Making friends with your customers, Part 3 – Outsource your costs never your brand

Andrew S - 9 th April 2014

Over the past few weeks we have had some classic examples where inside thinking has shown itself to be really damaging to the relationship with customers and they have all been driven by one thing. The brand experience outsourcing dilemma.

Third parties suppliers who get confused as to which brand they are delivering. Their internal processes drive their teams to deliver their brand whilst the SLA should have them delivering their customers brand. After all we customers only see the brand we are transacting with and will judge that brand on the experience, we don’t care that

We see outsourced catering creating customer journeys in high end corporate hospitality that look more like corporate hostility! Airport luggage service companies who take no responsibility for airport luggage service and handling. We all have so many stories about outsourced banking, IT support functions, energy suppliers – especially debt chasing – that one would naively expect brands to have got the message by now. However a recent experience suggests otherwise.

One of our team even had the ‘pleasure’ of flying with Air France the other day and they made their “alliance” with BMI look more like a divorce, delivered by a customer disengagement officer than a smooth harmonious customer orientated experience! What bit of the concept of alliance don’t they get?

So yet again I find myself banging on about the fact that, no matter how clever a business thinks it is when reducing costs through outsourcing, the insides of your brand will always leak out to customers, causing damage to the longer term income streams.

It is time that the relationship between outsourcing and customer dissatisfaction is taken seriously for brands. It is possible to reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction, but if requires collaboration across silos – now there’s a thing.

Andrew is the CEO and the other founding partner of Brand Vista. With over 30 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side, what gets him up every morning is a passion for helping clients grow through building genuinely differentiated brands that deliver a customer experience that becomes irresistible.
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