The way that people are paid to work for companies has not really changed since the widespread move from agriculture to factories during the industrial revolution. The factory boss sets the hours that must be worked and how much will be paid for working those hours. It’s very much the same today whether you get a monthly salary or hourly rate.
This is probably why there are so many questions about the gig economy. Does it make work more precarious? Does it make people work harder for less pay? Does it mean that people can’t take breaks when at work? All these questions are bounced around in the media with supporters and detractors.
No matter your position on the gig economy, it is an evolution. It rewards people when they serve their employer or a customer. Nobody is paid for idle time. Anyone that knows how to do their job well is almost certainly better off being rewarded for what they deliver, rather than hours spent on the job. Increased workplace surveillance shows that many corporate executives struggle with the idea of paying for delivery rather than time on the clock.
So this is an evolving work model, but not all gig economy work is the same. Some tasks are highly repetitive and fairly simple – they don’t require complex training. I have every respect for what the delivery riders at Grubhub do, but picking up a food order and biking it to an address is quite a simple task that most of us can manage.
In the customer service environment, there is a different type of need that is driving exploration of how GigCX can help companies with their own internal contact centers and the business process outsourcing (BPO) companies that own and manage enormous contact centers. There are many factors why GigCX is different from a simple and repetitive task, but here are the most important:
- Expertise: great customer service isn’t just about a friendly voice on the line, customers want deep expertise. By the time they call for help, they have probably asked Alexa, Google, and a chatbot for help. They need answers. A GigCX approach allows companies to hire experts in specific areas to work from home, even if they can’t contribute full-time hours. If you are supporting a fashion brand then search on Instagram and TikTok for people who love that brand and ask if they want to help customers for a few hours each week – this approach focuses on the domain expertise of the agents.
- Seasonality: every customer service team suffers a seasonality crisis now and then. Retailers have the “Black Friday to the Holidays” season. Sports teams and concert promoters have to cope whenever new tickets go on sale. Insurance companies have periods of the year when renewals go through the roof. It’s hard to flex a traditional contact center team by 200-300%, but you can add a layer of flexible GigCX agents on top of the core team.
- Diversity: company leaders are all over the business media at present talking about how hard it is to find talented employees to hire. Why not expand your options and include all those groups of people who find it difficult to commit to a full week in the office? Parents, carers, retirees, military families, people who just find it difficult to commute or spend a full day shift at work. There are many people excluded from the traditional workforce who could contribute if they can stay at home and work flexible hours.
GigCX is not another way to deliver simple and repetitive tasks. If I call my laptop company for technical support then I expect more than a friendly voice. I want my problem resolved by someone who knows exactly what they are doing. These are highly skilled people just working more flexibly than the traditional Monday to Friday, in a city center office model would allow.
It offers a better way for companies to resource their customer service team. Build your core and then allow GigCX to manage the flexibility you need. You can even pay people by the hour, rather than by customer help if that’s how your accounting team prefers to manage business.
GigCX is a complete evolution of how people work in customer service. It offers more opportunities to more people and enables more flexibility for the advisers and the company hiring them.