Contractors Determine Your Reputation?

Columbus City Schools are coming under scrutiny recently because of their bus system. Do buses sometimes pickup/drop-off late? Yes, but no K-12 system is perfect.

What has made them come under scrutiny is that the school system apparently doesn’t know how often buses are on time. Why? According to an article on, it’s because the service is outsourced, and the vendor doesn’t supply that information.

While the school tracks complaints (what we call “external” metrics of performance, since the data is collected from an external source – the parent), there are few internal operational metrics (like departure, arrival, on-time performance) reported within the school system.

This is a microcosm of what organizations need to be wary of when they privatize, outsource, or contract out services. Having an outside organization provide a function does not allow a business to abdicate responsibility for the quality, timeliness, or service-level of that function. To the customer, that contractor IS your business.

We’ve worked with many sports organizations, and a common issue for them is the staff who provide security or take tickets or man the concession stations or serve as ushers are rarely employees of the teams, but they often have a huge impact on the customer’s experience.

When you contract out to others, make sure you have metrics in place to measure their performance. Make sure you have processes in place to ensure their quality. Make sure you train them on your customer service standards and philosophies. Make sure you – whenever possible – have service-level agreements which require them to perform to a certain level to get full compensation.

Make sure if the contractor’s performance can determine your reputation, that you’ve done everything possible to ensure that performance is great.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?”

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Posted on in Business Advice, Education, Sports

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