When talking about Alexa Skills building, the common things that come to someone’s mind is AI, programming language, complicated coding, and so on. You may also think that to create Alexa Skills, projecting and executing the creation process is very complicated too.
For most of the process, all of the difficulties mentioned above remain true. We state “for most of the process” since nowadays, it has become easy to create your Alexa Skill, where all is needed is the idea of what you want it to be for.
Now, it is much easier to create them since the No Code trend has influenced how Amazon manages the Skill creation process.
Why is creating an Alexa Skill important?
Since its introduction in 2014, Alexa skills have been steadily growing. To date, there are over 77,000 skills available in the US alone.
Other countries have also seen an increase – in Canada, India, and Australia, 37 million; 34 million and 25 million respectively. This is largely the merit of the increasing popularity of Amazon Echo devices in many regions.
For personal use
For those who create an Alexa Skill for personal use, it won’t make a considerable difference in their daily life in general.
However, for the voice tech enthusiasts and advanced users of Echo devices, this can be a great opportunity to deepen their knowledge and interaction with them. In this way, you can expand the use cases Alexa-enabled devices have to offer and make them more useful. Also, you can entirely customize your experience with Alexa and make it more personalized.
Using it for your business
As for the businesses, the Alexa Skills market can still be considered new and not fully explored. Meaning there are abundant first-mover advantages for brands, like yours, to get into Alexa Skills before your competition does. The value is in attracting new customers before your competition by capturing their attention.
The Alexa Skill is a great way to launch a conversation with users. As they interact with questions, information, and requests, the conversation naturally leads into a relationship. A good example of this is if you have a premium service and the Skill is the most moderate version of your offering — promoting full subscriptions for full content access.
How Amazon Alexa and Skill building started
It started in November 2014, when Amazon launched its series of Amazon Echo devices, which were Alexa-enabled smart speakers.
They weren’t Alexa themselves, but they were the best channel of receiving the voice request, sending it to Amazon Servers where the hard processing work is made, and obtaining the answer or action requested.
It started with nearly 100 features for which Alexa was capable of following the request. However, Amazon Alexa nowadays has more than 120.000 Skills available.
This all was made possible in mid-2015 when Amazon released a dedicated platform that would allow every interested developer to create Alexa Skills: the Alexa Skills Kit.
But, let’s first clarify the difference between an Alexa feature and an Alexa Skill. This is how Amazon explains it:
|– A feature is something Alexa is able to do from the moment you turn on your Alexa-enabled device. For example, Alexa can answer questions, give you the weather forecast, tell jokes, and so much more.- A Skill, on the other hand, is something you select from the Skills Store and enable on your device, just like adding apps to your smartphone or tablet.|
How Amazon made it possible for everyone to Create Alexa Skills
Since the developers weren’t the only ones with the desire to build Alexa Skills, use and publish them, Amazon came with a bright solution in 2018.
That solution was Alexa Skill Blueprints. A simple way for non-developers to create simple Alexa Skills, enable and use them. They even prepared an entire series of tutorials on how to use them.
Alexa Developers rewards
This would take the Skill-building process to arise, especially with Amazon supporting the developers and those interested in improving the voice technology. It was the Alexa Fund: dedicated to those with the intention of working in new voice technologies and the development of the actual ones.
There are also the Alexa Developer Rewards and Alexa developer promotions to encourage the developers committed to adding and improving the Skills available in the Alexa Skill Store.
Every month, a set of skills is rewarded based on customer engagement. Rewarding skill developers motivates them on improving their skills-building capabilities and enhancing the value of their existing skills. Developers can earn more by building more skills, improving their skills, and making their skills available in additional countries where Alexa is available.
Great support is also AWS promotional credits, which can reduce the cost of AWS resources used by the developers while building Alexa Skills.
How to create Alexa Skills without coding or technical knowledge?
With everyone, be it an individual or a business, looking to create an Alexa Skill, new opportunities are arising. Every developer or developing platform is trying to simplify every step of the Skill Building process.
The number of people aiming to create an Alexa Skill is increasing. Not only to become a professional Alexa Skill developer but also for personal use. Be it as a hobby or for their businesses. While for individual users the process of Skill building is simple, for the businesses is more complicated.
This is where a third party Developing Platform comes in to help.
With a simple interface, you can implement all the parts needed to complete the Skill and make it ready for publishing. Not only that but also modify the content of the Skill if needed and also, test it, publish it and check how your Skill performs when made available in the Alexa Skill Store.
All of this is available and free to access on Ipervox.
How to Create Alexa Skills on your own
In case you want to create Alexa Skills for personal use, a small group of users or for a small business, there is a simple solution. Using the Alexa Skill Kit and the Skill Blueprints you can create an Alexa Skill following a few easy steps.
- First of all, you will need to go to blueprints.amazon.com and log in to your Amazon account or create a new one if you don’t have one yet.
- Now, you will need to select the type of Alexa Skill you want to create. Then choose the template you want to use.
Skill categories are as follows:
- At Home
- Amazon Kids Recommended
- Learning & Knowledge
- Fun & Games
- Greetings & Occasions
- Communities & Organizations
Once you’ve found a skill you’d like to use, check out the example skills on Blueprint.
- Then you need to select the “Make Your Own” option. In case you need more info on how it is going to work, you can listen to one of the available blueprint skill examples to get ideas on how you’d like to personalize your own skills.
Start customizing the Skill
- Once you reach this point, all that is left to do is start customizing and populating the content fields. Keep in mind who you’re writing the skills for — friends and family members — and personalize your skills accordingly. It’ll make your skills unique and useful, as well as tickle many a funny bone.
- During the completion, you might be required to add a background image for the Echo devices with a display.
- There is also a very important step to complete: the name. Give your skill a name that’s easy to say, such as “My Family Quiz”. You’ll need to tell Alexa which skill to use. This is a great opportunity to make it memorable and fun.
As a rule, all skill names must be:
- Short- around two or three words
- Unique (different from the other skills you’ve made)
- Use simple words (Alexa is still learning first and last names)
- Use only letters, periods, and apostrophes
- Now that you have completed every step, what is left is to publish the Skill and start using it, and sharing it with your family and friends.
Creating an Alexa Skill for your Company/Brand
Successful skill development is all about creating something that customers will use every day. The Alexa Skills Store in the U.S. alone has more than 70,000 skills and continues to grow. Some of these skills become popular while others won’t cut it.
Devices like Amazon Echo and Alexa-enabled devices such as Philips Hue bulbs provide an opportunity for brands to improve the customer experience through smart devices. Smart devices can enhance the customer experience by serving content, providing information, and even helping improve the customer’s shopping experience.
Creating a unique experience for every user of your Alexa Skill can be difficult. Especially when the Skill represents your brand.
However, there are a few practices you can follow to reach such an objective:
1. Design a customer-oriented Skill
When you create Alexa Skills, make sure it offers a clear customer benefit. When choosing the right way to develop your voice experience, start with the reason you need the skill in the first place and what tasks it will help customers accomplish.
Then, think about the capabilities your skill will offer your customers. Consider the problems your customers might have that your skill can solve, and what value it will provide to them. Next, you’ll need to make sure that your goal of getting Alexa into the hands of as many people as possible is realistic given the capabilities of your skill.
2. Keep your Alexa Skill updated with new content
When creating your Alexa Skill, you should set up a content management system to facilitate the ongoing addition of new information. One way to do this is to store your content in a database that can be updated quickly and easily. Once you have created the system, continue to update your information regularly.
3. Provide a flawless Customer Experience
It’s important to make your voice experience as frictionless as possible. A unique skill name is an essential first step. Choose a unique skill name that is a short, simple word and avoid any existing skills with the same name or invocation.
It’s important to test your skill regularly. To ensure that customers can use your skill with ease, you should test frequently.
You should also test after updating your skill, and it should preferably respond within two seconds. In the Alexa Developer Console, you’ll see an Execution Time field that shows how long it took to respond to the request.
4. Make your Skill Consistent & Reliable
Even something as compelling as a voice experience will not gain traction if it cannot be triggered by customers at any time. Your skill must be reliable enough to handle a flood of requests.
To have an always-available skill, set up a high-performance backend for your skill. It should be able to scale properly to deliver high availability during peak traffic.
Things to consider after creating your Alexa Skill
For most cases, publishing an Alexa Skill you have created is just the beginning. For those who create Alexa Skills for personal use, there is always something more they can do.
Other than just adding new content to them, you can also work on improving its experience. Or maybe, you can share it with your family and friends so they too can enjoy the voice Skill created by you.
After creating an Alexa Skill for your Brand
An Alexa Skill created for a brand or business, there are other steps that follow from when you do it for personal use.
One of them is publishing and promoting it.
The best way to gain new users is by letting people know that you have a new Alexa skill. The quickest way to get the word out about your new innovation is by sending an email to your friends, family, colleagues, and other people in your network with a link to the skill on the Alexa Skills Store. Also, you can indicate to them how to invocate your Skill on Alexa.
But this is only one of the ways to do it.
You can promote your skill on social media by amplifying the news about your skill and broadening its reach to thousands (or millions) of potential users. Share a link to your blog post announcing the release of a new skill with your followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media channels.
But don’t end your conversation once you’ve shared your skills. You can continue to promote your Alexa Skill by posting multiple times on social media with new and interesting information about it. Also, you can include a few sample utterances to pique their interest and help them start using it.
Keeping track of your Skill
Promoting you Skill will gain you new users, and increase your brand awareness. However, without understanding how your Skill is performing and what the problems are, it will be difficult to improve it in quality and features, and grow a large audience.
There is one important factor to consider: The use of Alexa Skill Analytics.
Once you publish your Alexa Skill, without data, your business won’t be able to gain meaningful insight into whether customers are satisfied or not. Alexa Skill Analytics will give you insight into how your skills are performing over time. You’ll be able to monitor how many people use them, how long they last, and what information is most important to them. You could also use it to find out what you need to improve about your skill.
Why is Ipervox the right choice to build your Alexa Skill?
Viewing the tutorials made available from our team or checking our FAQ site will make everything understandable. Also, a free course will be available for you to fully understand how to get the best of our platform and use its features.
Our development platform has a simple and user-friendly interface. It allows every user to effortlessly build the Skill they want and how they want it to be. Also comes with a well guided interface and a structure oriented in detailed Skill Building. Ipervox allows you to manage and easily control every step.
It helps reach the desired product at the end, giving shape to the initial idea that inspired you & your business to create the Alexa Skill.
Alexa as a tool for businesses
Ipervox has created several tools and guides to assist every business and entrepreneur in building their own Alexa Skill. This will help you reach your audience and customers with the most straightforward tool there is: the Voice.
All of this along with the advanced analytics service our platform contains. It will allow you to keep track of your Skill performance and improve it over time.
Voice technologies are emerging as the best and promising tool of the future. Not only to reach but also to engage with all of your clients. Embracing it now means you will have a safe spot in the future. A future where Voice Apps become a common thing for businesses to use.
Create your Alexa Skill using the Ipervox online platform with the set of instruments made available from us. It will help you improve the interaction with your audience, gain their attention and their hearts.
If you want to create your Alexa Skill right now, all you need to do is to click here. There you can start building a new channel. A channel that will connect you with your new audience.