The February 2020 Issue of TAS Trader

Should You List Major Accounts on Your TAS Website?

Balance the Need to Protect Your Client List with Your Desire to Close Sales

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan

By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD

When telephone answering services overhaul their websites or seek to tweak its content, many services wonder if they should post a partial list of some of their major accounts. Some answering services do this, and I have mixed feelings about the practice. 

Pros and Cons: On one hand listing major accounts gives credibility to your organization and the services you provide. It lets prospects know that larger companies, who they respect, have already investigated your services and picked you. What a great endorsement.

However, posting your major accounts also tells your competitors who your main clients are. This gives other services the opportunity to contact your accounts and try to steal their business from you. In an industry noted for its high client churn rates, is it worth the risk of giving competitors a head start on poaching some of your most-valued clients? Of course, the counterargument is that if you provide great service and high value, you’re not in danger of losing them anyway. 

Display Logos: Some services who list major accounts will just display client logos. These images, especially of well-known companies, provide immediate credibility to your prospects, without opening you to too much risk exposure. The larger the company, the more this is true. Visually this affords much greater impact than merely listing the company name. 

A related issue is whether to link the logo or company name to your client’s website. Though your client might appreciate the link for SEO purposes, it accomplishes little else.

Post Testimonials:  Another approach is to ask for and post testimonials. Some services will list the organization and the person’s full name and title. This is almost an invitation to your competitors to approach these clients. That’s why I prefer not doing this. Instead don’t share the person’s last name, and maybe not even the company name. Instead give the industry they’re in. This would produce a testimonial tag such as “Julie B, director of communications at a major hospital network in the northeast United States.”

References Available: A third option is to post nothing online. Instead, note that references are available upon request. This goes a long way to protect your client list from poaching, while still providing an extra push to help close the sale.

Summary: Before you post your major accounts online for the whole world to see, consider the downside to doing so, what you want to accomplish, and if there’s a better way to reach that goal. It’s hard work to land a new answering service account, so make sure you do everything to hold onto them once they sign up.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of TAS Trader. He’s a passionate wordsmith whose goal is to change the world one word at a time.


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Work from Home Success

By Phil Kenter

One of our family friends told us that she disliked working in New York City as an investment broker/manager and was considering another career despite her financial success. She decided to try working from home and found it worked fine. She since has become more successful than before without the stress of commuting to the city every day. 

In another case, one of our client’s daughter was an equipment trainer that required her to travel extensively throughout the country to hospitals and healthcare facilities. She convinced her employer that she could accomplish the training remotely from her home with the use of video conferencing. 

That prompted an idea for us to consider. We changed our Help Wanted ad to read “Work from Home After Training. Details: www.rccjobs.com.” The site describes the job and includes a 12-minute video of an operator processing a call. 

We began to receive inquiries and requests for interviews. Applicants must train in our office for four to six weeks, four-hours-a-day, five-days-a-week. We usually know within the first week or two if they have what it takes. 

Once fully trained, we assist in setting up their home office. We provide a headset, electronic access equipment, and detailed instructions. They provide their own computer, per our specs, that we set up and program for them to use exclusively for us. They’re also responsible for the telephone circuit and the internet connection. In under six months, we have hired four operators all of whom work enjoyably and remotely. 

Because of that success, our remaining staff requested remote status too. Now 100 percent of our staff work remotely. This has resolved all our staffing problems. The midnight operators enjoy working from home in their pajamas rather than driving to the office in the middle of the night. 

If we need an operator to cover for someone else, one or more of them are readily available and enjoy doing it. The same applies for weekends and holidays. If we have a major snowstorm—when no one can come in—now they all are available to log in. In the winter when we become inundated with heat calls for oil deliveries, we always have operators available. The same occurs in the summer months during a heatwave when we’re inundated with air conditioning outage calls. 

When one of our lead operators moved to Florida with her family and informed us of minimal employment opportunities near where she lived, we sent her equipment. Now she continues to work for us forty-hours-a-week from her home in Florida.

Phil Kenter is with Relay Communications Center in Long Island, New York.

Industry News

Genesis Emergency ACD and Park Line Pickup: Amtelco’s Genesis emergency automatic call distribution (ACD) feature is a mode of operation that takes effect if a Genesis Intelligent soft switch client application—such as Amtelco’s Intelligent Series or Telescan’s Genesis Spectrum—becomes disconnected from the Genesis platform. The Genesis emergency ACD makes it possible to ensure that calls aren’t dropped if the connection to the client application is lost. In such instances, the Genesis Intelligent soft switch automatically routes calls to a pre-arranged queue named for the client application. If there are no emergency agents available, Genesis can play a text-to-speech announcement.

Amtelco Announces Employee Awards: Andy Quamme, director of project management, is the 2019 recipient of Amtelco’s William J. Curtin Employee of the Year award, conferred annually in remembrance of Amtelco founder William J. Curtin II. Other awards include: Administration Employee of the Year: Wayne Wallace; Brian Torvik Innovation in Operations: Chris Bach and Kent Anderson; Service Employee of the Year: Eric Thomas; TAS Salesperson of the Year: Patty Anderson; 1Call Salesperson of the Year: Joe Curtin; Hall of Fame: Bernie Torvik and Bob Vornberg.

Email us with your TAS news for consideration in our next issue.


Quotes for the Month

“I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.” -Edgar Guest

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -Winston Churchill

“Don’t spell part backwards. It’s a trap.” -unknown