NAEO Newslinks-June09
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June 2009



Betty Bouchie

From the Editor:
The Art of Listening
by Betty Bouchie

Have you ever noticed that there are two types of listeners? Those who are passive listeners and those who actively focus on what you are saying. The first type are just waiting for you to finish, so they can say something, or are running through their grocery list, waiting for the sound of your voice to stop. The second type interacts with you as you speak, maybe not with words, but with their body language. What you say matters.

I think, sometimes, we can be either. We can be overcome by so much talk that we can tune out even when we think we are listening. If you are the person talking, who do you want for a listener?

Here is a link to an interesting article on how to improve your listening skills. Give it a read. Maybe tell someone about it and see if they are listening.

http://www.casaaleadership.ca/mainpages/resources/sourcebook/listening-skills.html

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Be Inspired

" We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth. How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 - and half the things he knows at 40 hadn't been discovered when he was 20?"

~ Arthur C. Clarke

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Something to Smile About...

10 Signs You're an Internet Geek:
  1. When filling out your driver's license application, you give your IP address.

  2. You no longer ask prospective dates what their sign is, instead your line is "Hi, what's your URL?"

  3. Instead of calling you to dinner, your spouse sends e-mail.

  4. You're amazed to find out spam is a food.

  5. You "ping" people to see if they're awake, "finger" them to find out how they are, and "AYT" them to make sure they're listening to you.

  6. You search the Net endlessly hoping to win every silly free T-shirt contest.

  7. You introduce your wife as "my lady@home.wife" and refer to your children as "client applications."

  8. At social functions you introduce your husband as "my domain server."

  9. After winning the office Super Bowl pool you blurt out, "I feel so colon-right parenthesis!"

    And the number one sign you are an Internet Geek:

  10. Two Words: "Pizza's Here!"

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Broadcast Through Ultracomm
by Jaimie Guidry, Application Analyst, Dexcomm

Fax Broadcast Instructions

  1. Create document to be faxed (either in Word or Publisher).

PREPARE THE LIST OF FAX #’S

  1. Have all of the fax numbers in a database. The fax numbers should be written in the proper dial string format that Ultracomm needs to be able to dial it.
  2. Use 2 columns: Fax # and Client Name (or Client Number)
  3. Be sure that the Fax # column is the first column.
  4. Export the file.
  5. Save it as a text document in tab delimited format. A box will pop up. Choose ‘Delimited’ > Next > Choose ‘Tab’ > Next > Finish
  6. Close database
  7. Open up the text file you just created
  8. Add Your Company’s fax # and Name as the very first entry. (This will be used to test the broadcast in later steps.)
  9. Save that file in a place where you can access it from your Ultracomm computer.

Ex: The text document should look like this: (The quotes " ”are there because of my exporting process. Depending on what database you use, you may or may not see the quotes.)

GET THE DOCUMENT TO BE FAXED INTO IMAGE FORMAT

*This step no longer works for us because after having to install a new hard drive on our Ultracomm machine we lost the ‘FaxFacts Fax Client’ printer. But if you have this option, these are the steps to get the document to be faxed into the proper image format.

  1. Open the document to be faxed that you previously created in Word or Publisher.
  2. Print the doc using ‘FaxFacts Fax Client’ printer. (File>print>select FaxFacts Fax Client printer)
  3. A window will open. Click ‘save as fax’ under tasks at top left screen
  4. In the Image ID field save file. We use an 8 digit number. [20070208 which would be Feb 8th 2007].
  5. Click ‘save image’ and close this window along with the doc

*This is the work-around to not having the ‘FaxFacts Fax Client’ printer. It requires a fax-to-email account. To sum it up, you have to fax the document to yourself and steal the image half way through the process.

  1. Get ready to catch the document. From your Ultracomm Computer open the 2 following folders: C:\COPIA\FAXFACTS\MAIL\(faxtoemailacct#) (This is the folder the fax to email will write to prepare its document. This is the document we have to steal.) C:\COPIA\FAXFACTS\IMAGE (This is where you will place the image once received.)
  2. Fax the document to yourself to your fax to email account.
  3. Before the fax can process, close Ultracomm Manager so that the process does not complete. (You don’t want it to finish because it will delete the image file).
  4. Watch the contents in the C:\COPIA\FAXFACTS\MAIL\(faxtoemailacct#) folder for a file that will look like this:

  1. Once the .mcf file appears you can copy and paste the .TIF file to the C:\COPIA\FAXFACTS\IMAGE folder.
  2. Now you have your image of the fax to be sent out. (I suggest renaming it so you can easily identify it later.)

Unfortunately, simply taking the word document and changing it to a .TIF file does not work. I tried this. The .TIF file created that way ends up too large. The file size has to be 25KB or less. If the file you grabbed is only 1KB, you grabbed it before the .MCF file was there.

SET UP THE COPIA FAX FACTS TO SEND OUT THE BROADCAST

  1. From Ultracomm open the FFBC.exe file.
  2. Click File > New
  3. Then Click File>OpenList. (Navigate and select the list you created of the fax numbers and company names or acct numbers) and click open. You should see the list of numbers & companies in the list.

  1. Click the Broadcast Tab.
  2. Click the circled button next to the ‘Fax Document File Name’ field.

  1. Click ‘Select Any File.’

  1. Navigate to your image to be faxed and select it (it will be in the C:\COPIA\FAX FACTS\IMAGE folder.)
  2. Select file created.
  3. Click Open.

(Note if the name of the file then appears in RED, your fax will NOT go out. Something is wrong with the image. If all letters are in black you are good to go.)

TEST THE BROADCAST

  1. Click ‘test’ to the right.
  2. Wait for the fax to arrive on your fax machine. Once successfully received you can proceed.
    (This step is the reason you put your fax # as the first entry)

REDUCE THE PRIORITY

(This step is necessary so that the fax broadcast does not block up your regularly scheduled faxes. By reducing the priority the fax broadcast jobs will sit and wait until all of the scheduled jobs have gone out before it begins sending.)

  1. Click ‘Broadcast’ tab. Check ‘Delay Sending Until.’ Make sure it is at least 5-10 min away so you have enough time to complete the rest of the steps.

  1. Click "Go"
  2. Go to C\COPIA\FAX FACTS\CALLBACK\TOSEND folder.
  3. Click on the NEXFTS file once to highlight. Then click ‘edit’ ‘invert selection’
  4. Click Edit, then cut.
  5. Now click the back button once, double click the TOSEND3 folder to open it.
  6. Click edit, then paste.
  7. Close FFBC and all other related folders (Warning message you get when closing FFBC file, select OK).

The C:\COPIA\FAX FACTS\CALLBACK\TOSEND3 folder will have each fax in your list that needs to go out. The ‘Modified’ column will display when this fax is scheduled to be delivered. Initially everything will have what you set in ‘Delay Sending Until’ field, which will be changed as the faxes fail and are scheduled for other delivery attempts. Keep in mind that many files will have the same time since Ultracomm can only fax a limited number of things at once. It only attempts to send a fax when Ultracomm isn’t busy with other jobs that Infinity has assigned to it. If you are asked to remove a fax that is attempting to broadcast, you need to visit the C:\COPIA\FAXFACTS\CALLBACK\TOSEND3 folder and find the file with the company name or fax number inside it. Windows will not be able to search for files containing this info, so you will have to do so manually. The files are numbered in order from the list you provided, so to get an idea you can open a file, look at the contents, and compare its location in your list. Double clicking on a file will open it. $var-phone will be the fax number and $fax_receiver will be the company name. To stop a particular fax from being sent, delete the file with the correct company name or fax #. Looking at the number of items in this folder can give you an idea of how many faxes remain and doing a little math can tell you how long it will take to finish (how long it takes to send 1 file times the number of files).

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Infinity Feature: Client Coding
by Rick Delorme, Northern Communications

There is a system feature built into Infinity that allows you to sort accounts by Group. This could be useful to produce reports based on the categories you create. A list might be created to sort accounts by type of service or perhaps by operating sites or just some accounts for tracking or reporting.

Go to System Forms & Lists and select the Group Names Tab.

  • Create a list of categories and assign names to these that reflect what groups you might want to sort your accounts into.
  • Enter the names to create the list of categories, which can be edited at any time.
  • You can have up to 500 names on this list.

Go to the Web/Outside Access screen to select the Account Group for that account.

  • On a per-account basis see the option on that screen to assign each account to a group.
  • The button beside the Account Group text box will display your list.


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June 17, 2009
Pittsburgh, PA


Workshop Rates:
$249/after May 29

Join us at the IS Training Workshop on June 17!
by Gerald Brosseau

The NAEO Education Committee is excited to offer a full day of comprehensive Intelligent Series programming! Join Gerald Brosseau, Jake Phillips, and the Amtelco training team with an interactive hands-on training workshop to build a new account from "scratch” using IS.

Whether you are just starting to use Intelligent Series or looking to further develop your expertise, you’ll learn how to harness the power of IS using innovative features such as IS Info pages, If, List, and Case branching, auto dialing capabilities, dynamic messaging, display modes, IS directories, shared fields, Web and SQL Database Integration, and even introducing Amtelco’s NEW Contact Based Dispatching!

Join us for an intense and informative workshop that promises to provide outstanding training for basic, intermediate and advanced Intelligent Series programmers using real life challenges and examples!

Register or get more details online HERE or download the registration form HERE.

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Don't Miss the Upcoming Webinar:
Contact Based Dispatch

June 15, 2009
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EDT
Speaker: Sean Haugh

Basic features of Contact Based Dispatch will be demonstrated, such as selecting an oncall, automatically notating message adds to dispatch attempts, and changing contacts over the course of dispatch. This webinar will be operating under the assumption that you are familiar with at least the basics of IS scripting and IS directories.

System Requirements:
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.3.9 (Panther®) or newer

Register your webinar seat today.

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6 Skills of Listening
by Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor

Pretend you're a real estate agent, showing a $5 million home to a nationally known sports star. This sports star and his beautiful actress wife really like the house. If the sale is made...the commission will allow you to buy a new luxury car and pay off a lot of bills.

As the sale is about to be closed, the athlete's cell phone rings and his smile turns to a frown. He has just been traded and will be leaving town. He relays the message to his wife who breaks down and cries. Question: how old is the real estate person?

Give up? It's not a trick. You might want to re-read the scenario. It says pretend YOU are a real estate sales person - so how old are you?

OK, it was a trick. But no more trickier than listening to your customers whether you're on the phone or in person. Listening is an art – not a science. And while we usually can 'hear' customers, Telephone Doctor often wonders if we're really 'listening' to them.

You might think listening is easy. After all, doesn't everybody listen?

Listening isn't the same as hearing. Think about a commercial for a product you have no interest in, it's easy to tune that information out, isn't it?

Hearing is one thing, but listening and mentally absorbing the thoughts is another thing. That's why we say listening is an art – not a science. While it's easy to 'hear' what the customer says, great customer service begins with great listening skills.

Here are 6 steps to becoming a better listener. And if you think you're already a pretty good listener... pass this along to someone else who could benefit from improved listening skills.

Tip #1 Decide to be a better listener

In school, you're taught to read, write, do math, and dozens of other topics. I don't know about you, but in all my schooling, I don't ever recall having a course on listening. And yet, as we all know, listening is an important, some would say even a crucial skill. The first step is all about you - your personal commitment to being a better listener.
You need to decide to be a better listener. So make that decision now. You're going to be a better listener and you're going to work at it. And here's how.

Tip #2 Welcome the customer

Be obviously friendly. By being obviously friendly and welcoming the customer, it immediately sets the stage to let the customer know that you're interested and actively listening. One effective way to show you're listening is to tell the customer: "You've come to the right place."

Tip #3 Concentrate

Your mind processes information much faster than the normal rate of speech and because of that ability, your mind half-listens and does other things too. Your brain tends to solve other problems, to think about what you're going to say next, other calls you need to make, lunch plans or a host of other activities.

The mind needs to be disciplined to pay full attention to your customer and to listen closely. Even when you try to listen closely, little things can distract you, like a regional accent, or someone who speaks too rapidly, or when the customer's discussing a topic you don't find interesting. It's easy to be distracted by things happening around you. But don't let that happen. Concentrate.

Tip #4 Keep an open mind

We'd go a long way toward curing the problem of poor listening habits by not interrupting our customers. By carefully listening and letting the customer finish their conversation, you hear them out completely. AVOID JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS. That's an important step in the direction of keeping an open mind and solving the real problem.

This is a good time to talk about the difference between a "fact" and "assumption." A statement of fact is normally made after an observation. An assumption can be made any time -- before, during or after an observation (or with no observation at all.)

We want to operate as much as we can with facts rather than assumptions. And a good listener tries to stay objective and not be judgmental. Try not to let personal impressions modify what you hear. Keep an open mind.

Tip #5 Give feedback that you're listening

Often, when the person on the other end of the line doesn't give you feedback, you think you've been disconnected. Remember, with the phone there are no visual signals. Too much silence on the phone, or even in person, gives the impression you're not listening.

Even when you're thinking or looking for something, you need to send feedback - a variety of short replies acknowledging the customer. Give them a spoken signal that you're receiving the message. Phrases like "bear with me while I look that up" or "let's see what the notes say..." are examples. And notice too, I said a variety of replies...not one word like okay, okay, okay, okay, okay, okay.

Tip #6 Take notes while you listen and review notes with the customer

I know this is basic, but it's so important. There needs to be paper and a pen or pencil by every phone. Write down key words as people talk – the customer's name, what they need, any follow-up items. Please don't take a chance on forgetting when it's so easy to write things down. Make up your own abbreviation system as a memory jogger. And if your customer gives you lots of extra information, eliminate the unnecessary bits that can be safely discarded. Whether you're taking a telephone message or helping a customer, repeat and paraphrase the message back to the customer to be sure you've got it correct. It lets the customer know you've really listened. Mistakes happen. We're only human. However, many mistakes are avoidable. If we could get 250,000 people to make one less mistake, a mistake that costs their company just $40, that would be a savings of $10 million dollars. And it's such a simple thing to do.

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