The Telephone Game

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“If I outsource my customer service, I’m afraid I’ll lose touch with my customers”

This is a common concern for business owners who are considering outsourcing their customer support. And it’s a legitimate one that should be addressed.

The truth is, losing touch with your customers is a very real risk...but perhaps not for the reason you might expect.

Remember the telephone game? The whole point was to demonstrate that a message started by one person could change drastically by the time it reached its endpoint. However, the problem wasn’t necessarily who was in between the sender and the receiver. The problem was how many people were in between point A and point B.

In other words, the more layers that are in between you and your customer, the higher the risk that communication will be lost.

To a certain extent, the distance increasing between you and your customer is inevitable as your business grows. It’s much easier for you to speak with the owner of the local bakery than it is to get the attention of Elon Musk.

So what do you do with this growth?

You bring on someone else.

And then you form a team.

And hire a manager.

And create a department.

And recruit a director.

And before you know it, you’ve created so many layers between you and your customer that the chances of you not hearing them, or them not hearing you, becomes too great to ignore.

Whether you outsource or not, focusing on the following three points will help make sure that communication with the customer is smooth and seamless, even as your business grows:

  1. Thorough and frequent training to make sure brand messaging is consistent across everyone representing your brand. This doesn’t apply to just outsource partners or internal agents, but also people who may not have a direct interaction with your customers. Everyone plays a part in the customer experience.

  2. Regular reporting and QA measures. The reasoning is two-fold—to assess current customer service levels and make improvements where necessary; and to provide decision makers a big picture view of what’s happening on the frontlines. More information now translates to better decisions in the future.

  3. Bringing on the right players for your team. Let’s face it, you could have a stellar training curriculum created and the proper reporting tools in place, but in the end, the best communication happens when your people actually care. Hire agents that care, or find an outsourcing partner who is just as committed to your customers are you are. Customer service is not rules or metrics. Customer service is people.

We understand that a growing business comes with it’s own set of challenges - not the least of which is making sure you never lose touch with your customers.

And while outsourcing may be viewed as not prioritizing communication with your customer, we hope you know that we feel very differently. In fact, a great outsourcing partner can increase communication by taking care of more customers and providing regular reports, while at the same time giving you the bandwidth to focus on other core aspects of your business.

If you have the above concern, or any questions about how we would fit as an outsourcing partner, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Shinji Fujioka