SCORE 2006 Symposium
Craig Bailey as he moderates one of the tracks at the annual
Symposium for Customer Operations and Relationships Exposition,
sponsored by Omega Management Group Corp. and the Customer Relationship
Management Institute (CRMI). The symposium will be held
June 12-15, 2006,
at the Seaport Hotel,
Make Your Outsourcer a Partner
This is the fifth
article in our series on maximizing outsourcer relationships. The
prior edition discussed the topic of creating realistic, aligned and
measurable goals. We will now cover the topic of including the outsourcer
in your inner circle.
To set the stage, I'll again ask the fundamental question: Do you consider
your outsourcer a vendor, a 3rd party that must be dealt with at
arms-length distance? Or, do you consider your outsourcer a partner and
seamless extension of your team? If it is the former, you will achieve
marginal performance at best, and your customers will feel it, too, in the
form of negative interactions with your firm. To be more specific, your
customers will experience such unfortunate scenarios as:
Lack of availability of a hot new product or service
because the outsourcer wasn't aware that it was launching today. The
pallet of inventory you shipped is still sitting on the loading dock as
it was assumed to be just another "run of the mill" inventory
Feeling like each time they contact you (via the
outsourcer) they are talking to a different firm because they cannot get
a straight answer to basic questions (how to fix a problem, availability
of a product, product/service capabilities and pricing, etc.).
The initial point of contact being nothing more than a
switchboard or message-taker because your outsourcer is not enabled or
empowered with the information, tools and training to be able to
effectively respond to your customers' needs.
Yes, even though the outsourcer is a 3rd party, to the customer YOU ARE
ONE. As such, you want to enable your outsourcer to represent your firm in
the most effective manner possible to the market-place and customer-base.
How do you go about doing this? By integrating at all levels:
Now, we'll begin a discussion on each.
Integration of People/Structure
earlier article in this series, we discussed the alignment of
resources, at all levels, between the two firms. In addition to this, a
key aspect of integrating your team is enabling full disclosure between
the two organizations (an opening of the kimono, so to speak). You will
want to share information such as:
Organizational goals, objectives (even financials)
Products/services under development and scheduled for
launch (far in advance)
Availability of products/services
Challenges facing the organization
Opportunities that the organization desires to exploit
outsourcer will share the same for its organization.
Cross-company disclosure is as important and beneficial as sharing the
above information with the employees of your firm! That is, you want ALL
resources of your firm aligned to the same set of goals and objectives,
and aware of the unique challenges and opportunities facing the
organization. By doing so, each resource has an opportunity to contribute
to success. If, on the other hand, you keep information close to your
vest, your outsourcer will be severely hampered and disjointed from your
business. More importantly, your customers will feel it, and they won't
In future articles we will cover the remaining areas: Process,
Product/Service, and Technology.
In closing, if you'd like an objective perspective on how effectively you
are managing your outsourcer relationships, give us a call. We would be
happy to perform a situational assessment, providing you a read-out of
what is working well (to keep doing), opportunities for improvement and a
pragmatic road-map for closing the gap between where you are and where you
want to be. Alternatively, if you are considering outsourcing as an
approach to addressing key business needs, we can help you evaluate
options (including the basic question: does outsourcing make sense for
us), consummating the relationship through implementing the standard
operating practices to ensure an ongoing and effective relationship. In
fact, we have the references to prove it!
View previous articles in this series.
+ SCORE 2006 Symposium
+ Make Your Outsourcer a Partner
+ 2006 Web Seminar 'Gold Series"
+ Recommended Reading
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2006 Web Seminar 'Gold Series'
CRMI is making seven
"Gold Series" multimedia presentations available via its
website. Delivered by seasoned industry experts, including Customer
presentations are free to anyone interested in seeing and hearing
how leveraging proven customer satisfaction and loyalty management
techniques can increase sales and revenue.
Check in at
11:00AM on May 16th to participate in Craig's webinar: Branding
the Customer Experience: Walking the Talk.
Frequent newsletter readers know how often we stress the importance of,
and approach to, aligning all of a company's resources to the customer, in
order to build mutually profitable relationships. The legendary Mike
Hammer agrees, pulling these concepts together, and more, in his book
The Agenda. If you are an organizational leader (senior executives –
this means YOU) and/or change agent charged with increasing the
performance of your organization, this book is a must read. Too
frequently, business leaders focus on the financials of the organization
(the end state) while losing sight of the means to that end (the
customer). This book clearly articulates how you can maximize the end
state (positive financial outcomes) by focusing on the means to that end:
effectively meeting and exceeding the needs of your customer through an
aligned organization and streamlined processes.
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
We strengthen overall company performance through
better service delivery and management.
We boost efficiencies in front-line customer service and technical support
teams, order processing, fulfillment, field service, logistics and other
key operations functions.
In short, we align the resources of your organization to exceed your
customers' expectations in the most effective and efficient manner
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