How Will The Gig Economy Help Us Rethink Customer Support In The Digital Age?

The following is a guest blog written by Paula Kennedy, Vice President at Concentrix

As the business world ups its competitive game for a digital age, customer satisfaction can no longer be treated as merely nice to have, or as an ambition metric for the corporate scorecard. On the contrary, it is a business essential that will determine the success or failure of brand advocacy, customer loyalty and consumer adoption and as a result, competitive advantage.

Many organizations still find themselves in catch-up mode on their digital transformation strategies. But, regardless of where they are on this shift, it is critical that customer experience (CX) remains at the heart of change and innovation.

Redefining CX for the 21st century is not and cannot be about technology alone. Building a strategy that combines right-fit technology with customer accessibility and human-led engagement is the only means to address the key challenges that companies face as they endeavor to keep up with higher customer expectations in today’s always-on consumer world.

Concentrix Solv™ has been designed to respond to exactly those needs by rethinking the traditional customer support journeys. It bypasses the challenges linked to the inflexibility of a premise-based customer management model, such as staffing and meeting digitally-driven customer demand.


Delivering Service and Satisfaction at Scale

Offering always-on service comes at a cost. Too often, the cost/quality conflict reaches a tipping point that defies the return on investment (ROI) and forces a transformation roll-back that ultimately risks degradation of CX, rather than enhancement.

Consider the demand curve over a 24/7 period as it tails after 8-10pm. Traditional operating models struggle to sustain any-time support across global time zones when customer demand reduces in volume, as the ROI to keep service teams available is severely tested. That challenge is exacerbated when it comes to multi-lingual support and more often than not, results in non-English speaking customers being limited to a choice of self service, English-only support or nothing at all.

Automation plays a key role in creating a more dynamic CX and when done well, self-service can be both efficient and effective at customer support. Executed poorly, or in isolation from existing customer support channels however, there is a risk that customers enter a cycle of digital failure, channel shunt and repeated effort. Net promoter score (NPS) subsequently declines, gross contact volumes increase and with them, so does cost.


Why Gig?

In our digital age, the workforce is increasingly mobile and work can often be done from anywhere. With job and location decoupled, there are new opportunities outside of the brick-and-mortar constraints of conventional operations.

By leveraging the autonomy of the gig economy, Solv unlocks access to a talent marketplace that matches knowledgeable advocates, or Solvers, to customer demand to offer support. For the customer this removes the barriers of office hours and offers them the flexibility for true anytime, anywhere support from all around the world at a time that is convenient to them.

From a brand perspective the benefit from the same supply/demand optimization is high. In fact, it increases the customer support that brands have been able to offer in the traditional model with lower-cost-to-serve and faster scalability.

And it is not just consumer behavior that has changed in a digitally driven world, but so too has the workforce of the future.

Companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and TaskRabbit have been leveraging the gig economy for more than a decade, providing qualified people with a means to earn extra money, using the resources they already have. For businesses, the gig economy is a brilliant way to bring on workers only when there is work to be done. And for workers, it provides a flexible, customizable way to bring home a paycheck without the burden of a typical 9-to-5 and all the hidden costs that come with that in commutes, city real estate premiums and long days and nights.

Concentrix Solv harnesses the gig economy for crowd-based customer support and takes CX to new possibilities.

Solvers are ubiquitous. They can solve from anywhere and at a time that is convenient to their lifestyle. Solvers are a crowd of independent contractors, made up of tech enthusiasts, gig economy superstars and expert customer service workers.

Solvers have the flexibility to work on their terms when and where they want to. Solv connects them directly to the brands they love, allowing them to get paid for their expertise, offering something new for the 21st century employee seeking to rebalance work/life in a way that pre-millennial generations did not have as a cultural priority.


How Solv Works

Solv connects companies to a global talent pool of confident researchers, enthusiastic tech fans and customer advocates who have a passion for brands. Solvers are like-minded consumers and customers of the same products and services used by the customers who need help. They engage asynchronously via messaging to find answers to customer issues and, once solved, they get rewarded for their success. This on-demand model is reciprocated for the brands who choose to operate on Solv, meaning they only pay for satisfied customers. Leveraging positive gig economy functionality into customer service offers increased access, improved satisfaction in an efficient, results-driven pricing model.

Connecting the relationship back to technology is Solv’s smart use of data – Solv uses the high C-Sat responses to guide and teach AI and BOT strategies better, automating where it makes sense for the CX and improving process where it may not.


Raising the Customer Experience Bar

Business isn’t just digital these days—it’s competitively experience-driven. With the vast majority of customers noting that their experience with a brand is equally important to the products and services it offers, there’s no ignoring quality of service. New ways of doing business like Solv are creating exciting opportunities for companies to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. As the standards of customer experience remain high alongside the need to keep costs low, companies will need to keep pace with the technologies that will allow them to compete at scale.

Person-to-person customer care hasn’t gone anywhere—it’s just a human-led digital engagement now.


Learn more and see how Solv could be right for your business:

Contact paula.kennedy@concentrix.com or follow us at www.concentrix.com