Elder Group's client success strategies and success
stories and Interviews
Secretarial Service is one of the leading virtual office
assistance practices. In business since 1996, they began
in the industry while virtual assisting was still unknown
by much of the business society. It was a practice to
not only provide great service to their clients around
the world, but to also educate the public about the
virtues of using a virtual assistant, and to mentor
new virtual assistants. Kathy Ritchie, owner of Ritchie
Secretarial Service is our interview subject today.
Why are so many companies saying WOW after they start
doing business with you?
KR: We pride ourselves in our exemplary customer
service, as well as our variety of services available.
We make it a point to get to know you, and your business
so that we may tailor our services to suit.
What do you attribute your success?
KR: First, being one of the first in the industry,
we have name recognition and a reputation of over 13
years of quality services. Iíve been a firm believer
in cooperation and not competition, I believe there
is far too much work to be done and not enough virtual
assistants. This style of working is nothing new; cottage
industries have been around for centuries. Weíre just
more high tech now. Iím grateful that technology allows
me to work in a manner that highly appeals to me, as
well as in an industry I love.
How do you find your opportunities?
KR: Thankfully, our opportunities find us, either
from our website, or by client referral. We currently
have clients all over the US, as well as Hong Kong,
West Indies, Brazil, Netherlands, Canada, England, Scotland,
France and Mexico.
How does your internal staff function?
KR: We have one principal, myself, and we utilize
a network of sub-contracted virtual assistants.
Where do you see your business as a whole in 10 years?
KR: I anticipate that the next 10 years will
offer more cutting edge technology that will offer my
clients superior service as they need it.
What are some of the challenges you face as a business
owner and how do you rise above them?
KR: The biggest challenge in my business has
been educating the public and business sectors on what
a virtual assistant does, and how they can be of use
to nearly anyone. Most everyone asks ďbecause youíre
virtual, does that mean youíre not really there?Ē. To
alleviate the confusion, and to raise client confidence,
Iíve implemented a webcam that is on much of the time
while Iím working. So, this tells my clients I AM actually
there, and working.
What sets your company apart from other virtual assistants?
KR: My company is rather unique, I get a great
deal of traffic on my website, because when a potential
client searches for a virtual assistant online, they
invariably type in the search term ďsecretarial serviceĒ,
because Ritchie Secretarial Service is the name of my
business, I generally come up in the top 10 companies,
worldwide. For this reason, Iíve never considered paying
for search engine positioning. Second are the services
I offer and philosophy I govern my business by. I make
it a point to learn about the person/business Iím working
for. I take calls for many clients and feel a fierce
desire to answer intelligently, not just take messages.
I want your clients to feel they have reached the administrative
assistant in your offices; they have no idea most of
the time that Iím not even in the same state.
Can you tell us a success story about one of your clients
KR: For practical purposes, Iím relaying a client
comment: "Kathy supports both of my companies,
StaffingU and simplyEffective(tm). Using her services
was not only a wise investment, but also brought immediate
returns in increased revenues right from the first month.
I can't imagine what it would be like without her. Run,
don't walk, to talk with this savvy lady about what
she can do for you." (Scott Wintrip, StaffingU)
have been very fortunate, even in this economy, to have
clients come to me after they have outsourced their
staff Ė the work must still get done Ė as well as clients
that have stayed with me for many years. While Iím not
a client of the Elder Group, Iíve certainly benefited
from the association. Iíve learned so much from Mr.
Elder and happily apply what Iíve learned to my own
business success. The Elder Group has offered me a platform
to work with larger companies without jeopardizing my
time for all my clients. We have several clients from
the Elder Group because of this association.
Ritchie Secretarial Service, LLC
877-897-1859 Office www.thebestva.com