Have you ever wanted to make an appointment online but found it too difficult or time-consuming? If...
The Pros of Using Voice Booking Technology
For some time now, voice booking has been considered the future of technology. We are living in a world where AI (Artificial Intelligence) is becoming more and more prevalent and voice commands have become second nature to us.
It’s one of the most revolutionary technologies in recent years and, although is relatively new in the world of online appointment scheduling, it’s spread like wildfire.
Voice booking (with 10to8’s Accessibility Suite) is available for all businesses, regardless of size or industry. It’s a great way to appeal to a wider audience, help those that might need a little assistance navigating the internet, and generate more revenue for your business as a result.
It saves people time and frustration trying to book online and enables people with disabilities or those who are less tech-savvy to schedule appointments with ease. Voice bookings free up your computer or smart device for other tasks as your customers can book their appointments with, well, a robot! This means less time answering phone calls and more time doing other important tasks for your business.
Of course, you might not be convinced just yet, so let’s take a closer look at what the pros of voice booking are? And are there any cons?
Let’s get started with the pros!
Voice booking improves accessibility
Voice booking dramatically improves the accessibility of online appointment scheduling.
People with any kind of visual impairment can benefit from this system as it’s not reliant on screen reading software. For people with reduced sight or mobility, voice recognition can offer an easy-to-use and more accessible service than their physical counterparts.
It will also make things simpler for those who struggle with modern technology, or the elderly that may have a difficult time with a mouse and keyboard.
It enables hands-free work
For individuals who are a fan of multi-tasking, voice technology allows for asking questions, setting reminders, and having an entire conversation without having to deviate from the task you’re doing.
The same goes for appointment scheduling.
This means you can book your appointments while working out, cooking dinner, or walking the dog. It also enables people with reduced mobility or difficulty using their hands to book appointments much easier.
This can actually boost productivity as well. Task management duties like setting up calls and booking appointments via voice can be done in much quicker than they would manually. This frees up more time for other tasks.
These days everything is about efficiency. It’s much quicker to ask Google or Alexa a question than to type it into a search engine. As such, voice bookings offer a convenient alternative to queuing on the phone to speak to a person or locating a website’s booking form.
There’s no need to type any of your details. You can simply tell the system what time slot works best for you and it’ll book it all in. It’s as easy as speaking to a human, but without having to wait for them to pick up and do the small talk bit.
For your business, voice bookings eliminate the issue of phone calls remaining without response due to empty reception desks. People take breaks, leave their desks to do another task, or are busy dealing with a different customer. In situations like these, clients that have phoned up your business can end up waiting on hold for ages. This is not a great customer experience and can cost you revenue.
Voice capabilities will get things taken care of quickly and easily which leads to much better experiences when it comes to booking meetings or appointments.
It’s less effort
There’s a reason that voice is exploding as an industry.
People are far more inclined to complete a purchase if they don’t need to make a lot of effort. Think about when you try to fill in a form or application online; if there are too many steps, sometimes you just give up, right?
Well, it’s no different with appointments.
Customers are always looking for the easiest option and voice booking gives them just that. Especially when it comes down to booking online, which can be a time-consuming task for those who are used to scheduling over the phone.
It saves admin time
For anyone who owns a small business, using voice bookings can save countless admin hours. This is because appointments are booked quickly, which means that receptionists, admin staff, or booking agents have more time to focus on other tasks.
It also cuts out the need for back-and-forth emailing and phone calls and is a much more efficient way of booking internal meetings too.
It’s safer than you might think
Just because voice bookings are easier, doesn’t mean everyone is on board. A common concern is that there could be some security issues surrounding voice technology. Hackers could send out scammy or malicious voice messages and what exactly does the AI “listen” to?
Well, the good news is that you don’t have to worry about this with voice booking.
The AI system will only be available if you call a certain number. So there’s no concern with passive listening or scammers.
So online appointment scheduling via voice bookings is just as safe as other methods – as long as you take your time to compare and find a trustworthy provider that takes security seriously.
It’s more personal
Some advanced voice technologies can even be personalized than scheduling appointments on a website. You can have voice technology that recognizes a specific person’s voice. This could then link to booking history, and previously entered details which speeds up the process even further.
It also makes interactions feel more personable than they would if you were just dealing with text on a screen. Long gone are the days when voice assistants sounded like robots and made the little hairs on the back of your next stand. Nowadays, you can choose from hundreds of voices, accents, dialects, etc.
Plus, any business wants to stand out from the crowd. And what better way to doing so than to provide a unique experience to each customer?
AI can understand different languages and can be trained to learn one’s accent too.
Google is now able to understand over 44 languages, which covers over 95% of Android users – it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to speak to a human with the same level of multilingualism. Alexa only supports 8, but this is still more than your avaerage receptionist!
This means that, with voice bookings, there are much fewer worries about language barriers. It’s easier for international businesses looking to expand into new markets. This also leads to fewer frustrations from customers who are not able to get across what they mean.
No need for an account
Customers often don’t like entering their information online. Where do your details go? Which boxes do you need to tick to opt-out of the spam? Who can view your personal info?
These days there are spammy email campaigns, phony phone calls, and a ridiculous number of passwords to remember. In fact, the average American internet user is expected to have 300 online accounts that require a password by 2022. How do you remember all of that?
So, it’s easy to understand why someone less confident on the web would struggle to book online appointments. Either they don’t have or don’t want to create an account for things.
But, voice booking once again comes to the rescue.
10to8’s Accessibility Suite can be used to make an appointment without using any personal online information at all. You don’t need to create an account. You don’t even need an email address.
You only need to call a number, pick a slot, and voila! Your appointment is booked!
No internet or even computer needed
Forget the email address for one second. Now, you might be thinking ‘So, I don’t need an email address, but what if I don’t have a computer?’
Once again you’re in luck because to make a booking via voice, you don’t need a working PC or even WiFi!
Voice booking ensures that people who don’t have access to a computer or to the internet can still schedule appointments. You don’t need high-speed WiFi or access to a computer. Voice scheduling is accessible to more customers than ever before.
As long as you have a phone, be it mobile or landline, you can make a booking.
It doesn’t matter where you are or what time zone you’re in. You could be at home, at the office, or on holiday halfway across the world, you’ll still be able to book meetings via voice booking, and the AI will take care of everything for you.
So, what are the cons of voice booking?
Now that we’ve covered plenty of upsides to using voice to schedule your appointments, are there any downsides to voice booking technology?
Some people prefer to speak to a humans
Research has shown that people are often more trusting of a human voice than they are of the internet.
Unfortunately, the same goes for Artificial Intelligence – it’s obvious that it’s a robot and this can make some people feel uneasy. In fact, around 86% of people prefer humans interaction to chatbots or AI.
Some people don’t feel comfortable giving their credit card details over the phone either, and they will likely be even more unsure with a bot.
AI is more likely to misunderstand
Have you ever asked Alexa a question and it’s responded with something completely irrelevant? AI isn’t perfect and it can still misunderstand what is being said.
Although a computer can typically understand more languages than a human, when it comes to deciphering specific words, it can sometimes have trouble.
Accents, dialects, slang, and even just people speaking quickly can confuse an AI. This can be both confusing and frustrating for end-users.
The benefits of voice bookings greatly outweigh the cons: it’s quick, efficient, environmentally friendly, paperless, and can be a lifesaver when it comes to accessibility.
In fact, voice booking has the potential to make life easier for those who have visual impairments, reduced mobility, or are simply busy professionals looking for a quick way to book a slot with a business.
There are also a few apps out there designed specifically with voice booking in mind, like 10to8’s Accessibility Suite. Try it out today and let us know what you think.