Gig economy on the rise: customer service agents show strong interest working as on-demand agents
• Aspect Agent Experience Index survey reveals 40 percent of customer service agents, over half of young millennials / GenZ agents, are interested in pursuing ‘on-demand’ contact centre jobs
• Companies investing in the gig economy also investing in agent software, schedule flexibility, experience
The ‘gig economy’ is becoming increasingly popular and customer service agents are looking to get in. According to Aspect Software’s second annual 2018 Agent Experience Index, customer service agents might be the next wave of workers who want the option of an ‘on-demand’ job. Aspect’s research found that 40 percent of customer service agents surveyed would be interested in pursuing an ‘on-demand’ job, with 51 percent of young millennials/GenZ expressing interest. The appeal of the gig economy stems from prioritising workplace preferences differently than agents have traditionally done in the past.
Several factors are driving agents’ desire to work in the gig economy, such as:
• 86 percent of agents say they have an interest in on-demand opportunities because it will provide them a work/life balance that they can have total control over
• 82 percent say they are interested because they will have the ability to just focus on work and not worry about job stability
• 82 percent say on-demand work is compelling for the ability to make extra income
Young millennials/GenZ over index on all benefits of the gig economy, with the following special interests:
• 81 percent say interest is driven by having more control over the work they do
• 88 percent say having a flexible work schedule that they themselves can determine is attractive
• 80 percent see the ability to pick up additional shifts, when they want, via an ‘Uber-like’ app as a compelling reason to be a gig economy worker
Shep Hyken, customer service and experience expert and New York Times bestselling author of The Amazement Revolution, said,
“The gig economy is “triple win” for customer service,”
“For companies, it allows for great flexibility in staffing during busy and slow times. For “giggers,” they like the flexibility of being called on when needed, the extra money, and work that can be tailored to fit into their lifestyle. And finally, for customers, it means a better service experience, as even during busy times, the company is staffed to deliver fast support when the customer wants and needs it.
Companies that are using on-demand agents are also investing more in the employee experience, providing gig agents with more modern technologies than traditional agents have had access to. 72 percent of on-demand agents said that they have simple and easy to use software, compared to 58 percent of traditional agents, while 69 percent of on-demand agents said they have the most-up-to-date software to service customers compared to 58 percent of traditional agents. And, 63 percent of on-demand agents said they have the most up to date software to contact their employer compared to 38 percent of traditional agents. On-demand agents are also more trained compared to traditional agents on modern channels like SMS and social media and prefer smartphone-based interaction with their employers.
“Brands that decide to explore nontraditional labor models can gain advantages beyond just serving customers with more authentic experiences,” wrote Ian Jacobs, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research. “There are hard, bottom-line and customer experience benefits to gig economy models, including faster response times, lower cost per interaction and access to new – and better educated – talent pools.”¹
To see the results of Part Two of the 2018 Aspect Agent Experience Index survey, Click Here
Aspect helps enterprises break down the walls between people, processes, systems and data sources, empowering organisations to unite around the customer journey. Our customer engagement platform offers native interaction management, workforce optimisation and self-service capabilities that drive dynamic, conversational interactions and create a truly frictionless omni-channel customer experience. Leveraging all the benefits of the cloud and over 40 years of industry ingenuity, Aspect conveniently and easily connects questions to answers while helping enterprises keep service levels high and operational costs contained.
¹ “Customer Service Reboot: The Rise Of The Gig Economy”, Forrester Research, Inc., May 8, 2018