Your Call is Important to Us. Please Hold.

Somebody Has to Say It!
A 5-part series about customer service.

At some point in a company’s growth phase, someone in management will present to the board what they think is a fantastic idea for saving lots of money and thereby earning more money for stockholders. Usually this person has a role in finance and their title, while not important, is often controller, director of finance or maybe even Chief Financial Officer.

The really great idea goes like this, “Let’s outsource our customer service department.” And, the majority of the time when they say outsource they are referring to offshore outsourcing.

They will quote statistics and other company’s experiences to back-up their belief that outsourcing customer service can be done both effectively and with a positive outcome if correctly implemented. They’ll probably propose that the 30% in costs that they save by outsourcing can be applied to enhance other customer service interactions.

They might even keep a straight face when they say it.

All this and more is the story third-party call centers tell the finance departments and it’s an easy story to swallow if you believe:

  1. You will also be able to reduce capital equipment costs.
  2. You will be able to fire your current customer support staff.
  3. You will have a fixed expense that will look so much better in your annual report.

In my opinion, companies that outsource their customer service don’t care much about the level of their customer service in the first place. How could they when they are willing to place short-term monetary gains over their customers’ satisfaction? Meanwhile, every single person who hasn’t been living alone in a cave for the past 15 years has horror stories of dealing with customer service that has been outsourced.

This is the first post in a five-part series about customer service.

In tomorrow’s post, I detail names and experiences that left me feeling like my pocket was picked and the thief left behind a razor blade for me to find when I went looking for my wallet.

3 thoughts on “Your Call is Important to Us. Please Hold.”

  1. Bob, good stuff. I think in this ever-increasing impersonal and “on demand” world, a good salesperson/company should be selling their service above all else. Customer service reps are, in many cases, a consumer’s first interaction with the brand….and first impressions stick.

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