Directly Announces CX Automation Platform

Directly today announced its CX automation platform, which aims to help companies provide better customer service by leveraging a network of expert users, who create customer support content, vote on the best content and train the platform’s AI, and provide backup support when the AI can’t solve more complex problems.

“The fundamental challenge that [companies] are wrestling with is how to deal with increasing volumes and increasing demands and increasing expectations from more and more customers,” says Antony Brydon, CEO at Directly. “The more narrow and specific challenge is that many of these companies are really struggling in their machine learning and their automation efforts—they don’t necessarily have the clean data to power good automation; they don’t have the content to power good automation; and they don’t have the team to maintain all of the algorithms and the like. The automation platform that we have built puts experts at the center of it and allows them to build these networks of experts that solve those problems.”

By using expert users, the platform can do three key things: create relevant support content to be delivered to customers automatically, have its AI algorithms continuously learn and improve, and answer customer questions quickly and effectively. “The experts are really doing those three things—they’re one, creating the rich content, these really broad libraries of automatic answers. They are then teaching the algorithms—they’re taking feedback and they’re voting on answers which teach the algorithms to match the question to the automatic answer better…and then they’re there to solve the complex questions when the automatic answers can’t,” Brydon elaborates.

Automatic answers are delivered in the expert’s voice, with the expert available behind the answer. Experts are rewarded when their answers help customers, incentivizing them to continue honing and improving the system. Overall, the system aims to provide a deeper experience than AI could on its own. “If you are on the Airbnb site or the Microsoft site or the Samsung site, any of our customers, and you ask a question, there’s a good chance that you would get an automatic answer, an instant answer, that was created by one of their experts. When that answer is delivered, you not only see the answer to your question, but you see the face of the expert who wrote that answer. If their answer doesn’t solve your question or it solves three-quarters of your question and you need a little bit more help, the expert that wrote that answer is standing right behind it and available to fill in the blanks and help you further.…[and] if that specific expert isn’t available, it will go out immediately to another set of experts that understands the problem that you’re having and the topic very well,” Brydon explains.

“With these experts inside, automation is going to get very powerful, and I think [that with] the overwhelming majority of support inquiries, customers are going to get a very satisfying first answer, but we think it’s also very important to have the experts behind it for when that customer needs more help—we think that’s the key to a good customer experience,” he adds.

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