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Has Outsourcing Moved on From the Mistakes of the Past?

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Inc.com recently published a story on how to avoid outsourcing disasters. Their very first tip was to never outsource a process that is close to your customers - customer service for example.

I beg to differ. At Teleperformance, we have over 135,000 people in 49 countries working hard to offer a great customer service experience making this kind of advice seem very dated.

But I understand the point. A few years ago loads of companies offshored their customer service call centres and faced a customer backlash because the offshore agents just didn't do the job as well as local ones. But the industry has matured. There is a big difference between a customer calling for help in organising their pension and a customer calling for technical advice on a broken printer.

And customer support is getting more complex. It may have once been possible to answer calls and emails with a few guys in the basement, but how do you monitor, engage, and interact with clients across every possible social network 24/7 if you are not using a dedicated team?

It's dangerous to see a respected publications giving such poor business advice. The article has confused remote offshore outsourcing without any planning or consideration with professional outsourcing - and there is a big difference.

As customer service undergoes an enormous shift online in 2013, consumers are becoming much more than just customers. They are not just using the customer service channel to complain, they are also telling friends about your products - it's now a marketing and sales channel in addition to support and service. Brands like Lego get some of their best ideas for new products from customers so the connection between the customer and the brand is vital.

Get your customer support wrong now and the consequences can be dire and immediate.

This article originally appeared in the Teleperformance UK blog.