Home is where the smart is. For a growing number of people, home is starting to feel even safer with the advancement of smart-home technology. Nearly every part of the house can now be controlled, put on a schedule, and monitored remotely. Cameras, TV’s, heating and air conditioning, locks, entertainment devices, windows, doors, garages, and even lighting can be managed by our fingertips from many, many miles away.
This product evolution expands options, capabilities, and utilization, which means that it also expands tech support demands. If manufacturers and companies are offering people instantly gratifying products, then mustn’t they also offer instantly gratifying customer service? Sounds like a great way to create more jobs. And it is. But, the problem is this: it is far too expensive for companies to hire the amount of IT support necessary to access and satisfy such a vast (and continually increasing) amount of customers. So, how can ever-growing companies cope with this ever-growing demand? The same way Mila does: with crowd service.
The Crowd Can Help
The proliferation of technology has forced companies to re-think customer service. People are no longer willing to call service centers and wait on hold for thirty minutes to an hour. Companies who were once bombarded and overwhelmed by service calls, emails, and demands, are now able to rely on community based tech help to provide timely service to customers. With crowd service, companies can recruit tech-savvy members of society to provide service within their own communities.
Whether customers are aware of it or not, they are probably already embracing some form of crowd service. When a TV or stereo-system stops working, customers no longer run for the 1-800 number. Likely, the customer jumps on Google or calls up their “techie” friend. Blogs, chats, friends, and local repair services are becoming increasingly popular. This is crowd service at it’s core.
The concept here is that customers—whether online or in person—can rely on other customers for help. This takes loads of pressure off of companies, and allows them to provide customers with timely, focused service. The truth is that most service issues don’t require an expert, but someone who is technologically adept. Yet, if an expert is needed, this can be arranged as well. Rather than being hired by the companies and manufacturers themselves, people—real customers—volunteer and sign-up to help. At Mila, crowd service members can also be integrated with your field service force, meaning depending on the service needed, either a Pro of a Friend can be sent to your home.
Companies and customers, together, have begun to create more collaborative, community-based, service partnerships through crowd sourcing. This has created immense flexibility in the service field. Crowd members are local, personal, and on-site service providers. Mila Friends work both in the evenings and on the weekends. Crowd is bigger than your field service force. You can scale crowds to be available anywhere and on demand.
While quantity of crowd service members is important for flexibility purposes, quality comes first. And who better to decide on quality than customers themselves? Crowd service support are engaged customers with a knack for tech, and are tested and verified beforehand by the companies and manufacturers. But even after all of this, the customers have final say. On Mila, customers rate Friends and Pros, which is a huge incentive to deliver top-notch service in order to get booked, rebooked, and preferred. Incentives are very important for service providers to have, because they also allow the company to feel confident in their crowd-service members. Crowd service also has more time on their hands, which allows them to work as consultants for products, as they are in no hurry to get to the next customer.
Companies Can Create Better Communities and Better Products
Crowd service creates a community of service workers, taking major financial stress off of companies. Service helpers can work part-time or full-time, and benefit from cash-in-hand jobs. The Crowd also offers vast availability, flexibility, and quality, on-demand service, while allowing companies and manufacturers to better focus on their products.