There is no labor shortage in the gig economy
By Anthony Tortolini
Vice President, Business Development
While the gig economy raised its profile since the onset of the pandemic, businesses are still learning how to leverage the gig workforce to improve customer care. Tapping into the growing pool of Gig-CX workers can boost your business, bring flexibility to staffing levels, and deliver the expert attention and experience that clients expect.
We can’t return to where we were
Businesses are beginning to ask their staff to return to the office, but workers are balking. While the pandemic raged on far longer than anyone predicted or wanted, employees proved themselves successful in their roles while working remotely. Consequently, returning to lengthy commutes and working in close-contact brick and mortar call centers is not attractive to most CX workers.
But if the pandemic proved anything, it proved that Gig-CX workers can deliver exceptional customer experiences to major Brands in every vertical while working securely from home. Not only do Gig-CX workers traditionally have more work experience and affinity for the brands they serve, but because they work on their schedule, they bring the very best of their talent and capabilities to every customer interaction.
Arise has spent over a quarter-century perfecting the way of serving gig-economy entrepreneurs so they can provide exceptional service to the world’s leading Brands. With this history of innovation, customers are getting better service while Brands get better productivity, efficiency and cost savings.
“Knowledge workers with skills that are easily portable across employers and geographic locations have power…The national labor market is open to [them].”
- Bryan Hancock, Partner, McKinsey & Company
Engaging the gig workforce
While business leaders, human resource departments, and recruiters wring their hands about unfilled jobs, 59 million American gig workers are in search of flexible, part-time work.
Instead of commuting to an office for 9-5 work, which is viewed as particularly outmoded by the youngest subset of the workforce, more workers are becoming entrepreneurs or gig workers managing their own business. Between 2019 and the onset of the pandemic in 2020, there was a 20% uptick in the formation of small businesses. This is double the growth rate of any other year in U.S. history.
The flexibility of gig model has great appeal. Individuals pursue opportunities to suit their schedule, operate freely as independent contractors, even on a project basis, and work where and when they want. In 2020, one in three U.S. workers got on board with the gig economy. Experts forecast that number will continue and that by 2023, more than half of all U.S. workers will have participated in some form of gig work during their years of work.
Inflation is increasing the size of the talent pool even more, according to a recent report in Fortune.
About 85% of independent workers have increased their gig work in the past six months.
About 45% said they have done so because of inflation.
Another 13% of independent workers surveyed say they plan to take on more gig work to combat rising prices.
New era for filling customer care roles
While companies are unable to swiftly address staff shortages or market forces beyond our control, they need to meet customer care needs today.
Leaders are faced with a variety of options:
Pursue remote and hybrid work arrangements for existing employees.
Partner with a supporting CX provider to manage demands as they ramp up and down.
Evaluate the root cause of attrition among the customer care staff, making sure to value workers and their needs.
Explore Gig-CX to meet the need, saving costs and increasing quality.
Most times, the answer will be “all of the above.”
No need to shop around
COVID-19 rapidly drove an increase in chat volume up an astounding 700% for the leading online grocery delivery company.
After a request to several service providers, Arise was the only platform that could meet the Company’s need by bringing online more than 2,000 certified Service Partners in a matter of weeks.
Who’s on the line?
With the rise in gig workers providing customer care, the profile has changed. On CX platforms, gig workers are highly sought after for the value they deliver.
More than half attended college and they have the maturity to operate independently. They possess more work experience and understand how to adapt their current workspace for remote business.
What’s more, they often have industry-specific knowledge or brand passion for the company they are supporting. That level of connectedness excites them about their work and drives them to excel, often delivering a higher degree of care to the clients they help.
Leveraging Gig-CX can help your organization transform its customer care delivery, ease scheduling troubles, and improve client satisfaction ratings.
Rapid response: Varying customer service demand times
The annual Black Friday period signals a high point in holiday sales where retailers add temporary staff. Customer service and sales support for the e-commerce, store and catalog divisions of a major luxury retailer needed to expand staffing 250% in less than 16 weeks, growing from 250 to 600 full-time equivalent members.
When Black Friday weekend arrived, Arise managed 48% of the retailer’s customer interactions. The retailer’s customers experienced an average speed of only 6 seconds for an answer. That far exceeded other retailers who left customers waiting for up to 12 minutes during the rush.
Knowledgeable, digitally connected, and self-starting gig workers are drawn to alternative work arrangements and innovations of flexible work. During critical periods of uncertainty over the past two years, Arise successfully leveraged its expertise for numerous clients operating across ten key sectors. Our clients benefit from 30 years of experience and a vast network of service partners on the Arise® Platform.
We stand ready with the knowledge, technology infrastructure, service partners, workforce management tools, operational excellence, and measurement models needed to support you too. Please schedule an appointment to learn more about how Arise can deliver results for your organization.