The Ultimate Guide to GigCX
- GigCX is an innovative model that helps contact centers eliminate attrition, staff on demand for seasonal peaks and spikes, and reduce operating costs.
- Contact centers leverage this model to support their in-house team without compromising customer experience.
- Contact centers that leverage GigCX can create flexibility and scalability in their contact center.
If you made it here, you’re probably somewhat familiar with GigCX. This guide provides the ‘cliff notes’ to the GigCX model.
In this guide, we cover the following:
- what GigCX is
- why companies are moving to this model
- four steps to get started
- examples of gigcx scenarios
- benefits of gigcx (aside from the obvious)
What is GigCX?
GigCX is a term that refers to a customer service model that leverages a pool of on-demand, independent contractors or freelancers to provide customer support services. The word "GigCX" is derived from the gig economy. Usually, companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb that rely on independent contractors come to mind for most people.
GigCX is a way for companies to scale their customer service operations quickly, especially during peak periods or unexpected spikes in demand, with on-demand gig-based agents. In short, contact centers have a 24/7 fully-staffed operation without the hassles of maintaining one in-house. GigCX workers are often highly skilled and experienced individuals who can work remotely using their equipment and software. They can also support customers via multiple channels, including phone, email, chat, and social media.
CCW Digital describes GigCX as "an on-demand customer service model that leverages a pool of independent contractors or freelancers to supplement traditional customer service teams" – so basically the same thing we said, just citing the pros.
GigCX is practiced by many companies, especially in industries that experience high seasonal or fluctuating demand, such as retail, e-commerce, and travel.
Why are companies using GigCX?
GigCX is a valuable customer service model for several reasons. We’ve broken it down below.
- It allows companies to scale their customer service operations quickly and cost-effectively. It completely cuts the ‘recruit, hire, train, retain, and manage’ operations required to staff a full-time, in-house team.
- Companies can access a larger pool of highly skilled and experienced customer service agents in different regions or time zones. At ShyftOff, all our agents are US-based, which some companies prefer compared to nearshore or offshore talent.
- Gig-based agents can help companies provide round-the-clock customer support and improve service quality. They can help companies fill hard-to-staff periods or 24/7 operations.
There are also some challenges and potential drawbacks to the GigCX model. One of the main challenges is ensuring that GigCX agents are adequately trained and equipped to provide high-quality customer support, as they may have a different level of oversight or support than traditional full-time employees.
Additionally, GigCX can present logistical challenges around scheduling, communication, and collaboration among a dispersed team of contractors. The whole operation could fail if your whole team isn’t on board to support your gig-based team.
One common misconception about GigCX is that it is only suitable for low-level or basic customer service tasks. However, research has shown that GigCX agents are highly skilled and experienced professionals, capable of handling complex customer inquiries and technical support issues. According to a report by HGS Digital, 85% of GigCX agents have more than five years of customer service experience.
How do you implement a GigCX model?
To drum up a GigCX model on your own is unlikely, especially if contact center-ing (a word we made up, just go with it) is not your thing or the focus of your business.
Most business call on the support of a GigCX provider or marketplace to implement a GigCX model in their contact center. But, as most professionals know, a hired service provider is only as successful as you make them. This means there are a few things you’ll want to prepare for before consulting a provider or finding a partner, like ShyftOff (shameless plug), that can help you build on this while supporting you with a GigCX model.
Here are a few things to consider when preparing to adopt a GigCX model:
- Involve your leaders in the process - a GigCX model can be a drastic shift from the traditional ways of doing things. Getting buy-in and ownership from your leadership team and managers is essential. These will be your model's most prominent advocates and help maintain a culture that promotes flexibility. Solicit feedback and input from your leaders and involve them in the decision-making process to create a sense of shared responsibility and commitment to the model.
- Leverage technology and automation - Gig-based agents rely on the systems and training you provide them. This can include cloud-based contact center solutions enabling remote work, omnichannel communication platforms supporting multiple customer support channels, and AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants handling routine inquiries and triage requests to the appropriate agent. If you don’t have these in place, you should start this to empower your gig-based agents to do their best work.
- Ensure consistency and quality - To maintain high customer satisfaction and brand consistency, contact centers must ensure their processes, scripts, and expectations are solid. GigCX agents adhere to established standards and procedures just as provided–don’t expect agents to fill the gaps. You want to make sure they have exactly what they need to serve your customers at your desired standard. Set clear performance metrics and KPIs with your provider so they can continue to help you train and support your gig-based agents.
- Foster a culture of collaboration and engagement - Even though GigCX agents are independent contractors, fostering a culture of collaboration and engagement is vital to help them feel connected to the company and motivated to provide high-quality support. This can involve sending appreciation communications and giving recognition and regular feedback.
What are the benefits of a GigCX model?
GigCX provides contact centers with a solution to offer their customers the best experience possible. Customers want resolution on the first try, and they want to talk to real people or get help the fastest way possible.
For contact centers, GigCX also provides these benefits:
- Scalability: One of the primary benefits of a GigCX model is its scalability. With GigCX, companies can quickly and easily scale their customer service operations up or down to meet changing demand without investing in additional infrastructure or hiring and training full-time employees.
The ability to scale up or down with GigCX can significantly impact KPIs such as response time and resolution rate. Quickly scale support, reduce wait times, and resolve customer issues more efficiently. For businesses, agents, and customers, it’s a win win win.
- Cost savings: GigCX can also help companies save on costs. For most gigcx providers, you only pay for gig-based agents when you need them. For some companies, this may look like four gig-based agents staffed most days, and during seasonal peaks and spikes, this could be 80 gig-based agents.
The traditional model would require businesses to hire and retain those 80 agents or hire them in phases to meet their seasonal peak volume. If there’s an unexpected spike, the traditional model fails. GigCX is on-demand and can staff gig-based agents almost instantly.
These savings can impact KPIs such as cost per contact and customer lifetime value. By reducing the cost per contact through cost-effective GigCX agents, companies can improve profitability and reinvest resources into other areas of the business.
- Improved agility: Companies are more agile and adaptable in response to changing market conditions or customer needs with a GigCX solution. Because GigCX agents are located anywhere and can be available at any and odd hours, so this can help customers quickly respond to customer demand.
This improved agility can impact KPIs such as first call resolution rate and customer retention. Improve first-call resolution rates and reduce the need for follow-up interactions. And in a domino effect fashion, when you respond to customer needs quickly, you improve customer retention and reduce churn.
Three ways contact centers can leverage GigCX
- Handling peak season demand: A retail company experiences a surge in customer inquiries and support requests during the holiday season. The company needs to quickly scale its customer service operations to meet the increased demand but doesn't have the infrastructure to hire and train a large number of full-time employees that it may not need after the season is over.
Solution: The company implements a GigCX model, leveraging a pool of on-demand contractors to supplement its existing customer service team. The GigCX agents are highly skilled and experienced and can quickly ramp up with on-demand training to handle the increased volume of inquiries during the peak season. After the season is over, the company can easily scale down its support operations and avoid the overhead costs associated with a sizeable full-time workforce or damaging the morale of employees.
- Expanding into new markets: An e-commerce company is expanding into a new geographic market and needs to provide customer support in a local language and time zone. However, the company doesn't want to invest in a full-time customer support team in the new market until it has established a strong customer base.
Solution: The company implements a GigCX model, leveraging a network of on-demand contractors fluent in the local language and familiar with the local culture. The GigCX agents provide customer support during local business hours, ensuring that customers in the new market receive timely and relevant support.
- Supporting specialized products: A technology company offers a range of complex products and services that require specialized technical support. The company has a small in-house technical support team, but it struggles to handle the volume and complexity of customer inquiries.
Solution: The company implements a GigCX model, leveraging experienced and certified support agents who can handle complex customer inquiries and provide specialized expertise in different product areas. The GigCX agents can quickly ramp up and support the company's specialized products, reducing wait times and improving customer satisfaction.
GigCX solves the challenges of operating a contact center while transitioning to support talent’s demand for hybrid work. Contact centers struggle with attrition, which impacts customer service. Agents are moving to GigCX for the flexibility and opportunity it provides. GigCX providers merge the supply with the demand for the customer's best benefit.
Companies that implement GigCX get to tap the most experienced agents in the market and provide their contact centers with an on-demand solution for staffing.
What other benefits could a GigCX model provide?
- Reduced risk and liability: Implementing a GigCX model can also help companies reduce their risk and liability in their customer service operations. Because GigCX agents are independent contractors, companies do not have to worry about compliance with employment laws or the costs and risks of terminating full-time employees. Additionally, because GigCX agents work remotely and use their own equipment and software, companies do not have to worry about maintaining and securing expensive hardware and software.
On the other hand, if your business requires working with sensitive data or regulated process, you can call on gig-based agents with this expertise to help maintain compliance.
- Improved innovation and creativity: AGigCX model can help companies improve their innovation and creativity by bringing outside perspectives and new ideas. Because GigCX agents work with different companies and clients, they can bring insights and best practices from other industries and apply them to the company's customer service operations.
Want to learn more about GigCX?
Check out these case studies
- Healthcare Technology Seeks Flexibility
- Sitel Leans on ShyftOff for Tax Season
- Green Energy team handles 10x more Calls
If you’re ready to get started with a GigCX partner, contact our team here.