Why My Agents Outperform Yours: Unpacking the Economics of Gig 2.0 in the Contact Center Industry

June 13, 2023
two young happy male and female at a call center

My agents can outperform yours any day, any time, on any contact type. The twist here is - these agents might very well have been yours once (and maybe still are!). Trained and honed by industry powerhouses like Amazon, Apple, American Express, and Zappos, they're armed with a wealth of experience, deep insights, and an unshakeable customer-centric mindset. But here's the bigger twist - they aren't 'My Agents' at all. They're gig professionals, their own bosses, choosing to leverage the Agents Only platform to operate in the world of Gig 2.0.

Amid digital disruption, the gig economy emerges as a powerful ally for the tech industry, including contact centers. AI itself is built with human trainers, many of whom are contractors. Reinforced by contract workers training AI systems, like Alexandr Wang's $7 billion unicorn Scale AI, traditional full-time agent hiring strategies are being upended. More businesses are now augmenting their strategies with the versatile gig model in partnership with the next wave of solutions AI delivers.

The gig 2.0 economy isn't about replacement, but enhancement. It lets businesses mix full-time and gig agents, offering both team stability and scalable flexibility. This expands the talent pool and enables operations to flexibly transform with AI advancements.

The Power of Gig

The gig economy, far from a buzzword, proves itself across industries. Look at Uber's 5 million global drivers or Upwork's 18 million freelancers serving clients like Microsoft and Airbnb. This disruption offers unprecedented flexibility and convenience, demonstrating the gig model's ability to scale swiftly and leverage global talent.

In the next phase of this revolution, we are witnessing the rise of "Gig 2.0". It is a sophisticated upgrade from the traditional gig model, where the focus is not just on flexibility and scalability but also on cultivating expertise and delivering quality outcomes. It's not about filling gaps in the workforce anymore; it's about creating a workforce of top-tier professionals who provide unrivaled customer service. Gig 2.0 combines the freedom and flexibility of the gig model with the rigor and quality of conventional hiring, thereby marrying the best of both worlds. This evolution emphasizes skill development, performance-based rewards, and quality of service, making it an even more potent force in the customer service domain.

The rigid customer service industry can revolutionize its operations with the gig model. Our platform, Agents Only, operates at 30% lower costs than traditional BPO models and 75% lower than internal centers. It symbolizes a smart, cost-effective leap toward future customer service.

Why Our Gig Agents Are Unmatched

The remarkable quality of our agents is the most compelling advantage of the gig 2.0 model. Our agents are experienced professionals with industry-leading expertise, committed to their careers, the companies they serve, and the customers.

Our platform, Agents Only, is not in the business of developing new hires. Instead, we focus on harnessing the potential of these established professionals. We employ advanced skill assessment tools to ensure that each gig agent is not only highly proficient in their chosen field but also compatible with your brand's values. By integrating AI-powered matching technologies, we pair agents with roles where they can leverage their experience and skills most effectively and provide the highest level of service. By using our platform to connect to gig agents, you have access to a pool of proficient individuals who have a proven track record of delivering outstanding customer service.

The Economics of a Gig Agent

The gig economy model disrupts traditional operations and impacts financial metrics. When incorporated into traditional solutions, it saves 30-75% on customer contact volume and improves talent engagement. Using technology and attracting better talent, Agents Only pay agents more and charge clients less. Multiply the below cost savings with low attrition, self-managed training, and fast speed to competency.

Schedule Inefficiency: In traditional setups, plotting full-time schedules to cover contact volume peaks and valleys can increase wasted hours by 10% to 30%; in most cases, staffing for volume tails can increase cost-per-contact in those hours by at least 3x and as much as 10x. This is without computing for holidays, vacations, and other scheduling challenges. Gig agents provide the flexibility to scale up or down as demand fluctuates, eliminating the need for excess capacity during off-peak times and rapidly ramping up during peak periods. Incorporate ‘OnDemand’ into your WFM staffing formulas and see what solutions you can create.

Layers of Management: The layers of management designed to command and control the frontline agent are a significant cost driver in traditional contact center models. Supervisor and QA ratios are among the most argued costs and line items in an SOW and yet not a lot of outcome data support this investment. The gig model, on the other hand, fosters self-management. By replacing supervisors, quality assurance, and other management layers with data-driven mentorship and performance analytics, we drastically cut overhead costs. It all starts with attracting the right agents.

Pay for Performance: The gig 2.0 model aligns compensation with outcomes, creating a win-win scenario for both businesses and agents. We have built our platform on aligning incentives with the agents to drive your best customer outcomes. Gig agents, often equipped with higher skills and experience, showcase lower attrition rates and faster speed to competency - at 6x the rate of a new hire. The pay structure incorporates a lower base pay but offers high-performance bonuses. This means your costs are directly tied to positive outcomes, ensuring you only pay more when you get more.

Margin: Traditional outsourcing models operate at a 30-55% gross margin. In purposeful contrast, the Agents Only platform adopts a low-use rate, pay-on-demand model. This means you only pay for what you use, eliminating the need to sustain hefty margins and helping you save considerably, all while adding flexibility to current and future transformation plans. This margin difference is direct savings that can be reinvested into the operation or used to lower overall operating costs.

The gig model, enabled through technology such as the Agents Only platform, not only elevates the quality of service but also brings remarkable cost-efficiency. By addressing inherent inefficiencies in traditional models and innovatively aligning costs with outcomes, we make your customer service operations more agile, effective, and financially prudent.

Case Study: Agents Only in Action

Our model isn't just theory – it's proven. Allow me to illustrate this with two distinct examples.

One of our clients, a hotel booking service, grappled with high call volume due to seasonal fluctuations and the constant search for unpublished deals by customers. The inefficiencies of traditional BPO contact centers couldn’t meet their weekend volume. After adopting our platform, their weekend volume challenges were solved. For a deeper dive into the transformative journey, visit Read the full case study here

In a different industry, a national pizza chain faced a severe staff shortage due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By leveraging our scalable, on-demand workforce, the pizza chain could maintain its ‘personal touch’ without compromising customer experience or food quality. After fully transitioning to the gig model, they noticed an increase in the average ticket price and handled more phone orders than ever before on their busiest days of the year. Read the full case story here

With our data-augmented approach to security, we identify outliers to mitigate risk and ensure consistently high performance. Our unique Star Rating system lets us track, manage, coach, and improve agent performance, ensuring that only the top-performing agents are handling your customer interactions. These features, propelled by robust AI-powered technologies, ensure we deliver outstanding outcomes time and again.

The gig 2.0 model is not just a valuable adjunct to traditional contact centers, but a powerful tool in its own right. It doesn't just help manage and mitigate inefficiencies; it redefines the standards for customer service and enables you to build solutions within your operation that were previously cost-prohibitive.

The Future of Contact Centers

As we step into the future of the contact center industry, it's clear that the gig model is no longer just an interesting alternative; it's becoming a required part of a complete strategy. In our estimation, EVERY operation should allocate at least 4% to 18% of their work to gig agents to fully reap the numerous benefits this model brings.

What does this mean for your business? First and foremost, flexibility. The ability to scale up or down based on demand is a game-changer, mitigating the perennial challenge of staffing for volume peaks and valleys. It means better cost efficiency, with a pay-for-performance model that aligns your expenditure directly with positive outcomes. It also leads to better quality service, with seasoned agents offering their wealth of experience and customer-centric mindset, driven by self-improvement and mentorship.

By taking on fluctuating contact volumes and challenging peaks, gig agents alleviate the scheduling stress traditionally placed on your core teams. With less volatility in scheduling, you can implement team-blocked schedules and other workforce management strategies that were previously difficult to maintain due to variability in contact volumes. This leads to less change and disruption for your core employees, contributing to a more stable, comfortable work environment.

Perhaps most importantly, it paves the way for greater agility and innovation in an industry that is evolving faster than ever. In a rapidly changing landscape, the gig model empowers businesses to be more responsive and adaptable, ready to meet new challenges and seize new opportunities as they arise.

The gig 2.0 model, facilitated by platforms like Agents Only, is more than just a new way of doing things. It's a new paradigm, transforming the industry from the inside out. And for businesses ready to embrace this change, the future is here with more than just a cost advantage.

Let’s Gig!

The evolution of the contact center industry is not only underway but is accelerating, propelled by the transformative power of the gig economy and enhanced by artificial intelligence. Gig agents provide a sustainable, cost-effective solution, with a potency that's proven by concrete numbers and real-world successes. They're equipped, experienced, and ready to take your customer service to the next level.

But don't just take our word for it. We invite you to put the agents to the test. Challenge us. Compare our platform and the gig workforce to your current internal operation or BPO partner. Let us show you first-hand how the blend of traditional and gig agents can revolutionize your customer service operations.

So, are you ready to redefine your customer service operational strategy? With the power of the gig economy and artificial intelligence at our side, let's make that bold step forward, together.

Get started today