Why On-Demand Models Will Fundamentally Change Customer Service


Posted by Prentice Welch

Last Sunday, Directly co-founder and CEO, Antony Brydon, sat down with Phil McKinney, noted innovation expert, and CEO of CableLabs, to discuss why on-demand models are going to fundamentally improve customer service experience.

Some highlights are below, and you can find the full recording here

Phil :Last week you presented at the Pitch-It event in Las Vegas and you really got people’s attention when you shared some of the innovations Directly is doing in customer service.

Antony: We are doing something that we think can fundamentally improve customer service.  What Directly does is make on-demand apps that power customer support for companies like Pinterest and Republic Wireless.

Phil: “Uber for customer care” was the hook where the light-bulb really went off for people. Can you talk a little more about that?

Antony: The Uber analog is a helpful place to start when thinking about on-demand customer care. Much the same way that Uber is able to leverage the excess supply of drivers with cars who can drive in their spare time, on-demand customer care allows companies to give their expert users our mobile apps, route them help desk questions and reward them with cash or credit when they can help a customer quickly.

Phil: So in this case, you’re allowing companies to connect with their most knowledgeable and talented expert users and allowing them to answer questions for other customers?

Antony: The experts are not professional call center staff, they are not working defined shifts. They can choose the types tickets they want to handle and when they want to work.  With people choosing to work on their terms, the network delivers median first response times of 3.9 minute and 92.5% customer satisfaction ratings.

When it comes to building an on-demand workforce, there are really two critical pieces to the equation - one of it is a fundamentally more enjoyable experience for the worker and they are choosing their work environment.

And on the other side, the customer experiences that get opened up when you can deliver an answer in minutes or seconds, instead of 19 hours, there’s whole new types of customer experiences that are being expected and demanded by younger, millennial users today.

The broad conviction is that the very nature of work is changing. It’s changing from the fixed, drive-into-work, sit in a cubicle all day and wait for questions to come in model of the past.  And it’s changing to fluid models, where folks are working on smart phones, they are choosing to work on things that they want to be working on, they are choosing when they work, on their own time and we think that’s really exciting.