into their CX
Hear me out
Let’s get a little inefficient
in the AI era
This article is part of The Intelligently Artificial Issue, which combines two big stories in consumer tech: AI and CES.
Read more from the issue:
From the editor: Our co-founder spent the past 20 years designing to remove friction, only to see how AI stands to push it too far. Do you think he has a point?
Technology, if you really think about it, is an evolution of removing friction from everything that we do. Successful brands offer their customers value and build their staying power by leveraging technology to remove friction.
AI is just another piece of technology with the potential to remove even more friction. Taken to an extreme, it’s easy to imagine the perfect AI-driven experience: no friction. Whatever you want or need is available exactly when you want or need it. A perfectly frictionless experience.
Friction points let customers
recalibrate ahead and realign
with the brand in a more direct
and human way.
Think about the Humane Ai Pin launch video. There is a moment when a book is offered in front of the Pin with a directive to buy it. Which store? At what price? Is there a membership plan associated with the retailer? The assumption in that video is that the consumer is in some kind of a rush to buy.
We’re not there yet, but we’re getting close.
When you’ve removed all friction, there’s no moment left for decision making. Brands could no longer need, or even allow the customer to make decisions anymore.
If we were to reach such a point, brands would need to learn where and when to add friction back in. In a world of no friction, the trend of removing friction would have to reverse. This is where good brands will distinguish themselves.
Good brands will define ideal friction points for their customers. Friction points let customers recalibrate ahead and realign with the brand in a more direct and human way.