Why Businesses Are Turning to Gig 2.0 Models to Scale Customer Service


Gig 1.0 Isn’t Working Anymore. What’s Next for Gig CX?

Thanks in part to the pandemic—and now seemingly endless economic uncertainty— job opportunities in the gig market continue to skyrocket. Gig work in driving (Uber, Lyft) and delivery services (Amazon, DoorDash, GoPuff) has become so popular that 16% of the American workforce has worked for a gig platform, including 30% of all adults aged 18-29 years old. Though not a new concept, short-term and contract “gig” work has made earning money more accessible for many, due to the flexible and entrepreneurial nature of the work. Consumer brands across industries like retail and fintech are leveraging on-demand workers to help staff high-quality customer experiences via email, live chat, SMS or text messaging, tech support, or a phone call. 

We are, however, starting to see the cracks in the “Gig 1.0” model.

Cracks in the “Gig 1.0” model

While the Gig 1.0 model can be a cost-savings for the business, legacy providers are unable to meet the responsiveness and consistency requirements of today’s demanding, always-on digital consumer. This is due to its sole reliance on a shallower pool of power users. On top of that, Gig 1.0 and other traditional CX models leave businesses to deal with fixed staffing, inflexible scheduling, costly training, and constant turnover. This is forcing CX leaders to make costly compromises that lead to deflection and neglect of the NOW Customer.

  • Contingent on specialized knowledge: When outsourcing gig workers, those individuals rely on the tribal product knowledge of power users, often leading them to deliver inconsistent information. For example, anexpert may know mobile devices, but specializes in either Android or iOS and other connected devices in the home. This is also common for brands with a rapidly changing product suite, as we often see across industries like fintech and travel. With that reliance on shallow labor pools, businesses cannot achieve enterprise-level speed and availability on a 24/7 basis.
  • Quality control (or lack thereof): The Gig 1.0 model is limited when it comes to routing and crowd-sourced feedback. With no additional back-end integrations, like subscription or ordering systems, gig workers are unable to resolve complex inquiries that require back end operations and brand-specific processes. As a result, gig workers are limited in the scope of work they can do, making it difficult for businesses to scale with enough specialists, unresponsiveness and inconsistent quality.
  • Too flexible? When hiring independent contractors, businesses have less control over when those individuals are logged in. Response times may be “good enough,” but don’t expect them to ever be exceptional–- think minutes or even hours for chat responses vs. seconds. This is especially a problem during times of unpredictable volume patterns or surges. By solely relying on a fixed pool of agents working variable hours, businesses could be compromising both the speed and quality expectations of the always-on customer.

Paving the way for “Gig 2.0”

A revolution is happening in the world of CX and businesses are now prioritizing customer care solutions that provide the quality and flexibility needed to withstand today’s volatile economic conditions, as well as the rapidly evolving consumer landscape. 

CX leaders are turning to solutions that marry technology with deep pools of specialists to address mainstream pain points like fluctuations in volume, inability to rapidly ramp and the pigeonholing of support as a cost center. Here are three reasons why businesses are turning to Gig 2.0 models to scale their customer service efforts:

  • Always on, always (happily) available network: Businesses can enable empathy at scale by working with a dispersed, fully remote and flexible outsourced workforce. Having agents ready to tackle your service issues and offer top-notch resolutions at any time across all digital channels is what transforms support organizations into revenue drivers. Simplr’s Human Cloud Network, for example, revolutionizes flexible work with a supportive and rewarding environment, while exceeding the expectations of the NOW Customer because every specialist is able to service your brand. It’s a win-win-win for customers, businesses, and support agents!
  • Instant scalability: Yes, it’s true—you can scale your customer support efforts without damaging your brand’s reputation. Gig 2.0 models help businesses escape the cycle of hiring, ramping, firing and rehiring. In this model, outsourced workers have a quick ramp period and require no up front training, taking the hiring and training burdens off the shoulders of CX leaders that would otherwise be responsible for these efforts. By working in a unified platform, agents can access all the information they need to answer your tickets effectively and accurately in real-time. Every specialist in Simplr’s Human Cloud Network is enabled by in-moment guidance in Simplr platform to service your brand with accuracy and quality. 

Pro tip: do your research and make sure the agents you’re bringing on board can withhold the quality of your internal agents. Fewer than 1% of Simplr’s Human Cloud Network applicants make it through the rigorous application process which emphasizes problem-solving abilities and empathetic nature of those individuals—the talents best suited to resolving customer issues. In fact, 20% of our outsourced support agents have advanced degrees. No contact center can claim that. 

  • Technology backed by humans: Companies will get the most out of automation and human labor by having them work together. After all, not every customer and inquiry should be treated the same. Most CX organizations aren’t structured to offer personalized service to customers based on their attributes and what they are asking about. In other cases, like in the financial services industry, agents must abide by strict policies and procedures when it comes to the use of customer data (i.e. PII). Having a platform to account for these circumstances will ensure the ticket gets routed to the agent best suited to handle it (based on previous performance metrics like CSAT, FRT and conversions) rather than a bot to maintain compliance while retaining your most loyal customers. Through Simplr’s combination of chatbot and humans, we’re able to automate and resolve up to 80% of customer inquiries, which results in improved efficiency and cost savings all while providing a better customer experience.

Combining the best of bots + humans

Given today’s rapidly evolving consumer landscape, providing exceptional service that’s truly scalable, without forecasting or compromises, while turning a cost center into a revenue driver is table stakes. A combination of people, technology and insights allows you to offer the highest quality service across all your digital and social channels, create loyal fans, eliminate neglect, and drive revenue. Ready to exceed customer expectations? Eliminate inefficiencies with Simplr.