NAEO Newslinks-December 09
December 2009

Betty Bouchie

From the Editor
Celebration, with a Twist
by Betty Bouchie

December is the month of celebration. Different religions and cultures celebrate who they are and what they believe. Many involve gift giving and lots of food. Every year, we have had a gift exchange. This year, we are doing something different. In our community there are a number of shelters for families in crisis. Many provide what comfort they can, but most families arrive at the shelter with nothing but the clothing they are wearing. No money, no extras, maybe not even what we would consider the essentials.

This year, we are donating the money we would use for the gift exchange, and filling stockings for the women and children in one of the shelters. A small sacrifice for us, but a huge impact on them. Just something to think about during this time of celebration.

Happy holidays!

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Be Inspired

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love."

~ Hamilton Wright Mabie

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Something to Smile About...
15 Signs Technology Has Taken Over Your Life

  1. You have never sat through an entire movie without having at least one device on your body beep or buzz.

  2. When you go into a computer store, you eavesdrop on a salesperson talking with customers -- and you butt in to correct him and spend the next twenty minutes answering the customers' questions, while the salesperson stands by silently, nodding his head.

  3. You use the phrase "digital compression" in a conversation without thinking how strange your mouth feels when you say it. And you constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say the phrase "digital compression." Everyone understands what you mean, and you are not surprised or disappointed that you don't have to explain it.

  4. You stop saying "phone number" and replace it with "voice number," since we all know the majority of phone lines in any house are plugged into contraptions that talk to other contraptions.

  5. You sign Christmas cards by putting :-) next to your signature.

  6. Off the top of your head, you can think of nineteen keystroke symbols that are far more clever than :-).

  7. You back up your data every day.

  8. On vacation, you are reading a computer manual and turning the pages faster than everyone else who is reading John Grisham novels.

  9. The thought that a CD could refer to finance or music rarely enters your mind.

  10. You go to computer trade shows and map out your path of the exhibit hall in advance. But you cannot give someone directions to your house without looking up the street names.

  11. You own a set of itty-bitty screw-drivers and you actually know where they are.

  12. You are so knowledgeable about technology that you feel secure enough to say "I don't know" when someone asks you a technology question instead of feeling compelled to make something up.

  13. You rotate your screen savers more frequently than your automobile tires.

  14. You have a functioning home copier machine, but every toaster you own turns bread into charcoal.

  15. You understand all the jokes in this message. If so, my friend, technology has taken over your life. We suggest, for your own good, that you go lie under a tree and write a haiku. And don't use a laptop.
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NAEO 2010: Roadmap to Success
by Marci Imes, Advantage Answering Plus, Inc.

As 2009 comes to a close, and we look ahead, wondering how we can take advantage of all that 2010 has to offer, make sure to include the NAEO 2010 Annual Conference in your plans. Now is the best time to prepare to join us at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa in sunny California from March 21 – 25, 2010.

This years’ Conference includes programs for Owners, Supervisors and your Technical Support Technicians, all geared toward creating a Roadmap to Success. Our goal is to help you find new ways to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

If you would like your Supervisors to begin the year inspired and armed with knowledge on how to work smarter in your call center, be sure to send them to the special pre-conference workshop held Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22. This workshop begins at 9am on Sunday and concludes at 12:30 pm on Monday.

The Opening Gala will be held on Sunday evening, March 21 – a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and new. First timers will be especially welcomed, as NAEO has a policy that "No First Timer will be Left Behind.” Monday morning will be filled with inspiration as we hear from both the Amtelco Team and from Cameron Herold, of
1-800 Got Junk? who will offer timely information on how to accelerate growth and maximize opportunities in the year ahead.

Monday afternoon and throughout the balance of the conference you will have the opportunity to attend specialized breakout sessions designed with Supervisors, Technicians, and Owners in mind. Finally, on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, an Intelligent Series Track has been added, that will enhance the knowledge of current programmers and prospective IS users.

As you can see, this event has been designed to support you and your goals in the year ahead. For further information on the location, go to our website: The actual schedule of events is still in production, but is due to be posted in the near future.

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Nominations Open for NAEO Board of Directors

Inspired to contribute your efforts, creative ideas and passion to the smooth running and further development of our association? If so, we strongly encourage you to let your name stand for election to the NAEO Board of Directors!

NAEO has begun to look for candidates to run for the NAEO Board for terms beginning in March 2010. There are three openings for next year and the election will be held at the business meeting at the Annual NAEO Conference in Newport Beach, California.

Being a Board Member is an interesting and rewarding job. Besides meeting two or three times a year, you will share ideas and work with some of the best people in the industry. Directors gain special perspective on our industry and, of course, on the functioning of the very successful trade association that NAEO has become. However, it is also a three-year commitment to work to make a difference in our association and in the well being of our members.

Candidates seeking election should be individuals who are action-oriented, enthusiastic, honest and hardworking. Both owners and key managers from hospitals and private TAS/Call Center businesses are eligible to run. Required is some in-depth experience in an organization that utilizes Amtelco call processing equipment and some time and enthusiasm to take on organizational and industry issues.

Board members are typically the Committee Chairpersons. While we meet in person two or three times a year, between conferences, we also conduct a great deal of business by e-mail, telephone and conference calls. There is no monetary compensation for Board membership; however, in recognition of the efforts of the Board, members elected to the Board receive a 50% discount in conference fees. The NAEO Board made this decision to both recognize the Board for its hard work, and to help persuade NAEO members to consider Board service. Additionally, all expenses that are incurred for travel to and from non-conference board meetings are paid by NAEO. Finally, you will also get the personal satisfaction that comes from doing your share of work for this wonderful association.

So, when the nominating committee calls on you, please consider running for the Board. We need people who love the industry and want to learn as much as possible and who are willing, ready and able to share their time and talents for the benefit of our industry. If you are not called, and you would like to be on the ballot, please contact one of us on the nominating committee. You can also nominate a fellow NAEO member or yourself (with two written seconds by current NAEO members) by filling out the nomination form. Please note that the nomination forms are due to the NAEO Office by Wednesday December 16, 2009.

For more specific information on the commitment of being a NAEO Board member, click here for the Board of Directors Job Description.

2010 Nominating Committee
Nominations Chair, Jim Wagner, (217) 446-7243,
Cori Bartlett, (407) 447-6000,
John Ratliff, (302) 656-0630,

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Board Happenings and Call for Volunteers
by Cori Bartlett, NAEO President

The NAEO Board of Directors has some very exciting projects in the works this year.

One of our biggest initiatives is the Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity Planning Guide and workbook that is being developed! This invaluable tool will be available to all NAEO Members. It is a guide that has been customized to not only our industry, but to our type of Call Centers. It covers planning, development and implementation of such a project. Small Call Centers to large, a Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity plan is a must! It details priority of such a plan based on your size. This new member benefit will be available and unveiled at our 2010 NAEO Annual Conference in Newport Beach, CA, March 19- 24, 2010 at the Newport Beach Marriot. This is just one of many reasons that you will not want to miss this conference!

A commitment was also made this year to work closer with and more in harmony with Amtelco. One goal of this is to be the collective voice of our NAEO members and Amtelco users as a whole. We hope to assist in finding faster resolutions to current challenges, as well as, aiding Amtelco in future directions and developments. These efforts should be a win-win for both the viability of our Call Centers and our vendor, Amtelco. From this, the Future Directions Committee has been established. The committee is currently made up of Amtelco staff and NAEO members. In order to represent a true cross-section of Amtelco equipment users- small site, large site, multi-site, hospitals, etc., we are searching for a few more committee members! If you are interested in participating, please contact either one of the committee Chairs - John Ratliff at or Joe Adam at Thank you in advance for your assistance!

I can’t wait to see everyone in Newport Beach!

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Numbering Messages/Sequential Numbers
by Mitch Eastwood, Time Communications

1. Open IS Supervisor, and click on the "System” Icon at the top of the screen.
2. Then Click”Custom Shared Fields” from the menu to the left.

3. Select "Client Fields” and click the green + sign to create a new client field.

4. Name it "msg_num” and make the data type: text. Leave the width at 20, Enter 1 for the Default and don’t check the box for required, hit save, and then close the system tab and go to the account.

5. Click on the "Client Setup” Icon at the top of the screen, Select the acct where you want to apply this and open the script.

Open the script in tree view, Place a "Set Field” into the start of the script.

6. Name it "SETmsg_num” and set the value to "Client Field” msg_num, the one you just created.

7. Next open the properties of the screen in your script where the call ends/where the summary is.
Under the "Actions” tab select Set IS Field and click the arrow to add it.

8. Chose Client as the Field type, then select msg_num from the Field Name dropdown, Click on the "change to” button next to the "Set to value” and select Advanced Expression.

9. Under Fields pick "Client Fields” and select msg_num, next under Operations chose Math and the addition symbol, finally enter a 1 at the end and ok.

The last step is to add the new sequential message number to the summary.

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15 Customer Service No-No's
by Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor

Throughout the years, we at Telephone Doctor have gathered up all sorts of information using surveys and finding things that frustrate customers. From these lists we have been able to bring you the vignettes in our DVD programs. And that's what makes Telephone Doctor programs so ‘real.' It's because they are. The segments produced within the DVDs aren't ‘made up' – they're from YOU. Things, events and situations that have happened to you, me or we have witnessed.

Often times I've had things happen in a service situation that I know if we produced, people would think, "Oh no, nothing as bad as that could ever happen.” But we know it does, right?

So, this month we have culled together a list of top Customer Service NO NO's; a combination of things that the customer doesn't like.

I'm sure there are more; however, these rank as the top 15.

  1. Employees are having a bad day and their foul mood carries over in conversations with customers. (Everyone has bad days, but customer service employees need to keep theirs to themselves.)
  2. Employees hang up on angry customers. (Ironclad rule: Never hang up on a customer.)
  3. Not returning phone calls or voice-mail messages, despite listing your phone number on your Website and/or in ads and directories. (Call customers back as soon as you can, or have calls returned on your behalf.)
  4. Employees put callers on hold without asking them first, as a courtesy. (Ask customers politely if you can put them on hold; very few will complain or say, "No way!”)
  5. Employees put callers on a speakerphone without asking them first if it is OK. (Again: Ask first, as a courtesy.)
  6. Employees eat, drink or chew gum while talking with customers on the phone. (A telephone mouthpiece is like a microphone; noises can easily be picked up. Employees need to eat their meals away from the phone. And save that stick of gum for break time.)
  7. You have call waiting on your business lines, and employees frequently interrupt existing calls to take new calls. (One interruption in a call might be excusable; beyond that, you are crossing the "rude” threshold. Do your best to be prepared with enough staff for peak calling times.)
  8. Employees forget to use the words "please,” "thank you” and "you're welcome.” (Please use these words generously, thank you.)
  9. Employees hold side conversations with friends or each other while talking to customers on the phone or they make personal calls on cell phones. (Don't do either of these.)
  10. Employees seem incapable of offering more than one-word answers. (One-word answers come across as rude and uncaring.)
  11. Employees do provide more than one-word answers, but a lot of the words are grounded in company or industry jargon that many customers don't understand. (For example, don't casually drop in abbreviations such as APIs, ISVs, SMTP or TCP/IP.)
  12. Employees request that customers call them back when the employees aren't so busy. (Customers should never be told to call back. Request the customer's number instead.)
  13. Employees rush through calls forcing customers off the phone at the earliest opportunity. (Be a little more discreet. Politely suggest that you've got the information you need and you need to move on to other calls.)
  14. Employees obnoxiously bellow "What's this in reference to?” effectively humbling customers and belittling their requests. (Screening techniques can be used with a little more warmth and finesse. If a caller has mistakenly come your way, do your best to point him or her in the right direction.)
  15. Employees freely admit to customers that they hate their jobs. (This simply makes the entire company look bad. And don't think such a moment of candor or lapse in judgment won't get back to the boss.)

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