Why you need to go big and how to do it with Cathy Karabetsos

Why you need to go big and how to do it with Cathy Karabetsos

Welcome to The Determined Mom Show. I am your host, Amanda Tento. Today, we have a very special guest. She owns QCSS, which stands for Quality Customer Service and Sales, a very large call center operation. She found it in her living room when her children were small. So welcome, Cathy. I would love for you to share your story with us. As a mom, I’m in that living room startup phase. 

I am super excited to have someone on the show with the experience of a multimillion-dollar company. You help so many people with what you do, so I would love to hear about your journey, and I’m sure our listeners want to as well. 

“Sure. So our journey began 28 years ago, and we found the company for different reasons because I wound up being unemployable and was fired from my job. I wound up saying; I’m going to make a difference. I will change how the call center industry is run, and it won’t be the good old boys club anymore. We will ensure your honesty and integrity are deemed important in this industry. 

So the first seven years of our journey in business, myself and my partner, Karen Hall, I worked from her desk or my living room, both or combined four children at the time, my two little ones and her two little ones, and then I went on to have more.

We started off our first seven years working diligently on one client. We had a special formula, which we talked to, sold to, catered to, and nurtured one consumer at a time. It was in the cosmetic and the fragrance industry, so we found something that worked for us, and we just kept on going, building it, literally one sale at a time.

We hired other people around the country to work from home. About seven years into it, we had decided to approach a contest for being one of the Best Homebased Businesses in America, and at the same time, we were doing it backward. We eventually wound up on the cover of Money Magazine in May of 1997 as the virtual call center industry pioneers. 

We wanted to hire and employ other moms working from home who wanted to raise their children. We brought in our husbands, then went the traditional route and finally opened our physical location.

After that, we could hire more moms, employ more people, create jobs within the organization, community, and there you have it. Thirty years later, we’re still growing year after year, a bootstrap company, very proud of what we’ve accomplished.“

Truly an amazing and inspiring story. So tell us, do you have any actionable tips for moms in our shoes? You’ve been in many other shoes, and people want to know how to get to where you’re at with the multimillion-dollar company. What actionable tips do you have for us to go big? 

“Well, first of all, start with one thing, whether that’s a product or service, something you’re passionate about, or something you’re knowledgeable about. It can be something you find in the marketplace currently that’s already there that you can enhance and improve. Just figure out something you know, feel, believe in, and are confident about. You feel passionate. You can change it to make it better than what’s currently happening in the marketplace and then sell it to one client.

That’s your job. You have to sell to one client. Once you have that one client, don’t try to get number two, three, four, five, 10, and 20, get the results for that one client, and once you have the results for that one client, now you have a raving fan. Now you take the testimony of that one raving fan, and you go out and find client number two, and all you have to do is continue to rinse and repeat.

Communication will be key if you do that and build one client at a time with exceptional results. Timeliness and organization will be key because many companies grow and are good at what they do, except they miss the part about communicating with clients and staying in touch with them. Then we need to remember about our clients.

We’re like, well, I’m going to number two, and I’m finding number three and number four, number five, and number 10, and then all of a sudden, you look back, and you start seeing a 20% drop off client churn, and you start losing them. Why am I losing them? I’m getting the results for them. Well, they didn’t feel loved, and somebody else came and dated them on the side when you were not looking, and they moved them. So they got them on price, or they got them on relationship, or they got them communication wise. 

So always stay in front of your clients, communicate with your clients, and love your customers, and the only way you can prove your love is to be in close communication and with results. So you do those two things, they’re not going to go anywhere, and if you can build that one brick at a time, one client at a time, you will probably be the most successful in your industry, and that’s the formula.”

That’s awesome, and it is a very easy formula to follow. So it shouldn’t be a big challenge, and I love that. It’s 100% spot on. “Simple is better than over-complicating things, and I tend to overcomplicate situations. Sometimes, especially us women, we love the next best shiny thing, and we want to do the next thing. Often start blaming themselves. Why am I not doing this or that? Let me add that, but then we forget about these things that are already working, but still, we’re adding something new. 

So if it’s working and not broken, don’t fix it. That’s the number one, and then if there’s something you need to do to enhance, to stay up with the times and digital age, fine, add it slowly and test. Don’t go all in slowly.

Test if it works or doesn’t; you tweak it and go. I mean, 30 years of being in business, I could tell you all the college-funded mistakes we’ve made, and when you peel it all back, it’s just boiled down to taking your eye off of the core things, which are results and communication by loving your customers.”

That’s very true, and we all need to hear these truths. As discussed earlier with your company, I have a quick question about this before we wrap up, but what businesses would benefit from your services? 

“Well, I would love to say every single business, and that’s probably true, and I could probably analyze which type of company would be best suited for which type of service, but for being in business for 30 years or nearly 30 years, we’ve worked with startups to technology funded companies, to bootstrap companies. Now we’re dealing with Fortune 500 companies. So we have run the whole gamut, but we have two services for call centers. 

Number one is inbound customer support and answering services. Customer support helped us care for your customers and customer support experience on the inbound side. Then, of course, anything social media related as well. So, for example, if you’re out there and you’re posting all these beautiful ads or opportunities to attract people to raise their hand and say I want to work with you and you’re not answering your calls, or you’re sending them to direct messaging or your website, your order forms. That’s where we come in handy. 

We’re responsive to all of the latest and greatest digital methods. So that’s all inbound and outbound is where we started our company—one phone call at a time, lead generation appointment setting, and direct sales. 

We primarily focus on large organizations in today’s world, but we still remember our roots. So we leave space for our entrepreneurs because it’s super important that there’s an opportunity to work with great companies, building great brands who are just brilliant, and they have to be birthed somewhere.” Awesome. All right. Are there any other nuggets or anything that you want to share? Any wisdom will keep on birthing those babies. 

“Don’t give up on your dreams of being a great mama or parent and running a company. You can only call out failure if you quit, don’t quit. Hashtag, no quit in me, is the theme of my life. Don’t give up, don’t quit. You’re going to have rough days. You might have rough months, but just don’t quit. Reach out to people who have been where you are and are going or have arrived where you want to go. 

Those are the people you want to talk to. Save your time. I am trying to figure it out for you. Try to get a mentor, a coach, somebody with the experience, and if you look out and say, my 5-year goal is to be in this industry at that size, find that industry in that size, and start talking. Try to add value to their lives and start having a mentor. I learned that quickly over the last couple of years, find the people who have been there and done it and start getting advice from them.

Even if you have to pay for that advice, you will substantially cut down your learning time, and your growth will happen much quicker. To see the pros, talk to the pros, get mentored, get coached, and cut your learning curve in half.” 

Truly inspiring, and I feel people don’t hear this advice enough. Thank you again, Cathy, for stopping by and dropping off all of this knowledge for us. We have the full length of this conversation for our readers, which has many more details and golden nuggets. Head on over to my website to listen in. Have an amazing week.

If you have any questions, let us know! Reach out to us!

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