Trustworthy Voice

a new standard

There’s a new standard for “voice out” to customers.

And it’s an emotional appeal.

Studies show that it’s not the words, and it’s not the attention to commands that drive a user’s delight with virtual assistants or AI systems. It’s the emotion in voices that helps capture a listener’s attention.

Voice user interfaces bring about a new experience for users. And tone has a significant impact on the tone of voice on users’ brand perception. So you can see why it’s essential to establish a “trustworthy” voice. 

Business communications are translating from the screen to the…well, screen. But suppose your audiences are substituting the reading of words on the screen for listening to the words being spoken. In that case, their experience of the voice becomes their experience of your brand.

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Possibilities exists to provide a way to monitor and grade diffusion magnitude to avoid both harmful content and censorship – in the form of optimized Graph Theories and Natural Language Understanding, which could solve the case at an absolute scale if appropriately deployed and with the correct execution.

The Psychological Effect of Voice on Users

As AI systems, robotic, and virtual assistant devices evolve, we’re starting to demand greater nuance. Users are looking for recognition — they want to feel like they know the voices that power their devices. 

Businesses that rely on these devices and VUI apps, on the other hand, are looking for alignment. They want to be able to create meaningful interactions with users — and that requires attenuation with voice and tone.

It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s really no different from the voice and tone research that many copywriters and brand marketing strategists do when trying to articulate a brand’s “voice” and “personality traits.”

The fact is that a speaker’s voice affects the attitude of the audience toward the speaker. Suppose you’re a brand that uses a “human” voice with inflections that spark emotions like trust, friendliness, and warmth. In that case, that goodwill generated translates to the brand itself, not just the voice speaker.

When you look at a few studies about the psychological effects of a human’s voice on listeners, the conclusions are compelling:

  • Research on human voice pitch shows that people trust a deeper and more masculine voice over “high-pitched voices” for both male and female leaders — it primarily makes a difference when someone wants to demonstrate leadership and authority.
  • It’s important to understand your audience’s or listener’s language expectations, vernacular background, and even accent tendencies. Imitation, shows a British study, is critical when helping users process complex information
  • A tone commonly used by young American women — a low-frequency, rattling tone known as “vocal fry” — has become very popular and are associated with educated and upwardly mobile people

Voice has a measurable impact on voice user interfaces. Even if customers and audiences aren’t engaging in an active conversation, they’re still interpreting what you, as a brand, stand for.

The Engagement Process with Voice User Interfaces

Trust and credibility are absolutely essential to any brand’s success. Even though a “playful” tone doesn’t work well for all brands, the user’s perceptions of trustworthiness are critical to their interaction with a brand. 

This could translate into whether or not they choose not to purchase, use your service, or refer your brand to their friends. 

The engagement process with voice user interfaces happens over a series of interactions. Still, it occurs on a much more powerful and yet subliminal level than graphical user experiences. The tone of voice is a vital aspect of assessing, perceiving, and influencing the perception of trustworthiness. 

It’s not just about matching your audience’s expectations about the tone of voice, however. If you’re looking for engagement with your brand, you’ll need to consider their emotional needs

For example, when approaching users or audiences facing surgery and looking for durable medical equipment online, you don’t need a formal tone. Instead, you need a tone that’s warm and steady.

Integrating the Right Voice in New Robotic, Virtual Assistant, IoT, and AI Systems

So how do you pull this all together and integrate it for the future success of your business?

The good news is that the stage is already set in quite a few industries to adopt voice. In the financial and consumer banking system, for example, voice technology already has a place. TD Ameritrade is one of the first financial institutions to allow stock transactions through interactive voice integrations with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Echo Auto. 

Depending on the industry that your business operates within, there will be some upfront analysis you need to do to integrate the right voice:

  • Use sentiment analysis to discover your customers’ voice level and pitch
  • Detect the micro-emotions that drive their decision-making process
  • Conduct user testing to discover how customers are already making use of their devices
  • Add new features that integrate these IoT devices into the everyday tasks and experiences of your end-user
  • Consider voice push notifications to get your audience familiar and engaged with your brand’s voice

At the end of the day, cementing a “trustworthy” voice all comes down to one thing: providing value for your end customer or user. As IoT and smart devices, virtual assistants, and AI systems become increasingly ubiquitous, your brand will have the opportunity to interact with customers on a whole new level. 

To be prepared, you’ll need to answer a significant question when it comes to VUI: Will this voice enhance user experience or frustrate them?

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