I recently took part in a panel discussion at the Automotive Intelligence Summit, a C-level meeting of the minds for executives at companies that are the forefront of the automotive, auto finance and fintech industries.

Not surprisingly, there was a lot of buzz at the conference about rapid innovation in the auto industry. In fact, my presentation focused on this innovation…along with our partners at Dasceq, I discussed the use of artificial intelligence in auto loan servicing and collections.

I’m a firm believer that technological innovation is advancing the auto industry for the better, so it was great to see so many companies from all corners of the automotive industry discussing these exciting developments.

However, one of the key points in my presentation was to not let the allure of new technologies lead to losing sight of creating a positive customer journey that facilitates satisfaction. A customer’s journey, whether it through the lending/engagement process or the servicing process, should be catered towards their preferences, which in some cases can be identified and streamlined through technology and in others through personal touch.

In the loan servicing and customer service functions, there’s no doubt that things like AI, machine learning, big data and powerful analytics are improving the journey…for the customer, servicer and lender alike. But this isn’t not to say that these technologies will ever completely replace the talented individuals in this space. Rather, it will allow for more time to for them to utilize the skillset they were hired for. This increases productivity and provides better and more efficient results for our clients.

At the Automotive Intelligence Summit, it was refreshing to see so many companies who share our view about arriving at this balance. In my view, these are the companies that will continue to define the industry for many years to come.