A good, cost-effective customer service department that can handle peak demand is a strategic must-have today.
It is a competitive differentiator that no company can afford to overlook. Augmenting customer service (CS) with AI and a gig workforce increase agility, enhance the customer experience (CX), and boosts customer retention.
Savvy companies are also discovering that with GigCS (we wrote a blog about this earlier) they can not only meet peak customer demand but can effectively relieve agent workloads. This works best with a layered solution approach. Inquiries undergo smart routing. While simple, repetitive questions are handled by a bot, product-related questions such as product recommendations and specific information can be handled by the Gig workers who themselves are keen product users. This frees agents to focus their time on more involved questions which may require access to customer data. All of this adds up to more efficient customer service and significant cost savings.
1. Save on staff
The tiered customer service approach offers greater effectiveness in staffing. A gig workforce augments your fixed staff. Gig workers – certified, expert product users – are only paid when they provide product-related information in a satisfactory manner: when their response was considered as helpful and good. Gig workers bring with them specific product knowledge, which saves human resources costs through reduced on-boarding time. This helps companies cover peak demand periods without necessarily adding more fixed staff. And without sacrificing availability and customer service quality. Add or reduce help as needed for more efficient staffing budget allocations.
2. Lower infrastructure costs
Working with freelancers in customer service optimises infrastructure costs. Gig workers answer product-related questions from home, eliminating the need for office space, employee computers, servers and many other office essentials needed. Some companies are even going totally remote, eliminating the need for an office altogether.
3. Easier on-boarding
On-boarding new customer service agents is expensive and can take up to a month or more. E-commerce companies, for example, offer several hundred thousand different products in often different categories, and there is no way an agent can know all of them.
Gig working Guurus recruited from the customer base are dedicated and knowledgeable product users who can often offer greater specific product expertise than agents are able to. They can be on-boarded quickly to help with periods of peak demand. This is cost-efficient, while providing improved access to an outside workforce with extremely relevant product knowledge.
4. Effective talent recruitment
There is a growing trend of using the gig economy to recruit and vet new employees. The traditional hiring process often comes with the risk of subsequent substandard performance.
This process is bypassed when freelancers are vetted before hiring by completing assignments. This significantly saves hiring costs while increasing the success rate for new hires.
5. Permanent plus with temporary help
Businesses experience fluctuations in support requests due to special offers or new offerings. When NOW TV released the last season of Game of Thrones, their support requests peaked immediately. And with the restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis, online shopping increased within days and impacted the support demand.
Traditional customer service structures often cannot meet the associated customer service demand peaks. Hiring temporary help comes with agency fees and few guarantees of staff quality. Gig workers offer a cost-saving way to tap into an on-demand workforce. A scalable AI-driven GigCS platform delivers peak performance and a satisfying customer experience.
6. Revenue boosting GigCS
The cost-cutting advantages of working with a contingent workforce are self-evident. The revenue-boosting aspects are also worth considering. Global, digitally-savvy customers today are always online and expect 24-hour customer service. They bounce from companies that do not meet this expectation. Flexible GigCS helps companies provide omnipresent coverage. This improves the customer experience and leads to greater customer retention and increased sales.
7. Enhanced brand value
A positive customer experience boosts brand value. We wrote a blog about the importance of positive customer experiences here. Credible customer service, through a community of qualified brand fans, leads to a positive experience. Customers who have a good experience are more likely to shop again. They tend to become brand ambassadors among their family and friends and in social media. All this with a positive impact on revenue.