Volatile demand - CX pain points

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Welcome to our latest blog series! We'll be exploring the current pain points of the customer service industry, and how GigCX can address these to deliver a much-needed step change in customer experience. In this instalment, we're taking a closer look at one of the key drivers for the growth of GigCX; volatile demand.

As its name suggests, volatile demand relates to the rapid variation in the demand associated with a product or service. There are multiple reasons why service demand is becoming more and more volatile - one being that customer expectations have recently become unmanageable at a scale not seen before. Not only that but demand levels can be driven by varying holiday seasons and more unpredictable events such as bad weather or a system outage. For whatever reason, these unexpected influxes can come out of the blue, and for many CX teams, are a logistical nightmare.

The top of mind example for CX professionals is of course, the impact of the pandemic on customer contacts. With the sudden closure of physical channels, customer support queries soared as customers flocked online to get their questions seen to. According to Zendesk's Benchmark Snapshot report, the week of 15 to 22 March 2020 saw a tremendous 20% jump in the number of service tickets being issued compared with the same period last year. This sudden leap put contact centres across both the public and private sector under strain — a situation made worse by self-isolating staff and the abrupt switch to mass remote working.

Over a year later, the CX industry is still riding a wave of uncertainty, particularly as national government restrictions fluctuate based on a wide set of variables. In reality, no one knows how consumers are going to respond moving forwards, whether they'll be rushing back to the shops or remain tied to the digital world of online purchasing. Ultimately and unfortunately, this is going to cause more uncertainty for CX leaders tasked with delivering high levels of service, especially when it comes to coping with demand. 

So why is this such a pain point for current models? In short, volatile demand is a WFO manager's worst nightmare. The traditional contact centre is restricted by a fixed resource model, built on rigid headcounts and timed schedules, unable to quickly expand in line with demand. With this kind of model, any unexpected event will prove to be a tricky task and can seriously damage customer satisfaction rates. Today, no customer wants to be left waiting - especially with a new breed of  shoppers with rising expectations for quick and efficient customer service. 

That said, how GigCX can tackle this pain point is quickly being realised. We discovered in our 2021 GigCX report that the biggest change in drivers for GigCX from the 2020 report was a huge increase in companies looking for further ability to deal with more resource flexibility - from 0% of respondents last year to 40% seeing it as the main factor this year. Quite the jump if you ask us! Not only that, but — the ability to handle changing volumes — was voted the greatest benefit brought to organisations by GigCX Experts.

That's because GigCX agents, who operate on a remote, 24/7 basis can provide brands with a whole new level of flexibility. They have the freedom to work when they want, all within the boundaries of when a brand may need extra help. So, since the crowd of Experts grows and shrinks in line with supply and demand, brands can enjoy enormous resilience against planned and unplanned (such as COVID) events.

In fact in our 2021 GigCX report, 91% of our Experts said they were able to to take on more queries, with almost half saying they could take on 50% more tickets - showing their capacity to absorb volumes when necessary. National Express is a great example of this, with their crowd of Experts regularly flexing 400% + with demand due to events such as bad weather.

No brand should be drowning in customer contacts. Yet as the CX industry becomes ever more complex and unpredictable, leveraging a GigCX crowd may just be your saving grace. 

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