Trade Resources Industry Views Ask Vodafone: Mobile Network's First Amazon Alexa Voice Skill Is Revealed

Ask Vodafone: Mobile Network's First Amazon Alexa Voice Skill Is Revealed

Tags: Vodafone, Amazon

Vodafone is launching its very own “skill” for Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant to improve customer service.

The voice-controlled Amazon Alexa digital assistant launched back in 2014, and can perform basic tasks like reading you the news or playing some music. But we’ve also seen a huge number of third-party firms building so-called ‘skills’ that allow Alexa to tie into their own services. The latest of these efforts comes courtesy of UK mobile network Vodafone, which has pledged to launch a new skill within the next few months.

In a press release, Vodafone promised that the new skill would allow customers to perform simple account tasks like checking their bill:

"We’ve also developed a fresh skill for Amazon’s Alexa that will enable customers to ask the digital assistant for information about their Vodafone account.”

“Once the customer has followed a simple authentication process, they can ask Alexa for billing data, account details and information about extras,” the release went on.

Vodafone says it expects to launched the new “Ask Vodafone” skill later this summer, although we don’t have a definitive date just yet.

Amazon’s Alexa is currently available on a wide range of devices, most notably the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers. But you can also access it on a range of Amazon tablets, and even some third-party devices like the Huawei Mate 9, HTC U 11, and even the LG InstaView smart refrigerator.

But aside from Alexa, Vodafone has also been working on other forms of voice recognition, and is hoping to complete a pilot study that improves services for customers calling the firm’s 191 help-line by the end of this summer.

A number of companies have adopted voice recognition tools to make telephone help-lines easier to navigate for customers, and cheaper to operate in the long-term for businesses, and so it’s no surprise that Vodafone is making similar movements:

“We’ve been working with some of the world’s most sophisticated voice recognition technology to improve services for customers calling our 191 number for help.”

“This includes testing a new capability that will free customers from having to remember passwords to access their account,” the company went on. "By registering and repeating a pre-recorded phrase, customers can confirm their identity based on the unique sound of their voice.”

“We’re trialling it now and aim to complete our pilot study by the end of the summer,” it added.

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