I have been writing articles about GigCX for a couple of years now. Many of them are educational and explore how GigCX differs from the more traditional Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) approach to customer service. I’ve also contributed to two books, one that was really just an introduction to GigCX and one that explores how GigCX may change work itself – the Great Resignation is a good example of how workers in general are starting to demand more flexibility.
But I think this last point will take some time for corporate leaders to accept. We are witnessing a reconfiguration of expectations. The employer and employee relationship has been fundamentally changed by the pandemic and power has shifted.
Micha Kaufman, the founder and CEO of Fiverr, recently said: “People are not simply leaving one company to join another but rather leaving the traditional workforce altogether. Based on a recent survey, we conducted, 54% of HR professionals and hiring managers said that people who have left their companies end up working for themselves as freelancers or start their own businesses.”
This is remarkable. Employees are redefining their expectations of work so much that many are just deciding to abandon the idea of a Monday to Friday job altogether.
McKinsey has talked about the effect on customer service as a revolution. Companies that need customer service solutions will not just replace traditional employees with gig workers talking to customers – the nature of gigs means that the entire process can be redesigned.
Look at the concept of what McKinsey calls brand advocates. Most contact center agents are told which client they need to work for. There is no choice. They might be supporting an insurance company one month and then they are transitioned into a retail team, because more support is required on that account.
GigCX agents can be trained and brought into a bench of talent. Brands can offer fans the opportunity to work with them. There is no need to accept a 40-hour a week job in a contact center – the agent can choose when they want to work and can work from home.
Imagine the opportunities this creates. A games company that needs customer support can go into their community of gamers and ask who wants some flexible work supporting other gamers. A fashion brand can check the unboxing videos on Instagram and TikTok. They can see who loves their products and can offer these people flexible roles helping the brand.
Imagine if everyone on a customer service team were genuine fans of that brand, rather than just contact center agents with no control over which client account they have to support. How would that change the customer experience?
The McKinsey research also explores how GigCX can be used to augment traditional BPO. There is no need to think of this as traditional vs new. Any internal or outsourced contact center can be augmented by adding a gig layer – it’s not a replacement.
How does that work?
Imagine a team supporting a retailer. There is a baseline of how much support is needed for most of the year, but in Q4 everything goes through the roof with Black Friday and the end of year sales. Traditional contact centers struggle with this scenario. They use overtime and vacation bans to try getting as many people as possible on the calls, but what if the increase in customer contact is 500% for Black Friday? You can’t manage that with some overtime. Adding a team of talented GigCX agents boosts the core team for situations like this.
This is what I think that brands need to understand. You can entirely redefine your customer engagement by building a GigCX team. This is not about the replacement of traditional BPO or CX. Customers expect more from the brands they love and GigCX allows you to design the engagement that will keep them loyal for many years.
Creative Commons Photo by Toine G