P.V. Kannan

P.V. Kannan is the co-founder and chief executive officer of [24]7.ai, a leader in AI-driven customer experience software and services.

Age of Intent Interview - Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
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Age of Intent The Age of Intent

About the Book

The Age of Intent 

Using Artificial Intelligence to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience

Have you ever wished that every company you interacted with could just know what you wanted and go get it for you? That when you picked up the phone or opened a chat window that the company would use what it knew about you to anticipate your needs? We are on the verge of a future just like that.

P.V. Kannan, the leader of the standout customer experience technology firm [24]7.ai, shares his expertise here on how and why virtual agent rollouts succeed—or fail. He explains how to architect key information systems, overcome corporate resistance and bad practices, and analyze customer journeys to make virtual agents maximally effective.

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Articles About the Age of Intent

The age of intent is a world where the smartest of chatbots—virtual agents—are powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and connected to a customer’s complete past history. These virtual agents can anticipate just what a customer is looking for, answering questions through chat, on the phone, and through smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa. They’ll transform the business world with efficient, scalable service that’s available 24/7 and gets smarter every day.

  • Strategy Business

    Best Business Books 2019: Marketing

    "But I have no hesitation in recommending The Age of Intent, by P.V. Kannan (with Josh Bernoff). Kannan describes intent...

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  • Project Management Institute Logo

    Transformation—Evolving Customer Experience

    “PV Kannan, co-founder and CEO of [24]7.ai, has written about this extensively, and he’s built a business on it. He says...

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  • Forbes Logo

    Four Steps To Improve Your Company's Customer Service Channels

    “Over the past two decades, large companies that sell directly to consumers have spent billions of dollars annually on sales, customer service and support...

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  • Changewave Logo

    Interview with PV Kannan

    “PV has been a thought leader in global customer service and has been featured in the books, The World is Flat and That Used to Be Us by Thomas L. Friedman...

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  • Fortune Logo

    'You’re Pretty Stupid.' What Can Happen to Your Business When A.I. Goes Awry

    “Remember last Thanksgiving, when your Uncle George insisted on deep-frying the turkey—and then had to ask Alexa to call the Butterball Turkey...

    Learn More
  • Cheddar Logo

    How A.I. Is Shaping The Customer Experience

    “PV Kannan, CEO of [24]7.ai joins Cheddar to discuss how companies are balancing a demand for digital service while maintaining a human touch....

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  • New York Times Logo

    A.I. Still Needs H.I. (Human Intelligence), for Now

    “BANGALORE, India — Fifteen years ago I came to Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, to do a documentary on outsourcing. One of our first stops was a company called 24/7 whose main business was answering customer service calls and...

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  • Techonomy News Logo

    Real Customer Service Can’t Happen Yet on Smart Speakers

    “Amazon Alexa and Google Home have become popular gadgets, useful for checking the weather, getting the latest sports scores, or even cooking a turkey. However, when it comes to customer service, they are not yet smart enough...

    Learn More
  • Harvard Business Review Logo

    Does Your Company Really Need a Chatbot?

    “Chatbots — automated conversation systems — have become increasingly sophisticated. Should you design and deploy one that can interact with your customers? If you’re an executive making that decision right now, you may feel caught between A.I. hype on the one hand....

    Learn More
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PV Kannan PV Kannan

About the Author

P.V. co-founded [24]7.ai in 2000 to make customer service easy and enjoyable for consumers, and since then he has built a profitable company with more than 15,000 employees worldwide. [24]7.ai is redefining the way companies interact with consumers, helping the world’s leading businesses attract and retain customers through a personalized, predictive, and effortless customer experience.

He holds more than 30 patents (issued and pending), has written several articles that cover some of the key issues around A.I. and chatbots, writes regularly on LinkedIn with his posts attracting thousands of views each, and has been featured in several books, including “The World is Flat” and “That Used to Be Us” by Thomas L. Friedman, “India Inside” by Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam, and “Reinventing Management: Smarter Choices for Getting Work Done” by Julian Birkinshaw. He has spoken at numerous industry conferences including AI Congress and Forrester’s CXNYC.

P.V. has been a pioneer in integrating technology with business process operations to improve all aspects of the customer experience. In 1995, his first company, Business Evolution Inc., developed the first generation of email and chat solutions. The company was acquired by Kana in 1999, and P.V. became part of the management team until he founded [24]7.ai.

P.V. is a recognized leader in customer experience, from dramatically improving contact center operations; to developing a big data predictive analytics platform; to creating omnichannel solutions for the web, mobile, chat, social, and speech IVR; to innovating mobile-centric applications; and now to pioneering the use of A.I. in customer experience.

What People are Saying

Quote 1
I don't think people have fully grasped how profound it is that in the near future, people will expect to talk to machines. And if they're talking, companies need to provide the answers they're looking for. The ability of machines to anticipate human intent is about to become fast, free, easy for the company you’re interacting with, mobile, invisible, and ubiquitous. It is going to make the world flatter, faster, and smarter than ever before. A conversation-first strategy will be required by all companies, just as a mobile-first strategy was after the advent of the smartphone.


—Thomas L. Friedman,

New York Times columnist and author of The World Is Flat

Quote 2
Lately, I have experienced greater success with chatbots than with the untrained and apathetic support service humans. I think chatbots are trained to solve problems, while humans are motivated to get rid of callers faster. If you are responsible for customer service, go read The Age of Intent by P.V. Kannan. Do it now, before someone like me hangs up on your support person and starts bitching about your crappy customer support on Facebook.


—Shel Israel,

Co-author of The Fourth Transformation: How Augmented Reality & Artificial Intelligence Will Change Everything

Quote 3
If you want to understand what customer service looks like in the future, then this is the book to read. And, by the way, the future is now!


—Shep Hyken,

Customer service expert and author of The Convenience Revolution

Quote 4
Virtual agents are absolutely consistent, infinitely patient, and ready to help at any time the customer needs them. Together with the best human service representatives, they make a team that can't be beat. That's the message of The Age of Intent, and it should resonate with anyone whose products must deliver the best possible experience.


—James E. Meyer,

CEO, SiriusXM Satellite Radio

Quote 5
Artificial Intelligence-enabled virtual agents are profoundly transforming customer and employee engagement. P.V. Kannan’s rich experience in implementing such virtual agents demonstrates a key point: this change is about improving customer experience, not cost reduction and elimination of jobs. A must read for any manager leading or participating in the digital transformation of their business.


—M.S. Krishnan,

Associate Dean for Executive Programs, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

Quote 6
As a customer-first organization, DISH is pulled to any technology that reduces complexity from the millions of service interactions we manage each year. AI-driven tools have allowed us to do just that while making it easier for our frontline to truly connect with our customers. If excellent customer service and team effectiveness are drivers for your business, The Age of Intent offers incredible
insight.


—Erik Carlson,

CEO of Dish Network

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Insights from the Book

In these pages, you’ll learn about the companies that have used virtual agents to deliver a superior customer experience. You’ll see how:

  • Avis Budget Group Logo

    Auto rental company Avis Budget used virtual agents to automate 68% of service calls, saving millions of dollars every year.

  • Nordea Logo

    Danish bank Nordea’s virtual agent Nova identified thousands of intents, handled 20,000 conversations a month, and reduced emails and calls by 25%.

  • Dish Network Logo

    Satellite operator Dish Network’s agent DiVA responded to 4 million queries a year and helped meet surging demand for pay-per-view events.

  • TGI Fridays Logo

    Restaurant chain TGI Fridays used a Facebook Messenger chatbot to boost take-out orders by $150 million a year

  • Butterball Logo

    Butterball ported its “Turkey Talk-Line” to Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker, serving 20,000 customers in the reassuring voices of its most trusted turkey advisors

  • SiriusXM Logo

    SiriusXM satellite radio uses an AI powered chatbot to rapidly diagnose a customer’s issue and walk the customer through all the steps needed to resolve that issue.