The Real Core Competency to Drive Performance

Good service costs lessI still hear a lot about core competency and outsourcing what you are not competent at in your government and business.  There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to such thinking, but what is often missed is the end-to-end system.

Bill recently purchased a music mixer for his band .  Bill had not used a mixer before, but felt that he could learn from friends and YouTube videos.  He purchased a mixer from a distributor of the product manufacturer.  He had difficulty in following the instructions provided with the mixer for set up.  He went to get some help from the outsourced contact center and upon calling the contact center he discovered that they knew less than him.  In fact, Bill frustrated with the support returned the mixer believing there was something wrong with the unit.  He agreed to return the mixer for a replacement unit.  Bill enlisted the help of friends to follow the instructions and discovered that the instructions for set-up were incomplete, but the unit itself was fine.

I have listened to similar stories in every industry.  Product manufacturer outsources there service to a “competent” service provider.  Only to discover that they can pick up the phone and smile and run cool reports, but the ability provide knowledge and end-to-end service is lacking.

There are costs associated with the “core competency” thinking when it is rooted the functional separation of work.  Returns, lost sales (present and future) and the opportunity to help customers and get direct feedback on the end-to-end service.

The manufacturer and the service company have to work as one system because that is the way customers see it.  You lose business quickly with the power of social media when the manufacturer and the service provider blame each other.  Quite frankly, customers don’t care about the service provider contract and the blame game . . . they want their problems solved and to receive good service support for the products and services they buy.  If you can’t deliver end-to-end service you may find customers going elsewhere.

Take a look at your organization as your customers see it –  our 4-day workshop has been called “an awakening experience.”  You will understand the customer view of your organization and take inventory of the assumptions, beliefs and perspectives that drive performance.  Tripp Babbitt is a service design architect and organizational futurist.  His company helps service organizations understand future trends, culture and customer.  The 95 Method designs organizations to improve the comprehensive customer experience while improving culture and management effectiveness.  Read his column at Quality Digest and his articles for CallCenterIQ. Reach him on Twitter at or LinkedIn at

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