10 GigCX Predictions for 2022

It's official: GigCX has a seat at the top table. In October, 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, which is used to describe 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 are 10 predictions for 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' 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: 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 he feels 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 companies. We've also seen that costs are often lowered as a byproduct of the other benefits. If quality is increased and personal knowledge is used correctly, customers are less likely to need multiple conversations to solve their problems and can do so in less time. Dennis Pollett, a senior product manager at Microsoft, says the following 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 companies 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 customer experts at the heart of a new personalized user engagement strategy that provides peer-to-peer reviews and conversational AI answers about 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? Do most service stations have charging points? or How much money do you think you're saving on gas? These are questions for which LEAF owners will likely have first-hand experience and insight.

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.

In 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 seasoned GigCX veterans that have been going from strength to strength with the model for 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 outcome-based key performance indicators and scorecards.

5. Companies will take on more GigCX experts.

The COVID-19 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 companies of which they'd been longtime customers. As McKinsey noted in its report, 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 nine 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 contact 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 might 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.

During the past year, we've seen the likes of Facebook, Snap, and Salesforce all acquire customer service SaaS platforms to consolidate channels. This allows companies to engage with customers not only on their first-party owned digital assets but where customers want to be.

These companies 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 organizations to optimize their operating models.

10 GigCX will continue to evolve to cater to the full customer lifecycle.

GigCX will continue to climb the complexity ladder, and companies might begin to look at 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 chief operating officer and co-founder of Limitless, which combines crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges. She co-founded Limitless in 2016 with Roger Beadle.