The old adage makes it simple enough: nothing ventured, nothing gained. But for Herman Shooster, his venture turned out to gain a lot more than many around him expected it ever would. Shooster started out by buying a South Florida answering service known as "Ding-a-Ling" for $150,000, and turned said answering service into a massive call center with the much sharper name of Global Response. Let’s just put it this way – what Global Response made just last year in revenue dwarfs Shooster's initial investment.
It took 40 years to reach that point, but Shooster's Global Response call center brought in fully $30 million in revenue. Global Response counts some major names amongst its client base, including Crate & Barrel, National Geographic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hershey company, and many more. Global Response was part of an impressively-growing industry, and Shooster's own modifications to Ding-a-Ling's original systems – expanding it outward from a messaging service to a multi-channel customer service operation – took advantage of the overall expansion in the industry to propel it to its current heights.
Global Response isn't sitting on its laurels, either, as the company is part of a surprisingly small number of call centers – just 22 percent – that plan to add social media as a channel they handle. Of course, it helps that there were already 17 percent of firms involved with social media at the time, according to a survey staged by the National Association of Call Centers. Global Response had even considered outsourcing for a while, even going so far as to identify a potential partner in India, but eventually determined that there was no significant advantage to moving its operations, and so, remained in the United States, where more specialized clients could remain better served and tightly focused upon.
Indeed, Global Response offers a very tight focus on their customers. When Global Response won business for Michigan's state parks, a part of Michigan's economy steadily increasing in focus as evidenced by their Pure Michigan ad campaign, agents from Global Response toured the parks. Diana Golden, customer service manager for LittleMissMatched, visits the call center twice a year to train agents on the company's product lines. The call center itself features actual products set up around the facility, showing employees precisely what they're dealing with at all times.
Keeping this in mind, Ding-a-Ling had a dozen employees at its purchase date, a manual switchboard, and handwritten messages; it's amazing to see the gains represented by Global Response. The basic philosophy – one of customer satisfaction above all else – is clearly what's driving the company's success, and makes it perfectly clear that, when a business' clientele is happy, it will almost inevitably prosper as a result.
Global Response has made a multinational business out of giving the people what they want, and as such, should continue to see impressive gains, even in a struggling economy. Providing value will always be welcome as long as people – and businesses – need things, and providing the best value in the market is a great way to get to the top of said market.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo