Is Your Field Using a Home Business Virtual Assistant?

Virtual Assistant

Alexa can update Ambit Energy consultants on their current customer count and more about their business.

VOICE-ACTIVATED VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS aren’t just for playing your favorite music or reminding you to pick up bananas at the grocery store. They also can help home business owners run their business. Amazon’s Echo devices are still king of the virtual assistant category. According to a 2018 Forbes article, more than 50 million households had installed an Amazon Echo or Google Home device, with Amazon owning a little less than 70 percent of the total market. Apple’s HomePod also had a small but growing share. Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant software, utilizes “skills” which essentially are apps and tools that help users organize their day, listen to customized news reports, set reminders, and a whole lot more. Alexa is quickly becoming a powerful business tool, and Amazon.com even created an Alexa for Business section to educate people on how devices can be used in office or home business settings.

FROM HOME NOW TO BUSINESS

“Just like Alexa is making smart home experiences easier, the same is possible in the workplace with voice controls,” said Collin Davis, Amazon’s General Manager for Alexa for Business. “Our vision is to enable a world where Alexa is always available as you move throughout your day in order to be more productive.” This is a great opportunity for direct sales companies to provide a customized tool for customers and distributors. As companies continue to try to stay on top of changing technology, these devices also help increase interaction and brand awareness. They potentially can help customers place or adjust orders, and help distributors stay on top of their business.

‘THE SPARK’ ALEXA SKILL FROM AMBIT

Ambit Energy, which serves more than 1 million customers, launched an Alexa skill for customers (The Spark) and another for its field of independent consultants (PowerZone) last fall. Customers and consultants link their online Ambit Energy accounts with the skill on their Alexa device (Echo or Echo Dot). Customers then simply use the voice command, “Alexa, ask The Spark…” followed by a specific topic. Customers, for example, can ask how to move their service to another location, their current electricity usage, billing options, their current energy plan, and even get information on the Ambit Cares charity. Customers can even use the skill to call customer support. Consultants simply say “Alexa, ask PowerZone…” to enable the skill. Alexa can update consultants on their current customer count, the requirements they need to promote to the next level, and more about their business. Ambit says that more updates and customizations are in the works for the Alexa skills.

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