The Fortune 500 Spends Billions on Customer Service. So Why is it So Bad?

PV Kannan | June 28, 2019

Radical #CX transformation won’t come from one single breakthrough but rather, through the right combination of #AI and human intelligence (HI). Click to tweet

Recently, I had the honor of delivering the keynote address at Forrester’s CX NYC event. This year’s theme was “Change The Game — Leading Radical CX Innovation,” and was based on the idea that despite all the time and money that has gone into improving customer experience, CX Index scores have plateaued.

Forrester analyst Harley Manning compared this to aeronautical engineers trying to break the sound barrier. At first, they tried to do more of the same – namely building bigger engines. But as they did this, they did not get the results they wanted. Planes would vibrate, and wings broke off. They had hit the wall, and doing more of the same wasn’t breaking it. In that case, the breakthrough came when engineers realized that air was the barrier, and that instead of trying to power through it, they would be better off trying to work with it and pull it through the aircraft. Thus, the jet engine was born and the sound barrier was broken.

I loved that analogy, as it tied right into my talk, which I called “The Billion Dollar Mystery.” I focused on the fact that Fortune 500 companies spend billions of dollars annually on sales, customer service, and support, yet fail to wow their customers. So how do we fix this?

I believe radical CX transformation won’t come from one single breakthrough but rather, through the right combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence (HI). It’s not about forcing consumers down a certain path, but rather working with them. It’s about understanding consumer intent and applying the right intelligence to guide them through their journeys. We are already seeing some payoffs from this approach, and DISH is a great example of a company that is leading the way. 

The industry needs radical changes in order to move ahead. What radical innovation do you think would help companies break through the CX barrier?

Watch my keynote to hear my thoughts. 

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