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Founder of We Wire People, Martijn has 15 years experience in the field of Integration, as an Architect working in and for Enterprises. He mainly advises in case of mergers, application rationalization and Cloud / Social Media back-office integration Martijn blogs at

2 responses to “Why customer service can’t be outsourced”

  1. Kevin

    I want to agree with you, but when was the last time you worked tier-1 helpdesk?

    When people call with problems printing and the correct answer is “turn it on”. When people complain about a drive mysteriously appearing or disappearing from their system, and after 30 minutes of diagnostics you determine that it’s because they’re pushing the power button and turning off the drive. When you have people call to ask how to turn on a computer because they can’t be bothered to read the simple 2 page Easy Setup/Getting Started guide with color glossy pictures with circles and arrows explaining every step and what the step is about, well you know it’s a case of blind user stupidity.

    People simply don’t read manuals. The customer IS the exception.

    So as much as I want to agree that helpdesk is about providing good human interaction and that how you provide that is reflective of your product and your company, it presumes that your customers are all good customers and meeting you halfway. And tier-1 helpdesk call logs simply don’t bear that out.

    Unfortunately, that means the customers that aren’t that stupid–and yes, I know it’s horrible form to think of your customers as stupid–for all those good customers, they get stuck wading through the tier-1 hoops that are put there to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    If anything, organizations need to do a better job of CRM implementations to identify the capable from the incapable and provide streamlined access past the tier-1 support drones for those who prove themselves to be capable of bringing to light an actual exception with the product which needs to be addressed.

  2. Martijn Linssen

    Thank you Kevin, great PoV

    I agree with you there that there are some customers who don’t take their share of the mutual responsibility: after putting money on the table, you have to invest time into getting to know the product

    Right then, how about outsourcing the 1-tier custserv handling complete idiots that form the exception themselves? That should be doable, just a bit of patience and dragging the customer through the manual

    Leaves the non-stupid customers indeed – any figures on that btw? – that have invested the time and are likely to report 100% pure product exceptions – I still rest my case at those, but would love to know quantitative figures there