Since the late 1940s, television has transformed the way viewers live and consume news and entertainment – and it is ever-evolving. The next frontier of change is coming and may very well transform everything you know about television with the introduction of bi-directional engagement.
According to Nielsen, the average television viewer watches upwards of five hours of television per day, reaching eight hours in some areas. Although, in an omni-channel world, some might consider television simply another channel or avenue for accessing content, it is so much more. Television is a companion, a friend, a babysitter for a mom who needs to make breakfast and, of course, provides a bird’s eye view of cutting-edge news and world events; to relegate the importance and power of television is unwise.
We can all agree that television is powerful, but have we considered what’s next? The notion of interacting with the television is rather nascent; several programs have scratched the surface with real-time voting or even text voting, but as technology advances our interaction with our favorite screen could be limitless.
With the integration of speech in the consumer remote control, we’ve seen engagement with the television increase upwards of 45 minutes per day. The personalization of the viewing experience with voice makes access and navigation of some 500+ channels manageable and meaningful.
Now let’s consider what moving beyond speech and into deeper engagement with your screen might look like.
Many people are anxiously anticipating the return of the final season of Game of Thrones. Perhaps you are like me and have yet to watch one episode. Let’s say I decide to check it out, I binge watch all seven seasons on Netflix, and finally season 8 arrives and I do not have HBO. With the simple use of my voice or click of the remote, I can engage seamlessly with my screen, accessing customer service to determine what the additional cost of adding HBO to my plan might be. I receive a confirmation notification on my screen and I’m ready to watch, never having had to speak to an agent.
Sound too practical and not terribly exciting? Well, how about this scenario…
I’m watching the ABC show Scandal, and I spy an amazing olive color, crocodile leather handbag on Olivia Pope’s arm. I want it. I want to know all about it: can I afford it, does Amazon have it available on Prime shipping…GIMME NOW. With my voice or the click of the remote I can interact with the television screen to access the meta data and pull up the product details, allowing me to figure out how many coffees I will have to forego to be able to put that bag in my hot little hands.
The ability to access information, engage and purchase is the future of engagement, and I am most excited about the possibilities.
Of course, not to sound shallow and totally focused on material goods, imagine what fundraising and real-time help could be afforded when tragedy strikes or when Sarah Mclachlan’s voice is overlaid with the faces of hurting or injured animals – again, the possibilities are endless.
How close or real is this technology?
The ability to engage around billing and services is very real today. The ability to purchase and engage at a deeper consumer level is making advances every day. Today Nuance is transforming the engagement experience with the power of voice on the remote control with Dragon TV, showing powerful retention and net promoter scores. Additionally, Nuance leads in the customer contact center space, providing both virtual and live experiences to improve engagement and customer satisfaction.
How will it help me?
Seamless self-service, rich, targeted engagement and the ability to improve the entertainment and consumer experience is the holy grail for both consumers and service providers. When these pieces all work together, it creates happy customers. Happy customers tend not to churn and tend to spread the word.