February 2015

Regular Columns

From the Editor
By Kelli Harrigan

Get Inspired
by Gary Blair

NAEO = Warmth of Body & Mind (A Programmer's Dream)
by Kevin Procter

The ASAP Technique for Handling Irate Customers
by Nancy Friedman

Featured Articles

NAEO Conference Details
by Lina Cunningham

Register Now for the NAEO Conference

Upcoming Webinars


Amtelco Annex

Infinity Supports Ademco Contact ID Protocol for Alarm Systems Communications
by David Drenk

Search for Text in a Message Script with the Script Search Feature
by David Drenk

Kelli Harrigan

From the Editor

By Kelli Harrigan

It's Conference Time!!

It’s not just the Florida destination that appeals to me so much (and I’m sure most of you in the Northeast can particularly relate!), but the opportunity to gather with like-minded call center professionals for a few days in March! Every year, I’m blown away by how valuable the conference experience can be — the educational content is, of course, a huge component, but then it’s also the conversations between sessions, over lunches, at the receptions at the end of the day that all add up to the tremendous value we get from sharing our ideas, pains and successes with each other. You just never know when that AHA! moment is going to strike.

For those of you attending an NAEO conference for the first time (or even for those of you who have attended before but want to make the most of the experience), allow me to offer a few tips to help you make the most of it…

  • Don’t be shy about introducing yourself or asking for introductions — this is a pretty welcoming group. It can be intimidating at first as it may seem “cliquey” at first glance because so many of us know each other from attending conferences together for years and years, but we all love to meet new faces in our group!
  • Participate in sessions and be fully present — try to put away the cell phone and ignore the emails for the time that you are in session. A lot of good takeaways can be lost in the blink of an eye (or email)! Ask questions and share your ideas. You may be new to our group, but you may have just the feedback some of us need to hear!
  • Make note of people who have had some ideas that you would like to follow up on and track them down during breaks, lunches, receptions, etc. Great conversation starters!
  • Pick a few ideas to focus on as soon as you get home from conference — I am an avid note taker myself, but I’ve found it is crucial for me to identify two or three things that I can tackle first and focus on that when I get home. You’ll hear a lot of ideas over the few days we are together and it can seem a bit daunting if you try to run home and do everything.
  • Visit with our Amtelco reps who come to conference — it is not often that you have access to that kind of brain trust all in one place! Don’t hesitate to stop by and see them demo the latest features, see what’s coming down the road and even learn more about the features you probably already own but may not be using.
  • NAEO recently started inviting select exhibitors to also participate in our conference, so be sure to check them out as well! Amtelco and all of our exhibitors are a huge support to our conference, providing value for our attendees and helping to keep our costs down, so stop by and thank them for their support.
  • Have fun! You will have the opportunity to make some new friendships that can last a lifetime (and provide a lifeline for those challenges we all face from time to time).
  • You will be asked to participate in a post-conference survey — please be sure to fill this out and be candid with your comments! The conference committee uses these responses to help us plan future conferences and your feedback, especially as a newcomer, will be very helpful.
  • Make plans to come back next year too!

Hope to see you soon!

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Get Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

More business decisions are made over lunch and dinner than at any other time, yet no MBA courses are given on the subject.

~ Peter Drucker

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NAEO = Warmth of Body and Mind (A Programmer's Dream)

Submitted by Kevin Procter

Moving with ferocious speed, the snow outside my window blows and drifts, blinding drivers and brave pedestrians, while Jack Frost bites at everyone's noses — and everywhere else!

Meanwhile, people are counting the days to the NAEO conference in Orlando, where the smiles are as warm as the ambient temperature.

Want some solutions to an IS problem? The conference is filled with people who have answers for you, and they're all looking forward to sharing that knowledge with old friends and newfound colleagues.

This programmer made a first appearance at NAEO last year, making some wonderful connections and forging great friendships.

In addition to the great workshops, programmers gathered outside of regimented hours and shared ideas and techniques. The solutions shared went beyond Amtelco, to a broad range of software and hardware designed to take a company in directions outside the box of telephone answering.

Also, Amtelco people were on hand to answer any questions and they even provided demonstrations on a one-on-one basis. Having that kind of attention from Amtelco is, in itself, priceless!

Further, new software was presented at the conference by Amtelco reps, along with future projects. This is a time of inspiration and vision, when a programmer may have a problem that is now solved with new APIs, new and upcoming software modules, and enhancements to the existing systems.

Truly, the NAEO conference is a gold-mine of information for any programmer and is not to be missed — especially if one hasn't been before. As yours truly remains in the ferocity of winter, those attending the 2015 conference can take in the sunshine, along with the invaluable information and networking opportunities. The NAEO conference is the place for you if you do anything Amtelco — and/or if you need a break from all the frostbite!

2015 NAEO Annual Conference

Happy NAEO 2015!

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The ASAP Technique for Handling Irate Customers

by Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor

If you spend time in a customer-facing position, there's a high probability you’ll encounter customers who are upset, rude, angry and irate. For some of us, it’s thankfully a rare event and for others it's a daily occurrence.

Having a solid strategy in place to handle these situations will mean the difference between feeling frustrated and stressed out OR calmly guiding the situation back to a productive relationship. With the proper techniques you can do a great deal to defuse your customer's anger.

Always keep in mind that an angry customer isn’t unhappy with you, they’re upset about a situation or your organization. That’s a key reminder. Don’t take this hostility personally. You’re merely the lightning rod in this situation, not the target of the anger.

Remember to keep a smile on your face as you begin to handle the situation. Customers find it more challenging to be rude to someone who’s warm, genuine and friendly. Mirroring their rudeness will only escalate their anger. Try not to feed into the drama.

Use the ASAP Technique to defuse irate customers:

Apologize and Acknowledge the Customer's Feelings

You’ll need to spend about 80% of your time smoothing the customer’s feelings and about 20% of your time working on the problem. The apology needs to be immediate. Don’t wait to apologize. If your organization fouled up, admit it. And notice we’re saying "apologize," not "I’m sorry." I'm sorry is when you step on someone's toes.

A. "Ms. Jackson, I apologize for the issues you’re having with your invoice."

Sympathize (and Empathize)

It's important to validate their feelings of frustration.

Sympathy means acknowledging another person's emotional hardships and providing comfort and assurance.

Empathy means understanding how someone feels because you've experienced it also.

S. "That’s got to be extremely frustrating."

Accept the Responsibility

Every time you handle a customer you represent your organization. You should have the mentality that you're 100% responsible for guiding this to a successful resolution. Accept the responsibility by re-introducing yourself. Even if you said your name earlier, this personalizes the situation and builds confidence.

Accept the responsibility by saying:

A. "Again, my name is Carlos and I’m here to help you resolve this."

Prepare to Help

Ask intelligent questions that will help you get to work on sorting out what's bothering them. Demonstrate with your voice that you sincerely care about resolving this situation.

P. "Let’s get started and see how I’m able to help. Now please...tell me exactly what happened."

NO EXCUSES! Excuses are the same as screaming: "I’M NOT GOING TO HELP YOU NOW!" No one wants to hear "I’m new," or "Our computer is down," or "I’m the only one in the office." That’s your problem, not theirs.

Research shows that clients who successfully have had their problem resolved end up being more loyal customers than those who never had a set-back in the first place. How is that for a silver lining?

We encourage you to forward this article to colleagues or include it in your internal publication with the following credit line: "Reprinted with the permission of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training www.telephonedoctor.com"

 

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Laurie Blow

NAEO Conference Details

By Lina Cunningham

2015 NAEO Annual Conference

Spring training for Major League Baseball is not the only thing going on in Orlando this year. NAEO is proud to provide you will a full line-up of education and collaboration through networking with colleagues who are ready to play ball. This year’s annual conference is a must!! If you haven’t registered, it’s time to step up to the plate and register now.

This year’s conference will not disappoint. On first base, we have the legendary IS Workshop. Throughout this workshop, attendees will be able to effectively learn the tricks of the trade from industry experts and be able to lead your programming department or business to new levels. It will be led by Education Committee Chair Theran Mossholder (Newtown & Flemington Answering Service), industry respected experts Michael Goumas, Debbie Imes (Advantage Answering Plus) and Amtelco Trainers. This length and quality of training is second to none!

  • Building Custom Summaries and Message Tickets
  • Basic SQL Implementation
  • Creating Basic Tables in SQL
  • Writing and Pulling Data To/From SQL Tables
  • Action Tables and Group Tables
  • Incorporating System and Client Shared Fields
  • Tips and Tricks from Programming Experts
  • API Integration
  • Look into Crystal Reports
  • Time to Ask Your Specific Questions
  • Utilizing Advanced Expressions

On second base, prepare yourself for a sweeping curve by our Keynote speaker, Jake Poore, founder and President of Integrated Loyalty Systems, who will deliver practical techniques and strategies to elevate every customer interaction, from the first “Hello,” to the positive experiences loyal customers remember. Jake will share stories and best practices from his years of experience at the famous Disney Institute at Walt Disney World, as well as more than a decade helping healthcare organizations design and execute cultural blueprints that drive ideal patient and employee experiences.

Next up is a double, by the one and only Amtelco. This will be a very special "What’s New" session full of exciting new developments from the latest Infinity, Intelligent Series, and miSecureMessages software. Kevin Beale will show you how to leverage the advancements in scripting capabilities, along with web and mobile developments, to expand your opportunities. Part 2 will be an in-depth review of the Infinity, Intelligent Series, and miSecureMessages features and tools available to you with a focus on new insights into unlocking the potential earnings of new call center services using tools provided by Amtelco.

Our power pitcher of the day is Mr. Harris Rosen, who is the president and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts and is Florida’s largest independent hotelier. Join us for this informative Q&A session to learn about his journey. As many of you know, being a business owner involves a lot of hard work led by a strong team. Mr. Rosen isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, donate his time and money, and always leads by example. This session is a behind-the-scenes look at his leadership, his success and how he got to where he is.

Monday night, Amtelco is sure to hit a home run straight to Universal Studios. You can spend the night talking about what you learned and catching up with old friends while meeting some new ones. This is a do-not-miss opportunity for everyone!!

Finally on third base are the breakout sessions. This is a ground ball where you will have the opportunity to be in the infield to discuss and bounce ideas in small classrooms. We have mixed things up this year with our lineup of speakers and topics to keep you hitting for the cycle all day.

As we enter the seventh inning, it would be a short season if you ducked out early. Round tables are a great way to get up close and personal. The Best Ideas session will save you from a strikeout. Not everyone can be in every session at the same time and some of the best ideas are had over a drink outside of the sessions. Please do not miss your chance to ask the speakers questions and share your best idea with the group. We want to know your best take away; it may be simple but if it can save time, frustration or money then we all want to know about your home run.

The game is not over until it is over; in the dugout we still have some players waiting to get up to bat. The Future Directions of the Industry and NAEO will be discussed. This is your opportunity to have an in-depth discussion on the future of the industry, our association, and our partnership with Amtelco. If you have any thoughts you want to share, or if you are just curious, come sit with the coaches and players of the home team for this open town hall.

If you are tired of the baseball clichés, then the final session of the day is exclusive to the owners of the teams. This is the first closed door Owners Forum that we have held at NAEO. This will be an opportunity to have open discussion regarding business relevant to our industry from an owner’s perspective. Ideas, strategy, and questions are welcome.

Please join your fellow NAEO members at this year’s Conference to learn new things, meet new friends, collaborate, network, and educate yourselves and your team. You need a team to win the game!!

 

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Register Now for the NAEO Conference

Rosen Shingle Creek | 9939 Universal Blvd. | Orlando, Florida 32819

Click Here to Register Now!

Registration is available online through March 9, 2015

Sponsorship Opportunities

Extend your brand identity and marketing capabilities with a strong visible presence at the 2015 Annual NAEO Conference. Take advantage of the opportunity to tie your brand identity not only to the NAEO, but to the educational aspects of this conference. Multiple levels of conference sponsorship opportunities are available.

All sponsorship opportunities are first-come, first-served.

Sponsor Levels

  • Keynote Sponsor: $2,500
  • Opening Reception Sponsor: $2,000
  • IS Workshop Sponsor: $2,000
  • Daily Break Sponsor: $500
  • Exhibitor: $1,200

Register as a 2015 NAEO Conference Sponsor today!

NAEO would like to thank our 2015 Platinum Sponsor, Amtelco.

Thank you, sponsors and exhibitors

Platinum Sponsor

Tuesday Break Sponsor

Wednesday Break Sponsor

Exhibitor

 

Amtelco

 

 

Call 4 Health

 

 

Call 4 Health

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Upcoming Webinars

IS Prep Workshop
February 25, 2015 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenters: Theran Mossholder and Michael Goumas
Host: Theran Mossholder

Join the Education Committee as we discuss the upcoming IS Workshop in Orlando, FL. We ask that everyone who plans to attend this workshop please join us on this webinar so we can make sure you have everything set up and ready to go for this advanced class. If you are undecided whether this workshop is for you, please attend to get a sneak peek on the topics that will be covered.

Best Ideas #1
March 25, 2015 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenter: Lina Cunningham
Host: Lina Cunningham

Pursuing Excellence through Education and Collaboration, join us for a recap of the best ideas from the 2015 Annual Conference. If you couldn’t make it to every session, this is your chance to find out what you missed. Best ideas, best take away, and overall conference recap.

eResponse
April 8, 2015 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenters: Kevin Procter, Joel Bishop and Michael Goumas
Host: Deborah Anders

E-Response: Why, When and How do we use it?

Join us on Wednesday, April 8, at 2pm EDT for a practical introduction to the power of E-Response.

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david drenk

Infinity Supports Ademco Contact ID Protocol for Alarm Systems Communications

by David Drenk

All rights reserved © November 2013

Contact: insider@amtelco.com

Infinity release 5.61.07 and later supports the Ademco Contact ID Protocol for integrating with third-party alarm systems. The Ademco Contact ID Protocol standards are published by the Security Industry Association (SIA) to facilitate product compatibility and interchangeability. By supporting this protocol, Infinity can generate an incoming call when alarm notifications are received from Ademco brand alarm systems.

When a call comes in from an Ademco system, the Infinity hardware receives the handshake tone and acknowledges it. Then the Ademco system sends message blocks as a 16-character hexadecimal number. (Hexadecimal numbers can contain characters 0 through 9 and A through F.) The hardware verifies the checksum value to ensure the message blocks were received correctly and notifies the Ademco system whether it was correct or if the message blocks need to be resent. The 16-character message block is saved in the _acdFrom field. The format of the message block is described in the following table.

Character Position Description
0 - 3 The account number
4 - 5 The message type. A value of 18 or 98 identifies the message as an Ademco Contact ID message.
6 The Event Qualifier
7 - 9 The Event Code
10 - 11 The Partition Number
12 - 14 The Zone Number or User Number
15

The checksum value, which is used to determine whether the digits were received correctly.

Note: A zero (0) is considered "10" for checksum calculations.

The information contained in the message block can be parsed within a script using the Mid function in Expression Builder under the Text grouping.

The Mid function accepts a string, a starting position, and a number of characters. The function returns a sub-string containing the number of characters specified starting with the character in the specified start character position and continuing to the right. The syntax for Mid is Mid(string, start character, number of characters). The first character is considered position zero.

Example: If the message block received from the Ademco Contact ID device contained “1234181131010158,” the advanced expression Mid(_acdFrom, 0, 4) would return the account number, “1234.”

Requirements:

  • Infinity 5.61.07 or later
  • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.22 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4364.58/5.60.4769.18/5.60.4924.09 or later
  • IS Supervisor 5.60.4364.44/4.1.4924.7 or later (optional)
  • IS Web Scripting 4.1.4924.4 or later (optional)

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Search for Text in a Message Script with the Script Search Feature

by David Drenk

All rights reserved © January 2013

Contact: insider@amtelco.com

The Split Tree View in Intelligent Series (IS) Supervisor provides a Search tab for searching the script for response elements containing specific characters.

To split the Tree View, open a script in the IS Supervisor Client Setup pages.

Click the “Select View” menu and select “Tree View.”

The script is displayed in the Tree View.

Next, place the pointer over the thin column of whitespace between the scroll bar and the blue bar that separates the Tree View pane from the Palette.

The cursor becomes a bar with directional arrows.

Click and drag to the left to expand the second Tree View pane to the desired width.

Script Browser

You can use the scroll bars on the Script Browser tab to view two different parts of the script at the same time. Script elements can be dragged from one Tree View pane to another, just like they can be dragged from the Palette or the Templates tab to a script. You also can click the blue bar and drag it to adjust the size of the entire Tree View area and provide more room for the Tree View panes.

Search

The Search tab in Split Tree View can be used to search the script for elements containing specific characters.

To search the script, click the Search tab.

Type characters in the Search field.

Press the ENTER key or click the Search icon.

The Results table displays the type and name of all script response elements that contain the characters specified.

To edit the properties of an element, double-click the element type or name.

The Properties window for that element is displayed.

Requirements:

  • IS Supervisor 5.60.4364.00 or later
  • IS Server 3.7.4512.22810 or later
  • IS Messaging
  • SQL Server 2005 or later

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