Pursue a Boutique or Niche Market Strategy for Your Telephone Answering Service

Discover the Benefits of TAS Niche Market Focus

One of the possible telephone answering service strategies we mentioned is to pursue niche markets. It is the second of four major TAS tactics to consider.
Aside from focusing on medical accounts, there once was a time when most all answering services were generalists, taking on any new account that required their services. This once was the best growth strategy, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore. Pursuing a niche market—or markets—is emerging as a more tactical solution to answering service success.
Here are some of the benefits available from pursuing a niche market growth strategy for your answering service.

Allow for Specialization

Focusing on one (or a few) vertical markets allows for increased focus. This lets you and your staff accumulate specific knowledge about one industry, which permits you to serve them more fully and effectively. You’ll learn their industry jargon, understand their pain points, and pick up on hot-button issues. This specialization will allow you to serve clients in that vertical market with greater ease and produce better results.

Become a Preferred Provider

As a result of specializing in that vertical market, your focus on their specific needs will allow you to achieve the outcomes they expect, serve them with excellence, and better retain their business. As your reputation grows for that vertical market, you will become the go-to telephone answering service provider for that industry. Word will get out among industry insiders that your service can best meet the needs for their market. You’ll begin realizing word-of-mouth sales, which has no marketing expense.

Reduce Competition

When you focus on an industry and become their go-to answering service, the amazing side effect is that you reduce your competition. No longer are you competing against hundreds of other answering services, needing to find ways to promote yourself more effectively or present yourself as the most desirable solution. Even better, separating yourself from other answering services will take a huge step away from competing on price. Instead you can reframe the focus to providing high quality, outcome-laden results.

Maximize Profit Potential

With reduced competition comes the opportunity to charge a premium price for your phone-answering services and no longer be a slave to trying to remain viable as a business under laser-thin margins. This results in more profitability for each client and improved bottom-line results overall.
Though it seems counterintuitive to achieve growth and greater profitability by specializing in a few niche markets, that’s exactly what can happen when implementing the strategy of specialization.

The Next Step

To migrate from a general-purpose answering service to a niche provider takes time.
First, discover what your niche or niches will be. Look at the industries that you serve well, that your employees like, and that has profit potential. Then design a marketing plan for each niche. This includes redesigning your website specifically for that niche. You may even want a separate site—or at least a subdomain—for each niche you want to pursue. Last streamline your sales, onboarding, and customer service processes to meet the specific needs of each niche.
And as you take these three steps, revamp your initial operator training and ongoing agent coaching to focus on the specific needs and desired outcomes for each niche.
As far as your existing accounts that don’t fit your niche strategy, continue to serve them the best you can. Over time they will phase out due to attrition. This will give you more bandwidth and remove distractions to focus on your strategic niches. (Or you can sell the nonaligned portion of your customer base to another answering service.)
Pursuing a boutique or niche marketing strategy for your answering service will take time, but with diligence and dedicated attention, it will produce the winning, profitable, and viable business outcome you seek.

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Learn how to migrate from a general-purpose answering service to become an industry-specific boutique provider.

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