44% of US adults have participated in the sharing economy, playing the roles of lenders, borrowers, drivers, hosts and guests.
Companies in the sharing economy have many individuals that touch and influence the customer experience of their brand. Not only do they have employees, but they also have service providers - such as Lyft drivers and Airbnb hosts - that play an important role in their end user’s experience.
Customer transactions are also becoming simpler, and sharing economy businesses are adapting to the changes in demand. With this in mind, it’s important that brands understand how to take the customer service best practices that are honed in the contact center environment and build customer-centric advocates outside those four walls.
Here are 3 ways how brands can do just that:
Ensure a consistent brand voice among various channels with either outsourcers or independent contractors serving your customers. In the sharing economy, companies are vulnerable in maintaining their brand service standards because they no longer have employees servicing customers in traditional experiences, such as on the phone or in a brick and mortar store. Rather they are driving cars, hosting guests and delivering groceries. You should apply the same brand training and standards with this group as you would with any other customer experience touchpoint.
Instill that culture of customer service in people who are serving your customers outside your office. It is important to have clearly defined cultural values around how not only your employees serve your marketplace, but your service providers as well. Fully engaged advocates can be your biggest brand ambassadors. Having open, two-way communication and feedback loop will go a long way in improving your customer experience. The responsiveness and flexibility your company has with these providers is just as important, arguably even more important, than your end-customers and should be engaged as such.
Understand your community. It’s no surprise that there is a huge benefit to understanding the communities you are in. Creating awareness in a targeted community model helps create advocates who will offer help and support to those new hosts and drivers, which ultimately minimizes the need for traditional stand alone customer service support.
Creating memorable, consistent brand experiences across all touch points to your customers will help drive growth, reduce costs and ensure success in the sharing economy for years to come.