I am often asked to explain Gig CX in the context of the contact center. A traditional customer service operation requires a large building full of customer service agents who all need to live close enough to the center to be able to commute there each day, and they will generally work a full day on each shift.
Gig CX is very different, not least because you can be more flexible about the shifts so it’s much easier to ramp your cover up and down as needed. Obviously there is no need for the contact center building as well, because the contact center is virtual and only exists in the cloud.
But there is a really important difference that I think is often missed when we just talk about these comparisons to a contact center.
Companies that hire people to work in a contact center want them to be nearby, to have good communication skills, and to work on the service processes for whatever clients the contact center works with.
This can be turned upside down with Gig CX. You can hire people from anywhere and this means that you can actively seek people who really love your products. You are not focusing on their ability to speak to customers – that can easily be trained – you are focusing on finding the people who already love your brand and your products.
I cannot emphasize how important this is and how different it is to the contact center agent who will apply for a customer service job and not know if they are going to be allocated into a role with a bank or a retailer.
Let’s say you are a retail brand focused on women’s fashion. How cool would it be if the people on your service team actually love your clothes, so when customers call or send a message, they get a response from someone who really loves the product and is completely focused on fixing the issue?
It’s simple. Go to Instagram and find all the people who are posting about your clothes and ask if they want to be brand ambassadors. They can actually get paid to get closer to a brand they already love – they are posting photos all over their social networks already!
What about if you just published a game on the Apple and Google App Stores? People are downloading it to their phones all over the world and a few click on the HELP button – maybe they got locked out of the game. Why not find some of the gamers who already love your game and ask them if they want to earn some extra cash by helping other gamers when they are not playing it themselves?
The power of this approach is obvious to me, but I feel that when analysts compare Gig CX to Business Process Outsourcing and contact centers they really miss the power of hiring brand ambassadors to handle your customer service processes.
The advantage of this approach does not stop just with the improved experience of customers interacting with fans of the brand. If you are a fashion brand and you want promotion then what’s the twenty-first century approach? Work with your influencer community – send them some free gifts and new products.
What if you already have hundreds of micro-influencers already working for you, directly helping your customers? The power of this network is multiplied – you are not just sending them a few free gifts, they love your brand and now they are earning real cash by helping other customers. Their social posts will probably explode with even more photos featuring your products – especially if you send a few freebies to high-performers.
Let me know about other examples or areas where you think that working with ambassadors for your brand would be far more powerful than using a contact center – the list could certainly go on!