A Few Hit Skill Ideas for Alexa and Amazon Echo (works for Google Home too!)

With sales of the Amazon Echo skyrocketing, more users are tapping into the Alexa skills library to build out competencies for their devices. There are skills that help you pay your bills, turn on your air conditioning, ring Uber, find your phone, pick a movie and play choose-your-own-adventure games. Companies are also finding that the Alexa library is an excellent place to provide useful skills that not only enhance the user experience but also promote the company’s brand image. Branded skills can make a significant impact on users’ quality of life while quietly supporting the company’s core message. For example, BMW and Hyundai offer a skill that can unlock a vehicle’s doors and check fuel and battery levels, making it easier to pack things up in the car and plan for your driving and maintenance needs. Users not only appreciate the ability to quickly perform actions with their vehicle but also connect the brands with auto safety and efficiency.

While there are currently over 25,000 skills, there are still limitless possibilities for Alexa. With a little creative thinking (or perhaps the use of the Giant Spoon skill), you can capitalize on the ability of an Alexa skill to deliver a necessary service to promote the business, provide support for the customers in the Alexa space and help to build the foundation for increased innovation in the voice-enabled market. Still looking for a few Alexa skill ideas that can still wow customers while helping them manage their busy lives? Below are just a few quick thoughts on some possible skills.

At your service

The key part of developing an Alexa skill is to consider some of the most basic needs people must fill on a daily or routine basis. For example, families typically struggle with juggling multiple schedules, and conflicting appointments are a constant battle. The development of an Alexa skill that functions to coordinate multiple schedules and announce upcoming events would help families better manage their time. Additionally, tying a skill like this to local services that can assist with the schedule, such as providing an Uber ride to the airport or scheduling an appointment with a dog walking service, would enhance its utility and boost its popularity.

Talk, talk, talk

Sometimes, people just need to talk. It may be because they are lonely, practicing their conversational skills, or perhaps improving their second language ability. An Alexa skill to help with conversational language would support all of these efforts, allowing individuals to communicate with others or simply feel better about their day. This type of skill, of course, would take some high-level NLP skills to execute. While this type of skill would not be easy to create, the team at Azumo has managed complex skills before through the marriage of our development capabilities and our third-party NLP service (plus, we love a challenge).

Pay-my-bills (please!)

Amazon Echoes often become part of the family, answering questions about homework, delivering the latest news and helping to figure out what’s for dinner. With so many different things going on in the average home, it would be especially useful to have Alexa manage the tedious aspects of bill payments. Developing an Alexa skill with the ability to obtain and then pay your bills when told to would help support people’s financial success.

Planning ahead

The complexities of managing investments or a retirement portfolio can be difficult to navigate. Regardless of the type of investor, a portfolio management skill could help support their ability to better understand and manage their investment accounts. An Alexa skill that provides updates on your trading portfolio or 401(k) could help users better understand and address some of these complexities. Additionally, getting Alexa to delve into the great minds of the market (such as investment newsletters or market reports) to deliver valuable insights would also bolster users’ investment confidence.

Getting down to business

Of course, businesses are an excellent target market for Alexa skills. Alexa for Business is revolutionizing how companies operate and interact with customers. A piece on dotCMS noted that businesses are starving for practical Alexa apps. One area of potential growth is to address how users interact with customer relationship management; these software platforms, such as those from Salesforce, Oracle or Microsoft Dynamics, help businesses manage processes and information to improve workflows and outcomes. Any type of voice-enabled interaction would prove invaluable to businesses, such as allowing salespeople to quickly access client information with voice or allowing managers on the factory floor to quickly obtain safety data. Of course, any developer who can create a successful advertising skill would likely have little trouble finding a devoted following among marketers.

Just do it

While the Alexa skill library is expanding at a rapid clip, there are still many areas where businesses can deliver value to customers while growing their brand. Creating new skills for the home user will likely involve addressing routine necessities, such as paying the bills, delivering the latest on a portfolio of investments or simply helping the members of a household to juggle daily routines.

There is considerable room for growth in the business arena. Enterprise-targeted skills not only help employees to perform their jobs better and more efficiently but also serve to boost businesses bottom line through increased productivity gains.

If you have a great idea for an Alexa skill or would like to capitalize on one of the ideas listed above, the development team at Azumo would like to help. Our experienced developers can help you make your mark on the fast-moving world of voice-enabled solutions. Contact us today to start building a better tomorrow.

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