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One of the beauties of the internet is that anyone with a good idea can start a company and still keep their day job until the company starts generating enough revenue to replace the needed paycheck. That was Warren Sager's situation. He worked for an e-Commerce company but started Internet Retail Connection, a group of online retailers that sell picnic baskets, pocketknives, and other niche products.
Sager's customers certainly communicate through e-mail. But some want to do things the "Donna Reed" way--they want to talk to a real person about their needs. He certainly couldn't answer their calls at his workplace. So they stacked up in his voice mail; he returned them when he came home every night.
This worked at the outset when the company didn't have an avalanche of orders. But then the site took off. In 1994, when he had 30 orders a day, Sager decided he needed a customer service representative (CSR). But how was he or she going to answer his calls?
His employer purchased a $10,000 phone system, which needed constant programming and maintenance. "As a layman, I couldn't do that," he says. He couldn't afford the cash outlay, either. He needed a different kind of solution.
After an online search, Sager outsourced that task to GotVMail LLC, a Boston, Massachusetts-based company that provides telephone systems "for small businesses looking for all the telephone functionality and professional presence of a large corporate phone system," according to David Powers, Vice President, Communications, for GotVMail. Small businesses can sign up for GotVMail's monthly service online and receive a toll-free or local number, a customized main voice greeting, mailboxes for employees and departments, a dial-by-name directory, and "follow me" call forwarding capability. GotVMail's service plans start at under $10 a month.
Source: Outsourcing Journal, http://www.outsourcing-journal.com
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