December 2013

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

NAEO President’s Report
by William Peppard

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

IS Tip
by Kevin Procter

Stepping Up Your Game
by LisaJane S. Olson

Five Ways to Get Great Customer Service this Holiday Season
by Nancy Friedman

Featured Articles

2014 Conference: Mark Your Calendar!

Telelink Co-CEOS Ranked as Two of Canada's Top Female Entrepeneurs by Profit Magazine and Chatelaine

Upcoming Webinars

 

Amtelco Annex

Detachable Hi-Resolution Screen in Infinity Telephone Agent
by David Drenk

Undeliver Feature Added to the IS Message Center
by David Drenk

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

You are appreciated!

The end of the year brings many celebrations, but it is also a great time to think about accomplishments – not only personal accomplishments, but professional ones, as well. How many of your goals did you accomplish this year?

Something else to think about: How many of your goals and accomplishments can be attributed to the work of your employees? Or your co-workers? Your management staff? Perhaps the end of the year is also a good time to think about showing appreciation to the people who make a difference.

There are many ways to show appreciation. For a few ideas, check out this article. Enjoy the holidays!
http://humanresources.about.com/cs/rewardrecognition/a/appreciation.htm

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NAEO President’s Report

By William Peppard, Medical Connections, Inc.

As I look out the window, I can’t help but notice that summer is finally over and we’re quickly transitioning into fall, and soon – winter. While our neighbors up north have been enjoying fall for some time now, the leaves in Texas are finally showing shades of deep reds, electric yellows, and blazing sunset oranges, which means the holidays will soon be upon us and we’ll be ringing in a New Year. Before we know it, we’ll be gathering again for our annual NAEO Conference right here in Dallas, Texas next March.

If I were to sum up my year as NAEO President to this point, I would have to say it has simply been a year of transition. In just the past few months, we’ve transitioned to a new Membership platform from Members360 to YourMembership.com, introduced a new E&O Program, and introduced a new tier-based membership dues platform. We have also begun to see some turnover on the Board with several two-term Directors leaving office over the past 2-3 years, with two more finishing their terms in Dallas.

The YourMembership platform has been somewhat of a learning process for everyone involved, but as we start to discover all of the options within the system, we realize the possibilities it presents to our Members. A mid-year transition (with very little time to process), it would not have happened without the support of our Executive Director, Andy Shelp, and our management team at Ewald Consulting. Without their help and support, we simply would not have been able to make the transition in the short amount of time that it needed to happen. I would, of course, be remiss not to mention the hard work and efforts of Laurie Blow, our Membership Chair during this process, as well as the entire Transition Committee.

One of our primary concerns was the renewal process, especially with the bulk of our renewals coming at year-end, and making that as simple as possible for every member company. It wasn’t until late summer and early fall that we realized the challenges in processing your renewals and finding your invoice. As we dove into resolving those issues, we gave Ewald a list of items that needed to be fixed and stressed the importance of how quickly the changes needed to be implemented. I’m very happy to say that once again, Laurie, Andy, and our team at Ewald stepped up to the plate and had everything fixed in what seemed like only a day or two. The good news is, once you receive your renewal email, the link should take you directly to your profile and the process is very simple and straightforward from there to pay online. If you have any questions or run into any issues renewing your NAEO Membership, please do not hesitate to ask. We’re here to help.

While we’re on the subject of renewals, coming to fruition this year with the YourMembership transition was the introduction of our new Membership Dues structure and rate adjustment(s). While based on the number of Amtelco Operator licenses (similar to your Amtelco Service Contract), seats, FTEs, and revenue streams were all also entertained. The Dues Restructure Committee spent countless hours discussing the best solution for an ever-changing membership base. It was decided that Operator licenses would be the most applicable and easily related to our group. Most importantly, we felt these rate adjustments would help ensure the future financial success of NAEO, as well as ensure the Board’s ability to build the necessary reserves for future NAEO benefit needs. As we all know, rate increases are somewhat of a necessary evil and are never easy. Aside from a nominal increase last year from $765 to $795, NAEO had not adjusted rates in roughly ten (10) years – when dues were decreased from $900/year to $765/year. Where would our own businesses be, had we dropped our rates by more than 15% and left them alone for 10 years? While most members will see an increase in their dues (myself included), it also lowered the costs for the smallest member companies, and puts us in a much better position to accommodate the varying size of NAEO’s membership base. By Business Meeting time in Dallas, we should have a very good idea of the positive impact these changes will make to NAEO’s bottom line. My special thanks to Doug Swift, Robin Bailey, Rob Bennett, Jamie Des Jardines, Laurie Blow, and Gordon Mott for all of their time and efforts in making this change possible.

Gordon Mott has put his mark on the financial aspects of NAEO after taking over for Robin Bailey, in what he termed "Gordon’s View of the World”. His ideas tie into our latest Strategic Plan and how the Board is going to be able to accomplish its needs and goals. It will also give the Membership a much clearer picture of where your money is going and how the finances tie together. As he mentioned, Verne Harnish would refer to this as "alignment”. To date, NAEO is quietly having a good year, thanks to a fantastic conference in Nashville, along with the Summer IS session held this summer in Atlanta. This allowed the Board to recently approve a capital investment in updating the NAEO Operator Training Program, which is greatly needed. We should have more information out to the Membership soon regarding the Training Program update. I think we are all excited to see how the year ends once we get the bulk of membership renewals processed over the next 30-45 days.

The Education Committee continues to produce quality Educational content, including regularly scheduled webinars, IS Training, and general support through the list serve, so if you’re not taking advantage of this free membership benefit, you’re simply missing out. As I mentioned earlier, the Summer IS Series held this year in Atlanta, Georgia was a huge success. If you’re an IS user, you simply cannot afford not to send someone to one of these seminars. It is going to be the best investment you can make in your IS system and in your staff in general. The Certification Program continues to take shape, so be ready for a major announcement in Dallas. Great job Lina, Theran, Gerald and team!!

The Conference Committee is hard at work finalizing content, topics, and speakers for our 2014 Conference, so be sure to keep your eyes open for Conference reminders and teasers, along with the Curtin and Collins Scholarship applications. Please be sure to make each of them available to your staff and encourage them to submit applications. Scholarships are a great way to get people within your organization engaged, involved, and excited about their jobs and career paths, as well as NAEO.

For those of you not aware, NAEO will celebrate its 30th Anniversary in Dallas, so make your plans early to attend. We hope to see you there!

In closing, I wish each and every one of you a very special, safe, and blessed holiday season!

Cheers!
Billy

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

Recognition is the great motivator.

~ Gerald C. Eakedale

Share success with the people who make it happen. It makes everybody think like an owner, which helps them build long-term relationships with customers and influences them to do things in an efficient way.

~ Emily Ericsen

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Something to Smile About...

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IS Tip

Credit History

by Kevin Procter, Extend Communications Inc.

Giving credit where credit is due is very important. Considering we're in the communications industry, we should be good at providing constructive communication to facilitate giving credit. But how can a programmer affect this communication practice? It's all in the history of a call.

If we keep a history of communications with someone (or lack thereof), the next thing you know we are giving credit – or constructive feedback – where it is due.

For example, let's say we receive a call for an emergency situation such as hydro wires down. We can have protocols in place to ensure the emergency personnel are dispatched, as well as when they arrive on site, how long it takes to fix the issue, and when they are safely returned home to their families. A job well-done. But what if the dispatch personnel do not follow this protocol? If we keep a history, we can incorporate even the failure of emergency services right into the message and present that to the customer. The customer may in turn present that message to their staff. Those who followed emergency protocol may be given warm and fuzzy feedback. Meanwhile, emergencies where update protocols were not followed may lead to investigations: Perhaps the communications equipment available did not function properly. Worse: Perhaps the personnel simply refused to follow protocols. Either way, there is a history of the emergency event's handling. A very useful service provided to a customer.

Achieving This

When writing a script, we can program it to pull the on-call personnel into the message, specifying the time of contact, the outcome of the contact, etc., right up to completion of the issue and clearing of the call.

To do this, we need a variable that we'll call "MsgSummary". This will hold the initial message data. Next, we'll need a history variable – let's call it "DispatchHistory". Each time we handle a new communication with the On-Call personnel, we will add to this history. Further, if we add the most recent dispatch history to the top of the dispatch history variable, we'll continue to keep a chronological history of dispatch events starting with the most recent communication first.

We can then set a message summary element in our script to equal "MsgSummary" + "DispatchHistory".

The customers love this. And why wouldn't they?! In this season of giving, they may use the data we collect to determine who will receive the bonuses due versus those who perhaps deserve instead to be enrolled in the jelly-of-the-month club.

Giving is what this time of year is all about. Let's give the customer the information they need so they in turn can give credit where credit is truly due.

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Stepping Up Your Game

by LisaJane S. Olson, Stericycle Communication Solutions

Employee Recognition

The start of the New Year is a great time to revitalize your employee recognition program, assuming you have a program. If you don’t, the New Year is a great time to roll out a program to recognize employees for performance – especially for those who go above and beyond the normal call of duty.

A good program will take time to design and implement, but it is worth the cost. In addition to the cost of rewards to implement a program, you should consider the cost of promoting your program; tracking the results of your program; teaching employees how the program works and how to give recognition to others. Rolling out a new program may require introducing new processes and procedures into your center.

The most difficult processes in implementing a recognition program are being consistent, getting employee to participate and keeping the program going.

Here are some ideas and processes you will need to consider to help maintain your recognition program:

  • Promote your program regularly; put a weekly reminder on your Outlook calendar
  • Hold your supervisory staff accountable for supporting the program
  • Give your program a theme (for example, the red carpet award or the diamond program)
  • Create a program that drives results such as calls per hour, logged in time, quality, or attendance
  • Use printed material, communication boards, email, posters, and any other method of communication you use in your office to encourage your employees to participate
  • Add a peer-to-peer program so employees can recognize each other
  • Encompass more than one type of program at the same time, such as both an individual employee program and a team incentive for achieving certain goals

Some of the benefits of a good program are:

  • Increased individual performance and employee productivity
  • Employees will enjoy coming to work
  • Happy employees equal happy customers
  • Opportunity for continual feedback
  • Encourages team work and friendly competition
  • Engaged employees
  • Maximum customer satisfaction
  • Reduces employee turnover

Investing in an employee recognition program is an investment in your company. It has great meaning to the employees and sends a great message to other employees that hard work is rewarded.

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Five Ways to Get Great Customer Service
this Holiday Season

by Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

Tales of awful customer service are especially bothersome at this time of year. It seems everyone has a story or two. The retail clerk who doesn’t know or doesn’t care. The airline automated attendant system with endless loops before you encounter a human being. The angry fast food attendant who is mad at the world. Or even part-timers who may not be very well trained. You get the idea.

It's easy to feel that the employment playing field has changed. For many businesses, it's harder than ever to find really good team members. Sometimes it seems staff get hired because they’re breathing, and not because they have the requisite skill set to be excellent with the public they were hired to serve. Knowing you can't change who that organization put in place to assist you, is there anything you as the customer can do?

There sure are. Here are some reminders to help you get the level of customer service you should receive:

1. Don’t be shocked or put-off by obviously poor service. You’ll make it worse. Be realistic. In some cases, it helps to lower your expectations temporarily. You may be dealing with a new hire who may have received very little training. They could have no experience. But there’s hope. Read on.

2. Understand that you can actually influence the type of service you get. The same way an angry customer can have negative emotions mirrored back their way, entering a service situation with a positive and upbeat demeanor can help influence the treatment you’ll get back. We use this approach a lot. We were in Las Vegas and walked up to a visibly upset hostess. Instead of being insulted, demanding, or giving her back cold treatment, we said "Oh good! We’re getting a cheery hostess who’s going to take very good care of us!” She took a deep breath and we were rewarded with a big smile and helpful service. She may have just had the customer from hell. But she wasn’t going to take it out on us. We weren’t going to allow it.

3. Plan how to win them over. In a perfect world, it should be up to them to win you over. But for now, especially in the holiday season, the tables are often turned. Have a strategy and be ready to explain your situation clearly and confidently. You may need to exert some effort if you want a pleasant experience.

4. Sometimes it takes a second effort. Realize that the last few interactions your service provider endured or experienced may have been brutal. Do what you can to establish a friendly atmosphere. Smile and be in a positive frame of mind. Take control of the situation. By the end of the transaction, you’ll probably be having a far more positive relationship. Be obviously friendly and smiling. It is contagious.

5. Accept the occasional situation where nothing works. Don’t take it personally. And try not to get frustrated. Don’t you be the bad guy. That salesperson or employee will be as abrasive to the customers who follow you as he was to the ones before you.

Before you enter into the next situation where you’re depending on someone to provide you with service, think about ways you’re able to affect the outcome. Customers definitely can influence the service they receive. Take more responsibility to radiate your own good mood and attitude and see if you’re not treated better.

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

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2014 Conference: Mark Your Calendar!

By Jessica Schipull

2014 Conference Logo

March 10-13, 2014

Omni Dallas Hotel • 555 South Lamar Street • Dallas, TX 75202

As 2013 wraps up, it can only mean one thing... we are up to our necks in planning for the 2014 NAEO Annual Conference! This year's conference will be held March 10-13 at the Omni Dallas Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Your Conference Committee has been hard at work for months, to guarantee that you won't leave the conference disappointed!

We'll have something for everyone, because after all, Everything's BIGGER in Texas!

You won't want to miss out on keynote speaker Cy Wakeman, great breakout sessions, new ideas to help your business grow and priceless networking. We look forward to Roping in Ideas with you at the 30th Annual NAEO Conference! Watch for more details in the coming months!

Hotel Accommodations:

$192.00 Group rate
1-800-THE-OMNI
Reference Group: 2014 NAEO Annual Conference

Room Block Cutoff Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014
http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/DallasHotel.aspx

Registration Rates:

EarlyLate
1-3 Members $675 $825
1-3 Non Members $900 $1,025
4-5 Members $660 $750
4-5 Non Members $875 $950
6+ Members $645 $715
6+ Non Members $850
$925
Additional Guest Reception Ticket $100
Additional Guest Luncheons $45
IS Workshop - Member $425 $500
IS Workshop - Member with conference registration $375 $450
IS Workshop - Nonmember $525 $600
IS Workshop - Member with conference registration $475 $550


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Telelink Co-CEOS Ranked as Two of Canada's Top Female Entrepeneurs by Profit Magazine and Chatelaine

St. John’s, NL (October 15, 2013): Telelink is proud to announce today that co-owners and CEOs Sydney Ryan and Cindy Roma have been named to the annual W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs, produced by PROFIT Magazine and Chatelaine. Now in its 15th year, the PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 ranking is Canada’s largest celebration of entrepreneurial achievement by women. This year’s W100 are a dream group of ambitious, forward-thinking entrepreneurs who defy outdated notions of female entreprenrship, said Ian Portsmouth, Publisher and Editor in-Chief of PROFIT. "They are running sophisticated and sizeable businesses in challenging industries, and finding new ways to operate and innovate for growth and sustainability”.

W100 nominees were ranked on a composite score based on size, growth, and profitability of their business. From 2009 to 2012, Telelink grew its bottom line by more than 350%, and recently opened its first provincial satellite office to help accommodate more than 50 new job positions. Ranking 35th on the W100, Sydney and Cindy are thrilled with their result, and are quick to recognize the many people and successes that helped them reach and exceed Telelink’s growth goals. Telelink Co-CEO Cindy Roma says, "Our focus on innovation and best-in-class service delivery has allowed us to proactively meet new challenges, achieve organic growth in markets dominated by acquisitions, and leverage our existing team and infrastructure to recognize new revenue streams and succeed in new markets.”

“In the past four years, we’ve carved a niche in the global Energy sector with our suite of live safety services, partnering with industry leaders such as Weatherford, Husky, and Shell to help keep mobile and lone workers safe using our best-in-class Journey Management™ solution”, Sydney Ryan added.

On behalf of Telelink, Sydney and Cindy would like to congratulate all W100 finalists, saying "It’s an honor to be ranked amongst Canada’s most innovative, influential, and forward-thinking female entrepreneurs.” The full W100 ranking will be published in the November issue of PROFIT and the December issue of Chatelaine and online at PROFITguide.com and Chatelaine.com.

ABOUT TELELINK
Founded in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1965, Telelink is a leading provider of 24/7 live safety and inbound customer support solutions to organizations around the world. With more than 48 years of industry experience, and local, national, and international recognition for contribution to the industry and quality service delivery, Telelink sets the standard for service excellence and continues to be a leader in the communities, markets, and industries they do business in. Visit Telelink at telelinkcallcentre.com.

ABOUT PROFIT
PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success is Canada’s preeminent publication dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses.

For 31 years, Canadian entrepreneurs and senior managers across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. PROFIT is owned and operated by Rogers Media Inc., a divisions of Rogers Communication. Visit PROFIT online at www.PROFITguide.com.

ABOUT CHATELAINE
The country’s leading women’s media brand, Chatelaine makes "Everyday Extraordinary” for Canadian women and has been doing so for more than 85 years. Today, Chatelaine is a six-platform brand: available on television, radio, tablet and smartphone, plus in print and online. Chatelaine has a lively presence on social media sites, and Chatelaine.com is Canada’s most engaged digital community for women 18+. With a team of "extraordinary” experts, Chatelaine brings together the very best of food (from The Chatelaine Kitchen powered by GE Café), style, décor, health and real life for women who want to look good, do good, feel great and make every day a little bit special. Chatelaine is owned and operated by Roger’s Media Inc., a division of Rogers Communications.

TELELINK MEDIA CONTACT
Chris McDonald
cmcdonald@telelinkcallcentre.com
709.722.3730 (office) / 709.699.9149 (cell)

Upcoming Webinars

Call Distribution
December 18, 2013 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenter: Theran Mossholder
Host: Evelyn Portinari

Learn all about call distribution. We will take a look at the difference between operator groups and station groups. We’ll also look at how to assign accounts and operators to the proper distributions groups. We will go over the process to develop a good call distribution plan, and how to implement that plan into action.

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david drenk

Detachable Hi-Resolution Screen in Infinity Telephone Agent

by David Drenk

A new option in the Infinity Telephone Agent application makes it possible to move the Hi-Resolution controls to a separate window that can be resized, repositioned and even moved to a second monitor at the operator workstation. The ability to display Specials and IS Info Pages also has been added to the Hi-Resolution controls.

Buttons along the top of the new Hi-Resolution window display each of the controls. Each control can be resized and repositioned. There also is a "Windows” menu with commands to Cascade, Tile Vertical, Tile Horizontal, and Close All of the controls.

The new option is located in the Infinity Telephone Agent Setup Control Panel. Press the CTRL + F12 keys at the Infinity Telephone Agent login prompt to display the Setup Control Panel.

Expand the Features category and then click "Hi-Resolution” to display the Hi-Resolution settings.

Make sure the Hi-Resolution check box is selected. If it is not selected, select it.

Select "Collapsible” for the Hi-Resolution Display Type. A check box labeled "Show Hi-Res items on their own screen” is displayed. Select this check box to enable the new feature.

The Controls list determines which controls are available in the Hi-Resolution window. To add a control, select the control in the list on the left and then click the right arrow button to move the control to the list on the right. To remove a control, select the control in the list on the right and then click the left arrow button to move the control to the list on the left. You do not have to lock any of the controls for the new feature.

A keyboard key must be programmed to open the new Hi-Resolution window. If you have not programmed a key for this function, a dialog box is displayed when you enable the "Show Hi-Resolution items on their own screen” check box.

Click the Keyboard Setup hyperlink to open the Keyboard Setup window of the Setup Control Panel.

The key action that opens the Hi-Resolution window is named "Hi‑Res Screen.” Add this action to one of the key combinations by dragging "Hi-Res Screen” from the Key Name column on the right to the Key Translation column next to a key combination on the left. The words "Hi-Res Screen” should be displayed in the Key Translation column next to the key combination that you selected. Click the Save button to save your changes. Then click the OK button to close the Setup Control Panel.

When an agent is logged into Infinity Telephone Agent, the agent can press this key combination to display the Hi-Resolution window. The agent can resize the window by dragging its edges and can reposition the window by dragging its title bar. The window also can be dragged to a second monitor on workstations with dual monitors. The agent can close the window by clicking the File menu and selecting the Exit command.

Requirements:

  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4364.09 or later

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Kelli Harrigan

 

Undeliver Feature Added to the IS Message Center

by David Drenk

The ability to "Undeliver” an IS message has been added to the IS Message Center.

When a Delivered message is selected in the Message Center, the Deliver button changes to an Undeliver button. Click the Undeliver button to mark the message as "Undelivered.”

The IS Server has been changed so that editing and annotating a message will not mark the message as "Undelivered” anymore. Previous IS versions would change a Delivered message to "Undelivered” when the message was edited or annotated.


Requirements:
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4296.02 or later
  • IS Supervisor 5.60.4364.06 or later
  • IS Server 3.7.4364.19150 or later
  • SQL Server 2005 or later
  • IS Messaging
  • Infinity 5.60.11 or later (optional)

 

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© 2013 National Amtelco Equipment Owners. All Rights Reserved.
NewsLinks is distributed quarterly to NAEO members.

National Amtelco Equipment Owners
www.naeo.orgmanagement@naeo.org
1000 Westgate Drive, Ste. 252, St. Paul, MN 55114
800-809-6373 • Fax: 800-809-6374