Like many business owners, I’m guessing you’ve either considered, or have already begun to outsource. It’s a great way to grow your team until you’re ready to employ one, and, if you outsource to specialists, a great way to grow your business without having to hire and train.
What many business owners forget, is (1) that outsourced teams still need to be performance managed, and (2) that you are always responsible for the service to your customers, even when it’s delivered by someone else.
Two essentials that even the big boys forget, as the following illustrates:
My friend recently bought a brand new Mini. She wanted ‘new’ for peace of mind and trouble-free motoring and believed that in choosing Mini/BMW she was guaranteed a quality product and service.
How wrong can you be?
After her second puncture within a month, she called Mini, who sent Mini Emergency to collect it. As their procedure dictates, they looked round the car to check its condition before it was taken away.
When it was returned, my friend again checked the car with the Mini Emergency driver, at which point they saw that there was a scratch on the bonnet. Not great, but a fairly straightforward problem to rectify you’d have thought.
How wrong could you be?
Mini said that Mini Emergency were nothing to do with them. Mini Emergency said they were Allianz and nothing to do with Mini even though their brand is Mini Emergency.
The Milton Keynes Mini franchise, where the problem occurred, said that they hadn’t done it. And the Newcastle Mini franchise where the car had been bought, backed away, hands in the air , ‘absolutely nothing to do with us’.
No apology from anyone, at any point, No ownership of the problem or its resolution. No help or support, for my increasingly angry and frustrated friend. And 3 months later, the scratch remains.
Who knows how many people my friend has related this story to. Who knows what damage has been done to Mini’s reputation.
When you outsource you are still responsible for the service that your supplier gives to your Customers. They are essentially part of your team, working to your standards and values and following procedures and service level agreements that you have agreed and approved.
Don’t outsource your brand!
When problems occur, and your supplier is at fault, it is still your responsibility, because you’ve hired them. So, just as you would with one of your team, take it on the chin, sort the problem out, and review the system that caused the problem.
This may seem pretty basic stuff, but if a global organisation like Mini can get it so badly wrong, then perhaps this type of irresponsibility is more common than you think.
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