Newslinks
January 2011

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

The Telephone Doctor
by Nancy Friedman

Featured Articles

Happy New Year from Your Education Committee!
by Gerald Brosseau

Luck Abounds in New Orleans
by Marci Imes

Change to Cross-Reference
by Terry Jones

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

Listening, what a skill

Have you ever spent time in conversation with someone and realized at the end that you really did not know what they talked about? Maybe you were worried about the next person you needed to talk with or the errands you needed to run later. Maybe you were thinking about your grocery list or what you were going to say next. How many things have you missed by not taking the time to really listen to others. Listening is a skill that most people need to learn and keep honed with constant use. In a world that provides constant interruptions and thrives on multitasking, single focus listening is a precious jewel you can give and receive.

For a few tips on developing good listening skills, please review the article below.
http://changingminds.org/articles/articles09/talking_is_sharing.htm

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
~ Robert McCloskey

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand."
~ Author Unknown

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Something to Smile About...

Just a little something to keep your mind active:

Check out your lateral thinking power!
The first 4 images are the questions and the answers are given at the end. Please do not look at the answers first, these are really good, try it out.

Question 1 - See answer

Question 2 - See answer

Question 3 - See answer

Question 4 - See answer

Answers

  1. The last person took the basket with the egg in it.
  2. All the other card players were women.
  3. Pour the juice from the second glass into the fifth.
  4. The recluse was a lighthouse keeper.

How was your lateral thinking?

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Happy New Year from Your Education Committee!

by Gerald R. Brosseau, II, Education Committee Chair

NAEO’s Education Committee hasn’t slowed down one bit as we say farewell to 2010 and welcome the New Year! At the Courtyard Marriott in Chicago in October, Gerald R. Brosseau, II of Always On Call and Theran Mossholder of Newtown Answering Service taught a session on introductory IS programming. With nearly two dozen members in attendance, the session proved to be tremendous benefit to attendees. The goal of the session was to take a personalized, hands-on approach to learning Intelligent Series features, including message scripting, info pages, shared fields, and directories. "IS programming seemed to be a foreign language until I attended this workshop. I am confident that I can now program a new account on my own in IS,” says Evelyn Portinari.

If you missed this workshop, the Education Committee will be hosting another opportunity to learn the basics of Intelligent Series before the annual conference in March via webinar. Make sure to monitor the list serve and check out the NAEO website for details. Attendance via webinar is limited, so make sure to register early!

Here is a preview of the some of the upcoming introductory Intelligent Series Webinars:

  • Simple Solutions to IS Scripting – IS 101
  • Focus on Info Pages
  • Ready for the Next Step of IS Scripting? – IS 102
  • How to Make the Most out of Message Summaries
  • Ready for the Next Step of IS Scripting? – IS 103

By member requests, the pre-conference IS Workshop at the 2011 Annual Conference will feature some of NAEO’s most knowledgeable programmers with 100% Intermediate and Advanced programming, including a session on Amtelco’s Contact Based Architecture. Bring your questions and your laptops!

By popular demand, supervisors can register for the pre-conference workshop on "Using Infinity to Manage Your Staff” where they’ll learn about maximizing efficiency and improving customer service within your call center. In addition to learning about Amtelco software, attendees can expect an open forum to ask questions on how to best handle employee and client tribulations.

The menu at the NAEO Annual Conference in New Orleans in March is packed with a variety of educational sessions in three tracks for employees in all levels of support within your organization, including Operations, Marketing & Management, and Technical. Hospitals will also have the opportunity to attend Amtelco’s pre-conference 1Call Seminar. The education committee has worked hard to introduce a mix of different knowledge based speakers with some new faces to support our existing education team. Our keynote speaker, Nancy Freidman, President of The Telephone Doctor customer service training, will present "Your One Bowl Recipe for Success." There is no doubt that this years conference is a must attend!

Don’t miss two opportunities to learn more about the upcoming conference via webinar. Attendance via webinar is limited, so make sure to register online at www.naeo.org early!

  • January 19, 2011 and January 26, 2011 - "It’s Conference Time, Are you Ready?” BAMM! Kick up Your Call Center Menu!

The committee is always welcome to new members. To join the education committee, please email education@naeo.org today!

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Luck Abounds in New Orleans

by Marci Imes, Advantage Answering Plus, Inc.


There once was an Infinity owner from Tarnation
Who was up to his armpits in frustration
‘Tween staff, and traffic, and errors
He looked at himself in the mirror
Said "Goin’ to New Orleans to get an education

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations will have already begun in anticipation of the big day in New Orleans during the week of March 13 when our members and several Amtelco representatives will gather for the NAEO Annual Conference. If you haven’t already booked your flight, now may be a great time to do so.

If St. Patty’s Day has you conjuring up thoughts of corned beef and cabbage, know that NAEO has cooked up a special conference full of great topics that are sure to give your Infinity call center the gourmet treatment. A special blend of tips, networking, and demonstrations are sure to inspire you, provide solutions, and enable you to reach new heights in your call center.

In planning the trip, remember that there will be an IS Supervisor Training Workshop and a Supervisor Training Workshop beginning first thing on Sunday, March 13 and a 1Call Hospital Seminar offered that afternoon. The Opening Reception for all begins at 7 p.m. that evening.

If you have never attended an NAEO Conference, know that you are encouraged to attend the "First Timers” reception at 6 p.m. on Sunday evening, and there you will be welcomed and befriended by our Board members and others – so don’t let shyness get in the way. For the rest of you, consider bringing your key team members to the conference for a rich and rewarding experience. Registration forms will be published soon, but in the meantime, it’s a great time to book your airfare, and get ready for a delicious and nutritious learning experience.

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2010 Scholarship Winners Announced

by Andy Shelp, NAEO Executive Director

NAEO is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 NAEO William and Eleanor Curtin and Christina Collins Scholarships. NAEO received many outstanding applications that made the selection process a difficult one.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, our congratulations to Christina Dewell of Call Experts on being selected to receive the 2010 William and Eleanor Curtin Scholarship and Shellia Silveira of Answerwest, Inc. on receiving the 2010 Christina Collins Scholarship.

Thank you to all those members who applied or had co-workers apply for these scholarships. NAEO looks forward to receiving many more applications in 2011.

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Change to Cross-Reference

by Terry Jones, Directeur Technique / CTO, Télé-Page - Tele-Page

My salesman came to me and said, "Terry, I have a client that wants his callers to hear an up-front greeting and then be prompted to enter 3 numbers on their phone keypad based on the last name of the employee, of which there are 19. Once they press the digits, such as '566' for 'Jones,' the Infinity account changes to another which plays the persons own voice mail prompt to leave a voice message in their voice mail box. So how do we do that?”

We start with the Infinity account which has the DID source in it. That is the account the caller reaches first and must have the source setup behavior set to Change to Cross Reference.

What is important here is that it goes in Box# and not the default. That is so the caller can enter digits from his telephone. Also, in the source setup behaviors, there shouldn't be another behavior, such as digit numbers, programmed. The account will need an account greeting that says something like, "Hi you're calling XYZ Company, Please enter the first three letters of the employee name for whom you wish to leave a message..."

Next, create the Infinity account that corresponds with the digits pressed, "566” as in the example, for Jones. The caller will be changed to this account. To keep the setup simple, the account number should be representative of the digits, but this is not compulsory. In my case the master number was "18” so the sub account could be "18566.” What is important here is that the correct digits entered by the caller, are placed in Client Cross Reference in Voice Mail - General tab of the account assigned to the individual. Therefore, when a caller presses "566” after listening to the account greeting on account "18,” Infinity changes account to "18556” and plays the account greeting for "18566,” performing the default behavior for account "18566” which would be set to Voice Mail.

All you need to do is repeat this for all the employees' names.

That's it, so have fun with what Infinity can do!

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Retailing Woes Easily Fixed With 7 Simple Customer Service Training Tips

by Nancy Friedman

Some companies blame their customer service problems on part-time workers because they are just that: "part-timers." As such, companies argue, part-time don't want to take responsibility. They don't want to take ownership. They just want to take the money and run. They can't wait to get off work.

No matter how your customers come to you, in person or on the phone, ask yourself what type of customer relations training you have. And if there's not one, think again.

"Gee, Nancy, I'm so busy doing other things. There's just no time for this type of training. We're just too busy to stop and train." Too busy to be nice? Too busy to teach your employees customer service? Think again.

It's up to each and every owner or manager to provide some sort of customer service training. Just putting them out there and telling them to, "be nice" or "tell everyone to have a good day," is NOT customer service training.

Whether your customers call you or come into the store, following these Telephone Doctor ground rules can help make your company the one the customer wants to come back to. It will give you the competitive edge.

Ground Rule # 1 - GREET CUSTOMERS FIRST

Make it a game. If a customer says "hello" first, you lose. It's amazing how often you can go into a store, any store, walk around, touch things, look at prices, and walk out. All without anyone saying anything to you. The minute a customer walks into the store the sales staff needs to be the one to say hello first. It's their job to say hello first. It's not the customer's job to do it. That first friendly hello sets the stage; sets the tone to make sure the customer is in the right place.

Ground Rule # 2 - SMILE

Right! It's that simple! Make smiling on the job a condition of employment and grounds for termination. Tell your staff that in the interview process. "We smile here." It's a simple statement and a powerful sales tool. Don't relent on this one - ever! I recently heard about a young man, about 17, who quit his job 2 weeks after he started. When his folks asked, "Why?" his answer was, "They drove me crazy; they wanted me to smile all the time."

Ground Rule # 3 - ENTHUSIASM COUNTS

Dale Carnegie said it first. And my father said it second. He used to tell me, "Enthusiasm is a disease - let's start an epidemic." And how true that is. When a customer brings something to the counter for you to ring up, or even tells you what they want on the phone, get excited. Let them know you care. When the customer sees, feels and hears your enthusiasm you'll ring up a lot more sales. And your enthusiasm is a great setup for up-selling or cross-selling.

Ground Rule # 4 - DON'T POINT - GO SHOW

How many times have you walked into a store, asked for something, and the salesperson either just nods you to the item or only points to the direction without saying anything. When and if possible, WALK with the customer to the area they need. If that becomes impossible, cheerfully direct the person to what they need and give clear, easy and, most important, friendly directions. "Aisle 3, on your right" is clear and easy, but not very friendly. This is FRIENDLY: "The New widgets? Sure, we have them. They're great. You'll find them right past the flower section in aisle 3. It'll be on your right hand side right next to the elephant display. (Using LANDMARKS really helps.) Let me know if you're not able to locate them and I'll get someone to help you."

Those are clear, easy and friendly directions. Pointing is plain rude. (Ask servers to direct you to the restroom and 100% of the time they point. It's possible to give clear directions to that area, too.)

Ground Rule # 5 - PLEASE, THANK YOU AND YOU'RE WELCOME

Yes, still the most favorite words to all customers. I used to be embarrassed to remind attendees to use those words. But I'm easily reminded that it needs to be taught. There's not a 3 year old that hasn't been told, "Tell the lady thank you, Bobbie. Go on Bobbie, you can say it. Tell her thank you." Some folks don't let the other person go until the child has said "thank you." We spend hours teaching our kids those words and then at age 16, what happens?

Ground Rule # 6 - PRETEND IT'S YOU

Ask your staff to make-believe it's them walking into the store trying to purchase something. How would they like to be treated? Tell them every customer will go away thinking one of two ways. Either, "Hey those guys were great" or "Hey, I'm never gonna go back there again." And if they think that's not their problem, tell them to think again. Because if the customers don't come back, you close up and they're out of a job. Then it is their problem. Simple.

Ground Rule # 7 - MAKE IT FUN

It's difficult out there for a lot of folks. Most people want to laugh. It helps make whatever problems they might have a little easier. So if you have the opportunity to have fun on the job, do it! Make their day!

Consider posting this article in an area employees see often. How about a bulletin board? Put this article in their paycheck. Have them read this aloud. They need to know you are serious about customer service. It's NOT just a passing fancy.

These are demanding times. Be extra good to your customers. Have a training program for your staff.

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© 2011 National Amtelco Equipment Owners. All Rights Reserved.
NewsLinks is distributed quarterly to NAEO members.

National Amtelco Equipment Owners
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