The number of Dutch people using voice assistants rose last year to 37%. This is evident from the National Voice Monitor, a study that DirectResearch conducted on behalf of Achmea, DDMA, NPO, Project Silver and Y.digital. Although the use among young people (18-34 years) is the highest, the group of older adults (65 + years) shows the largest increase. This is no longer just about applications for general voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri or Google Assistant. People are also increasingly encountering voice assistants through call centres and mobile apps.
The use of voice assistants by older people increased from 14% to 25% last year. “Speaking is something everyone learns from birth. With speech technology, complex technology falls away, something that brings great convenience to seniors,” said Jeannetta Berghahn of DirectResearch. “What is striking is that older people are particularly interested in healthcare solutions, such as scheduling an appointment with a healthcare provider. Only answering frequently asked questions does not offer sufficient added value here. To realize a good customer experience, organizations must offer information and transactional support: ‘When can I see a doctor?’ and ‘Can I make an appointment right away?”
After the rise of applications for the Google Assistant, we see this year that the use of voice assistants in call centres is strongly on the rise. Of the Dutch, 25% expect to have contact with organizations via voice assistants in the future. That it is becoming more normal, we also see in the results of the study. Already 13% of the Dutch have experience with this. “The use of voice assistants in contact centres offers organizations the opportunity to offer service outside office hours, to shorten waiting times and to compensate for peak loads or staff shortages. This leads to higher customer satisfaction, more efficiency and lower costs,” according to Carla Verwijmeren of Y.digital.
It is important to the Dutch that questions are well understood and answered at once: 33% indicate that they will use voice assistants more often if the quality improves. “People have increasingly high expectations of speech assistants, who do not always understand everything well yet. For example, when someone with a dialect asks a question to the Google Assistant. Investments by large tech organizations in this area are still lacking. The establishment of the Dutch Speech Coalition is one of the ways to solve this issue locally in the Netherlands. An important initiative to improve user experiences,” says Maarten Lens-FitzGerald of Project Silver.
The number of people who are concerned about privacy when using voice assistants is declining. Last year 19% of the Dutch were worried about this, in 2019 this was 27%. It is striking that young people (18-34 years) are more concerned about their privacy compared to older target groups. “After the initial negative publicity, Google, for example, added smart features last year that give users more control over their data,” said Carla Verwijmeren of Y.digital. “For example, you can have your data automatically deleted after 3 months or instruct the Google Assistant to delete your activities - in the app and with your voice.”
The National Voice Monitor is a study of the use of voice assistants in the Dutch market. Speech assistants allow people to talk to machines in a human way. Think of using a smart speaker, or digital assistant in a call centre or on your smartphone. Based on artificial intelligence, a voice assistant can listen, answer questions or perform commands - such as “turn on the light.” The survey was conducted in December 2021 by the research firm DirectResearch. The research panel consisted of 1,422 respondents aged 18 and older, representative of the Dutch population (18+ years). The survey (in Dutch) can be downloaded for free at https://www.nationalevoicemonitor.nl.
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Please contact Carla Verwijmeren of Y.digital: +316-31991385 | email@example.com.