Building On-Demand Customer Support - 3 Key Considerations

July 12, 2022
A cheerful man wearing glasses and a headset is working on a laptop in a well-lit room.

If you are serious about building an on-demand customer support team, there are a few things that you need to consider in advance. You've probably read about the benefits of GigCX, but you may be skeptical of this revolutionary trend of building on-demand customer support.

The benefits are numerous and hard to ignore: elastic workforces that scale up or down in lockstep with your call arrival patterns, agents that you pay only when they are being productive actually talking to your customers, and highly experienced agents that are intrinsically motivated to provide outstanding customer service on your terms. When you layer artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning into your customer experience technology stack, you can truly take advantage of Hybrid Outsourcing. That is, using technology to manage and reduce the bloated aspects of running a call center, while maximizing the benefits of human interaction at all critical touchpoints through the customer experience.

But before you get too far ahead of yourself, it is prudent to do your due diligence. As with any well-built solution, proper planning is critical; to adopt a metaphor from the building industry, you need to measure twice, and cut once!  Thorough planning can really save you plenty of headaches downstream.  If you are a novice to Hybrid Outsourcing, here are three important considerations to keep in mind as you embark on your journey:

1. Establish clear project parameters

Understanding which aspects of your customer support are best suited for an on-demand model is probably the most important step to take at the onset. As a general rule, tasks that are clear and repetitive in nature are best suited for GigCX.  Some contact centers may define these as tier 1 and tier 2 calls on their escalation paths.  Additionally, make sure that you have a fully developed training plan for new agents (or an LMS) and that your FAQ's have been fully vetted and tested. While some platforms, such as Agents Only, do have resources that can help you establish these training modules, it is critically important that these are vetted and consistently kept up to date. Quick order entry, shipping and tracking information, order information, RMA's, and appointment scheduling are all projects that are very well suited to on-demand customer service. In other words, make sure that your project is a good fit for on-demand agents.

2. Establish your agent pool

Once you have a firm grasp on the project that you want handled by gig agents, this will inform you on what type of agent best fits the project. Not all agents are created equal. In fact, there is a wide spectrum of agent types and specializations. For example, some agents are more specialized in handling sales orders, while some agents display more empathy and are better suited for customer service or FAQ calls. When building your team and selecting your platform, ensure that you can adjust for parameters such as prior work experience, skill set, and multi-language capabilities. You should also be able to hear samples of prior calls to ensure the voice and tone of the agent match your requirements. And don’t forget, a true Hybrid Outsourcing solution may take advantage of both outsourced and in-house teams.  Any well-built, efficient, solution will match the right agent, at the right time, with the right customer on-demand.  And there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to building great customer support.

3. Set proper incentives

Lastly, once you have the right project matched with the right agents, the final piece of the puzzle is to ensure that you set the proper incentives to motivate the agents. For instance, if you are setting up a quick order call, an incentive algorithm could include quick handle time augmented by ticket revenue per order. Tweaking these types of incentives properly will constantly motivate agents to receive the highest star rating or compensation bonuses available to them. Great agents are motivated by clear and consistent incentives.  Platforms such as Agents Only use tools that were built with both the agent and customer experience in mind.  The proper tools make agents more productive, more effective, and simply happier.  In our experience, happy agents equal happy customers!  Additionally, adding monetary incentives such as a surge pay option can lure agents to the platform to handle unforeseen spikes in volume.  This ensures that there is always an efficient balance of agents to calls in your queue.

If you can take care of the above 3 considerations, you will increase your capability for managing a team of on-demand agents. Remember that when building anything, the planning and blueprints are the most important aspects to keeping projects on time and on budget. It is no different with building an on-demand contact center. If you have the right blueprint, you can build a foundation that can lower your support costs dramatically, while exposing you to the amazing benefits of leveraging an infinite on-demand workforce. Measure twice, cut once.

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