Since the inception of the smart phone, we have all become happy snappy taking so many photographs we need to store them on the cloud as we have run out of space on our phones. Add video and this problem becomes more pronounced.
Whilst we capture lots of photos and videos we don’t capture that much voice data. OK, perhaps the odd journalists record voice with voice memo or phone recording services but these people are few and far between.
The real opportunity is getting lots of people recording their voice. As voice resides in many different places it’s not been recorded in one place. Voice data is all over the place, be it voice mails on your phone, your work voice mail system, WhatsApp voice notes and phone conversations which aren’t recorded.
Now, I’m not saying personal phone conversations should be recorded. But if they are business calls recording and transcribing the audio could save a lot of time. What we need to get smart on is how we record voice data. Imagine if you could search back all your conversations, analyse the sentiment and play them back!
As we enable digital teams and more people work from home we need to ensure that those teams are connected. Slack and instant messaging are useful but don’t lead to personal conversations. Google Meetings, Zoom Calls and Go To Meetings work fine but you need to schedule them. Surely, there is an easier way to make communication more personable without the scheduling and leveraging the usefulness of voice data.
Linking the business KPIs with the emotions in the business is a sure fire away of enabling harmony and engagement in your business. What if your CEO listened to every single conversation! Well, there aren’t enough hours in the day I hear you say. There are enough hours in the day if you change the approach. Again we need to change the habits on what we input to get better output and competitive edge.
There are three changes to make. One, do not schedule meetings unless they are absolutely necessary such as first time meets with new staff. Two, record all your voice data and messages in timelines, groups and chats. Finally, ensure all voice messages have a limited duration of 10 seconds.
Meetings don’t start on time, they often aren’t minuted and cost businesses lots. The trick is to give everyone a voice by having fewer meetings and, instead, having short form nanocasting voice notes. This gives greater breadth to conversations in a more inclusive and diverse audience. By having more voices and a breather width of listening, your brain power is expanded. The Chinese whisper disappears and the customer truth comes out.
At first, this change of approach will seem alien to many people. Firstly, some people don’t like the sound of their own voice. Forcing people to think more than they talk and get their message out in 10 seconds is a challenge. Finally, some people like sitting in meetings!
If you are brave and bold enough to have fewer meetings, record lots of short form audio and then play it back. This leads to greater insights, business intelligence and smarter business decisions.
What if you could map with AI the sentiment of staff after losing a deal? How could you link the quality and quantity of internal conversations to net promoter scores and repeat business? Who are the leaders in the business and how could you suggest using AI, which questions they are not asking and which staff they haven’t praised for a while. What if you could book travel automatically based on business conversations? How could you suggest which learning resources should be consumed based on conversations or a missing conversation?
The interesting part is when you have the voice data you can do lots with it. Fail to capture it and you will be left behind. Businesses need to adopt a multimodal approach to voice capture and recalling conversations across the web, mobile devices and smart speakers.
The great thing about voice is when we have all left the business or retired, our staff can benefit from the history of our voices. What about listening to the founders of the business back when they started talking about the company values? Like a fine wine, voice data goes up in value over time. Indeed, Rome was not built in a day so you need to start capturing your voice data now to harvest the benefit in your near future.
You can learn how to capture more voice data and put this to use at:
Sean Gilligan is a UK based entrepreneur and author of the book “Flexible”. Sean for the last 15 years has run Webanywhere in Chicago, Leeds and Katowice Poland. Sean is number 67 in the Worldwide Listing of Corporate Learning Movers & Shakers 2018. Sean is a bootstrapper and has not taken on outside capital to grow Webanywhere in 3 countries and has recently founded Ventures Anywhere his start up arm which includes Sound Branch.