Editor's Note: Custom skills in routines is currently available in the US and will become available for all locales in the coming weeks.
Today, we are excited to announce that users can invoke custom skills from Alexa routines. Alexa routines are an easy way for Alexa to perform a series of actions at the same time, in a certain order. A routine can be triggered from a custom utterance or something else, like an alarm going off. This is a great opportunity to engage your customers and tell them about how they can routinely use your skills – whether it’s during their morning ritual, when they’re getting ready for bed, or when it’s party time!
Routines are a great fit for skill use cases which contain long form audio, such as sleep or relaxation sounds, or for skills that have frequent content updates, such as daily fact skills.
Activating custom skills from routines is the top voted item on our Feature Request site, and we want to let you know that your voice has been heard. Please keep voting and sharing new ideas to make Alexa smarter, better, and easier to develop for.
When your customers include your skill into routines, you get the added benefit of routine skill usage, and they get the benefit of conveniently launching your skill with little effort. There is nothing you need to do to make your skill eligible to be used in routines. The only requirement is that your skill be enabled on one of the customer’s Alexa devices. All enabled skills appear in the Alexa Mobile App, where a customer can set a routine to invoke your skill. Below is a snapshot of the customer experience:
There are many ways to get in touch with your customers to inform them about this new way to invoke your skill, whether it's by email, social media channels, or wherever you have built an existing user community.
Customer engagement stemming from routines is a great way to have repeat usage of your skill. You can keep track of customer retention by visiting the Analytics tab in the Alexa Developer Console. Customer traffic stemming from routines counts towards Alexa Developer Rewards. It is important to keep your skill content up to date and habitually refreshed, especially if customers will be interacting with your skill routinely. Customers that come back to your skill often will expect to interact with new content when they do.
How to add your skill to a daily Routine
To update your skill's description in the developer console, click on the skill name “[Skill Name]” IN DEV version > Distribution tab > Update 'Detailed Description' Field.
Allow your customers to listen to [SKILL NAME] by adding Daily Routine.
To add this skill to a daily timer, follow these steps:
1. On the Alexa app, navigate to Routines.
2. Click + to add a new routine.
3. Click + for "When this happens" and make the most appropriate selections.
4. Click + for "Add action" and choose "Skills".
5. Choose "Your Skills" > Select [SKILL NAME]
6. Choose Device to perform the routine > SAVE.
Tell your customers about custom skills in routines and start seeing increased repeat usage of your skills today!