Skullcandy's service dude

December 21, 2011: 5:00 AM ET

FORTUNE -- Why outsource to India when you can tap your biggest fans to handle customer service? Skullcandy, the maker of high-end headphones, has pulled people from its core demographic of snowboarders, skateboarders, and surfers to help customers on its website via online chat. That includes surfers like Spencer Hirsch, 25, of San Diego, who occasionally logs in to chat with Skullcandy customers. Hirsch earns $10 an hour, but he also scores points to win free Skullcandy headphones and iPads if he can answer customer questions. Call it "fan sourcing," the next frontier of customer service. --Jennifer Alsever

This article is from the December 26, 2011 issue of Fortune.

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