Can companies deliver exceptional Customer Experience (CX) using the skills and experiences of gig economy talent? A few years ago, this question would have raised valid concerns about effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. But not anymore. Today, companies increasingly rely on gig CX experts to solve specific challenges in customer service.
What is driving the increased preference for remote CX specialists? To answer this, we need to first look at some interesting numbers from two different surveys. The first survey, Business Transformation After the Digital Tipping Point, conducted by WNS and Corinium Intelligence in 2021, shows that improving CX is the top agenda for enterprises in an evolving normal, with 40 percent planning to operate a hybrid model that combines office and remote work.
Another survey conducted in 2020 found that while 95 percent considered CX talent crucial to business growth, 58 percent found it difficult to match the pay levels of competitors. In addition, companies faced challenges in achieving the right balance of skills and industry knowledge for CX roles. This is why gig CX engagements, which were earlier on an ad hoc basis, are becoming more strategic and long-term. The prevailing economic uncertainty has only increased the demand for gig CX experts with deep domain expertise.
For instance, given the continuous disruptions, it’s imperative for the airline industry to offer customers service with empathy to improve their experience. Gig CX workers with in-depth knowledge of the industry can enable airlines to offer the required support aided with solutions that have analytics and conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities. As airlines scale their operations in line with rapid market fluctuations, they can avoid the costs associated with hiring permanent resources to manage the volumes.
Retail is another crucial sector where empathy and innovation go hand in hand. Seasonal spikes are inherent to this industry which is trying to strike a balance between digital and physical touchpoints. Gig workers with domain knowledge can drive unified CX across channels with relevant insights from both online and offline. By 2025, the retail analytics market is expected to be worth over USD 11 Billion. By leveraging customer analytics and social media analytics, gig CX workers can hyper-personalize offers at the right time to improve sales, and drive engagement throughout the customer journey.
Similarly, remote work and the closing of office spaces changed the dynamics of consumption in the energy and utility sector. Gig experts, with in-depth knowledge of the industry, supported by analytical tools, can help companies identify the right metrics to measure their CX initiatives. They can also identify consumption patterns early on to improve decision-making and drive better engagement.
Overcoming the Challenges
Engaging gig CX experts is not without challenges. These include recruitment challenges, peak time availability, performance management and monitoring, employee engagement and IT security.
Digital hiring platforms and calibrated HR policies for remote workforces are a good starting point to overcome these challenges. Virtual sourcing and remote onboarding using smart recruitment platforms significantly reduce hiring and availability challenges. Online platforms also enable constant engagement with remote CX executives, and offer support for learning and development using analytics and gamification.
In addition, online team collaboration platforms can help streamline communication and improve efficiency. To improve compliance and detect violations, companies can leverage two-factor authentication, biometric access with facial recognition, system monitoring tools, video-based supervision and advanced analytics.
The ideal way to deploy the skills of gig CX experts is to leverage remote communities of domain experts with analytical frameworks and integrated workflows. Gig employees, with the right tools, can be an integral pillar of an organization’s strategy to deliver exceptional CX, drive innovation and accelerate business transformation initiatives.
Know more about WNS’ Customer Experience Service
Know more about the WNS Open Talent Model
Watch the webinar on travel and the future of work