10 GigCX predictions for 2022
It’s official: GigCX® has a seat at the top table. In October, collective McKinsey authors Vinay Gupta, Raelyn Jacobson, Paul Kline, Manu Mehndiratta, and Julian Raabe released their seven-page report An on-demand revolution in customer-experience operations? recognizing that GigCX continues to make steady inroads into the mainstream of customer experience operations.
Those familiar with the gig-economy customer service model will understand that GigCX isn’t new to the party. The term - used to describe deploying a gig-based crowd of people to provide customer service - has been in use for about five years now. One of the most exciting key developments in customer experience globally, GigCX has evolved exponentially over those past five years.
In fact, the evolution has been so great that there are clear pathways in the GigCX evolution as it builds on its own history of success, while also confronting many of the hurdles it has yet to overcome - three of which were identified in the McKinsey report.
Here’s where GigCX is headed next:
1. GigCX will get used in more uses case and increasingly more complex use cases
There is sometimes a misconception about GigCX being best suited to only taking high volume, low value ‘level one’ queries such as conducting basic troubleshooting, or filing tickets for level two issues. There’s also an unexamined assumption that much of this could be handled by self-service, or by chatbots and other automated services.
It’s a false reality, as GigCX experts fit the profile of level two support perfectly. They often have a better understanding of user issues than contact center employees. Put it this way: who would you rather get your customer service from - an agent who has extensive customer service training and some product or service knowledge, or a person who uses the product or service and is so familiar with it they feel comfortable advising other users?
2. Companies will recognize the value of GigCX beyond just cost savings
Today, GigCX is widely recognized to be improving service and customer experience, while also driving better value and quality for brands. What we’ve also seen is that costs are often lowered as a bi-product of the other benefits. If quality is increased and personal knowledge is used correctly, then customers are less likely to need multiple conversations to solve their problem, and in less time. Dennis Pollett, Senior Product Manager of Microsoft says of GigCX:
“We targeted to improve either quality or cost without negatively impacting the other – we ended up improving both massively and adding increased flexibility as a bonus.”
3. GigCX will continue to expand past customer service into pre-sales
GigCX is reimagining how brands and people connect in a digital world. In 2021, Nissan launched GigCX peer-to-peer support for pre-sale queries surrounding its Nissan LEAF.®.
The GigCX approach brings humans and technology together, putting Nissan customers (‘Experts’) at the heart of a new personalized user engagement strategy, which provides peer-to-peer reviews and Conversational AI answers on the key features of the Nissan LEAF®, on-demand, from anywhere in the world. GigCX experts can answer a variety of questions, including queries such as: ‘‘How easy is it to charge?” or “Do most service stations have charging points?” or “How much money do you think you’re saving on petrol?” These are responses that LEAF® owners will likely have first-hand experience and insight into.
It’s the start of a trend we’ll see more of, where GigCX connects people much earlier in the buying cycle to have honest, authentic conversations about products and services before they buy.
4. More big businesses will turn to GigCX
Over the past year alone, businesses such as eBay, Nissan, Genesys and Sage have made announcements surrounding their integration of GigCX into existing customer service strategies, and this follows on from seasoned GigCX veterans who have been going from strength to strength with the model over several years now. Brand aficionados, such as proficient Microsoft Xbox gurus or Sun Basket loyalists have been serving as customer service experts for some time now.
These companies have found that they can maintain consistently better service quality in GigCX, shifting to more out-come based KPIs and scorecards.
5. Companies will take on more GigCX experts
The pandemic saw a big rise in the use of brand advocates as customer service experts, many of whom began to work on a gig basis for brands of which they’d been longtime customers. As McKinsey noted in its new October 2021 report (An on-demand revolution in customer-experience operations?), whether relying mainly on in-house or external talent, gig-style staffing models such as GigCX could close the gaps in the CX supply chain.
The 2021 GigCX report showed that 9 out of 10 CX leaders surveyed felt that GigCX had met or exceeded their expectations and were ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to invest more
budget in GigCX in the next three years.
6. The new normal will fuel demand for more flexible and resilient labor sourcing models such as GigCX
If the pandemic has taught companies anything, it’s that there is a need for greater resilience and agility in operating models, customer service included.
Embedding more flexible labor sourcing models into a traditional contract center is becoming a major driver for adopting GigCX. This is giving companies the flexibility they need amid today’s increasingly volatile markets.
7. GigCX will help to close the gaps in the CX supply chain
In the aftermath of COVID, if indeed we are in the final stages, many companies are challenged filing customer service roles or retaining staff in the Great Resignation. ‘Outside the box’ models are increasingly helping to bridge this gap. Companies will likely consider new platforms and methodologies in 2022 to support flexible and agile working for the long-term. These may be product experts who are brand advocates and GigCX experts who can collectively provide 24x7 global customer service.
8. GigCX will become more integrated into social media channels
Over the past year, we’ve seen the likes of Facebook, Snap and Salesforce all acquire customer service based SaaS platforms in order to consolidate channels. This allows brands to engage with customers not only on their first-party owned digital assets (e.g. brand websites) but where the customers want to be.
These brands are already seeing demonstrable revenue uplifts, and customer loyalty via the rapid adoption of these social media messaging channels. We’re set to see GigCX integrate steadily as a natural extension to social media channels and a natural extension of peer to peer communication via GigCX.
9. GigCX-driven personalization will continue to rank as a driver of value in customer service
GigCX teams are also often native speakers who can support customers who are emotional or have vulnerabilities more effectively than some offshore advisors where language and cultural differences can impact this. These possibilities create new opportunities for organisations to optimise their operating model.
10. GigCX will continue to evolve to cater to the full customer lifecycle
GigCX will continue to climb the complexity ladder, and companies may begin to look at using GigCX for market research, as there is significant potential in using their insights to improve products and solutions. The model could also be used to educate bots, and write documentation.
Regardless of whether your organization has already fully implemented GigGX or you’re considering it as you watch its use grow, the immense potential this model has will become even more evident in 2022. The best is yet to come!
Megan Neale is Co-founder and COO of Limitless, a Gig CX platform powered by AI that is empowering people to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for brands they love. Megan is widely regarded as a thought leader in digital innovation for customer care. Her passion for “customer & client first” combined with her constant...