It’s really no surprise crowd service is gaining popularity among different kinds of businesses. The crowd can help a company innovate and provide better, more convenient service to their customers. Looking for a great way to come up with new ideas or products for a business? Look, no further than crowdsourcing.
However, if crowd service is not implemented correctly, it’s probably doomed to fail. Take for example, Nasa. The space organization decided to have the public help name it’s International Space Station. Even though the organization had given the public a list of names to choose from, popular TV host Stephen Colbert heard about the promotion, mentioned it on his talk show, and all of a sudden his name became the highest-voted name for the space station. Nasa decided not to honor the winning name.
It’s important that crowd service is used in a way that is beneficial to both the customers and the business utilizing it. But to be good at something, it’s important to keep in mind its biggest pitfalls.
Here are five reasons implementing crowd service fails:
Not Attaching New Service Crowd to a Brand
When new businesses want to launch and reach a wider audience, they often work out a partnership with an established brand. And customers feel more inclined to try out new crowd service since a brand they already trust has essentially promoted them by offering crowdsourced service in their stores. For Swisscom Friends, Mila has partnered up with an established, well-known brand: Swisscom. Swisscom’s customer service agents refer customers to the new service crowd to offer an additional support channel.
Not Using a Curated Crowd
You wouldn’t want to get into a cab driven by someone who’s not a licensed driver, would you? Not vetting, testing, or verifying your crowd can lead to big problems later. If you’re going to offer a service that requires specialized skills, it’s important that you’ve at least somewhat curated your crowd or offered training for the crowd members who will be offering services. Having incompetent members of the crowd means that they will likely fail to provide good service. On top of that, they may not be as productive or efficient as you’d prefer.
Doing the following things can help you curate a crowd successfully:
- Attract engaged customers to become crowd members.
- Implement tests before letting people become members of the crowd.
- Give crowd members certificates for their expertise in specific products.
- Organize community events and tutorial speaker sessions.
Focusing on Quantity over Quality
While it can be great to have a large number of members in your crowd, that big number doesn’t mean anything great for your business if the people included in it are unable to provide great service. Even if you have a smaller number of crowd members than you’d like, if your current members are enthusiastic, engaged, skilled, and well-trained, chances are they will be booked for service appointments in no time.
The service that a small amount of quality crowd members provide will be more superior than having a large number of unskilled, mediocre members or members who rarely participate in providing service and aren’t engaged with the crowd. You can empower your crowd members by organizing events to keep them informed of new product features, provide training, and giving them tips on marketing themselves. It’s also important that there are customers who are ready to book services from your crowd members, so that the crowd won’t lose their initial excitement to participate because of a lack of work to keep them busy.
Not Providing Incentives
Crowdsourcing works best when there’s an incentive for members of the crowd to be active. Whether this is achieved through gamification strategies, such as letting users collect badges, points, and star ratings or by providing cash prizes or payments per service, both crowd members and customers enjoy these incentives. Crowd members who’ve been incentivized are often even more motivated to work on as many gigs as possible and to provide service that gets them high ratings, since this will lead to more money via them gaining more customers or having the ability to charge higher rates.
Not Having a Leader who Can Implement
When implementing crowd service into your business, it’s important that you have a project manager or team in place that can help make sure that implementation goes successfully. It’s not enough to have an idea for crowd service or to build a crowd around your business or products if you don’t have someone in charge who can take the lead and ensure that crowd service is implemented in a smart way that is beneficial to your business and keeps customers engaged. It’s also key to make sure the higher management at your company backs up your crowd service plan and strategy. If higher management is skeptical and doesn’t support and drive your endeavor to make the project a reality, then chances are implementing crowd service at your company will fail.