The Send to Phone feature will take your customers from their Alexa devices to their mobile phone, allowing them to access more detailed information or complete sophisticated tasks.
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View the design checklist to create a Send to Phone experience.
In this article:
As you design your skill, you might see opportunities to improve the customer experience through the Send to Phone (S2P) feature, by directing the customer from their Alexa device to their mobile phone via a push notification or notification from the Alexa app. This link takes the customer directly to the skill’s app or website. The customer can then pick up exactly where they left off, complete a task later, or perform an action that's only available on their mobile phone.
There are three key use cases where Send to Phone brings value to customers: (1) to provide complementary information, (2) to enhance searching experience, and (3) to help complete a task in an app or a website.
Provide key information by voice, then follow up with an offer to view detailed information best served in an app or a website. Show order details, and non-temporal information such as interactive map, and more.
Particularly a great use case in headless device, quickly begin searches with voice and transition to a mobile app or website to browse, select, and/or complete a task.
Trigger any functionality in your app that is deep link enabled. Start a workout, begin a recording, or change settings.
Checklist to design a Send to Phone experience:
▢ Review key use cases of the Send to Phone feature, and determine whether your skill is a suitable use case
▢ Consider different types of devices separately while designing the Send to Phone feature
▢ Determine the interaction type (questions, hints, auto-send) to be used during the Send to Phone experience
▢ For “questions”, the skill should ask if the customer wants Send to Phone when follow up questions are anticipated
▢ For “hints”, the skill should hint the customer about Send to Phone feature when complementary information is available
▢ For “auto-send”, the skill should auto-send information when it is the option complete a task
Possible scenarios of using Send to Phone include starting search on an Alexa headless device, while showing the location of the nearest cupcake shops on mobile devices. Below is an example of using Send to Phone to display complementary information.
Send to Phone is a complete, end-to-end design that can be incorporated into a skill. With Send to phone, Alexa for Apps sends a link via a push notification to the customer's phone. Alexa also sends a card to the customer's Alexa app home page. Customers receive the notification in the Alexa app on their Android or iOS phone. Below is how the customer experience is created:
Your skill should provide the following elements:
The Send to Phone feature will provide the following elements:
There are three main interaction types between Alexa and Customers for Send to Phone: questions, hints, and auto-send. Click the following sections to view examples and best practices for each type.
Questions work best when you can anticipate the likely follow-up action to a customer’s utterance, but want to get explicit customer consent before acting. When you ask the customer if they want to continue via phone, this interaction model gives you an option that would otherwise result in the customer failing to complete the experience. For example:
Customer: Alexa, ask Coffee Scout where the next Starbucks is.
Alexa (Coffee Scout skill): Starbucks Coffee is 1.8 miles away on Main Street. Would you like me to send directions to your phone?
Customer: Yes, please.
Alexa (Send to Phone): Ok. Check your phone for a link to Starbucks coffee on Main Street.
Best practices for questions:
Hints are best used to inform a customer about the ability to send something to their phone, without pressuring them to respond. Hints are best used when the skill answers a customer’s request completely while there is an opportunity to take the experience a step further. For example:
Customer: Alexa, ask Sports Pro what the score of A-Team game was this weekend.
Alexa (Skill): A-Team defeated B-Team 3-1 on Sunday. By the way, I can send you more detailed game statistics if you’d like. Just ask me to send details to your phone.
Customer: Alexa, send it to my phone.
Alexa (Send to Phone): Ok. Check your phone for a link to the stats.
Best practices for hints:
Auto-send works best when sending a link would be the best way to complete the customer request, and you prefer to simply send the link without asking the customer for permission. For example:
Customer: Alexa, I need a Car Share ride to 123 Main Street.
Alexa (Skill): Driver confirmed and en route.
Alexa (Send to Phone): Check your phone for a link to track your ride.
Best practices for auto-send:
Don’t create a confirmation TTS message.
This confirmation is handled by the Send to Phone design, so adding your own message results in Alexa saying the same thing twice. For example, do not create a message such as "Great! I’ll send a link to your mobile device."
Do consider different types of devices separately.
In some use cases, such as sending complementary image information, a Send to Phone offer might be appropriate on a headless device, However, showing images through the Send to Phone feature may not be necessary on a multimodal device where visual display is available.
Don’t interrupt the interaction flow with unnecessary Send to Phone features.
In some use cases, you would not want to cut off a customer’s interaction with Alexa by sending them over to another device. For example, if a piece of complementary information could be shown on a multimodal Alexa device, we should not send it to customer’s phone.
Do allow customers to interrupt Alexa by saying “Alexa, send to phone”.
This allows customers to complete their task timely, without the need to wait for Alexa to finish speaking.