Could gigging provide us with the next industrial revolution? Potentially. Many industries, including transport, tourism and e-commerce, have already been transformed by the sharing economy.

A recent survey by Ernst and Young reports that the gig economy is transforming the workforce, with two in five organizations expecting to increase their use of the contingent workforce by 2020. The survey also states that one in three employers (with over 100,000 employees) expect more than 30% of their workforce to become contingent workers within 2020!

In the sharing economy, instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for the ‘gigs’ they do, such as a food delivery or a car journey. This more flexible approach to working can be extremely attractive to many people.

For businesses today, maintaining an agile workforce is a huge challenge. Having instant access to skilled freelance workers, who can flex in line with demand, can be a huge competitive advantage. The resourcing challenges this poses can be met head-on, by leveraging the pool of autonomous talent available via the sharing economy!

At Limitless, we provide Customer Service stakeholders with the best of what the sharing economy has to offer. We’re already supporting household brands such as Unilever, Microsoft, Vodafone, National Express and the Daily Mail Group deliver exceptional customer service through Crowd Service Ambassadors, who, you guessed it, are all freelancers.

Utilising Limitless’ Crowd Service platform, brands are able to provide stellar customer service by tapping into the people that know and love their brand the most. At the same time, Ambassadors earn cash rewards for answering enquiries about their favourite brands. Early business adopters of this innovative model are seeing savings between 50%-75% on their customer support costs while also experiencing faster resolution times and high customer satisfaction scores (consistently over 90%).

To ensure it’s a success it’s really important to make sure your business has the right ‘Crowd’ on board. An intuitively designed onboarding process can ensure you are attracting the right freelance talent for your customer-facing roles. From our experience of attracting and training freelancers, we’ve observed a few traits essential for an Ambassador. They need to be:

  • Fans of your brand. Let’s face it, if they love their Samsung Galaxy S8 they’re not going to be singing the praises of the iPhone 8, or vice-versa!
  • Product savvy. The best person for the job is someone who knows your product and/or brand inside out!
  • Brand Evangelists: Great Ambassadors are not just brand lovers – they are evangelists, who will convince customers to purchase your product or upgrade!
  • Reputation focused: In the same way that user rating has transformed service levels in the transport, e-commerce and hotel industry, Limitless also leverages reputation scores to drive consistently high customer satisfaction. Good Ambassadors are stimulated not only by cash rewards, but they also strive to maintain high reputation scores. For people focused on peer recognition and being ‘on top of their game, reputation scores can become a great motivational driver.
  • Love helping people. Ambassadors are customer facing so a friendly upbeat persona is vital
  • Problem solvers. They live to help people find solutions
  • Enjoy freedom. Ambassadors cherish the flexibility that freelance roles offer. They thrive in environments which give them the freedom to work at their own pace and on their own terms, without having to commit to a traditional 9-5 model.

The nature of the work and the varied brands we support means our Ambassadors are a diverse bunch of people with different motivations for using Limitless. However, we find that they typically fit one of five personas below:

  1. The savvy retiree: Typically aged between 50 and 70, they are either retired or semi-retired so use Limitless to stay active, engage with others and make some extra money.
  2.  The permanent freelancer: Workers who have made the conscious decision to work flexibly and have more than one job. They’re a bit younger, often aged between 20 and 35.
  3. The work-from-home parent: Not only a great way to make some money, it’s also beneficial to parents who are planning on coming back to the workplace and want to have up-to-date experience.
  4. The conscientious student: As well as the benefit of extra cash, the platform helps students to build up some work experience whilst studying.
  5.  The multi-tasking employee: Employees are fans too and have the best first-hand knowledge of the business. Existing, former or part-time employees can supplement their earnings by using their knowledge to help others in their spare time.

Whatever their profile, we find that Ambassadors who gravitate to Limitless, do so, for the flexibility and convenience the platform offers – allowing them to earn on the go, without having to commit to specific time schedules or minimum work hours.

The sharing economy shouldn’t be a scary proposition but should be looked upon as a catalyst for business growth. If a business sources the right talent and understands their motivations, they can cultivate a great work/life balance that is reflected in the level of engagement and quality of service provided by the freelancers.