Recent decades have brought radical changes to the technology of customer service. New modes of communication — from IVR systems to text-based solutions — are slowly beginning to eclipse the traditional human-operated call centers that dominated the industry in the latter half of the 20th century. However, while businesses have long preferred that customers use digital channels over inefficient call centers, our CEO Antony Brydon points out that the customers have only recently begun to follow suit. And automation, as it turns out, is making all the difference. 

Antony was recently invited to sit down with Adam Toporek and Jeannie Walters for an episode of Crack the Customer Code, a podcast that explores the evolving world of customer service through interviews with innovative industry leaders. Antony, Adam, and Jeannie enjoyed a wide-ranging discussion on a variety of topics, from Directly’s “expert-in-the-loop” method of intelligent automation to the evolution of customer service technology over the years. 

Antony argues that 2019 has been an inflection point for the industry, observing that “the mode that consumers want to interact and the companies want to interact are finally meeting up.” Digital channels and automated virtual agents have always been cheaper and more effective for businesses, but it’s only recently that the technology has progressed to the point where consumers prefer those channels as well. 

“Folks are finding that when automation works, they don’t have to wait 5, 10, 15 minutes to talk to a person,” Antony notes, referring to a recent series of automation case studies in which Directly’s expert intelligence model for training AI dramatically improved customer satisfaction. “There is a meeting of the minds in 2019 unquestionably on the messaging front, and to some degree on the automation front, where folks are aligned for the first time.”

Listen to Antony’s recent interview below or visit the Crack the Customer Code website here.