in Customer Experience, Strategy

a 2 min read

Those are the words I heard tonight coming from the monitor in my 2 year old girl’s room just as the opening song “Frozen Heart” started to play from her Echo Dot. But that’s the end of the story. Let’s back up.

My daughter has been trying to get the Amazon devices to recognize her voice for a few months now. It hadn’t always worked for her, as the words she had been speaking just weren’t pronounced clearly enough.

Every now and then lately, she had been able to make a connection. Usually with music. A few days ago she had success with “Alexa, Play Bob Marley”.

But tonight, I heard her take this to the next level.

My wife, Bethany and I were downstairs. Through the baby monitor, we heard:

Alexa, Drop in Downstairs

It was at this time, that our Living room echo came on, and we heard her say through the echo to echo intercom system, “Mommy, will you come up here?”

Bethany said, “Sure, I’ll be up there in a minute!”

As I heard her say…

OK, Bye!

…I flipped on the Nest Cam in her room just in time to watch her say…

Alexa… um.. Stop.

…at which point the intercom stopped, and both echo’s lights went out.

Now, as I watched from my Nest App (thats the fuzzy image above), she closed it out with the finale…

Alexa, Play Frozen Music

And it did. Her first complex, multi-step interaction with Alexa.

So what does this all mean and why should you care?

This is a girl who is not yet three. She will likely not ever remember a time without this voice assistant in her life.

As a student of both human and consumer behavior, this is all a game changer. In less than three years of life, she mastered the interaction with this new computing technology. That time to value is unbelievable for her.

She can now turn on lights in our connected home that she would otherwise be unable to reach. She can now “Call Chris Handy” and have my phone ring anywhere I happen to be. All she has to do is call out.

If you think the Apple HomePod speaker (which will ship in February) or Siri has a fighting chance to enter the mindshare of this girl, they have a long way to go, and are way behind in the race for this new omnipresent computer assistant. I won’t count them out, but man.

There is a lot to learn from Amazon. They have reduced the friction so much that a two year old can operate this device in very complex ways. How can you look at your own business and reduce or eliminate one point of friction per week? How long would it take you to improve the customer experience?

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