August 2011

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

IS Tip: Call Fields: Your Hands Need Never Touch The Meat
by Kevin Procter

The Telephone Doctor: Handling the Irate Customer
by Nancy Friedman

Featured Articles

Empower Your Supervisors with Knowledge – and Save Before August 10!

Conference at the Cosmopolitan
by Trisha Stenberg

Webinars, Workshops, and Conferences… Oh My!
by Gerald Brosseau

Using Google for Maps Inside of IS Info Pages or eCreator Script
by James Shigley

Amtelco Annex

Call List, Operator List, and Wait List Added to Infinity Dashboard
by David Drenk

Description Templates Automate the Creation of Descriptions for IS Directory Listings
by David Drenk

Infinity 101
by Michael Quimby

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

AAAAHHH, August!

The traffic is quiet, there are lots of fun things to do, weather is great and the hustle and bustle of September is still a whole month away. Well, Newslinks is not going to wait for September to stir things up! We have a whole new section for you!

Amtelco has joined in the fun!

The trainers will be providing a few questions each month to test your knowledge. Maybe something you can pass along to your staff to test their knowledge? In the spirit of fair play, they will also supply the answers. We will also include a picture of the different trainers each month, since they all share in the effort!

The technical writers are joining in as well to keep you informed about new, as well as existing Amtelco products.

We are excited about these new additions and eager to see Newslinks grow to serve you better!

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

Enjoy August with a few quotes from the most prolific author of all time - anonymous!

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives."

"Imagine there are no hypothetical situations."

"Who's General Failure and why is he reading my disk?"

"Tennis is a fickle sport. No matter how good you are at it, a wall will always be better."

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Something to Smile About...

August Fun Facts:

  • Origin of August’s name: August was the 6th month in the early Roman calendar, named after Julius Caesar Augustus.

  • August’s flower: Gladiolus.

  • August has two birthstones, PERIDOT and SARDONYX: Peridot is among the oldest known gemstones. It ranges from olive to lime green, sometimes with a brownish tinge. Sardonyx is a gem with white and brown bands and it is believed to have mystical powers: it eliminates negative thinking!

  • August 3: National Watermelon Day

  • August 5: This is the day to celebrate the Spirit of Sisterhood.

  • August 5-11: National Smile Week

  • August 13: Vinyl Record Day

  • August 13: National Lefthander’s Day

  • August 15: Lemon Meringue Pie Day

  • August 16, 1977: Elvis Presley died.

  • August 20, 1630: Lemonade was first served in Paris, France.

  • August 24: On this day in A.D. 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed the cities of Pompeii, Stabiae and Herculaneum.

  • August 28: Full Moon on this day is known as Dog Day’s Moon.

  • August 30: National Toasted Marshmallow Day.

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Empower Your Supervisors with Knowledge – and Save Before August 10!

August 23 and 24
Hilton Philadelphia Airport
4509 Island Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19153


Workshop Rates:
$199/ Achieving the Most from Your Staff Workshop
$299/ Basic Intelligent Series Workshop

After August 10, 2011
$249/Supervisor Workshop
$349/IS Workshop

Visit for hotel, presenter and workshop information.

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Conference at the Cosmopolitan

by Trisha Stenberg

That time of year will be here before we know it! The time to get together with colleagues and friends from across the globe for good times, great learning and priceless networking! We are looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere of the brand new Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, in the heart of the strip.

The resort is located directly between City Center and the Bellagio. The resort’s uniquely vertical multi-tower design offers spectacular views of the City. The new 2,995 room resort features oversized residential-style living spaces with expansive, one-of-a-kind private terraces. Resort amenities include a 100,000 square foot casino; unique and eclectic boutiques; Sahra Spa & Hammam; three unique pool experiences; multi-level integrated nightclubs and 150,000 square feet of state-of-the-art convention and meeting space. The Cosmopolitan also offers culinary concepts from some of the country’s top chefs and restaurant brands with 13 different dining experiences.

Visit for more information about the resort.

And if you think the resort will be something worth seeing, that will pale in comparison to the experience of the networking opportunities that will be afforded to you. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to complete the survey that was sent to the listserv, it will take you less than one minute and will give us your insight into the conference topics you would like to hear, so please, have your voice heard, take a minute and fill out the survey here. And then mark your calendars for February 19 through 22 and get ready to join us in Las Vegas! Registration information will be coming soon!

I look forward to seeing everyone there!

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IS Tip: Call Fields: Your Hands Need Never Touch The Meat

by Kevin Procter, Extend Communications Inc.

You're a programmer (well actually I'M a programmer), and you need to transfer the flow of your script from one account to another in the middle of a call. The quick solution: Change to the new account and start the new script from the top, asking the caller all the same questions. Or, better yet, tell your operators to write everything down and then re-enter it into the new account. Efficient? Actually, that's kind of ridiculous.

So how does one preserve the call information already in memory? Normally, it'll disappear into the big bit bucket in the sky as soon as you switch to another account. You could use a database and write the information, then read it back into the new account number. However, in a multi-user system, this presents its own difficulties. Ideally, the information in memory should remain in memory and follow the call that is currently being handled. Wouldn't that be sweet?

Enter the Call Field. A field within IS that seems to be little known, but is very powerful. The call field allows you to put information into memory and transfer that memory over to the new account. This little gem is exactly what we will use.

Setting up a call field is a little different from other data fields in IS. In order to access the call field creation window, go to the top of your script, and right-click on the word "Script". A pop-up menu will appear, where we'll choose "Properties". (See the accompanying image.) That choice will then open a new window that contains several tabs – the third tab will be Call Fields.

Notice in the image provided that I've created two call fields: ThisInfo and ThatInfo. Both of those fields I've prefixed with the letters CF – for Call Field, of course. This is my own personal method of handling call fields. Go ahead and use this method, or come up with your own.

One caveat for call field creation is that the same call field must be set up in each account: The account you're starting from, as well as the account to which you're transferring. Once that is done, you can populate the call fields, transfer to a new account, then read the call field data into standard memory fields within the destination account. Use that info to fill out fields in your script, or make decisions about where to go in your script, etc.

A very handy use of these fields is for dispatch. If you have similar accounts, use one script to take all the information from the caller. Then when the script decides it needs to change accounts for dispatch, the call fields can populate necessary data and move to the new account, then populate the new script and run the dispatch routine. The operator may not even realize the change has happened. This, to me, is reminiscent of the patty stacker, which means that metaphorically, your hands need never touch the meat!

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Webinars, Workshops, and Conferences… Oh My!

by Gerald R. Brosseau, II, NAEO Education Committee Chair

Your Education Committee is comprised of a unique group of individuals who are devoted to volunteering their time and efforts to generate educational webinars and workshops that are beneficial to every division of every member organization. The focus is to really listen to the membership through surveys and feedback and continue to improve the quality and focus of the content that is offered. "Hats off to the Board and the Education Committee for providing valuable educational webinars. You are making the review and new training of key staff a million times easier!” Maryann Wetmore, Network One Communications, Tampa, Florida.


Here is a list of upcoming webinars that you won’t want to miss! However, if you do, the Education Committee is recording them and making them available for you to review at your convenience and use for training of your staff at We’re excited that we’ve been able to offer this added member benefit over the last year.


Join Evelyn Portinari of Always On Call and Lisa Phillips of Appletree Answering Service with the NAEO Education Committee for a two day seminar on Managing & Supervising Operations, August 23 and 24 at the Hilton Philadelphia Airport. This seminar will be a great education tool for not only your Site Managers but also for your Supervisors who have the most contact with your front line team. We will focus on getting most out of your staff – from how to best attract and hire the right employees, how to on-board them in an efficient way, how to coach them when opportunities arise and how to recognize them, including promoting them from within. In addition, this forum will discuss how to train your staff to handle customer complaints and even improve customer retention through your staff. This will be an interactive session with networking ideas and best practices, so be sure to bring your ideas and challenges to share with this amazing group. Following is an extensive agenda that is packed with valuable educational content and experience that no manager or supervisor should miss!

Marketing to Find the Best Fit for Company

  • How to write an effective employment ad
  • Where to place your ads
  • First point of contact

Hiring Process

  • Are resumes needed for all jobs?
  • Application
  • Pre-employment testing (ATSI example)
  • Interviews
  • The Offer

New Hire Education

  • First day experience is a lasting impression
  • Mentors included in every step of the education
  • Building rapport with your team
  • Highlights of the job
  • How long should their education be?
  • System vs technique education


  • How to communicate the challenges
  • Techniques to use


  • Employee of the Month
  • Overcoming challenge
  • Celebrations
  • Team efforts
  • Monetary vs non monetary
  • Ethical bribes

Promoting from Within

  • How to market promotion
  • Process for "putting your hat in the ring”
  • How to interview for promotion
  • When to promote from within vs not
  • How to communicate promotion
  • How to overcome relationship changes
  • How to educate new position while leaving old position

Customer Relationships

  • Communication from front line staff
  • Communication from supervisors
  • Communication from managers
  • Proactive contact
  • Surveying your customers
  • Accepting responsibility


Theran Mossholder and I will host a two day Basic Intelligent Series Workshop in Philadelphia, PA on August 23, 2011 for new programmers and users of IS.

Do you have Intelligent Series and just don’t know where to begin? Are you familiar with Intelligent Series but would like to learn more about the powerful features it has to offer? If you answered YES, then this workshop is for you! At the end of this workshop you WILL be able to program IS with confidence! We will take a slow, easy approach to learning IS, covering the most basic concepts through to the intermediate level of programming. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Creating Info Pages
  • Creating Shared Fields
  • Implementing Shared Fields Into Info Pages and Scripts
  • Directories
  • Input Fields and Their Properties
  • Basic – Intermediate Actions
  • List Branches and If Statements
  • Screens and Screen Modes
  • And Much, Much More!

During the workshop, we will create a basic script from scratch and create screen modes within a script. We will use actions to auto fax/email/alpha/SMS, as well as utilize list branches and if statements to progress through the script. Come ready with questions you have, because there will be plenty of time answer them!

Here is some anonymous feedback from the October, 2010 IS Workshop in Chicago.

"I think overall the seminar was fantastic. I learned a lot of information on Day 2, and feel that I am able to implement this [information] once back home. I think the material covered was well done…”

"I thought the scripting exercise as far as making scripts was great…”


The Education Committee is working hard at preparing content for the upcoming conference in February, 2012. A survey has been sent to the membership to allow you to tailor the content to benefit you, your staff, and entire organization. The 2012 conference will be separated into three tracks: Creating Your Culture (Operations), Customer Service, and Technical as well as a Supervisor Workshop and Intermediate/Advanced Intelligent Series Workshop.

Possible educational topics for the conference include:

  • Understanding Unified Reports
  • Training Methods
  • Motivating Staff
  • Remote Operators
  • Promoting Teamwork
  • Employee Documentation
  • Reports for Managing Staff
  • One on One Operator Coaching
  • Different Styles of Disciplining
  • Billing Reports
  • Reports for Legal Purposes
  • PEG Groups
  • Life Cycle of a Customer
  • Relationship Marketing / Marketing to Existing Customers
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Writing Website Content / SEO Ranking
  • Unique Ways to Increase Rates
  • SWOT Analysis of the Call Center Industry
  • SQL Reports (Developing & Analyzing)
  • Server Virtualization
  • Making Your Site HIPAA / PCI Compliant
  • Collocation Centers
  • Amtelco Equipment Maintenance
  • Web Portal
  • Call Distribution

Don’t forget to visit and register for the next workshop, conference or webinar! To become a member of the Education Committee or offer suggestions for future educational sessions, please e-mail:

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Using Google for Maps Inside of IS Info Pages or eCreator Script

byJames Shigley, Monroe Telephone Answering Service

First off, let me say I am not going to explain how to make the maps. Google has done a fantastic job of that already. This article is to give you examples of how to use the maps to better serve your customers or make life easier on your operators.

For how to make the url/maps then go to the below link, Google has done a fantastic job of explaining the process and has links to other resources as well:

All Clients

1. Maps to their location: Instead of just having in the info page Adr: 1080 Liberty St, Beaumont Tx, 77701

a. Instead have the adr and a map, now your Agents could say, "it's directly across the street from Wiess Park on the SE corner of Forrest and Liberty."

Adr: 1080 Liberty St, Beaumont TX, 77701

Service "On Demand” Companies: Example – Wreckers, Trash companies, AC/Heating, Plumbers, etc.

1. Area of Coverage Maps

Most Service Companies have an area they cover. They won’t typically go further than that (well, most will for the right price...). How many times have you given them a call they wouldn’t take, thus your operator spent time during rush, causing other callers to wait on hold – and it could have been avoided. You can use maps to show those areas of coverage. Example: this small area in yellow:

Or this large area in red:

You can use these maps to show that. If you have a client who has multiple locations and each location has an area it covers, you could build a map showing each location's area individually and one "overview” map that showed the coverage area of each location simultaneously in different colors. These maps allow your agents to determine a) If the client will even service the caller, then b) which location do I dispatch this call to.

For instance, we have a wrecker with 4 locations covering 2 states. Our agents first have to determine whether that 18 wheeler/bus is inside their AOC; If it isn’t, will the driver/club/CO pay the Out of AOC fee; and then which garage services that location. Example: I made by hand a map showing the AOC for one of the garages when the client started. I have since made that in to a Google static map, which is easier for the agent to read, auto-updates as cities/roads change, and when I show it to the client looks much more professional.

Some service companies have different call out fees based on the distance they have to travel. I can make a map that shows multiple filled areas each with a different color that represents a "call out fee area.” Area 1 of the call out fee is X, Area 2 is Y, etc. Again, originally I drew this map by hand. Now I’ve done it in Google which makes it easier to use and more presentable.

2. Specific Road Maps.

Some companies will only serve or won't serve specific roads.


So they might only service the purple back streets and do not serve businesses on the main Highways/Interstate in red.

Now these are but a few examples, because these few can be applied to virtually any service industry where you would need a map to make life easier or outright need a map to do the job.

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Handling the Irate Customer

by Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

If your job entails taking calls or working with unhappy, irate customers, you've got your work cut out for you. Employees who work with this type of situation are especially vulnerable to outbursts from customers who are going through an emotional, stressful time.

Handling this type of customer takes time and training, but it can be accomplished effectively. Here are some of the Telephone Doctor's best techniques for turning this situation into satisfied customers.

Get Off on the Right Foot

Realize that upset, angry customers are not unhappy with you, but with the situation. Don't take a customer's hostility personally. You are merely the rod that redirects the violent lightening. You can do a great deal to diffuse the anger before you get to the customer. How? By smiling before you answer that call. You can really "hear" a smile over the phone. It's very difficult to be rude to someone who is warm and friendly.

Anatomy of a Hostile Call

There are four basic steps to handling an irate customer. Telephone Doctor calls them our ASAP techniques.

A - Acknowledge the person's feelings and apologize for the inconvenience the customer has encountered. Make an effort to be sincere. In today's impersonal society, it's incredibly rare to hear the words, "I'm sorry that happened. Let me get the ball rolling to fix it." Those are magic words. You'll probably spend about 80 percent of your time massaging the caller's feelings and 20 percent actually solving the problem.

S - Sympathize and empathize with the caller. Phrases like "I can understand why you're upset" can help soothe ruffled feathers. Pretend it's you calling. Then get busy solving the problem.

A - Accept 100 percent responsibility for the call. Own it. This is probably the toughest part. Chances are excellent that you had nothing to do with the problem. However, it's your job to take the responsibility and help initiate a solution.

P - Prepare to help. Begin by re-introducing yourself – callers don't usually remember your name. State that you will be able to help. Use the caller's name, if possible. This helps to diffuse anger. A willing attitude is essential, because if the caller senses insincerity or indifference, it will cause them to stay angry. It's exasperating to file a complaint with someone who obviously doesn't care.

Excuses: When to use them.

NEVER. Never make an excuse to a complaining caller. No one wants to hear, "The computer is down" or "I'm the only one here." That is your problem, not the caller's. When you give an excuse, the caller automatically hears "I'm not going to help you."

Transferring Calls

Sometimes you're not able to solve the problem on the spot. Many times you need more information from another department. Perhaps the call needs to be handled by another person. Although these are legitimate courses of action, they usually upset your caller all over again.

If you need more information, tell the caller. Ask them if they're able to hold while you obtain it, or would they prefer a call back. "Joe, I need to check with our claims department in order to answer your question. It will take two or three minutes, are you able to hold/wait while I check?" Avoid untrue, frustrating phrases like "Hold on a second." Nothing takes a second.

If you need to transfer a caller, if you can, let them know the name of the person they'll be speaking with. It's also good to explain a reason why you're bringing in a third party. "Joe, Mrs. Smith in our claims department is the real expert in resolving your type of situation. May I transfer you directly to her?"

All these tips work in a face-to-face situation as well!

The ASAP technique works! Try it and see!

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Call List, Operator List, and Wait List Added to Infinity Dashboard

by David Drenk

The optional Infinity Dashboard is an application that is used to monitor all Infinity Automated Call Distribution call activity in a graphic format and a text format. The Dashboard can also monitor call activity for the optional Infinity Intelligent Series. The Dashboard display is customizable with a variety of controls that determine which statistics are displayed and the types of graphs used to illustrate the statistics.

Infinity Dashboard version 1.0.3504.02 includes three new controls: the Call List, Operator List, and Wait List. Each of these monitors can be added to the Dashboard layout by editing the graphic row layout settings accessed through the View menu’s Graphic Row Layout command.

The Call List is a table showing information about all calls currently in the Infinity system. The table contains the following columns of information:

  • Client: the client account number associated with the call.
  • Name: the client account name associated with the call.
  • Port: the originating port for the call.
  • Cdt: the Call Distribution Table that the call was assigned to.
  • Acct Gp: the Infinity group that the client account belongs to.
  • Elapsed: the amount of time the call has been in the current call state in 6-second units.
  • State: the Infinity call state.
  • Kind: the Infinity call kind.

The Operator List is a table showing information about all operators logged into the Infinity system. The table contains the following columns of information:

  • Station: the station number of the station that the operator is logged into. If the operator is in the "On” state, a green icon is displayed: If the operator is in the "Off” state, a red icon is displayed.
  • Name: The operator’s Operator Name in Infinity Supervisor.
  • Waits: The operator’s personal waits.
  • Line 1: The account number of the call assigned to this operator’s first line. If the operator is connected to the call, the account number is highlighted.
  • Line 2: The account number of the call assigned to this operator’s second line. If the operator is connected to the call, the account number is highlighted.
  • Line 3: The account number of the call assigned to this operator’s third line. If the operator is connected to the call, the account number is highlighted.

The Wait List is a table showing information about all calls currently in the Wait state. The table contains the following columns of information:

  • Client: the client account number associated with the call.
  • Name: the client account name associated with the call.
  • Port: the originating port for the call.
  • Cdt: the Call Distribution Table that the call was assigned to.
  • Acct Gp: the Infinity group that the client account belongs to.
  • Elapsed: the amount of time the call has been in the current call state in 6-second units.
  • State: the Infinity call state.
  • Kind: the Infinity call kind.


  • Infinity Dashboard 1.0.3504.02 or later
  • Infinity 5.51.06 or later
  • IS Web (optional)
  • An application server (optional)
  • IS Server 3.1.3504 (optional)
  • SQL Server 2000 or later (optional)

For more information about these features, please email AMTELCO at

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Description Templates Automate the Creation of Descriptions for IS Directory Listings

by David Drenk

In the IS Directory, the Description field determines what information is displayed in the description list in Description List and Description List Search mode, the Sandbox when searching for a listing, IS Directory OnCall schedules, and IS Appointment schedules. The purpose of description templates is to automate the creation of descriptions for IS Directory listings.

In the Directory Setup section of IS Supervisor, the Description Template tab is used to build description templates using directory fields and literals. Once a description template has been created, the IS Directory uses the template to automatically fill in the Description field whenever a listing is added or edited.

Description templates can also be used with the IS Directory Importer. In the Directory Importer’s IS Directory Destination settings, an "Update Description Template” check box was added to update description templates as listings are imported. If this check box is selected, the description template created for this directory subject on the Description Template tab is used to create descriptions for the listings that are imported.


  • Infinity 5.51.3504 or later
  • IS Server 3.1.3504 or later
  • IS Supervisor 5.51.3504.4 or later
  • IS Directory
  • Directory Importer (optional)
  • SQL Server 2000 or later

For more information about these features, please email AMTELCO at

David Drenk is the principal technical writer in the R&D Software Department and the coordinator of the beta test program for the Intelligent Series suite of applications. David joined the AMTELCO software staff in 2006 after originally serving as a technical writing intern in 2005. He is the primary author of the user documentation for AMTELCO’s miAmtelcoCloud, Intelligent Series and CMI (Client Management Intelligence) products and for several of AMTELCO’s specialized Scripted Applications solutions.

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Infinity 101

by Michael Quimby - Training Specialist


1. If a programmer clicks Browse/Find in the Client – Edit window on two different stations and sees different account numbers, the programmer should:

A. Click the small client icon to refresh the screen.
B. Click the small binoculars icon to refresh the screen.
C. Click the small piece of paper icon to refresh the screen.
D. Reboot the PC.


2. Which of the following statements is incorrect?

A. A login must have rights to edit an account template.
B. A programmer can copy from a template.
C. A report called Template Accounts displays a list of all template accounts.
D. Only accounts marked as a template show with a red background in Infinity Supervisor.


3. Which of these Hi-Resolution options could require additional programming in other parts of CTRL+F12? Ignore the Features – Hi-Resolution section.

A. Follow Up List
B. Function buttons
C. Op Chat
D. Two of the above
E. All of the above


4. According to your second shift operators, no operator received the daily cue to perform a task. Which report could verify this information?

A. Abandons
B. Call Detail
C. Call Handling
D. Dialout Detail



1. C
Go to the Infinity Supervisor CTRL+F12 settings and select the File Locations tab. Each network login will need rights to the Client Browse List path.

2. C
There is no such report. Letter A is an option in Infinity Supervisor – Operator – Advanced. Letter B is an option in Infinity Supervisor – Client – Copy. Letter D is an option in Infinity Supervisor – Client – General Information.

3. D
To track op chat text, go to Debug and enable "Log chat events”. Specify the path. At numerous sites, network logins can write to this path only. To make changes to the function buttons, enable "Use function buttons” in Keyboard. Then click the blue hyperlink, Function Buttons Setup. Right-click on each button to change the color. Use the boxes below to reassign buttons or to assign new buttons. Remember to uncheck the same Keyboard option again to prevent the buttons from appearing across the top. Letter A does have an option in Infinity Supervisor – Operator.

4. B
Select Cue or Repeat in the Type Of Call search field. Amtelco’s TechHelper includes information on numerous reports.

Michael Quimby assists customers with Infinity and Intelligent Series programming support. Amtelco's TechHelper includes various reference materials created by Michael. He presents at the Infinity 101 and 1Call seminars. Prior to joining Amtelco in 1999, Michael worked at the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics and the Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, public school district. Michael holds a bachelor of arts degree in social studies secondary education, using his teaching skills to make the software understandable.

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