NAEO Newslinks

May 2017




Regular Columns

Get Inspired
by Gary Blair

NAEO Superior Agent Service Award

Membership Renewal

Register Now for the NAEO 2017 IS Summer Series!

Featured Articles

Vendor Profile: Your Answer Solutions Center

Future Directions Committee 2017/2018
by Ian Cooke

Learning Management System (LMS)

Amtelco Annex

Record Perfect Answer Greetings in Soft Agent
by David Drenk

Gary Blair

Get Inspired

by Gary Blair

Strength is letting go, when you want to hold on. Courage is moving forward, when you fear what’s ahead. Wisdom is listening, when you want to be heard.

Phyllis Arnett

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NAEO Superior Agent Service Award Application Deadline is June 1

Join now before June 1st

Looking for a great way to recognize and appreciate your agents for a job well done? Sign up today for the NAEO Superior Agent Service Award

The NAEO Superior Agent Service Award program is a "mystery caller" program that offers NAEO members the opportunity to have their call center agents evaluated by an independent panel of judges, over a 6-month period running from July through January. The mystery callers will conduct a test call based on the client profile information members provide when registering to participate in the program.

At the completion of the program, two independent judges will listen to the call recordings and assess a score based on a pre-determined point scoring process. Only companies who achieve an overall score of 80 percent or higher will receive the Superior Agent Service Award, presented at the NAEO Annual Conference.

Get more details and sign up here.

Application Deadline: June 1, 2017


In addition to NAEO Superior Agent Service Award given to the company, two additional awards are available to their agents.

NAEO Emerging Leaders Award

Top 10 Agents will take home a glass trophy

NAEO Superior Agent Award Sample

NAEO Agent Award of Distinction

The Top Agent with the #1 call overall for the year gets a choice of two prizes:

  • Conference/workshop registration, including airfare and hotel
  • or

  • $500 cash

Register to recognize your agents as industry leaders in exceptional call handling.

Calls start on July 15.

Be an NAEO ★

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Membership Renewal: Online Payment

The Membership Committee wants all valued NAEO members to be aware that all members' renewal dates will now be January 1 each year.

That means if your company's renewal date for 2017 is prior to January, your 2017 invoice will be pro-rated from your renewal date until December 31, 2017.

Then in January, you will be invoiced for a complete year of membership, January 1-December 31, 2018. NAEO is doing this to streamline the renewal process.

Due to the pro-ration of invoices for member companies, you will not be able to renew your membership online at NAEO.org. This is a temporary restriction, only until the end of 2017.

Beginning in January 2018, you will once again be able to view and pay your invoices for NAEO membership online.

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Register Now for the 2017 NAEO IS Summer Series!

IS Workshop Photos

Hotel Info | Register Today


August 14-17, 2017

Embassy Suites Dulles Airport
13341 Woodland Park Rd
Herndon, VA 20171

On August 14-17, 2017, NAEO's Professional Development Committee will offer an exclusive 3-DAY hands-on training seminar on Intelligent Series Programming. The Embassy Suites Hotel is hosting this amazing event for commercial and medical answering services, hospital switchboards, and contact centers.

Whether you are new to Intelligent Series or looking to cross-train coworkers and build a programming department, you'll learn firsthand valuable knowledge to efficiently and consistently program or convert your clients into Intelligent Series.

Intelligent Series has been proven to reduce operator training time, improve customer service levels, and reduce potential operator error. Attendees will learn the expert tips and tricks to developing master templates to program accounts with ease and efficiency. Similar NAEO training opportunities have completely sold out quickly over the last few years, so don't delay in registering yourself or your team!

Learn More and Register Now for the 2017 NAEO IS Summer Series!

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Vendor Profile

Your Answer Solutions Center

 

Like so many entrepreneurs, the desire to own our own business has been in our hearts for so many years. It just takes that final leap of faith that only business owners make to turn an idea into a thriving business. That is all it took for us to create Your Answer Solutions Center. Hector and I talked about starting our own business for years, but what could we do to support our family of 5? I told him the only thing I could bring to the table was my 20+ years of experience in the call center industry. But we didn't just want to become another call center among the thousands of successful call centers competing in an already-competitive market. What could we do to make us different; how could we stand out? Those of you who have met Hector know that he is from Mexico. He has extensive knowledge of business and the Hispanic culture. We started thinking about how we could merge our talents and make a successful call center.

"What could we do to make us different; how could we stand out?"

I knew that call centers in the US needed strong Spanish- and English-speaking agents. But to hire agents who were strong in both areas was a challenge. Either they were good at English and not that great at Spanish, or they were great in Spanish but didn’t have strong English grammar skills, and those skilled in both areas were basically out of the agent salary range. We came up with the idea to support call centers that have a need for English- and Spanish-speaking agents — agents who could handle both and make it very affordable for call centers in the US and Canada. Our Spanish-speaking agents could handle English calls just as well as those with English as their first language. This would provide call centers with a productive agent who could also handle Spanish calls. These agents are dedicated and trained just as in-house agents in the client's call center and able to connect remotely. Clients would have bilingual remote agents without all the headaches of managing remote agents.

We became a solution to call centers that need Spanish and English Speaking agents at a reasonable, affordable cost. Your Answer Solutions Center, our call center located in Mexico, was born. We approached our first call center with the idea. They loved it! But of course, they were a little reluctant to become our first client. They just signed on a big client of their own and were concerned about going over 50 employees and losing their small business status. They wanted to just "try us out" with only 2 or 3 agents to start. But that was okay, it was our foot in the door. After a few months, the client increased to 10 agents.

"We became a solution to call centers' needs."

Before the completion of their first year with us, they were up to 15 agents. And within 18 months of being with us, we were up to 25 agents. We had, indeed, become a solution to their problem. They were now able to sign on more clients needing bilingual agents. Their current clients were coming to them asking, "Can you handle Spanish calls?" And they could say "yes" without any hesitation. Their growth was our growth.

We will have another year in business on June 15, 2017. Coincidentally, it's the same day as Hector's birthday. We attended our first NAEO Conference with a favorable response. It is so exciting to hear from other entrepreneurs that they love the idea and have a need for it in their own call centers. We look forward to continuing to support other call centers as we grow what started out as only a dream.

Visit Your Answers Solution Center today.

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Future Directions Committee 2017/2018

by Ian Cooke

Future Directions Committee 2016 had an amazing year, with some major accomplishments under the direction of Mike Crossman. Great job, Mike! Patrick and I are very excited for the opportunity to take over FDC at this exciting time for our NAEO membership.

"Through high-level collaboration, FDC ensures that the needs of its members and the efforts of our Vendor are aligned."

The 2017 NAEO Annual Conference was another amazing event full of education and good times. The Future Directions Committee session produced some fantastic dialogue between our industry's brightest minds and Amtelco's Software Development and Service Team. THANK YOU to Tom, Kevin and Greg for helping make the FDC session a true collaboration. The FDC Session highlighted the major concerns of our membership and produced some innovative ideas for future development. Key topics of the discussion were APIs and 3rd party integration, IS Server Redundancy, My Team Web App, MiSecure branding and Web Soft Agent timeline.

The Owners/Exec closed door session highlighted the need to form a consolidated list of action items NAEO members would like Amtelco to focus on over the upcoming year. FDC produced a one-question ranking survey that was sent to the primary/designated contact for each member company to rank by importance:

  • IS Reports
  • IS Server High Availability
  • Completion of Genesis with every item in Infinity
  • System Action Groups
  • MiTeam Web App
  • Simplify MiSecure App
  • White Label MiSecure App

The results of the survey will be presented to Amtelco at our May BOARD meeting in Madison. Thank you to all who have completed the survey.

Please feel free to email FDC at anytime: FDC@naeo.org

Ian Cooke, Chair

Patrick Labbett, Vice Chair

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PDC

Learning Management System (LMS)

Questions? Email professionaldevelopment@naeo.org

Your competitors have discovered it. Have YOU?

The LMS is included with your NAEO Membership!

Many options are available to you with LMS, including your own training portal. You have the ability to upload documents and videos plus all training info to provide consistent, clear instruction material for all new and current staff members.

Client instruction change? No problem!

Simply upload the new instructions and assign/email to designated or all staff members so everyone is updated. Receive email confirmation as each person reviews material, track progress and assignments.

Run comprehensive reports for completion, grades, and certificates.

Operator training is included, for your convenience.

Check it out! "Get with the Program" today!

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David Drenk

Record Perfect Answer Greetings in Soft Agent

by David Drenk
All rights reserved © April 2016
Contact: insider@amtelco.com

The Perfect Answer feature enables agents to record their answer phrase for each client account so that their greeting is identical every time. Each agent must record a Perfect Answer greeting for each client account for which the agent answers calls.

The configuration settings for recording Perfect Answer greetings differ from the configuration settings for taking calls. Amtelco recommends placing one or more computers equipped with a microphone in a quiet area of the call center to be used for recording Perfect Answer greetings in the Soft Agent application. This will result in better quality recordings and eliminate the need for agents to make changes to their workstation configurations in order to record greetings.

Configuring the Recording and Playback Devices

Recording and playback devices are configured on the Windows Sound settings screens and the Soft Agent Telephony screens.

Windows Sound Settings

To configure a workstation to use for recording Perfect Answer greetings and reviewing recorded greetings, open the Microsoft Start Menu and select the Control Panel.

Click the Sound icon to open the Sound settings.

On the Playback tab, select the playback device that you want to use to play back the recordings.

Next, click the Recording tab and select the recording device that you want to use to record the greetings. The recording device can be a microphone or a USB headset that is not connected to a DynaMetric audio adapter.

Note: Additional hardware and software configuration requirements vary depending on your switch interface. When recording greetings, the agent must use an audio input device other than the agent headset connected to a DynaMetric audio adapter. Contact Amtelco Field Service for instructions relevant to your switch interface.

Soft Agent Telephony Settings

To configure the Soft Agent application to record and playback Perfect Answer greetings, press the CTRL+F12 key combination at the Soft Agent Login prompt to open the Setup screens.

Select the Telephony command at the left of the screen.

Click the Switch Type drop menu and select the switch interface that you are using.

The Telephony settings required for Perfect Answer will vary depending on the switch interface that you are using. If an Audio tab displayed, click the Audio tab to access the Speaker Device and a Microphone Device settings. If a Media tab is displayed, click the Media tab to access the Speaker Device and a Microphone Device settings.

Open the Microphone Device drop menu and select the input device that you will be using to record greetings.

Open the Speaker Device drop menu and select the device that you will be using to review recorded greetings.

Click the OK button to write your entry to the Soft Agent configuration file.

Note: If the computer that you are using to record Perfect Answer greetings also is used to answer calls, you must reconfigure the Soft Agent Telephony settings after recording is completed so that call audio is routed to the appropriate sound device.

Enabling the Soft Agent for Recording Greetings

To enable the Soft Agent application to record Perfect Answer greetings, press the CTRL+F12 key combination at the Soft Agent Login prompt to open the Setup screens.

Locate the "Allow to Record Voice?" check box near the bottom of the Connection Information tab, and select the "Allow to Record Voice?" check box.

Click the OK button to write your selection to the Soft Agent configuration file and return to the Soft Agent Login prompt.

Note: The previous steps must be repeated at every agent station that is used to record Perfect Answer greetings.

Enabling Clients for Perfect Answer

To configure a client account to use the Perfect Answer feature, open the client in the Client Setup pages of the Intelligent Series Supervisor system administration application. The Client Setup pages open at the General Info tab.

Locate the "Perfect Answer" check box in the center column near the bottom of the General Info tab, and select the "Perfect Answer" check box.

Click the Save icon above the Navigate menu on the left of the screen to write your selection to the IS database.

Note: The previous steps must be repeated for every client account that uses the Perfect Answer feature.

Recording Greetings in the Soft Agent

Perfect Answer greetings can be recorded only using the tools provided in the Soft Agent application and an audio input device configured for recording as described in the "Configuring the Recording and Playback Devices" section of this document.

Each agent must record a Perfect Answer greeting for each client account for which the agent answers calls.

To record Perfect Answer greetings, log into the Soft Agent application.

Using the Sandbox, enter the client number of the client for which a Perfect Answer greeting is to be recorded, and select the Change Client action on the Sandbox Action menu.

Click the Sidebar icon at the bottom right corner of the Soft Agent screen to display the Sidebar panel.

Click the down arrow icon on the Agent Settings title bar at the top of the Sidebar to expand the Agent Settings pane and display the Perfect Answer recording and playback controls.

The Recorded indicator at the top of the Perfect Answer Greeting control lists the date and time that the current Perfect Answer greeting was recorded for the client. The Recorded indicator displays the word None if no Perfect Answer greeting exists for the client account.

Note: When working in a client account that has an existing Perfect Answer greeting, recording a new greeting automatically overwrites the existing greeting with the new greeting.

To record a new Perfect Answer greeting for the current client account, click the Record button and speak the greeting.

To halt the recording, click the Stop button.

The new Perfect Answer greeting is available immediately for use with the client account in which it was recorded.

To listen to an existing Perfect Answer greeting, click the Play button in the recording controls.

To pause playback of the recording, click the Stop button.

To delete an existing Perfect Answer greeting, click the Delete button.

Requirements

  • IS Server 4.1.5310.28522 or later
  • IS Supervisor 4.1.4924.34 or later
  • IS Messaging
  • IS Perfect Answer
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition or later
  • 64-bit Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or later
  • Soft Agent 4.1.4924.20 or later
  • An audio input device
  • An audio output device
  • Additional hardware requirements based on the switch interface

Amtelco Part Number: 265MP008

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