“Voice of the consumer” is no longer just a market research metaphor, but an audible fact for more than 100 million Americans.
- A newly-published study by Pew Research Center found that 46% of U.S. adults use voice-control technology to accomplish tasks on various devices.
- Smartphones were by far the most common tools that consumers command with their voices, according to the study – 42% of adults use voice capabilities on their phones.
- Talking to other devices was far less common: 14% for computers or tablets, and 8% for stand-alone voice-activated tools such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.
- The leading “major reason” for talking to machines was keeping hands free, cited by 55% of voice-control users. 23% said it’s simply fun, and 22% cited voice as feeling more natural than typing. Among non-users, 61% said they just weren’t interested in their devices’ voice control features.
- Only 39% of users said their voice controlled devices responded accurately “most of the time,” so the technology has room for improvement.
So what does this mean for market researchers who are professionally obsessed with any manifestation of the consumer's voice? It’s especially revealing that nearly a quarter of voice control users like talking to their devices because it’s fun. There’s lots of chatter in the insights industry about the need to reverse declining response rates for online surveys by exploiting consumers’ instincts for fun, via gamification and other cosmetic add-ons to questionnaires. But, as Pew's study shows, when the right device meets the right application, the fun comes naturally. It’s impressive that nearly half of U.S. adults talk to their smartphones. It’s also impressive that if you push a state-of-the-art mobile survey to 1,000 panelists, 500 will begin to take it – a 50% response rate. And of those 500, 475 will stick with the survey until they’ve either completed it or been terminated.
You may be surprised at how much you can accomplish by seeking the voice of the consumer on the devices that consumers trust as indispensable appendages to their lives. For a productive conversation about how mobile-app research can provide unique approaches to meeting your projects’ specific needs, just get in touch by clicking here.