How to activate a Crowd
Keeping the Crowd happy and active is the most important goal of the Community Managers at Roamler, and this is how we do it.
KEEPING OUR PROMISE
First and foremost, we have to keep our promise that Roamlers will earn money with their smartphones once they join the Crowd. We want to make sure there are enough tasks available for the Crowd, which means managing the delicate balance between the number of paid tasks available and the size of the community. The reward for the task at hand needs to be fair, taking duration, difficulty and travel time into account.
We sometimes add unpaid tasks that can be performed at home, and we make sure these tasks have either educational purposes or that the data from the task are used for consumer-insight reports. The Crowd is rewarded with experience points, which is important, but, more significantly, they are shown what is done with the information provided. Even if the task took only 5 minutes of the Roamler’s time, we want to acknowledge the effort Roamlers put into answering the questions.
All support teams make sure to review tasks quickly so Roamlers have access to their rewards as quickly as possible. The quick review of submissions has benefits for both Roamlers and clients.
A quick review gives us the opportunity to educate Roamlers and to avoid future mistakes. If we notice the same mistake being made by different members of the Crowd, we will adjust the task description if needed to ensure a successful outcome for the client.
As Lieke, community manager on the UK team, states: “I carefully listen to the feedback of Roamlers. They are the ones performing the tasks and running into things we haven’t encountered yet. So their feedback is truly valuable in improving the tasks.”
We take the feedback into account as quickly as possible; if we can’t, we take the time to explain why we can’t act upon the feedback.
We use location-based, automated messages to notify Roamlers about available tasks in their vicinity; we also send messages to groups of Roamlers via the app or email about upcoming, relevant tasks. But personal contact is important: personal messages via the app, phone or email are valuable for Roamlers and are therefore effective in keeping them active.
“Personal communication with active Roamlers is key,” according to Rodney, manager of community and support at Roamler Tech. “That is the most effective way to ensure the Crowd of Roamler Tech gets all the visits done.”
At first glance, it might seem that external motivators like the financial rewards and personal recognition for completed tasks are the main drivers for an active Crowd. These are definitely helpful, but the internal motivators (some built within the concept of Roamler) cannot be underestimated as a means of keeping Crowds engaged and active. Independence, knowledge growth and connection with Roamler are important for users of the app to feel motivated.
A Roamler can decide which tasks to accept, giving them independence in determining when, where and how long they want to perform tasks. Roamlers are given a list of tasks they can do, but they are never obliged to perform them. When they decide to perform a task, we show our appreciation, since most tasks are manually reviewed by someone from the Roamler team.
Roamlers grow their knowledge with each task they perform, and tasks educating Roamlers are added regularly. Every Roamler performing tasks in retail goes through an in-app level 1 training program on how to perform tasks. Isabelle, community manager of the French team explains that “we permanently have unpaid training tasks available for Roamlers who want to refresh their skills and their understanding of the essential elements of performing tasks for clients.”
The Roamler team educates the Crowd via tasks and social media, but Roamlers themselves sharing tips and tricks on blogs or in newsletters is also most valuable: who knows how to perform tasks better than other Roamlers, right?
This also helps in cultivating a connection between Roamlers and the company and among Roamlers themselves. Roamlers know they help clients with gathering information, installing home equipment or building promotions, and they feel connected to Roamler and our goal of changing the way people work.