To expand the information available on the internet with your organization’s content, you add a website. To extend those abilities to a smartphone, you can create a Mobile App. To add an ability to a Smart Speaker, you build a Voice App!
Google calls them Actions, Cortana and Alexa call them Skills. Here at Zammo, we simply call them Voice Apps.
Like with Mobile Apps, each Voice App fulfills a particular function; a game, daily horoscopes, takeout orders, answers to FAQs, etc. But different from websites and Mobile Apps, which are meant to be seen, you build a Voice App to engage your audience verbally. When your audience speaks to their smart speakers (or phones), your Voice App responds. And just like a website or Mobile App, these Voice Apps can be as simple or complicated as you would like.
Here’s an example of a simple invocation:
“Hey Google, ask Paddington Medical Center what time it closes on Saturday”
When building Voice Apps, it’s up to you to define the requests the app can handle and the words users say to invoke those requests - usually your brand’s name on voice (voice domain). Though you can only secure your brand’s voice domain once you have a published Voice App - there’s no domain parking like there is on web.
As of January 2019, there were 4,253 official Google Voice Apps in the U.S. and 56,750 Alexa Voice Apps. Apps are automatically made available to Google and Cortana users when they’re published, while Alexa users need to enable their apps manually.
A major hurdle to brands getting on voice has been down to them having to build one Voice App for each platform, with cross-platform solutions costing anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 (more on the cost of launching a Voice App).
BRANDED VOICE APPS VS. SEARCH
If you have your own branded Voice App, then people can use that app to search for information about your business, products, or services - and you can fully control the answers they receive and the customer experience. It also means you can optimize those answers specifically for voice, without having to worry about whether you’re harming the search experience on web.
After making a local voice search, 28% of users call the business and 27% visit their website, so you really don’t want your customer experience on voice to fall down here.
If you don’t have your own branded Voice App, then users will have to perform a regular voice search. It’s then up to search engines to get that information from other sources - directories, Yelp or your website - which can make it trickier to ensure users get appropriate responses. Worst case scenario, the voice assistant may just respond with “I don’t know,” leaving your audience disappointed with their voice experience and associating it with your brand.
That’s why the best way to get ahead on voice is to create a branded Voice App.
Zammo creates your branded Voice App for you. We’re the only platform that lets you build one Voice App for all available assistants with zero code. Learn how you can get started for free.