“Crowdsourcing” the new generation of outsourcing
A message from FixYa’s CEO and Founder Yaniv Ben Saadon:
With the emergence of collaboration and users generated content, more and more internet companies are leveraging that behavior to offer a professional and effective service that previously was offered by conventional outsourcing companies.
While outsourcing companies must carry the cost burden of training and housing their representatives, this new breed of companies leverage the wisdom of the crowds into providing cost-efficient and effective independent service. Supply and demand of these markets constantly motivate these independent crowdsourced professionals to exhale, without accumulating overhead costs of their hiring companies. Moreover, these companies act as the independent contractors supply chain while they deliver their prospected business.
If we take as an example the Tech Support space, which I’m familiar with, it was saturated with consumer products manufacturers and distributors who constantly pressured their outsourced support contractors to make a living under decreasing fees. In addition to pushing these outsourced companies off shore, it made it very difficult for their vendors to efficiently recruit and train their representatives to provide adequate service for their clients.
The results was that more and more customers of these companies were frustrated being handled by foreign representatives who had very little knowledge regarding the products they were suppose to support. Beyond expressing their frustration and anger, these customers often took their business to dedicated repair providers like GeekSquad and Firedog, who blossomed as demand for their service boomed.
So when companies like FixYa started to emerge, individuals with both interest and knowledge around technical issues, found an ideal environment to contribute. Although for the majority of them the motivation to be engaged on the answering side steamed from their desire to help other people and get their appreciation for it, for others it was a great opportunity to make a living from their comfort of their home, on their own schedule.
The future of Tech Support will evolve around environments which will allow people to provide performance based service. These environments will offer mechanism which will promote the more talented and dedicated professionals over the ones who just put more time. At that time, consumer products manufacturers will ultimately be able provide better service for their audiences and event lower their costs at the same time.
I feel that crowdsourcing will be a natural evolution to many more disciplines, way beyond tech and customer support. Many other functionalities that did not make sense to outsource in the model we are all familiar, like sales, retail, management, etc., will make fundamental sense to execute in the crowdsource model.
When there is an eco system around fulfilling the needs of both consumers and suppliers, at a cost-conscious, or even revenue generating element, and both supply, demand, and rules of engagement, are all controlled by the environment, it is inevitable that these activities will find themselves be performed by high quality, self motivated crowds.