Omni Interactions CEO Chris Carrington recently sat down with Michael DeSalles, Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan to chat about the growing Gig Economy and its impact on customer experience. In this blog, we will recap key topics from the conversation including the current state of remote work and the Gig Economy, statistics about its rapid growth, the true definition of Gig Customer Experience, and the macroeconomic trends impacting the industry.
What is the Gig Economy?
The Gig Economy, also known as the Access Economy, is where people earn income by providing on-demand work or services. Gig Workers typically work on average 20 to 30 hours a week, and they are independent contractors rather than full-time employees. The Gig Economy provides businesses with access to a larger pool of talent, more flexible working arrangements, and shorter project timelines.
“Today, more and more people are turning to Gig jobs because they want to work remotely and have the flexibility of choosing their own schedule. So, this has become a strong trend that’s moving really quickly,” said Christopher M. Carrington, CEO of Omni Interactions
Statistics About the Growing Gig Economy
The Gig Economy is growing rapidly, and it is estimated that nearly 1 in 3 Americans are now participating in the Gig Economy. A recent study found that in 2023 the Gig Economy will be about 454. billion globally – a 17% increase over 2022. You may struggle to think of Gig jobs outside of ride-sharing services like Uber but in reality, the Gig Economy encompasses a lot of professions. Substitute teachers, food delivery services, many IT professionals, tutors, fitness instructors, nutritionists, Airbnb hosts, and consultants are all turning to this new way of life.
“If you think about the Gig Economy, there are three participants. One is the companies or individuals who require service. The Gig Workers themselves, that provide the services, and then the companies like Omni Interactions that provide the platform to match the requirements of the clients with the supply of the talent in the marketplace,” said Christopher M. Carrington, CEO of Omni Interactions.
20% of all Gig Workers today are between the ages of 30 and 49, and another 22% are 50 and above. So nearly half of all people participating in the Gig Economy today are middle-aged and older workers. And these are also the two fastest-growing segments within the Gig Economy. There’s a lot of access to great talent who have experience and expertise in particular work types and industries.
Another reason why the Gig Economy matters is because of worker engagement. A recent survey by LMBO partners found that 76% of all Gig Workers are extremely satisfied with the job they’re involved with. That directly compares to only 66% of employees who are satisfied with their jobs. And as we all know, worker satisfaction drives things like revenue growth. It drives worker retention. It drives increased productivity.
What is Gig Customer Experience?
Gig Customer Experience refers to the way a business leverages the Gig Economy to provide customers with an exceptional service experience. Businesses that are looking to offer a high-value customer experience can use Gig Workers to provide more personalized services that are tailored to their individual needs. By leveraging the Gig Economy, businesses can access a larger pool of talented professionals and hire them on a project-by-project basis.
“We are finding that Gig Workers in the customer experience industry are not just young freelancers, but people more senior. The average age of an Omni Gig Worker is 38 years old with 15 years of work experience,” said Christopher M. Carrington, CEO of Omni Interactions.
What Macroeconomic Trends Increase the Need for Gig Customer Experience?
As the Gig Economy continues to grow and evolve, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to leverage this resource to offer an elevated customer experience. The changing landscape of the global economy has created an environment where customers have increasing expectations when it comes to customer service. Customers are now expecting more personalized services that are tailored to their individual needs, and businesses must be able to meet these demands to remain competitive.
A major macroeconomic trend that is fueling the growth of outsourced Gig Customer Experience is the growth of the Gig Economy. With this increase in freelance workers, businesses have access to skilled remote agents.
The trend of going green is another reason companies are increasingly interested in hiring remote and Gig Workers. A lot of people like to talk about going green, but Gig Workers are 100% remote and have no commute and no carbon footprint that they contribute to.
Geopolitical risk was another trend mentioned by Christopher M. Carrington. “Just a couple of years ago, or actually 15 months ago, none of us would have thought of the possibility of a war between Russia and Ukraine. It has really upset geo stability around the world, and I don’t want to be the first to predict where it might happen again. 40% of all US customer support comes from outside the United States. And what we’re seeing is a trend of companies rebalancing their portfolios where they’re doing work and Gig CX provides a great onshore remote option for people looking to rebalance.”
A final trend that greatly increased the need for remote and Gig Workers was the pandemic. Coronavirus wasn’t the first pandemic that the world experienced, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last. Gig CX provides a way for enterprises to access talent, in their homes around the country without the worry of an entire center getting shut down or an entire office being closed for months.
Strategies for Leveraging the Gig Economy for Better CX
For more information and strategies on leveraging the Gig Economy in your customer experience operations download our Ebook on Gig CX or watch our latest webinar with Frost & Sullivan “Leveraging the Gig Economy for High-Value Customer Experience”.