Pardon me if I'm a bit unfair to Delta Air Lines, but they happened to be the scapegoat of the article I'm referencing.
Delta Air Lines Inc. said Friday it has stopped using India-based
call centers to handle sales and reservations, making it the latest
U.S. company to decide the cost benefits of directing calls offshore
are outweighed by the backlash from customers. Delta said it
stopped routing calls to India-based call centers over the first three
months of the year. Customers had complained they had trouble
communicating with Indian agents, the airline said.
Even an "outsourcing adviser" has figured that out.
"It is fundamentally cheaper to do it in India, but there's also the question of whether it's better to do it cheaper or better to do it better in terms of the relationship with your customers," said Ben Trowbridge, chief executive of Alsbridge Inc., a Dallas-based company that advises on outsourcing.
No kidding. "Better" drives value to the customer, "cheaper" temporarily drives savings to the supplier. Which creates an optimal long-term situation? More and more companies are beginning to understand this, even if it flies in the face of traditional accounting. Delta isn't the only company to figure this out. In this article alone: Chrysler, United, SLM (Sallie Mae), and US Air.
Welcome home. I hope you remember the lesson.
Mark Graban says
I sure hope more companies focus on “doing things better” and “providing value” instead of just cutting costs. It’s so easy to focus on cost cutting, especially in a bad economy.
Cost cutting takes very little creativity or skill as a manager.
I fly American Airlines all the time, they are a “cost cutting” culture and it’s miserable. It feels the way I picture a Soviet era “customer service” experience. I am about ready to scream the next time the flight attendants are being bossy and rude (get in your seats NOW and quit blocking the damn aisle — that’s their tone) during the boarding process instead of being welcoming and friendly.
Then I see ads all over Boston for JetBlue, which is apparently going a “provide value” and “do things better” route — live TV and XM radio in the seat backs… they’re doing MORE for customers not LESS.