The idea of incorporating the gig economy into call centres is one I have long been interested in given its growing success in other industries. Up until now I can find a number of articles discussing the idea but few where there was a working model that has seen widespread use which begs the question; can the gig economy work in a call centre?
One usage I saw sparked my interest, an instance where due to COVID some banks had staff that usually deal with in-person transactions and higher-level face to face work were utilized to assist with the increased call volume thereby creating a sort of internally sourced gig economy. This worked as a stop gap for the increased call volume and decreased physical customer visits due to COVID but I feel there is a missed opportunity here in the long term. The bank model is one where you have generally higher skilled/paid staff with excessive idle time picking up lower skill/pay work which is fine I the short term but long term is not sustainable.
What I’d suggest instead is having a chat with the frontline call centre agents around your business and ask what skills, training and experience they have outside of call centre work. You may be surprised to find out you have qualified and/or experienced agents in app design, IT, social media management, teaching etc. This is an untapped resource in our call centres waiting to be utilized.
If we took these agents and offered them gig formatted work outside of their regular call centre agent roles whereby they could make use of their other skills in roles within the same company with suitable renumeration for this work, we could really be onto something great. You’d see increased job satisfaction, better use of resources, longer-term staff and overall, an increase to the workplace efficiency across a wide range of roles.
Obviously I have only touched the surface of this idea here but I believe with a little work this could be a model we see more wide spread across the call centre industry in the coming years as we evolve to meet the requirements of a post COVID word.
Written by – Sam Rae