Gig economy and Gen Z changing face of customer service

By Roger Beadle, CEO of Limitless
How the younger Gen Z generation is driving change in the customer service industry, according to Roger Beadle, CEO of Limitless

According to the New York Times, Gen Zs –  or the ‘TikTok’ generation –  delegate to their bosses, work at a pace they want and set their own schedule. Not to mention the stereotype that “Generation Z employees are notoriously loud about wanting better working conditions than previous generations. They demand higher pay and more flexibility.”

Of course, every generation wants a better work-life balance. But this demonstrates that Gen Zs are a lot more vocal about their demands. With the power of social media, younger generations are calling the shots, and this is especially true as we see the number of unfulfilled job positions in the UK and US rise. 

In the face of this candidate market, Gen Zs are demanding more – more annual leave, larger paychecks, the flexibility to work from anywhere, and more environmental and social responsibility.

While these were ‘nice-to-haves’ for many millennials, Gen Zs expect them more as a right of passage from employers. 

Given that Gen Zs will account for 27% of the workforce by 2025, businesses – including in the customer service industry – need to take into consideration the demands of younger generations. This is especially true when it comes to talent acquisition. Attrition is a trend that has impacted the customer service industry for years, so offering a flexible approach will be key in finding the future generation of leaders.

Opening doors with the gig economy 

Employment options for young people have never been as vast as they are today. While industries such as hospitality historically welcomed everyone, these don’t offer much career growth or flexibility. 

Enter the gig economy. The gig economy offers anyone – from all walks of life – the opportunity to pursue a variety of roles. Young professionals can take on ‘side hustles’ as they pursue their long-term goals while students can take on odd jobs alongside their academic goals. 

For young workers with solid career aspirations and for those who don’t know where they want to end up professionally – whatever it may be – the gig economy opens new avenues for young people. Naturally, this means that the modern career trajectory takes on a very different form to previous decades. Young workers have more options available to them, which in turn is making them more selective about their careers. 

The role GigCX has to play

Gig customer service – also known as GigCX – is already setting the pace in this area. Our recent survey revealed that 41% of gig customer service experts were aged 18-29, meaning young workers are already recognising the value of gig work. Additionally, 91% said they started partaking in GigCX because of the flexibility it offers. 

Many who entered the workforce either during or after the pandemic have never experienced a traditional job schedule. The flexible work trend is omnipresent and is driven in part by younger professionals. Is it a short-term blip, destined to return to normal, or are we seeing the death of the traditional schedule? Given the advancement of technology and communication habits it feels like a permanent shift.

When one combines the new flexible working conditions with the surplus of jobs right now, it's clear that if brands want to attract top talent in their customer service teams, having a flexible work model could set their company apart from less flexible alternatives. Whether organizations embrace GigCX or not, offering more flexibility should be available, acting as a hiring incentive and job perk. 

The same can be said for the way GigCX uses online channels to communicate. A study found 75% of Gen Zer and millennials would rather communicate by email or social media. For the customer service industry, GigCX offers an alternative form of work that is better suited to fulfilling the desires and profiles of this generation. 

The future workforce

The bottom line is that today’s youngest workers want it all. Work-life balance, fair pay and value alignment - and are willing to walk away if they don’t get it. But this isn’t a bad thing. Many believe that it's the youngest in the labour force that has the potential to bring real change to the workplace.

Plus, many industries are already responding to this, with GigCX setting the pace. While we can learn a lot from GigCX and Gen Zs, the reality is that the future of the workforce – and the future of customer service – will be more flexible than ever.  

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