An increasing number of companies are tapping the crowd for help with customer service — adding scale and resilience to their support operations. Especially in the wake of the pandemic.

While BPOs and call centers with fixed staff struggle to keep up with unexpected surges in volume, on-demand networks such as Directly’s can easily scale up and down to account for seasonality — or unexpected events such as a product defect or outage. 

(RELATED: Businesses trust Directly experts because they have deep experiential knowledge and are passionate about the products they represent.)

Still, though, companies and their CX leaders ultimately must place a lot of faith in the “the crowd” — especially when it comes to engaging with their valuable customers. The Directly expert network isn’t just some group of anonymous Internet denizens. Clients trust our approach and expertise for pinpointing the kind of talent that’s hard to find in the contact center. We recruit only the most qualified on-demand experts — and our platform provides the tools to help our network deliver consistently excellent customer service

Further, we recently surveyed more than 1,000 of our active experts about a variety of topics. 

The survey results confirmed what we’ve seen from past surveys and through performance: Directly experts are highly educated, experienced, and passionate about what they do. 

Here are some of the highlights: 

Most Directly experts are college-educated

60% of Directly experts have a bachelor’s degree or advanced degree, and 88% have some college education. Typically, call center agents are only high school educated and among a company’s lowest-paid workers.

Many have technical support experience

67% of Directly experts have some previous customer service or technical support experience. While we recruit our experts based on their hands-on expertise with the products and services they’ll represent, it’s a nice bonus that many have experience in troubleshooting with customers. 

Compensation matters, but money isn’t the top incentive

We work hard to ensure our experts are compensated fairly for their great customer service, but it may be surprising to learn that their biggest motivator isn’t money. In fact, 71% said helping other customers was a top motivator. While 67% said earning money was important, 63% said flexibility to choose their own schedule was a major motivator along with 60% saying they are motivated by the fact that they are big fans of the product/service they are representing. 

They are deeply experienced

While nearly all Directly experts are active users of the products and services they are supporting, what surprised us was the long history they have with the companies they are representing. 79% said they have at least three years of experience using that company’s products, and a whopping 31% said they had more than 10 years of experience. 

They are committed to doing the job — for the long haul

More than half of Directly experts spend over 20 hours per week helping customers — which suggests they genuinely enjoy what they do, and are continuously improving as they do it more. Perhaps even more important: 95% of Directly experts said they expect to continue working with us for at least the next year. By comparison, the average annual turnover for BPO agents is 30-45% annually.

We call them experts, but they are our superheroes

While we are tech nerds who love AI and data (and surveys like this), we also are deeply passionate about the human side of customer service. So we asked our experts why they love what they do. Grab a tissue — here are a few of our favorite (unedited) answers: 

“Being disabled, Directly has given me the opportunity to work without worries of schedules or not being able to live up to somebody else’s expectations that I physically cannot meet. I can now afford basic luxuries like healthy food thanks to the extra income. I live healthier and eat better now that I can afford it.”

“Directly helps me not just financially, but also it lifted my confidence as a person who struggled seriously in this pandemic. It made me realize that I could do more inside the comfort of my home. Thanks!”

“Directly has played an important role in my life in the sense that it enables me to help others around the world. Most times, when I help someone, I feel like a superhero.”

“Lost a well-paying job due to the recession and was only able to find employment at half my typical wage – the income from directly prevented me from losing my house – will always be forever grateful that there’s a roof over our heads here!”

We take immense pride in the caliber of individuals who have joined our network. It’s through their dedication, expertise and talent that we’re able to help companies provide exceptional support experiences – and also see a few real-life superheroes in action.  

Why Directly Experts?

Directly delivers world-class customer service for leading Fortune 500 brands. Captive and outsourced contact center models increasingly can’t keep up with customer service demands, while self-service is only effective at deflecting simple contacts. With Directly Answers, we help you troubleshoot a wide range of technical issues using on-demand experts. Customers like Microsoft, Samsung, and Airbnb to reduce contact center volume up to 40%, boost CSAT up to 20% and save millions per year. Contact us to set up a demo today.