February 2014

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

Widgets
by Michael Goumas

IS Tip: Wave Sharing Ideas
by Kevin Procter

Stepping Up Your Game
by Gary Pudles

Back to Basics: Good Old Common-Sense Tips
by Nancy Friedman


Featured Articles

Make Your 2014 Bigger and Better by Attending the NAEO Conference in Dallas!
by Jessica Schipull

Upcoming Webinars

Presenting IS Dispatches to Operators
by Theran Mossholder


 

Amtelco Annex

Option for Operators to Dial Auto Callout Gateway Calls
by David Drenk

IS Action Table
by David Drenk

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

Sharing Ideas

I want to be better at things that I do. I am sure you do, as well. There is always, practice, practice, practice, but what if it is not about practicing what you do — what if it is about learning a new way, a better way, a different way? Hard to do in a vacuum. We need to find people, knowledge pools or best practices. If you have never been to an NAEO conference, you are missing a knowledge suite of lakes! Yes, a group of lakes is really called a suite. No matter what you want to learn about or improve in how you use your Amtelco equipment, there is a conference pool just waiting for you to take a dip. Oh, and I think there may also be a swimming pool, too, if you find the time.

Visit the conference website

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, requires a lot of discipline.

~ Steve Jobs

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Something to Smile About...

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Widgets

by Michael Goumas, ProComm

A suggestion for best practice when patching a call


The portion you are concerned with is:

SuccessfulPatch: I set the script to assume that it is successful before the script dials.
Then it dials the number and shows this:

Not Patch is set to be Unsuccessful

Patched is set as Dispatch Completed.

If it is unsuccessful it drops to the dispatch screen to try again. If successful, close the script, email and the operator Alt-F2 (Conf Op Out) to back themselves out of the call and then Done’s it.

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IS Tip

Wave Sharing Ideas

by Kevin Procter, Extend Communications Inc.

A healthy body of water is one which receives donations from tributaries. The body processes the new — filtering some stuff from it, adding some stuff to it — and sharing it then with another body. The water itself remains fresh, and the vessel holding the water teems with life — a vibrant ecosystem.

Compare this with a body of water that is cut off from the outside: the body itself can no longer share as it has nothing new coming into it. Further, any life that was within it begins to die off; the water will eventually dry up, leaving behind a desert. Of course, this is after the water becomes putrid and good for nothing.

The same can be said for any system — and we are all part of a system. We must always be prepared to take in new information; process that information; change that information and share it with neighbouring entities. If we do not, we will inevitably become desert-like; stagnant.

As the NAEO conference approaches, so does the opportunity to share information, to gather information: indeed, we have the opportunity to grow. The system of this industry, the relationships forged therein, and the thoughts given and received will go a long way to assisting not only individuals and individual companies, but this great industry as a whole system.

All conference attendees should look forward to roping in some new ideas, putting faces to some well-known (and not-so-well-known names), and bringing home from this tributary a great surge of fresh information for the ecosystem of our lives — both professional and personal.

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Gary Pudles

Stepping Up Your Game

Co-opetition: Engaging Your Competition as Partners in Profitability

by Gary Pudles, AnswerNet

Co-opetition is a century-old concept that involves cooperating with your competitors for mutually beneficial results. It is also an immeasurable opportunity to grow your business. With numerous competing companies in a volatile market, opening yourself up to the advantages of a cooperative partnership will inevitably lead to client satisfaction and increased profits.

With a few simple rules you can collaborate with your competition.

  • Differentiate Your Business
    Offering an array of services and products in your marketplace is a key factor to co-opetition, and often is a perfect solution for call centers or outsourcers. Large call center companies will move smaller opportunities out to complementary competitors because it is inefficient for them to execute those programs. Smaller firms will look to a bigger center or one with scalability to handle larger accounts. Keep in mind, too, that government contracts often require a percentage of the business to be sent to firms that meet affirmative action requirements for minorities or disadvantaged groups. So having a partnership with a competitor who meets this criterion can be very advantageous to both of you.
  • Share the Wealth
    Sometimes co-opetition includes a business partnership to manage marketplace demands. For example, United and American Airlines are known for being fierce competitors. However, they both assume a different role when it comes to building new aircraft. When there is a sufficient demand for more information from the aircraft manufacturer, United and American Airlines are able to combine efforts and defray research and development (R&D) costs. Because they are open to this collaboration, they share the advantage of bringing new products to the industry.
  • Have Integrity
    For a competitor to refer business to you, they must trust you will not steal their business. Ensure that your processes protect the business relationship and guarantee referral fees are promised and paid on time. Being ethical and honest is the best way to maintain a long and lasting co-opetition partnership.
  • Be Responsive
    Being able to respond quickly to a sales opportunity is crucial for every business. If a competitor refers business to you, this rule does not change. You must be ready to swiftly address their proposals if you expect a business rival to become your company’s ally.

Of course, some joint ventures can and do turn sour. However, you should not let that influence your decision to cultivate new business from those in your market. As long as you do your research, develop a strong path of communication and follow those four easy steps listed above, you will be on your way to a profitable, cooperative partnership.

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Back to Basics: Good Old Common-Sense Tips

by Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

Telephone Doctor Customer Service training has focused an entire career on developing ways to help companies communicate better with their customers.

We’ve helped thousands. How? With our simple, logical techniques that most folks already know and we bring to the forefront.

Most businesses go out of their way to attempt to give good customer service. Some make it; some don’t.

Customers go out of their way looking for companies that give great customer service. Some find it; some don’t.

We have tried so very hard to explain to both sides. It’s not rocket science; it’s not brain surgery. It’s plain old common sense. But you and I know common sense is not out there. There is a mass of grey average out there. You don’t wanna be in it. Rise above that mass of grey and come along with Telephone Doctor.

Customers love to vent. They love to report on how badly they’ve been handled. And today with the Internet, it’s sad how stuff goes viral so quickly.

I cannot count the number of articles out there on customer service. Some are good, some not; some have new ideas; some speak the old tried and true.

And that’s where Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training comes into play — plain old customer service. We call it "Back to Basics.” You can imagine we have hundreds, if not thousands, of ideas, tips, skills and techniques to share. To start the New Year out right, here are 15 customer service tips that are good old common-sense thoughts that bring you back to the basics.

Here we go:

  1. "Please” and "thank you” always have been, and always will be, powerful words. Seldom overused.
  2. "You’re welcome” is the best replacement for "no problem.”
  3. "Sorry ‘bout that” is not an apology. It’s a cliché. "My apologies” is much better.
  4. A frown is a smile upside down. Stand on your head if you must; but SMILE, darn it!
  5. You cannot do two things well at once. Pay attention to the call or the customer.
  6. One word answers on email or in person are considered cold and rude. Three words make a sentence.
  7. Learn what phrases frustrate your customers. They’re probably the same ones that bother you.
  8. When was the last time you sent flowers to someone just because?
  9. Drop a personal handwritten note to a client and just say "thanks for being a good client.”
  10. "Hey how ‘ya doing?” is not a great way to start up a conversation.
  11. Out with friends or family? Put the cell phone away. Talk for 30 minutes. (If you remember how.)
  12. Email manners? The same as phone and in person.
  13. The old "don’t tell ‘em what you can’t do; tell ‘em what you can do” applies to most, if not all, customer interactions.
  14. Get excited!
  15. Oh, and smile. That needed to be said twice.

Have a great year and we’ll bring you more articles, tips, skills and techniques for your reading pleasure and customer service improvement.

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

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Make Your 2014 Bigger and Better by Attending the NAEO Conference in Dallas!

by Jessica Schipull

March 10-13, 2014

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

>REGISTER TODAY | >SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

2014 Conference LogoAt our 30th annual conference, there will be sessions surrounding culture, performance management, and teaching your frontline to go beyond taking a message. We will also have sessions on upgrading and maintaining your Infinity, cloud computing, and maintaining your SQL Server to support your Amtelco applications. Not to mention sessions on Billing Link, or how to find and keep the right sales person! These and many more! Be sure to check out the NAEO website for more information and descriptions of all our sessions!

Our keynote speaker this year is one you will not want to miss! She will also lead a breakout session after her keynote. "Cy Wakeman is a dynamic national keynote speaker, business consultant, New York Times bestselling author, and trainer who has spent more than 20 years cultivating a revolutionary approach to leadership. Her philosophy teaches people how to turn excuses into results, and transform unhappy employees into accountable, successful members of the workforce."

Registration is now open! Remember that the early bird rates end on February 11, so book early!

Hotel Accommodations

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

Online Reservations: http://www.omnihotels.com/FindAHotel/DallasHotel/MeetingFacilities/2014NAEOAnnualConference.aspx

Room Block Cutoff Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014

The hotel is currently sold out on Sunday Night.
The conference officially kicks off Monday night at the reception and then Tuesday morning. There are a few hotels very close by where you may be able to make a reservation for Sunday night, then move over to the Omni Monday night. You can keep checking with the Omni to see if rooms open up; they may.

The following hotels may have availability for that Sunday night within walking distance of the hotel.

Aloft (2 blocks away), 214-761-0000
Hyatt (2 blocks away), 214-651-1234
NYLO (10 blocks away-short cab ride), 214-421-1080

Conference Quicklinks

Conference HomepageAgenda at a GlanceKeynote Speaker
Travel InformationTips & RemindersSponsor & Exhibit
Session DescriptionsIS WorkshopConference Archives

Exhibitors & Sponsors to Date:

Opening Reception Sponsor

Vendor Sponsor

Amtelco

Wednesday Break Sponsor

Call 4 Health

Exhibitors
  • Agility Recovery
  • TAS Innovations

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Upcoming Webinars

Pre-Conferece IS Workshop
February 12, 2014 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenters: Theran Mossholder, Michael Goumas, Debbie Imes
Host: Evelyn Portinari

Join the Education Committee as we discuss the upcoming IS Workshop in Dallas, Texas. We ask that everyone attending this workshop please join us on this webinar so we can make sure you have everything setup and ready to go for this advance class. If you are undecided if this workshop is for you, please attend to get a sneak peek on the topics that will be covered.

2014 NAEO Annual Conference
February 19, 2014 | 2:00 pm ET

Presenters: Conference Committee Members
Host: Deborah Anders

Please join members from your Conference Committee to learn what’s "kickin'” in Dallas at the 2014 Annual NAEO Conference! We will go over what to expect at the workshops, and give you some insight into the keynote speaker. You will learn what to expect if you attend the Annual Business Meeting, who it is for and why we have it. We will provide information on the hotel, the Dallas Omni, and a bit on the area as well! This, combined with some travel tips and packing tips, can help the newcomers and the veterans be as prepared as possible and get the most out of their NAEO Conference experience!

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Presenting IS Dispatches to Operators

by Theran Mossholder

So with so much talk about IS dispatch and having them presented to operators, I went ahead and contacted Field Service — and what do you know... This can be done!!! Adam Haines walked me through it and got me going. It's not a difficult process but will take time to reprogram all my accounts... Ugh!! But in the end, I can now have IS dispatches be presented to Dispatchers automatically. Here is how you do it:

First, you have to use call distribution. If you are unfamiliar with call distribution click here to watch the webinar recording (May 22) from the NAEO.org website.

You also need to have IS/Infinity Bridge Installed and working.

I created an Account Group "70" and named it "IS Dispatch" (This will only be used for IS Dispatches, not for Accounts/Clients).

In Operator Group 30, which I will add to my dispatchers, I gave priority level 15 across the board — although you only need to worry about Non Live.

Then, this is where the reprogramming comes in. With all of the "Send to Dispatcher" or "Contact Dispatcher" actions you have to set the CDT to the Account group you created above; in this case 70? This is what I was missing

Also you need to have a time setting of at least 1 min?

Last step is to add the operator group to your dispatchers and you are on your way.

And Voila...Dispatches are presented to operator automatically.

From my testing, this actually creates a "Disp" call state and if there are multiple messages in the same account waiting to be dispatched it highlights the correct message.

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david drenk

Option for Operators to Dial Auto Callout Gateway Calls

by David Drenk

Starting with Infinity version 5.60.13, Auto Callout Gateway calls can be given to an operator to be dialed in an Intelligent Series (IS) script instead of having the system dial the call before giving it to an operator.

Auto Callout Gateway (ACG) is an optional application that interfaces with the Infinity system. ACG enables Infinity to initiate outbound phone calls automatically and execute pre-assigned client account behaviors during the calls. The calls can be generated manually or be generated from a database.

To distribute Auto Callout Gateway calls to an operator without dialing, use route numbers 128 through 255. Calls generated to route numbers below 128 will be dialed before being distributed to an operator.

When Infinity distributes an Auto Callout Gateway call to an operator using the higher route numbers, the call is displayed in the VMCB (Voice Mail Callback) call state on the call line. The answer phrase is displayed as "Autodial” with the "To” phone number listed. This phone number can be pulled into an IS message script using the _To ACD field.

In the following example, the _To value is displayed in the caption of a Button response element that is programmed to dial the number using a Dial action. The _To value can passed into the properties of any response elements that accept ACD fields.

Requirements:

  • Infinity 5.60.13 or later
  • Auto Callout Gateway 1.01.00 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4364.38 or later

Amtelco Part Number: 232S763

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Kelli Harrigan

 

IS Action Table

by David Drenk

The Action Table feature is used to create a table of steps that can be programmed in one place and implemented throughout an Intelligent Series message script. The Action Table can simplify programming of the dispatch protocol, and provides a simple way to view and print the protocol.

The Action Table feature is composed of four scripting elements: Action Table, Do Table Actions (Do Step), Skip Step, and Select Step.

  • The Action Table element is a special kind of element that can be created in the Shared Node of a script or screen. The Action Table Setup window features a toolbar to add, copy, delete, and rearrange steps; links to add response element actions to steps; and a summary tab that can be used to print a summary of the steps and actions that are part of the Action Table.
  • The Do Table Actions (Do Step) response element triggers the actions assigned to a step in the Action Table. The Do Step Properties page has options for selecting the current step, the next step, a specific step, or a step determined by an expression. The Do Table Actions element also can set any number of fields before performing the step actions.
  • The Skip Step response element is used to skip a step in the Action Table. When the script reaches the specified step in the Action Table, the script will skip that step and proceed to the next step.
  • The Select Step response element displays a table showing all of the steps in the Action Table and the status of each step (Completed, In Progress, or None). The Run Actions check box determines whether the operator can select a step from the table at run time to trigger the actions assigned to that step, or if the display is just for informational purposes.

Action Table

The Action Table element is used to create a table of steps that can be performed throughout the message script. The Action Table can be created at the script level or at the screen level.

To create an Action Table, open the Script Properties or Screen Properties window and select the Action Tables tab. The icons on the Action Tables screen are used to add, edit, and delete tables.

IconDescription
To add an Action Table, click the Add icon. The Action Table Setup window is displayed.
To edit an Action Table, click the name of the Action Table and then click the Edit icon. The Action Table Setup window is displayed.
To delete an Action Table, click the name of the Action Table and then click the Remove icon. The Action Table is removed from the list.

You also can create an Action Table by right-clicking a Shared Node in Tree View. A menu appears. Point to "Insert” and select "Action Table.” An Action Table element is created. To edit the Action Table, right-click the element and select "Properties.” Click the Edit Steps button to open the Action Table Setup window.

General

The General page is used to set the Action Table name and description and to create conditions for the actions in the table.

Name: Type a descriptive name for the Action Table.
Description: Describe this Action Table. The description is displayed beneath the Action Table name on the Summary page.
Conditions: Conditions are used to provide different actions for each step of the Action Table based on the conditions determined in the script.

IconDescription
To add a condition, click the Add icon. Type the name of the condition and then press the ENTER key.
To delete a condition, click the name of the condition and then click the Remove icon. The condition is removed from the list.
To move a condition toward the top of the list, click the name of the condition and then click the Move Up icon.
To move a condition toward the bottom of the list, click the name of the condition and then click the Move Down icon.

Note: A condition named "default” is created automatically, but the order of the conditions in the list is actually what determines which condition is the default. Whenever a step is performed, if no condition is specified the actions assigned to the first condition in the list will be performed.

Actions

The Actions page is used to create steps in the Action Table and to add descriptions and actions to the steps.

The icons are used to add, copy, delete, and rearrange steps. The way that you use the Do Table Actions (Do Step), Skip Step, and Select Step response elements will determine whether the steps are performed in the order that they are listed.

IconDescription
To add a step, click the Add icon. Type the name of the step and then press the ENTER key.
To copy a step, click the name of the step and then click the Copy icon. Type a name for the new step and then press the ENTER key.
To delete a step, click the name of the condition and then click the Remove icon. The step is removed from the list.
To move a step toward the top of the list, click the name of the step and then click the Move Up icon.
To move a step toward the bottom of the list, click the name of the step and then click the Move Down icon.

To edit the description and actions associated with a step, click the step name.

The description and actions for that step are displayed on the right.

Description: Describe the step. The description is displayed beneath the step name on the Summary page.

When the Condition is: A hyperlink is provided for each of the conditions that were created on the General page. Use the hyperlinks to add actions to the step.

Summary

The Summary page provides a summary of each of the steps in the Action Table in a format that is convenient for printing.

The icons are used to print the summary.

IconDescription
To print the summary, click the Print icon. Your computer’s Print window is displayed.
To display a preview of how the summary will look on the printed page, click the Preview icon. The Print Preview window is displayed.

When you have finished editing the Action Table, click the OK button to close the Action Table Setup window.

Do Table Actions (Do Step)

The Do Table Actions (Do Step) response element is used to trigger the actions assigned to a step in the Action Table.

To add a Do Table Actions element, click any of the Add/Remove Actions hyperlinks in the script or screen in which the Action Table was created. Select "Do Table Actions” from the list of actions on the left side of the Select Actions window, and then click the right arrow button. The Do Step Properties window is displayed.

The settings on the General Properties tab determine which Action Table actions are performed.

Table: Click the drop list and select the name of the table. Select "[Current]” to use the table that was last selected.

Step: The Do Table Actions element can perform actions for the current step, the next step, a step specified using an expression, or a specific step.

  • Click "Current” to perform the actions for the step that currently is selected in the table. If no step has been selected, the actions for the first step will be performed.
  • Click "Next” to perform the actions for the next step in the table.
  • Click "Expression” to use an expression to select a step. Click the Text drop menu, point to "Change To,” and click "Advanced Expression” to use Expression Builder to create an expression that will specify the name of a step.
  • Click "Select” to select a specific step. Click the drop list and select the name of the step that you want to perform.

Condition: Click the drop list and select a condition. The actions assigned to that condition will be performed. If no condition is specified, the actions assigned to the default condition will be performed.

Set Fields Properties

The Set Fields tab can be used to assign values to any fields in the script.

IconDescription
To add a Set Field action, click the Add icon. The New Field window is displayed.
To copy a Set Field action, click the action and then click the Copy icon. The New Field window is displayed.
To edit a Set Field action, click the action and then click the Edit icon. The Edit Field window is displayed.
To delete a Set Field action, click the action and then click the Remove icon. The action is removed from the list.
New Field/Edit Field

The New Field window is displayed when adding or copying a Set Field action. The Edit Field window is displayed when editing a Set Field action.

Message Field: Click the drop list and select the name of the field to which you want to assign a value.

Value: Type the value that you want to assign to the field.

The Value property has a variable field type, which can be changed to use data obtained from other parts of the message script. By default, the field type of this property is Text. To change the type of information that can be stored, click the field type, select "Change To” from the drop menu, and select a field type from the submenu.

More information about field types is provided in the "Response Element Library” section of the Infinity Intelligent Series Supervisor Reference Guide.

When you have finished setting properties, click the OK button to close the Do Step Properties window.

Skip Step

The Skip Step response element is used to skip a step in the Action Table. The Skip Step element marks the step to be skipped so that the step will not be performed when that step of the Action Table is reached. The next step will be performed instead. The step only is skipped when the script uses the Do Table Actions (Do Step) element set to "Next” to advance through the steps in the table. If the step is selected using the Do Table Actions element set to "Expression” or "Select” or using the Select Step element, the step will not be skipped.

To add a Skip Step element, click any of the Add/Remove Actions hyperlinks in the script or screen in which the Action Table was created. Select "Skip a Step in Table” from the list of actions on the left side of the Select Actions window, and then click the right arrow button. The Skip Step Properties window is displayed.

Table: Click the drop list and select the name of the table. Select "[Current]” to use the table that was last selected.

Step: Type the name of the step to skip.

The Step property has a variable field type, which can be changed to use data obtained from other parts of the message script. By default, the field type of this property is Text. To change the type of information that can be stored, click the field type, select "Change To” from the drop menu, and select a field type from the submenu.

More information about field types is provided in the "Response Element Library” section of the Infinity Intelligent Series Supervisor Reference Guide.

When you have finished setting properties, click the OK button to close the Skip Step Properties window.

Select Step

The Select Step response element provides a way to display the status of the steps in an Action Table and can allow the operator to select which step to perform. The Select Step element displays a table showing all of the steps in the Action Table and the status of each step: Completed, In Progress, or None. The Select Step properties can be set to allow the operator to select a step from the table at run time to trigger the actions assigned to that step, or to display the steps in a read-only format for informational purposes.

To add a Select Step element, click any of the Add/Remove Actions hyperlinks in the script or screen in which the Action Table was created. Select "Select a Step in Table” from the list of actions on the left side of the Select Actions window, and then click the right arrow button. The Select Step Properties window is displayed.

Table: Click the drop list and select the name of the table. Select "[Current]” to use the table that was last selected.

Run Actions: Select this check box to allow the operator to select a step in the table and perform the actions associated with that step. Clear this check box to make the table a read-only display.

Condition: If the Run Actions check box is selected, click the drop list and select a condition. The actions assigned to that condition will be performed. If no condition is specified, the actions assigned to the default condition will be performed.

Requirements:

  • IS Supervisor 5.60.4177.0 or later
  • IS Server 3.5.4184.19293 or later
  • SQL Server 2005 or later
  • IS Messaging
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.4177.02 or later (optional)
  • Soft Agent 3.5.4177.02 or later (optional)
  • Web Scripting 3.5.4177.0 or later (optional)

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© 2014 National Amtelco Equipment Owners. All Rights Reserved.
NewsLinks is distributed quarterly to NAEO members.

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