranks, further advancing Australia’s lead in voice strategy and implementation.
- Voice means money: On average, Australian companies plan to spend 3 per cent of their revenues on building voice capabilities in the next five years. This comes with a high expectation on returns, with businesses aiming to drive 6.5 per cent of their revenue through voice during the same period. To get there, Australian companies have prioritised three top focus areas to maximise value from voice: quicker response to customers (64 per cent); elevating customer service levels (60); and enabling personalised experiences (57 per cent).
- Companies getting prepared for the challenges ahead: Data privacy (87 per cent), shortage of required talent and knowledge (84 per cent) and developing a voice personality (80 per cent), are the top three challenges companies face or anticipate on their voice journey. Only 39 per cent of Australian companies (APAC regional average 40 per cent) are confident about their ability to integrate voice with existing business processes.
- AI is at the core of future voice strategy: AI is the catalyst behind a successful voice strategy, with 70 per cent of Australian businesses (vs. APAC regional average of 75 per cent) eager to leverage AI (natural language processing, machine learning and other AI technologies).
- IT infrastructure readiness is the biggest concern: 73 per cent of respondents in Australia said this is essential for their voice strategy’s success, however, only 27 per cent are confident their IT infrastructure is ready. Banking and financial services (25 per cent) and insurance (26 per cent) companies are least confident about their IT infrastructure readiness to support real-time voice experiences.
Cognizant Associate Vice President, center for the future of work, Asia Pacific Manish Bahl said: “Future generations will no doubt look back on COVID-19 as the moment in human history when voice moved from a gradual journey, to a sudden adoption. Voice will trigger a lifetime change in the way we live, work and play, fundamentally changing the brand landscape and how consumers are influenced to make decisions. Now, with Australian consumers adopting smart speakers at a faster rate than their US counterparts, businesses are beginning to realise that a voice strategy is no longer optional, it is essential to remain relevant and competitive.
“Our research shows that Australian businesses are in a strong position to lead the rest of Asia-Pacific in voice adoption, however, there is more progress to be made in the digital maturity of its underlying technologies like AI. Businesses that accelerate this maturity and adapt to the shift toward voice will enjoy a level playing field among competitors, regardless of size.”
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