Goodbye mobile apps, hello voice assistants?



Digital voice assistants can play an important role in enhancing the customer experience in the digital economy. They can make a big difference in the way consumers relate with brands to the point where there are voices claiming that voice assistants can be the beginning of the end of mobile applications.


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The decision between apps or voice assistants

For more than a decade, the role of mobile applications as a channel of communication, marketing and customer loyalty has been very relevant for companies. This role is being called into question with the arrival of conversational interfaces and their application to the field of customer experience, a market that is currently being defined but whose potential undoubtedly has a great scope.

Far from disappearing, the apps will continue to have a wide journey and voice assistants will add innovation and possibilities in customer relations with the brand. However, it is true that each company will have to find the cases and decide when to use one tool or another to offer an optimal experience to their customers.

To help make this decision, from Linke we want to offer a series of general clues about when to develop whether a mobile app or a voice assistant.


We will choose a voice assistant when...

  1. ... the action to be performed is more natural using voice than using screens or devices with buttons. For example: "Alexa, turn off all the lights in the living room" is faster and more natural than going to find the switches and pressing them all. 
  2. ... the action to be performed is simpler using voice than other options. For example: "Ok Google, play Michael Jackson's Spotify playlist", is much simpler than going to the native application, go to the playlists section and look for Michael Jackson's playlist. Another very simple example: "Alexa, call my mother".
  3. ... there isn't a considerable list of actions to do. Keep in mind that the user can have between five and seven options in mind, so designing one with more than seven options will probably lead to its underuse, as the user will not remember all the available options. The skill has to have a clear and defined functionality.
  4. ... provide a key value to the user to execute the action. For example, when we ask the voice wizard with screen to tell us a recipe step by step, the wizard accompanies us through the steps, and we will not have a problem trying to move to the next step with our fingers if we have food on them. In this case, the use of voice provides an optimal solution.
  5. ... allows you to activate routines that involve the action of several elements without prior programming. For example, if we say "Ok Google, start the kitchen routine", the action will result in the kitchen lights turning on, offering a list of recipes to cook, turning on the oven and activating the “Kitchen” playlist in Spotify.


We will choose a mobile application when...

  1. ... the number of actions to be carried out is greater than seven and they have different objectives. For example, a supermarket application has several areas of management: products sorted by categories, orders, management of personal data, and so on.
  2. ... you need visual support to display a considerable amount of information or the screen display is characteristic. In the case of a photo gallery application, a visual support is essential, in addition to facilitating navigation through gestures.
  3. ... an intense use of writing is necessary, as in e-mail applications.
  4. ... whether it is a search application with filters or one that gives many details of the results. Banking applications are a case in point.

In short, both channels of interaction are complementary and the key to success will be how companies combine them in an omnichannel strategy that guarantees a differential and personalized experience in all the points of contact of the client with the brand, that is to say, along what we know as 'customer journey'.

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