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Will Crowdsourced Customer Service Get Solv(ed)?


Crowdsourcing and different types of freelanced customer support models pre-date the current household names using these models in leisure and travel, personal transportation, and delivery services. Many of these early attempts died out because of poor business models, or remain effective today but in niche markets (e.g. gaming) or on a small scale (e.g. U.K. mobile network, giffgaff). More recently, with the increased adoption of work-at-home and the evolution of automation, new players such as Directly are renewing their interest in the space.

Now Concentrix is launching its own marketplace platform called Solv, aiming to offer enterprise level quality support using gig workers.

How Solv works

Freelance workers support brands in the Solv cloud platform, handling tickets routed from the client CRM and originating from chat, messengers, social media, or SMS channels. The customers see the number of available agents, the status of their inquiry, and the expected resolution time. They can see the ‘Solver’ responding to the question and their score and chat in real-time with him/her, then approve when the ticket is closed and rate the transaction.

Solvers accept tickets on their desktop or mobile device, review and respond, and are paid per rated ticket. For each ticket the Solver, in turn, rates the complexity of the issue and can see their CSAT rating and earnings.

The clients have management panels to monitor, verify and manage Solvers, track ticket data and performance, and assign a price per ticket.

Initially, Solv tickets will require no customer data and PCI adherence. Concentrix is adamant about maintaining the channel experience and avoiding transfers between Solv and the other channels. In cases where there are no available resources, it will create the ticket flow back into the client CRM.

Concentrix charges companies on a pay-as-you-go basis to create a dynamic on-demand model.

Attracting freelancers

With Solv, Concentrix is targeting independent contractors who look for additional income on a temp or permanent basis, who want greater flexibility, and have a brand affiliation. The ideal applicant will be a superuser with domain and product expertise, digital skills, and can independently manage their work-life balance. With that goal in mind, the company invested in the platform design to make it appealing to a younger, digitally savvy workforce. Similarly, the majority of recruitment for the platform is on social media.

Solvers go through a two-step registration process where they self-assess their skills and perform brand authentication with video tutorials. The freelancers do not participate in traditional training, but Concentrix will co-create content with each brand, while freelancers also access public domain information and resources.

Solvers can support multiple brands, but Concentrix and the client will approve the available workflows. The workers have no minimum or maximum earnings caps. Solv is not open to existing Concentrix agents, to avoid conflict of interest. The company is gradually opening the platform across markets, starting with the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Philippines, and India to carefully adhere to the regulatory environment, but will scale globally and offers 24/7 borderless support.

Official launch this summer

Concentrix is officially launching Solv during the summer months. So far, it has had several pilots, including a technology gaming brand where it replicated the client’s email and chat L-1 technical support on the platform. Within four months, Solv outperformed the contact center with 20% increase in FCR, 14-16% in customer satisfaction, and 18% in productivity.

The pilots showed a lot more feedback information for brands, as each interaction is evaluated: different levels of needs with certain brands insisting on one hour TAT, while others are accepting days. Interestingly, Solvers had better performance when using smartphones vs. desktops.

Solv drew interest from high tech, travel, retail, and fintech clients, primarily looking to redirect social media traffic and create or transform their existing communities of influencers. It is currently in various implementation stages with six clients across different levels of customer care and technical support, with certain types requiring API integration to the client CRMs.

The future of Solv

While Concentrix is still exploring possible service models with Solv clients, it is also looking to monetize it and create additional platform features. It has already identified several next steps in its development roadmap – it plans to use ML algorithms to collect five-stared answers to feed the FAQ and self-service systems of clients; to price tickets by location; to allow users to select their agent; and dynamically route traffic or limit companies and ticket types based on the Solvers’ skills and performance. Another idea is to add tiers of rewards and recognition to build the reputation of both workers and consumers. The company is also investigating with clients the launch of upselling programs without the Solvers accessing CRM data.

Eventually, Concentrix envisions Solv as part of its broader CX ecosystem, operating alongside its brick-and-mortar, work-at-home, and automated support services.

Solv is trademarked by Concentrix.

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