Can you outsource passion and loyalty?

Tuesday, July 6th, 2004
Would you still read your favorite blog if you knew it had been outsourced, and was now being written by someone else?

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?

Discussion/Comments (4):

Can you outsource passion and loyalty

Companies who outsource customer service functions seem to look at cost cutting as the only objective. If companies really cared about customer service, they would provide extensive training and support for the outsourcing vendor to ensure the appropriate quality of service was delivered to their customers. However, until senior management stock options and bonuses are more tied to quality service and not to short term financial results achieved by cost cutting, you will continue to see the IBMs of the world employ strategies that are adverse to customers.

Posted at 7/7/2004 5:29:50 AM by George

Can you ever automatically hire "passion and loyalty", regardless of geographic location?

Posted at 7/7/2004 6:50:58 AM by John Dowdell

Dont you think MS or IBM are already outsourcing it? I mean, is the location an issue to take in account while blogging?

I dont think so.

I do think, however, that there "might" be some cultural issues (ie: misunderstanding of jokes, or bad wording, etc.) however i think you might be able to find passionate and loyal bloggers overseas. (including argentina :P)

Posted at 7/7/2004 11:48:54 AM by mariano

No Passion. No Loyalty

You've heard the chants on the street: No Justice! No Peace!

It's the same with Loyalty and Passion. No Loyalty! No passion! No passion; No Loyalty.

Passion comes from honesty. Honesty drives the speech, to be simple, direct, honest. The farther a voice speaks from its source, the less passion and honesty is communicated. And, as this distance grows the connection with the audience declines.

Look at the companies who put their customers and staff first with open and honest communication and fair benefits. They create a tremendous amount of loyalty, buzz and free word-of-mouth advertising.

Then compare them to companies who abandon both stakeholders for 'cutting costs'. More case studies show that everyone loses including the company. The company's the last to lose as it takes time for the economic benefits 'trickle down' to greet them: customer attrition, higher real costs for outsourcing, declining revenues, and an image tarnished.

No passion. No loyalty.

Posted at 7/29/2004 8:05:27 AM by Zane Safrit

Discussion for this entry is now closed.