Bas Potjes, owner and general manager of Roscom Promotion, looks back, like everyone else, on a special year. ‘In March 2020, the majority of our activities ceased and with that 90% of our income. The first weeks were about consolidation, especially in personnel. But within a month, we had already come up with some things that were coronaproof, together with our clients who also wanted to keep as much contact with their customers as possible. That’s when we brought forward the plan to further expand our small telemarketing department. With success we can say.’
From stand worker to field marketing
In 2006 Potjes and his father had a number of successful telecom shops. My father thought it would be fun to sell the Internet offer of @Home on the market. He rented a stall, filled it with @Home boxes with a modem and decoder and set to work as a real stallholder. I thought he was crazy, but it was an instant success. We were very successful at various markets throughout the summer and later that year we were asked to set up a kind of mobile shop on location. In 2007, we closed the shops and focused entirely on field marketing, particularly for telecom and Internet providers. From four employees at the start we grew to about 200 Roscom employees in 2020′.
Roscom Promotion has traditionally worked a lot with Ziggo, CZ, Caiway and Delta, and before that also @Home, UPC, Essent, Eneco, Greenchoice and various governments.
When my father died at the age of 60, one of our regular clients called to offer his condolences. And he said: ‘You guys will make it, you have the ‘How to’ approach. And that indeed expresses well our mentality of always looking for opportunities.
That attitude has served us well in the past year. The great thing about long-term cooperation with clients is the desire to work together to keep our heads above water. We were already doing a bit of telemarketing, in Steam-connect, in addition to certain field marketing campaigns with a department of ten people, and of course we wanted to keep all our people working as much as possible. Our clients wanted to at least continue to speak to and retain their existing customers. It started with an assignment from Ziggo to pick up inbound and outbound campaigns and that quickly led to more projects. This combination of factors led us to bring forward the plan to position Roscall telemarketing alongside Roscom. In June, we philosophised about the risks of the possible second wave and decided to invest. We looked for and found a suitable building, for growth. In September, we opened in a building that was far too large and was designed for 80 employees, coronaproof. A month later it was full, much to our surprise.
Jumps and rises
Starting a new business activity is a learning process, with trial and error. ‘When we started our first job in telemarketing in 2016, we thought very naively that we would manage with an Excel sheet and a couple of Nokias with headset. Within two days we changed our minds about that and started looking for a real solution. We soon found it in Steam-connect from Codelogic. It clicked right away during the first meeting. Our request and Codelogic’s offer were a perfect match, and everything was arranged and installed in no time. Steam-connect allowed us to get started right away, but also left us room for possible further growth. This was also evident at the time of scaling up last year. But the first inbound job was a big one and we really had to learn by doing. By bringing in quality in the short term, especially experienced team leads, we now have it well in hand.
There are many similarities between telemarketing and field marketing. In the end it’s all about the people and the conversation. Everyone gets the same training here with our own Academy where we pay a lot of attention to conversation technique, EQ and body language. Quality is important – if it is good, the assignments will follow. We are often more strict with ourselves than with our clients because we see all kinds of opportunities to do things even better.
The current rapid growth is of course great, but Potjes also sees pitfalls. “We want to maintain the DNA of our family business. That is in the quality of service but also in caring for the employees. They must have the opportunity to grow, both hierarchically in the organisation and as people. This means a safe working environment and an optimal working climate where there is room for questions, feedback, attention and compliments. An independent agency regularly measures employee satisfaction and we gauge it ourselves every month with the Happy Meter app. Attention for each other, for details and for yourself – that’s how we make the difference.
It is a great advantage to always have plans and alternatives, and this has become even more clear in the past year. Roscom has plenty of them. Our mission is and remains to create value by unburdening and inspiring and we want to become trendsetters in distinctive customer contact. At the moment the largest part of our work consists of telemarketing but soon this will be balanced with field marketing. In addition, we are busy providing training through the Roscom Academy, because why shouldn’t we share our knowledge? We also have plans for secondment. It contributes to a positive work climate if we can also place colleagues with other companies and these clients benefit from experienced and well-trained staff. And we would like to expand our services even further with clients in the energy sector and the government, for example. We see great opportunities there for even better customer service and customer retention.’
Text: BBP Media | Photography: Zuiver Beeld.