SCORE 2006 Symposium --
Going on THIS WEEK!
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,
Outsourcing: Maintaining Your Brand/Image
This is the seventh
article in our series on maximizing outsourcer relationships. The
prior edition covered the topic of process-level integration between
you and your outsourcer. We will now review the subject of ensuring the
outsourcer effectively represents your brand or image.
Your brand and image are built up or torn down based upon every single
touch a prospect or customer has with your firm (including touches with
your outsourcer). Remember, for all intents and purposes, to your
customer-base and the market-place "THE OUTSOURCER IS YOU." So, have you
taken concerted steps to ensure that your outsourcer seamlessly represents
your brand or image in the marketplace?
Consider the profile of the people who answer the phone in your inbound
telemarketing center, which you have outsourced. If your firm is an
enterprise solution provider (of ERP or CRM software, managed services,
etc.), should the reps answering the phone be help-desk level? I should
think not. The reality is that c-level people are calling in to inquire on
your offerings. These individuals expect to engage in consultative
conversations, including return-on-investment and other high-level
business topics. They expect a high degree of pro-activity, expectations
setting and prompt follow-through on all commitments. If you have
outsourced merely to save costs in this scenario, you can bet that the
folks answering the phone are not at the level you would expect to be
engaging with your c-level prospects. And, golden nuggets are dropping on
the floor every single day.
Consider your online bookstore, for which you have outsourced warehousing,
from order processing through fulfillment. When a customer pays you a
visit online, is it a seamless experience, or does it become obvious that
there is another firm involved in the process? While it may not be totally
obvious, there can be subtleties that give it away. For example, if your
firm's web address is www.xyz.com
and the email address for your online bookstore is
firstname.lastname@example.org, you've created
a distraction in the customer's mind. Some customers may just go visit
www.outsourcer.com to find out more
about that company, get distracted and not return to your bookstore to buy
Consider your product delivery practices. Do the people who drive the
delivery trucks and unload product into your customers' residences or
places of business walk on clean carpets with muddy boots, curse or
otherwise act rude to your precious customers? While the name on the side
of the truck may not be your firm (remember you are leveraging 3rd party
shippers), to the customer the delivery team is you!
In summary, there are many aspects of business that we outsource. Some are
obvious (outsourced call centers) and some we don't traditionally consider
outsourcers (trucking firms), but each is either building up or tearing
down your image at every customer touch. What is your outsourcer doing to
In the next article we will cover the remaining area of inter-company
In closing, if you'd like an objective perspective on how effectively your
outsourcers are representing you in the marketplace, 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 even
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
+ Outsourcing: Maintaining Your Brand/Image
+ Recommended Reading
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Reinforcing our series on Partnering With Your Outsourcer is CRM
7 Strategies for Partnering With Outsourcers by Coreen Bailor. Ms.
Bailor discusses how to work with your outsourcer to provide "seamless
customer service experience." Sound familiar?
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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