Two corporate bloggers that I read regularly are Ed Brill, and Robert Scoble. Why? Because they are not afraid to passionately blog about the challenges and opportunities missed in their own companies, (and of course, in their competitor's). Even though their opinions are apparently their own, they put a human face on what are otherwise often considered impersonal behemoth organizations.
What would happen if IBM and Microsoft, in an effort to reduce costs, decided to outsource Ed and Robert's roles to an offshore company?
As I pondered my recent experience with outsourced services, I realized that the outsourced organization that I worked with, did not demonstrate any passion for what they were doing, loyalty for the company that they were supposed to be representing, or concern for their client's customer. In short, the "human" touch of IBM, at least in this experience, had been stripped away.
This got me wondering what else could be outsourced and what impact that would have on me as a consumer. I thought, "why not blogs?"
Is it possible to reproduce the passion of these bloggers as an outsourced service? Ed and Robert add a human touch to their companies. Could an outsourced organization do as well, or better?
I raise these questions, not because I have any concerns about Ed or Robert going away -- I'm sure they will always have something to say no matter who they work for -- I just question the wisdom (and viability) of companies that choose to outsource functions that require direct customer contact and where the outcome of that customer experience will determine if the customer does business with that company again.
It may be possible to outsource select background business functions of a business (i.e. product fulfillment) without affecting the customer relationship; but when it comes to face-to-face customer relationship building, I question whether it will ever be possible to outsource passion and loyalty -- two vital aspects of any successful organization.
Just my $.02
What do you think?