Great Lakes Communications

Friends respond to the call and launch their own answering service

From a mom scared due to her child’s asthma attack to a question on garbage pickup on a holiday, the best friend team at Great Lakes Communications will answer your customers’ calls.

The nationwide medical and commercial answering service currently serves clients in 31 states. Co-owners Tabetha Alvarado and Sherry Langdeau deal with a range of service industries to help answer the call when the business staff members cannot do it themselves.

“Everybody needs an answering service and with many businesses struggling to hire workers, we are affordable and available 24/7,” Tabetha said.

“We can answer for anybody, but the main bulk of our clients seems to be in the service industry – from plumbers and electricians to body shops and garbage companies. This was surprising to us as we came from a medical answering service background,” Sherry added. “We are like the girls next door and small businesses want that personal one-on-one attention for their clients. We are knowledgeable about the area and provide a service that is different from the disconnect you can feel from the big call centers. We have really found a niche here in Northwest Indiana.”

Tabetha and Sherry worked their way through the answering service industry before venturing out on their own together. They both started out as operators and became supervisors over the years. The friends met when Sherry begrudgingly hired Tabetha.

“When I was running another service, I hired another lady who didn’t show up to work. We ended up hiring Tabetha as we did not have anyone else,” Sherry said of the rocky start. “She ended up comforting me when I was facing personal issues in the break room, and we have been best friends since – for over 20 years.”

The duo believed they could offer a better answering service solution based on their years of experience and expertise, so they launched Great Lakes Communications in 2014. The friends had a rough start as they faced a lawsuit from their former employer that created initial roadblocks.

“We both started at someone else’s company and once you have a taste of it, it is in your blood. You are either an answering service person or not,” Tabetha said. “I have had lots of different jobs, but I always came back to the answering service industry. It takes a special person to talk all day and be able to deal with different personalities from callers. It can be a very fast-paced environment.”

“We love what we do – there is never a dull moment. We get to help people on our terms,” Sherry said.

2000 N. Main St., Suite 2, Crown Point