Walmart is expanding its use of voice technology. The company announced today its taking its employee assistance voice technology dubbed “Ask Sam” and making it available to associates at over 5,000 Walmart stores nationwide. The tool allows Walmart employees to look up prices, access store maps, find products, view sales information, check email and more. In recent months, Ask Sam has also been used to access COVID-19 information, including the latest guidelines, guidance and safety videos.
Ask Sam was initially developed for use in Walmart-owned Sam’s Club stores, where it rolled out across the U.S. in 2019. Because of its use of voice tech, Ask Sam can speed up the time it takes to get to information versus typing a query on the small screen. This allows employees to better engage with customers instead of spending time on their device looking for information.
I thought I would take a step back and share an article that is fairly broad and high level in case I have readers that are fairly new to voice. Most of the other articles & podcasts I have been sharing are more sophisticated. Here’s an excerpt from this high-level piece:
The trend of moving customer experience beyond the screen has been dubbed “conversational customer care.” It’s still unclear just how many channels are included under this umbrella or how the future of conversational customer care will look. Brands that are dealing with demanding customers can’t afford to sit back and wait for this to play out. Screen-free customer experiences could be the future. They could be just a single touchpoint in the broader context of customer experience strategy. Or, they could just be a passing fad.
In hypnosis, there is a technique that can be used called a “convincer” – it’s something that happens so that the client can realize they did indeed experience hypnosis. It’s typically a profound revelation for the client.
For voice, I find this illustration from Gridspace that shows just how much an AI-powered call center agent (named “Grace”) sounds human to be persuasive when I try to explain the awesome power that is being unleashed: