How Crowdsourcing can Help a Business
by: Sarah Joson
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Category: Outsourcing News
Crowdsourcing is a process of using information from various groups or individuals who have similar interests or skills - for instance, an e-commerce site that talks about everything related to a popular computer brand. Over the years, the volume of the site’s followers has grown because more and more people are finding answers and products to their questions and needs.
Another example would be a group of photography enthusiasts and experts, talking about the different brands of cameras and other applications.
Crowdsourcing was once organic, but nowadays, more and more companies are seen investing on creating online environments that can cater to a specific crowd’s needs.
However, business owners should keep in mind that crowdsourcing is not always the best option in improving an operation and gain leads.
An article at BusinessSpectator.com.au shares the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourcing.
Tap wider resources. There was a time when crowdsourcing only catered to common skills and factors. But over the years, it has become more advanced and diverse by offering a specific expertise – even the ones that are complicated. People can review and recommend profiles of almost anything and everything online.
It enables companies to downsize or increase operations instantly. Some operations require flexibility - and crowdsourcing usually becomes the solution used by businesses and entrepreneurs. It can help fill in positions that are seasonal at lower costs.
Real data from real customers. Details of transactions are always public and each business owner can see reviews from users as it happens. Some even have rating systems for their general experience with the product or person, which can help other clients to decide which they should choose and trust.
Management costs. For business owners who do not have the time to micromanage their resources, they would need to hire a full-time team leader or contract a third party service provider to ensure a smooth operation.
Impartiality is harder to control. Rules and processes often become blurred when transactions are between users. They have to renegotiate and re-define contract provisions so that both parties will benefit equally.
Quality of service or products. You will have a hard time determining the quality of the outcome unless you try it yourself. But many executives don’t want to risk their brand’s reputation. They mostly rely on trust and the reviews of other users.