Trevor Clark is the Co-Founder and CEO of ShyftOff, a flexible, on-demand outsource solution for contact centers and customer support teams.
Gig-based work is here to stay. We’ve seen this in the headlines recently, as many businesses and people are identifying opportunities to outsource nearly any task or function to an independent contractor or gig worker.
For contact centers, the gig economy model that’s changing the game is GigCX. As agents demand flexibility and businesses require flexibility to meet unpredictable customer demand, GigCX seems like the obvious next step for the evolution of contact center staffing. In this piece, I will share a few thoughts on how GigCX can transform the industry, as well as highlight when GigCX doesn’t work and best practices to ensure you can fully maximize a gig workforce.
How Contact Centers Can Benefit From GigCX
1. You can design an optimal staffing mix to maintain service levels.
When a contact center doesn’t have the right number of agents to service their customers, it can create a domino effect that impacts customer experience, down to retaining and hiring new agents. GigCX allows contact centers to design a staffing mix that leverages gig-based agents to fill the gaps within their in-house and outsourced teams.
Without GigCX, contact centers must impose overtime and odd hours, ultimately creating burdensome schedules for their in-house teams. As mentioned, this chain reaction can lead to burnout, high attrition and a poor reputation, making it difficult to hire eager and qualified talent. With GigCX, contact centers have the flexibility to shape schedules that are attractive to an in-house team while effectively scaling qualified talent to meet service levels.
2. You can leverage a more engaged workforce.
GigCX allows businesses to capitalize on their most passionate and engaged workforce ever. The GigCX model rewards agents who continually perform well on brand campaigns. The more reliable and productive agents are, the more opportunities they have to work consistent shifts around their desired flexibility.
By embracing GigCX, companies can scale their workforce up or down with the sharpest talent available. These individuals are typically motivated to serve customers and take pride in their work since their earnings are directly tied to performance and the number of hours they work.
3. You can cut costs without cutting people or quality.
One of the most significant challenges for contact centers is managing or cutting costs without compromising the quality of service or resorting to employee layoffs. However, with the emergence of GigCX, companies now have the opportunity to cut costs without sacrificing people or quality by leveraging gig agents only as needed. Organizations can offload the expenses associated with hiring, onboarding, training and management onto their GigCX partners. (Full disclosure: My company offers these services, as do others.)
This flexible model also provides contact centers with a reliable and sustainable way to swiftly respond to unexpected surges, spikes or dips in customer demand without incurring additional hassle or costs.
Limitations Of GigCX
A few drawbacks exist when implementing a GigCX model for certain contact centers, especially those that rely on in-person agents to service their customers. The magic of a GigCX model relies on talent that works from home on their own devices. If your business requires agents to work in the office from company-provided devices, this model will be harder to implement without security risks.
GigCX may also be a hard model to adopt if you don’t have clear training on how to handle complex call types, or if your internal team is still figuring out the best way to do this. GigCX talent has the capability to work on simple servicing tasks up to complicated Tier 2 cases. However, this workforce is only as great as your training. If you don’t have a set of best practices or procedures in place for difficult customer cases, your GigCX team risks missing service levels or providing the incorrect resolution to your customers.
Best Practices When Leveraging A GigCX Team
As I alluded to in the last paragraph, the key to a successful GigCX team is detailed training and strong support from an in-house team. With the right monitoring tools, your in-house team can stay ahead of challenges your GigCX team may encounter and update procedures in real time to ensure that other gig agents can service customers correctly. Your contact center’s in-house team is crucial to a GigCX operation: They serve as the backbone, setting the tone for the gig-based workforce and providing a playbook for remote teams. They are the most valuable players in the organization, as they ensure seamless collaboration and maintain consistent service standards across the board.
There has to be a constant feedback loop between what your current gig agents are doing and what the newly onboarded gig agents should be learning. If your training is thorough and designed to support the GigCX agent, you could retain certain agents to work on your account over a longer period of time. While GigCX agents want flexibility, they also take pride in their work and, in my experience, tend to work with brands they feel empowered to work on. Your training and in-house support can help foster this.
GigCX is helping to revolutionize the traditional contact center model and providing a game-changing approach to workforce management. With GigCX, contact centers can reshape their staffing approach, redefine success and pave the way for a future where talent, flexibility and cost efficiency go hand in hand. I think with the adoption of this model, we will witness an impactful transformation that optimizes human operations within a contact center—hopefully changing contact center operations for good.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?
Read the full article here