Boosting operational efficiencies and ensuring more productive outcomes have always been major motives across all industries. While a few companies were earlier aware of how to gain more from less, the 2020 lockdown restrictions made many more aware of their ‘secret’ – the gig economy.
In 2021, more companies are turning to the gig model to drive better outcomes. While there are multiple benefits that the gig economy can offer, below are five prominent ones:
Extended team to support customer queries
In conventional call centres, research shows that domain experts are only occupied about 60 percent of their their shift time. Nonetheless, shifts tend to be overstaffed to account for variations in call volumes. But this lowers their efficiency.
Moreover, since customer service executives don’t expect worthwhile career progression, attrition rates tend to be typically high. The pandemic has also led to major swings in customer demand.
Retail, hospitality and other sectors have been severely impacted by the multiple lockdowns, leading to great variations in customer demand. All these factors make the traditional call centre model extremely inefficient and expensive.
In such scenarios, the gig model can provide qualified support in the form of a universal cloud call centre, where multi-domain experts can field calls from diverse businesses. Companies are only bound to pay for the time that these experts spend on the phone in addressing customer queries. If no calls are received during a specific period, nothing needs to be paid.
Unlike the fixed-pay model, the gig system only requires payments as per outcomes, not idle hours. In this manner, more customers can be supported in the event of higher call volumes and vice versa.
More agile, flexible and personalised experience
The flexibility of time as well as higher earnings, if more time is spent, means this freelance model attracts a better quality of domain experts as customer service executives. The benefits of flexible hours and remote working allows these experts to invest extra time in becoming the best in their business.
Consequently, customers benefit from more personalised and productive experiences. The higher customer satisfaction levels due to timely query resolution then translate into greater customer retention.
Also, the gig model means customer requests can be addressed at any time of the day – or night. Therefore, agility, flexibility and personalised experiences are the calling cards of gig professionals. Ultimately, all the stakeholders – the customer, the company and the call centre expert – benefit from this arrangement.
Human touch is a must
While bots could be used in dealing with FAQs, the variety and diversity of daily customer problems can only be addressed by trained gig domain experts who add the human touch in calming customers’ frayed nerves. The last thing irate customers want is a bot telling them their problem will be resolved – without offering any worthwhile solution.
If a solution is not immediately available, an empathetic human is a better option in seeking adequate time from customers for resolving the issue. A candid assessment would work better in buying time till the problem is resolved to the customer’s satisfaction – something bots are still not programmed to do.
Micro-level customer support
Some businesses, such as hospitality, may require micro-level customer support in select situations. In many cases, the situations may well be outside the pale of regular experiences. In these cases, bots, or less experienced customer care executives will be at a loss to handle such situations deftly.
But, highly-qualified gig experts will be better positioned to manage the query either by thinking on their feet or offering an out-of-the-box solution in addressing the unconventional problem. Again, such high-level expertise comes with a pay-if-you-use cost model rather than predetermined rates paid to full-time staff while also avoiding the recurring costs incurred on the latter.
Faster onboarding of support executives
Thanks to advanced e-learning tools, the training time of executives can now be compressed to a few hours for every skill. Moreover, these digital learning tools can be accessed from anywhere by learners and may include learning via apps. Given the advantages of digital learning, it is possible to train and onboard support executives at short notice through focussed and fast training models.
Needless to say, the savings in time and money could be immense. Through the digital model, even when domain experts are hired for training, the retainer fees paid to them would be the minimum required due to faster training times.
Of course, apart from the above, there are other advantages of deploying the gig model in promoting greater customer satisfaction. But that’s another story, best reserved for some other day.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YS.)