If you’ve been on social media at all in the last year or so, you’ve probably seen those viral videos where someone asks Alexa a question and gets some outlandish answer. The first time I saw one of these videos I was pretty sure Alexa wasn’t that savage (she was mercilessly roasting the guy who asked the question) and there was no way Amazon set that as answer.
Well, I was right. Amazon allows you to create custom skills that allow you to customize the responses you get from Alexa. So, how do you customize responses with Alexa?
To create a custom Alexa question and answer on desktop, you will need to visit blueprints.amazon.com page and select the Custom Q+A option. From there you will need to input your question and custom response, save your new skill and enjoy your new functionality.
They really made it as easy as possible for you and me to add a new skill with no coding experience. You will need to be logged into you Amazon account, but besides that the process is pretty straight forward.
Mobile is slightly different but just as easy.
To create a custom Alexa question and answer on mobile, open the Alexa app, select the routines option and set the ‘When this happens’ and ‘Alexa says’ to your custom question and answer.
If you have ever wanted to prank your guests, kids, friends or whoever else that comes into your home, these custom Alexa answers make it that much easier. There are literally so many different ways to use this functionality.
My son’s name is Bryce, he is 3 years old and is obsessed with Alexa. I have a few different custom responses set up for his enjoyment… and mine.
Alexa, who is Bryce? Bryce is a three-year-old who loves his mom and dad, vegetables and cleaning his room. He also has big muscles.
That will usually get us a big flex and at least one bite of vegetables. He still hasn’t got the whole cleaning his room thing.
You will need an Echo device for any of this to work. If you don’t have on yet, or need another, check them out here on Amazon.
You can set up these fun question and answers on desktop and mobile! We will cover both below!
Setting up Custom Questions and Answers on Desktop
Don’t worry, this will literally take just a few minutes to set up. I actually think I spent more time thinking of the questions and responses than it took to set it up.
Amazon has set up a lot of different templates for us to take advantage of. At the time of writing, it is right about mothers day. They have specific templates just for mom up now. They also have templates for house guests, pet sitters, roommates, games, jokes and more. They call these templates blueprints
The blueprints make it easier to provide direction to your guests or visitors through Alexa if you are not around. You basically add all the questions they might ask and the appropriate answers.
Those are all good and fine, but today we are looking at the custom questions and responses. To set one up:
Step 1: Go to blueprints.amazon.com and select the ‘Custom Q+A’ button.
Go to blueprints.amazon.com to get started.
When I was on creating my own skills, the Custom Q+A button was in the Featured Blueprint section at the top of the page as well as the At Home section.
Step 2: Select the ‘Make Your Own’ button
This page also allows you to preview what is capable with the custom response builder. Press the play button for some quick demos.
I was not signed into my account the first time I went through this process. When I selected the ‘Make Your Own’ button, I was redirected to the sign in page. Once I signed in, I was sent to the step 3.
Step 3: Add your custom questions and responses.
This is where it gets good. This is the screen you will actually customize Alexa’s responses and what she responds to.
Amazon recommends you keep the questions short and are easy with the names as Alexa is still learning names. You can add up to four variations of one question that Alexa will reply to with your custom response.
- What is my dogs’ name?
- Who is my dog?
- What is the dogs’ name?
- Who’s a good girl?
Alexa responds with my custom answer: “Bailey.”
And, yes, that is my dogs name and she is a good girl 🙂
Step 4: Select the ‘Next: Create Skill’ button
You will find this button on the upper right hand side of the page. Its blue and you can’t miss it.
You will get a loading screen that says your skill is being created. This took maybe 30 to 60 seconds for the skill to be created.
Step 5: Enjoy!
And just like that, you’ve got your own customized response with Alexa. From this page, you can edit or delete your new skill. When you select the edit button, it will send you back to step 3 and you can edit the questions and responses there.
As you can see, making custom responses for Alexa is extremely easy. No coding or development skills needed at all.
Setting up Custom Questions and Answers On Mobile
You can set up custom responses through the Amazon app as well. The process is slightly different but just as easy.
To start, open your Amzon app and open the hamburger menu in the upper left hand corner of the app. The hamburger menu are those three little lines that open the side menu. We will start from this menu.
Step 1: Select the ‘Routines’ button
The Amazon blueprint site is optimized for desktop so we are going to take a different route to set up the custom questions and responses. We will do that with Routines.
Step 2: Select the ‘Plus’ icon in the upper right corner and then ‘When this happens’
If you have any routines set up, they will be seen here. As you can see, I have my good morning routine listed. On the next page, select the ‘When this happens’ option.
Step 3: Select the ‘Voice’ option
Since we are in the routines section of the Alexa app, there are a lot of different options. We are making the custom question now, which we will obviously be asking with our voice, but you can set custom response based off of a lot of different actions.
Step 4: Add your custom question or phrase
This is pretty straight forward. Add your custom question here. Mine is: Alexa, who is the best dog? Once you have your question, hit the ‘Next’ button in the top right corner.
Step 5: Select the ‘Add action’ option
Now we are getting to the custom answer to that question.
Step 6: Select the ‘Alexa says’ option
You have so many options here because of the many routines available with Alexa. Again, we are looking for Alexa to respond to us, so select ‘Alexa says’.
Step 7: Select the ‘Custom’ option
We want Alexa to say something unique, something fun so we are going to customize that response.
Step 8: Enter your custom response and select ‘Next”
My question was: who is the best dog ever?
My response: Bailey of course.
Yes, Bailey is my dog. Yes, she is probably way cooler than yours.
Once you have that response all set, select the ‘Next’ option.
Step 9: Enjoy!
And just like that, you have now set up your own custom question and response right from the app. You will now be able to get Alexa to say just about anything you want!
It really is much easier than I thought it would be, on both mobile and desktop. You can make as many of these as you like. Now it’s your turn!
Drop some of the custom Q+A’s you are using in the comments below!