GigCX is quite a recent term within the customer service industry. I only started writing about it myself in 2020 and there are not many examples of earlier commentary on GigCX. I still can’t even find any reference to GigCX in Wikipedia – perhaps someone should write the initial page to see if it is accepted?
Today GigCX is all around. In coverage of the recent acquisition of Prague-based contact center company ICON by Germany-based Yoummday, many commentators talked about the merger combining gig with traditional contact center operations.
This blend is something I have been talking about for the past couple of years in almost all of my commentary. The early Gartner coverage of GigCX followed their usual ‘Hype Cycle’ model of proclaiming that this is the next big thing and it will replace everything else.
The BPOs are still here and three-quarters of customer service processes are still managed in-house… the contact center specialists really only control a small percentage of the entire process of managing customers.
It’s great to see that since 2020 the coverage of GigCX has taken off. Management consulting experts McKinsey have now published research highlighting the opportunities for GigCX and I participated in a podcast discussion last year that involved McKinsey and one of our clients.
I have also been involved in writing two books in the past two years. One is a complete introduction to GigCX and the opportunities it can present. The other looks a little deeper at how the world of work is changing and how GigCX fits into modern expectations of flexible working hours and location.
It’s satisfying to see that some of my own work is helping to ensure that GigCX is more deeply embedded into modern customer service strategies. I don’t think there needs to be any either/or debate, GigCX can be used to augment whatever your company is doing – internal customer service or BPO. It doesn’t replace your existing team.
I do sometimes think that the term GigCX creates some confusion though. Many gig economy jobs are relatively low paid and quite repetitive. Delivering food from a restaurant, pet-sitting, or picking an online order from store shelves. These are all valuable jobs – we certainly noticed that during the pandemic – but they are quite simple to define.
GigCX requires specialist skills, usually quite detailed domain or brand knowledge. If you are going to be supporting a consumer electronics brand then you need to know about those products inside out. GigCX employs highly skilled people in customer-facing roles. The only element that has really changed in these jobs is that the gig structure allows working hours and location to be much more flexible.
The general public doesn’t need to understand this level of detail, but I hope that my work promoting GigCX is getting the message across to the customer service industry. Executives and managers that are building customer service teams can use GigCX to improve and augment what they are doing – it’s not a replacement.