TCI Answering Service named 2019 Business of the Year by Chamber of Commerce
2019 Business of the Year
TCI Answering Service’s team of 11 answers phones and online chat inquiries for 220 different businesses, answering basic questions about products and routing calls to individuals. That might seem daunting, but this mighty crew has dialed in the logistics to keep it up 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The intensity of their dedication to serving clients’ customers is matched by their commitment to Great Bend. This unique combination has earned them the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Business of the Year Award.
“I strongly believe in the service we provide,” TCI Owner Shelly Peacock said. “I feel like we’re actually providing a valuable service that’s truly needed. Because of us, our clients can get more work done, increase sales and be more successful. It’s very rewarding to help other business owners.”
They’re so dedicated to making sure their clients’ customers are satisfied, that they didn’t allow downtime when they had to physically move the operation to its new home in June of 2019, which for Shelly’s team meant moving two servers and 300 phone lines.
“Our customers didn’t notice,” she said proudly. “We communicated the move to them and what it entails. The phones were down for less than two minutes.”
Shelly graduated from Barton Community College in 1999 and returned to school to finish a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University in 2011. Buying the business wasn’t her first experience at TCI. She worked for the previous owners on and off since 1996, and her mother has worked there for 31 years.
Before the purchase was official in January of 2013, she spent 18 months learning the ropes from the previous owners, and then spent the next five years learning what it meant to be a manager and how to respond when challenges arise.
“We had every problem in the book in those five years,” she said. “A power supply went down, an internet switch broke and we had phone provider issues.”
But, Shelly persisted, and now she said her focus is on growing and scaling the business, adding services and new tools for her clients.
“I have a great team, and now I feel like I have a handle on everything,” she said. “Working with this team is fun and I love watching them as I hand over more responsibility and seeing them take ownership and wanting to be more involved.”
Shelly said she and her crew also try to give back to the community. She is a member of the 100 People Who Care and has been involved with the Chamber as an ambassador and on the Board of Directors. TCI also sponsors various events throughout the year and when they need to hire a vendor, they keep it local.
Barry Stalcup, President of Comfort Pro Inc., has been using TCI since 2008 and said his customers are more comfortable and feel more cared for when they can reach a live person instead of an answering machine. He said TCI does a fantastic job answering many of their customers’ questions and directing calls as needed.
“Shelly and the team are a crucial part of our customer service and growth,” Stalcup said.
TCI has served Animal Medical Center for more than two decades, and AMC Owner Dr. Nels Lindberg said TCI goes above and beyond expectations.
“They have answered emergency calls for us with great care and service every single hour of the night,” he said. “More importantly, we lean on vendors we work with; we challenge them with thoughts and ideas, and they respond every time and work to provide the service.”
Shelly said a big part of TCI’s success is owed to her team’s hard work and the Great Bend community, which is home to the bulk of their clientele.
“We answer phones for businesses all over the US, but a majority of our customers are in Great Bend, so when I go to a Chamber coffee it’s nice that I get to see a lot of my customers,” she said. “It’s a great feeling to know they trust us with their business.”
Business of the Year Criteria
The “Business of the Year” Award is an annual award presented by the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce to showcase companies that demonstrate excellence in customer service, growth, and response in positive ways to adversity. Businesses must also show community involvement and demonstrate innovative business practices by improving products, services and programs.
Previous Business of the Year Recipients
2018 Keller Real Estate and Insurance
2017 Great Bend Children’s Clinic
2016 Countryside Veterinary Associates
2015 Eagle Communications