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Will AI Kill the Customer Support Agent?

How Humans and Technology Can Support Each Other for the Best Customer Experience

Shep Hyken interviews Antony Brydon. They discuss the role of automation in customer service, and how companies can best use it to improve their customers’ experience.

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Top Takeaways:

  • When companies switch to AI and other new automation technologies, more often than not it is the customers who suffer. Companies must make this switch without sacrificing the customer experience.
  • AI has the capacity to transform practically every job within the knowledge sector, especially customer service jobs. The key is making it work.
  • The shortcomings of AI include understanding customer intent and using creativity to solve problems. These are areas where people excel. Integrating the human touch into automated systems will allow the AI experience to improve dramatically.
  • Rather than AI supporting humans, humans must support and train AI so it gets better. Connecting automation to a network of human subject matter experts is a good way to start.
  • Technology is changing incredibly fast, so adaptability is key. Humans are good at adapting to new situations and can therefore help automated systems adapt to best serve the customer.
  • The future is conversational, meaning customers are choosing to connect with companies through more casual conversational channels like texting and instant messaging. AI needs to adapt to this.
  • Poor automated systems end up costing far more than efficient ones. The more a company invests in automation and AI, the better the experience will be all around.
  • Don’t associate automation with a poor customer experience. Contrary to popular belief, it is very possible to switch to AI and automated processes that improve the customer experience at the same time.


“So much of a good experience comes down to the investment in that experience.” – Antony Brydon

“Companies need to find a way to implement new technology without leaving the customers behind.” – Antony Brydon

“It is possible to use automation and improve the customer experience at the same time.” – Antony Brydon


Antony Brydon is the CEO and co-founder of Directly, a customer support automation company. Previously, he was the acting CEO for ShopWell, a partner at Social Venture Partners, CEO and co-founder of Visible Path, and CEO and marketing lead for IUMA.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How does automation and AI fit into the customer experience?
  2. How can I use AI to improve my CX?
  3. Will AI replace customer support agents?
  4. How can humans and AI support each other?
  5. What is the future of CX?

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