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The Gig Economy

Shep Hyken interviews contact center expert Chrissy Cowell. They discuss the concept of the “gig economy,” the utilization of contact centers for freelance employee management, and how on-demand agents can provide cost-effective support and solutions for your customers and your business.

Top Takeaways:

  • The workforce industry is migrating to the gig economy (also known as the freelance economy), which describes the increasing preference in society for convenience and instant gratification. Businesses have an increased tendency to hire independent contractors and short-term workers, while workers have an increased availability for these types of contracts.
  • In a gig-type model, the need to fully understand your business and forecast its needs is crucial. Third-party contact centers can help large companies navigate freelance workforce management.
  • Resources for freelance workers include Fiverr and Upwork. Freelancers can post their skills and services on these websites, and employers can search the database to find an worker that will fulfill their needs.
  • Gig workers can be a less expensive option to fill gaps in the workforce, allowing organizations to avoid things like payroll taxes and benefits for part-timers.
  • There is difference in impact between the gig worker and the full-time employee. If you’re not forecasting and scheduling gig workers appropriately, it could become a cost for your business. However, when done right, gig workers can prove a very cost-effective way to provide customer support.
  • The gig economy appeals to young workers because it gives them more control over their careers, great experience, more exposure, and faster networking. This allows for better work-life balance, which is a priority for many millennials and Gen Z workers.


“Gig employees provide easier access to specialty workers that businesses may require.” – Chrissy Cowell

“It’s important to make on-demand gig employees feel engaged and provide motivation to keep them involved and engaged in your business.” – Chrissy Cowell

“Being able to accurately forecast, understand your business, and understand the fluctuations in personnel is critical to ensure that your gig workers are truly busy and needed.” – Chrissy Cowell

“Using the gig model can help you supplement employees and provide a better service to your customers.” – Chrissy Cowell


Chrissy Cowell is the Director for Work Force Optimization Product Management at Aspect. Across her 18-year career in the contact center industry, she has worked with various WFOs and BPOs in addition to assuming other roles such as account director, consultant, marketing manager, and quality manager.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. What is the gig economy?
  2. How can on-demand agents benefit your company and your customers?
  3. What is the best way to manage freelance employees?
  4. How is the onboarding/training process different for on-demand agents?
  5. How does the freelance model fit into your world?



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