September 2013

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

IS Tip
by Kevin Procter

Widgets
by Michael Goumas

Stepping Up Your Game
By Lisajane Olson

Tip of the Month: Avoid Distractions
by Nancy Friedman

Featured Articles

NAEO 2013 IS Workshop Series Recap

NAEO Member Initiatives
by Laurie Blow

Hospitals with Amtelco UNITE!!!!
by Betty Bouchie

Upcoming Webinars

 

Amtelco Annex

Assign Values to ACD Fields in Test Drive
by David Drenk

Infinity Elevator Behavior Accepts Information Sent from Elevator Phones
by David Drenk

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

Focus!

Did you ever go into the grocery store for bread, come out with $40 worth of stuff, get to your car and realize you did not get bread? I just hate it when I do that! It all starts out really well: I am a woman on a mission and I am after bread. But then… I have to go by the fruit. Oh, the apples look really nice, and there is a sale on salad dressing, better pick some of that up. Right, I am almost out of pepper, and by then, it is too late! I have missed the bread and lost my focus.

We can get this way at work as well. We allow distractions and interruptions to change the flow of our day, sometimes to the point where we do not accomplish what we set out to do in the beginning. Not that we should not "go with the flow” and adapt to our circumstances. We need to be able to think on our feet, but also keep our feet firmly on the right path. How is your focus?

Here is an interesting article on a few things you can do to help keep you on the right path.

http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/beyondstartup/a/Multitasking-Is-The-Enemy-Of-Small-Business-Owner-Productivity.htm

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.

~ T. F. Hodge

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Something to Smile About...

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IS Tip

Focus On Programming

by Kevin Procter, Extend Communications Inc.

Keeping your focus is very important, whether you're driving, scuba diving (a great sport everyone should try!), performing brain surgery, or taking messages on behalf of a customer.

The programmers in this great industry must also keep focus: Not only on the task at hand but also to provide the tools for the end-user (the operators) to maintain their own focus on the caller, when navigating the written script.

There are some tools built into IS scripting that will help a programmer give the operator the best possible, most focused experience.

Select input, screen mode, required: These settings all help toward keeping the operator focused, according to the customer's requests. But it's up to the programmer to figure out how best to use these tools to provide that focus.

I have seen scripts in use, where a field will be left without data – or with improper data – and the programmer will not let the operator leave the screen. The operator must figure out which field is incomplete. With the Select Input, the programmer can direct the focus of the operator to the exact input field that needs attention. It's a great way to make certain the data the customer wants is entered.

Screen mode is another great tool – it sets fields, visible or invisible. If there is a certain call type that only requires three fields on a screen, you can hide the rest of the fields from the operator's view. Thus, they are not distracted by fields they don't need.

Required is a property that a programmer can set on an input field. This is done by bringing up the properties of the input field, then choosing "required”. When set, the operator can not navigate away from a screen without that required field containing data. It'll keep the focus on that field until data has been entered.

Finally, the programmer can also write data checks into a script to ensure it's entered – and that it's entered correctly. All of these methods of keeping focus help your calls to go as planned. Further, with good programming, the focus can shift easily from input fields to quickly exiting a script when a call unexpectedly ends.

Keeping focus is very important in any job. In this industry, it's the programmer's task to assist the rest of the industry in maintaining focus and thereby present the best possible experience to the callers, and the best possible service to our customers.

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Widgets

Is it possible to delete a shift definition from an IS OnCall?

by Michael Goumas, ProComm

You certainly can.

Click on your on-call schedule name (highlighted to blue) then click the Edit (pencil)

Then click on the Shift Definitions tab

Then click on your Shift Definition (highlighted to blue) and on the far right click the Delete button.

It will now confirm that you want to do that.

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Gary Pudles

Stepping Up Your Game

Keeping Your Focus

by Lisajane Olson

Have you ever gotten out of an elevator when the door opens and you walked out – just to find you are on the wrong floor? Were you texting at the time? Come on, you can admit it. There is so much technology today and the business world is moving so fast that we don’t want to take our eyes off it for even a minute.

How often do you start your day telling yourself you will get certain tasks completed and end up replying to emails, or dealing with a constant stream of employees and clients? We are so eager to keep up with the latest news and updates that when our phone rings or vibrates, we are fervent because we simply don’t want to miss out.

We are distracted more today than ever. Distraction is the enemy of focus. If you want to be able to focus fully, then you have to know how to avoid a variety of distractions. If you can do this, then you've won half the battle for truly being able to focus. Our brains are finely attuned to distraction, so today's digital environment makes it especially hard to focus.
Distractions don’t cause a stress problem or a workload problem. They cause a focus problem. And quite likely it’s something you—and your employees—are struggling with.

Another enemy is multitasking. While multitasking is an important skill, it also has a downside. It will reduce our ability to focus; increase the number of mistakes made; cause us to lose our temper, and say things we don’t mean.

The funny thing about distraction and multitasking is that it feels great. You feel like you are doing a lot at once and getting things accomplished, but in reality you are simply not focused.

Trying to catch up or catch it all is counterproductive. The faster things come at us, the more we are caught in the whirlwind. It’s important to stay grounded. I know it is difficult because we believe the next piece of information we hear may be the key to our success. But in reality, staying focused is the key to our success.

Changing your current work habits may actually boost your focus and effectiveness.

  • Work in small chunks of time. No one can stay focused all the time. Try thinking of your day in 1.5 hour increments and stay focused on tasks and projects during this time and before taking a break.
  • Log out of Outlook for 30 minutes. You won’t believe how much you can get done when you’re not always interrupting yourself to return emails.
  • Focus on one thing. Multitasking switches your focus quickly between tasks, while reducing your focus and accuracy.
  • Make an Ignore List. It’s OK.

Time is your one limited resource, so no matter how hard you try, you can't work 25/8. There will never be more than 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week.

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Tip of the Month: Avoid Distractions

by Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

The modern workplace is filled with an unending supply of potential distractions. When interacting with a customer, always give them your full attention. Resist the temptation to read incoming email, check a text on your phone, glance at that Facebook notification or listen to what the person in the next cubicle is saying. Providing a satisfying customer experience means listening to their needs and concerns so you're able to respond properly. Outside distractions will severely limit your ability to address your caller's needs.

Reprinted with the permission of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training. www.telephonedoctor.com 314.291.1012

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NAEO 2013 IS Workshop Series Recap

On behalf of the NAEO Education Committee, we would like to thank the membership and our platinum sponsor, Amtelco, for helping to make the 2013 Summer Intelligent Series Workshop, held August 5-7 in Atlanta, a monumental success. With nearly 60 attendees, this year certainly blew away years past! By continuing to listen to the membership regarding mid-level management seminars, NAEO endeavored to develop a comprehensive, yet cost-effective training workshop. Located at the Embassy Suites Hotel at Atlanta Airport, attendees were afforded a focused training environment, yet with amenities that included cooked-to-order breakfast, Wi-Fi internet access throughout the hotel, airport shuttle service, a daily complimentary "happy hour,” and the comforts of a Hilton brand hotel. The venue was truly amazing for this seminar!

The first day of training focused deeply into the fundamentals of IS Supervisor, including flow charting, info pages, shared fields, building account templates, and hands-on scripting. Day two allowed attendees to demonstrate and practice their new knowledge of scripting by creating an account from "scratch” as well as learning how to add in various scripting elements including if, list, and case branching, action and navigational elements, and tips and tricks to simplify and standardize the script development and conversion process. The advanced session on Tuesday afternoon began with designing and programming IS Directories with Contact Based Dispatch Methods, such as IS SMS, MiSecure, and IS Alpha Page Modems, as well as IS On-Call Schedules. Wednesday combined the script, directory, and on-call training into a comprehensive day of Contact Based Dispatch Architecture. Over the entire three days of intense, professional training, the amount of knowledge and sharing of ideas was second to no other workshop ever offered!

The Education and Certification Committee Chairs thank all of the respective committee members for their endeavors to plan and execute this workshop. A special thank-you to the NAEO trainers and their support staff and the employers who allowed them to volunteer their time and expertise to be at the conference: Michael Goumas of ProComm, Gerald Brosseau of Always On Call, Lina Masri of Extend Communications, and Theran Mossholder of Newtown Answering Service. NAEO also extends a sincere thank-you to Amtelco for its sponsorship and commitment to NAEO training by sending three of their experts to assist in the training: Susan Kirkpatrick, Michael Quimby, and Pat Dye. Without Amtelco's support, the IS Summer Series would not be the success that it was.

Your NAEO Education Committee is already working to plan the 2014 workshop based on the feedback from attendees. Please don’t hesitate to email your comments, feedback, and ideas to education@naeo.org. Both the certification committee and education committee invite you to "get involved” to share or suggest ideas for future workshops and webinars. Your feedback and survey results result in continued improvement in our educational programs from year to year.

Hear what some are already saying:

"This session has just finished and it has been awesome. We have an amazingly talented and generous people in our group who are willing to give both their time and their knowledge to the group."
~ Mike Burkinshaw, Comm-Link

"I was so pleased with what my employees learned and were able to demonstrate to me. I learned loads as well."
~ Ashley Leturgez, The Legacy Connection

"When you drive 5 hours back home and talk about what can be done on accounts and have a few 'wow' moments of 'that would solve that problem,' you know that a meeting has been successful."
~ Marie McGuire, AnswerTel

We look forward to seeing new faces at the 2014 workshop!

Sincerely,
Lina Masri, Education Committee Chair
Gerald Brosseau, Certification Committee Chair
Theran Mossholder, Education Committee & Certification Committee Co-Chair

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NAEO Member Initiatives

By Laurie Blow, CVC Paging

As the Chair of the NAEO Membership Committee, I am excited to share several new initiatives aimed at increasing our membership base and bringing more value to existing members. One of the most exciting is the creation of the new volunteer position of Hospital Liaison to the Board of Directors. The member in this role is charged with creating a hospital sub-committee under the Membership Committee and exploring ways to increase hospital participation in our organization. I am pleased that Betty Bouchie has agreed to take on this task and look forward what she will accomplish.

Our other initiatives include expanding new members by providing marketing materials to Amtelco sales staff and increasing introductory member retention by launching a new mentor program lead by Lisa Phillips of Appletree Answers. These efforts are paying off. Our membership numbers are up for the year!

Watch Newslinks in the coming months for details on launch of new features in Your Membership, NAEO’s member management program and for information on additional insurance options from Laura McCormick with US Risk.

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Hospitals with Amtelco UNITE!!!!

By Betty Bouchie

NAEO has provided our members at hospitals with a unique and exciting opportunity: a sub-group, under membership, specifically for hospital members, with a dedicated liaison to the board. Our goals are to: Provide as much input for NAEO as possible from the hospital (and medical call center) perspective; Find ways to show the huge benefits of membership; Seek out and encourage hospital mentors and plan for the future. The group includes Carolyn Sonnefeld, Gail Russell, Patricia Alexander and me, and we have our first call this month.

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Upcoming Webinars


Business Continuity Part 1
September 18, 2013 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenter: Kurt VanderScheer
Host: Evelyn Portinari

This webinar will consist of the first two sessions offered that cover the NAEO Disaster Recovery Plan (written exclusively for our NAEO members). This program was developed over a two-year span in conjunction with Barney Pelant and Associates (a leader in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning).

We will discuss why your business (regardless of its size) will benefit from this program.

We will also discuss the program materials as well as what outside resources will be made available to the membership to assist with completing this program. We will briefly discuss the various sections of the plan and we will also start working through Chapter 1 of the program.

The goal of this webinar series to work through the plan as a group so that everyone will benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge.

Business Continuity Part 2
October 2, 2013 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenter: Kurt VanderScheer
Host: Evelyn Portinari

This webinar is be the second session of the NAEO Disaster Recovery Plan that was written exclusively for our NAEO members. This program was developed over a two-year span in conjunction with Barney Pelant and Associates (a leader in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning).

We will discuss why your business (regardless of its size) will benefit from this program.

We will also discuss the program materials as well as what outside resources will be made available to the membership to assist with completing this program. We will briefly discuss the various sections of the plan and we will also start working thru Chapter 1 of the program.

The goal of this webinar series to work through the plan as a group so that everyone will benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge.

Holiday Scheduling
October 16, 2013 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenter: Deborah Anders
Host: Evelyn Portinari

The holidays are just around the corner – are you ready? Preparing for the holidays can be a stressful time of year for our industry. Join your friends at NAEO to share our tips, helpful hints and best practices to help you and your staff (and your customers, of course) survive this hectic time of year. We will discuss and share ideas for: setting "holiday mode” in our system, communicating with our customers, staffing concerns, and how to keep up our team members morale – as well as other topics to make our holiday experience more efficient and trouble-free for all. Sign up today – space is limited!

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david drenk

Assign Values to ACD Fields in Test Drive

by David Drenk

Values can be assigned to ACD fields in Test Drive so that scripts can be evaluated with different ACD values before they are put into live use.

Values are assigned to ACD fields in Test Drive Properties. To access the Test Drive Properties, click the icon in the lower left corner of the Test Drive display. (This icon takes the place of the icon that was used in previous versions of IS Supervisor.)

In the Test Drive Properties window, click the ACD Fields tab to see a table of ACD fields and their values. You can enter any values that you want Test Drive to use. Then click the OK button to return to the Test Drive window. Click the Restart Message hyperlink to restart the message using the ACD values that you set.

Requirements:

  • IS Supervisor 5.60.3748.26 or later.
  • IS Messaging
  • SQL Server 2000 or later

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Infinity Elevator Behavior Accepts Information
Sent from Elevator Phones

by David Drenk

Infinity Elevator Behavior is an optional account behavior that answers calls from phones in elevators and accepts information sent from the phones. Infinity accepts 11 digits from elevator phones.

When a person picks up the phone in an elevator, the phone automatically dials a number. If that number is set up as a Source for an Infinity account that uses the "Elevator” behavior, Infinity answers the call.

The "Elevator” behavior is selected in Infinity Supervisor Client Setup on the Source Setup pages.

When the "Elevator” behavior is selected for an account, a Digit field is displayed. Some elevators require the number sign and a zero (#0) to be sent as an acknowledgement when the call is answered.

  • Set the Digit field to zero (0) if the elevator does not require this code.
  • Set the Digit field to one (1) if the elevator does require a number sign and a zero (#0) to be sent when the call is answered.

If Digit is set to any number other than zero (0), Infinity sends a number sign and a zero (#0) back to the phone.
Next, the elevator transmits 11 digits in the following format:
nnbbbtccccc


Digits

Description

nn

These two digits indicate the Elevator Number.

bbb

These three digits indicate the Branch.

t

This digit indicates the Contract Type.

ccccc

These five digits indicate the Contract Number

These digits may be followed by the number sign (#).

Infinity saves this information in the To ACD field. This information can be passed into an Infinity Intelligent Series (IS) script by selecting _acdTo from the ACD Fields. The IS Expression Builder can be used to parse out the pieces of information from the digits.

After the information is received, the call is sent to the operator as a secretarial call so that the operator can speak with the person who picked up the phone.

Requirements:

  • Infinity 5.60.11 or later
  • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.08 or later
  • Elevator Behavior

Amtelco Part Number: 232S842

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NewsLinks is distributed quarterly to NAEO members.

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