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Uncommon Strategy for the Call_Solutions Protocall Business Positions Company Solidly Among Top 50 U.S. Outbound Contact Centers

— March 5, 2002

Waukesha, Wis., March 5, 2002 — Just four years ago, Protocall Communications, a specialized Call_Solutions Company, turned its back on a half dozen profitable service offerings to focus on business-to-business and business-to-consumer outbound telemarketing. Protocall had fewer than 45 employees at the time and faced a cold reality: the industry, instead, was moving swiftly toward diversification. Agencies were scrambling for business with corporations trying to outsource complex and costly sales and customer service operations.

Because selling is the ultimate challenge, irregular results and fleeting opportunities, traditionally, were considered absolute barriers to long-term client relationships, full call center utilization, and consistent quality. New thinking was that outbound selling could be made less volatile by blending it with inbound customer service, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and web-enabled customer interaction. ?So, in dedicated sales, you must be just about perfect or you perish,? says one of the architects, Protocall CEO Scott Kleinknecht. ?Experts, and the clients we let go, wished us luck, but they predicted we might not survive the year.?

Nearly 400 employees later, at two locations, Laurel and Baltimore, Maryland, Protocall has joined an exclusive club. Customer Inter@action Solutions magazine (CIS), announces this week that it is among the Top 50 outbound call centers in the nation. The magazine started tracking call center productivity in 1986. Annually, agencies that answer detailed questionnaires are ranked by billable minutes. These must be verified for a prescribed 12-month period by each of the agency?s telephone service providers and the agency independently. This is Protocall?s first year on the list, and it is among just ten percent that specialize exclusively in outbound sales.

?Our goals were never size-oriented,? said Kleinknecht. ?Our business?s first priorities have always been to achieve the highest quality sales possible and prosperity for employees and clients. The rest would take care of itself.? Far from folding in its maiden year, 1998, Protocall captured the industry?s three most coveted quality awards. This Spring, it will receive its fourth consecutive MVP Quality Award (CIS).

Outbound specialization is only one-third of the Protocall business unit?s formula. The business focuses its intellectual and technical resources in just three areas: telecommunications, high-speed Internet access, and energy. ?Almost monthly, we re-direct other industry business to other members of our Call_Solutions family,? Kleinknecht said. ?Technology grows more complex, and the choices for consumers more bewildering, every day. We refuse to sell our clients, or employees, short by juggling too many things at once.?

Protocall?s success has attracted suitors, as well as loyal clients and awards. Last month, Protocall was acquired by Call_Solutions, headquartered in Waukesha, Wisconsin. With now 13 focused business units, and counting, under the Company banner, founder and CEO George Dalton is positioning the new enterprise to specialize in marketing services governing every phase of customer interaction.

Pay-for-performance, or risk sharing, the third prong in Protocall?s formula, is the driving force behind quality, sales, and consistency, according to Company officials. ?That?s why this great team of people really appealed to us,? said Dalton. ?When this highly specialized teleservices business unit says, ?we don?t get paid unless we make the sale,? what it is saying is ?we will make the sale.? That sureness and trust will help this Company capture its share of the outsourced marketplace, create jobs for the Maryland region, and empower employees to prosper.?


Call_Solutions Companies work together in harmony as full-service providers of customer relationship marketing services, offering specialized ?call centers inside? the campaign for telephone order processing and customer service, direct mail promotional campaigns with personalized, digital print production (e-mail or print), and advanced on-line order entry systems tied to fulfillment operations.

Protocall Communications, a Call_Solutions Company, specializes in high-tech business-to-business and business-to-consumer outbound teleservices, including digital broadband products and services, energy, local and long distance, paging, telephone sets, DSL, T-1s, T-3s, and calling and term plans.

Corporate Contact: ????

Kevin Kasper

Call_Solutions Companies


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