Dave Bovenschulte, vice president, strategy for Klick Health and Justine Santa Cruz, senior vice president of enterprise and retail for Satisfi Labs anchored the “Smart Voice, Smart Choice” segment of the 2019 VM Summit. They discussed how their companies are using voice technology and smart speakers to interact with consumers and patients to create more engaging experiences.

Bovenschulte started out by breaking down the figures when it came to what consumers are searching for via voice technology. He stated that currently about 10 percent of people’s searches are health care related. He also noted that the ways in which individuals can use voice search has many advantages and specified that 50 percent of consumers are interested in booking doctor’s appointments via voice device while 54 percent of consumers have asked information for the nearest urgent care center or emergency room.

“There’s something intrinsic about voice as a platform that has already changed people’s behaviors,” he said. “The efficiency of voice search really can’t be beat. Voice is hands-free and eyes-free.”

Santa Cruz then took the stage to touch on how harnessing data can be used to figure out how voice technology can be applied to enhance customer experience and highlighted the ways in which retail is continuing to evolve to cater to the needs of today’s consumer.

Dave Bovenschulte, Klick Health.
Justine Santa Cruz, Satisfi Labs.

She emphasized that retail isn’t dead, and, in fact, there are certain areas that are “booming.” She pointed out the retail experiences from brands such as Glossier, Supreme and Everlane and detailed the ways in which brands are working to reinvent retail.

These brands have worked to create cult followings, especially in the digital sphere where they were able to analyze data and apply it in useful ways. For example, the beauty company, Glossier, heavily utilizes Instagram to promote its brand and new offerings. In a similar vein, the apparel brand Everlane started out as a direct-to-consumer brand that promoted transparency and sustainability.

Once these brands created a trusted consumer base, they were able to establish successful brick-and-mortar retail locations that cultivate unique experiences for their target consumer demographics.

“People are working really hard to reinvent retail. There are many brands out there that are making genuine connections with people,” she said.

Santa Cruz observed that Satisfi Labs found that if consumers aren’t getting the answers or results they are seeking from a brand, they abandon their experience. “This has become a business problem. The reverse is that when consumers have a great experience they have a five times higher rate of returning,” she noted.

With the remaining time, Bovenschulte and Santa Cruz engaged in a short question and answer session with each other and also took questions from the audience.

“Voice is our original tool. If you’re thinking about getting into voice there are many tools to get into [like Amazon] and there are a ton of free platforms to access and type in free text. Voice is the new HTML,” Bovenschulte said. 

— Jamie Wilson, Associate Editor