Newslinks
June 2012

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

IS Tip: Caboodles of Noodles
by Kevin Procter

Are You Passive, Average, or Proactive?
by Nancy Friedman

Featured Articles

Webinar & Workshop Opportunities

NAEO Summer Seminar Series

Join NAEO in Nashville, the City Where Innovation Sings!
by Kelli Harrigan

Live Answer or Voice Mail
by Deborah Anders

Getting Around the Message Limit in UltraComm
by Michael Goumas

Willis of Delaware Discontinuation

Amtelco Annex

Action Items

Take Quick Notes and Copy Information into Message Fields Using the NoteBox
by David Drenk

Option to Turn a Remote Operator’s State
to "Off” When Audio Is Lost

by David Drenk

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

Availability is not an "Ability”

Have you ever been placed in a position, just because you were there? Have you ever placed someone else in that position? Maybe hired someone, just to fill a chair? Having the right person in the right position might be the difference between success and failure, or maybe between average and awesome! Do you want your projects, your people and your plans to just be completed, or do you want magic to happen? Seeking out the right abilities for an activity, no matter how small, makes sure you are building using the right blocks.

For thoughts on availability versus skill set, please read this blog: http://blog.joecaruso.ca/?p=1.

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

"Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right people in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.”
- William Pollard

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Something to Smile About...

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IS Tip: Caboodles of Noodles

by Kevin Procter, Extend Communications Inc.

I love noodles. Spaghetti noodles, rice noodles, angel-hair noodles. They're very tasty, and fun to eat. But have you ever picked up a single noodle on one end, and tried following it through a pot, without disturbing all the rest of the noodles around it? Programming IS sometimes resembles a pot of noodles.

In previous employment environments, I've worked with code that was more than 20 years old. Back then, logical structure was virtually unheard of, and programs resembled pots of noodles. Programmers were given the tools to do the job, and some of the programs resulting from that were virtually a house of cards. The programs worked – most of the time; but maintaining the code meant trying to follow the strand of spaghetti. And then, making a change that didn't disturb the rest of the spaghetti. While it was possible, it took a lot of time, and cost a lot of pulled hair.

Coding in IS is different from those days, yet some of the practices are eerily similar. That is, in spite of script coding being a very visual process, the need for logic and structure remains. I have worked in scripts where the logic and structure seemingly weren't considered when writing the script.

Perhaps we need to determine if the office is open or closed. For example, dispatching a call may be different when the office is closed than when the office is open. So we check the day of the week, we look at the time, and perhaps a couple of other bits of information. Then we make decisions based on the office being open or closed. See the code below as an example of how not to code your IS script.

In the code snippet above, we see a calculation being done to check the time. If the time is between 12:30am and 5am, we're going to do something. Outside of that time, something else will happen. The problem is, when the customer calls and says their hours have changed, the programmer needs to change not only the above code, but also must find and edit every line in the script that calculates based on the office hours. With ten blocks of code like the one above, that will be a fair bit of grunt work – not the enjoyable creative process that programming should be.

Now compare that with the code below. Here, the programmer checks the time once; then checks the day of the week. The value of "OfficeOpen" is then set accordingly. When the customer calls with new office hours, the programmer makes the changes only once in the script.

Further to the beauty of using logic and structure when planning this script is that if, for any reason, the office is actually closed during a time it would normally be open (say for office meetings, Christmas parties, stonings, etc.) you can set the office closed in the script. You can have the programmer do this quickly – manually – or you can write a path through the script to force the office open or closed. Write that value to a shared field, and read that field when the script starts up. Then, you don't need the programmer to make any changes when the customer's office suddenly needs to be forced to a value of closed.

However you decide to program these kinds of calculations, always remember logic and efficiency. Think of a pot of noodles. If your code resembles that metaphor, look for ways to improve on logic and structure. And when you achieve a script that you're happy with, use that structure over and over with each new script. It'll make ongoing maintenance much easier, leaving you time to enjoy your own bowl of noodles at lunch and dinner; eating should be the only time a programmer has to manage spaghetti. (Hint: Don't wear a white shirt!)

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Are You Passive, Average, or Proactive?

Take the Telephone Doctor's 1 Minute Quiz and Find Out

by Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

Read the scenarios below and ask yourself, which type am I?

  1. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): "Tell you what, I've decided not to take the Blue Widget."
    Answer from a PASSIVE person: "OK, thanks. Have a nice day."

    Customer feels nothing. Usually disappointed.

  2. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): "Tell you what, I've decided not to take the Blue Widget."
    Answer from an AVERAGE person: "You sure?"

    Customer feels slighted. Probably could have used a little help.

  3. The customer says (either on the phone or in person): "Tell you what, I've decided not to take the Blue Widget."
    Answer from a PROACTIVE person: "Wow! Sorry to hear that. Are you aware there's a Widget Maker that goes with it at a discounted price? You'll have several uses for it. Why not keep it? You'll love it."

    Customer feels great. Didn't realize there was an accessory with it and buys the Widget and the Widget Maker.

See the difference? Now, which one are you?

FACT: There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these types. Every company needs each of them in this busy world. However, we need certain types in certain positions.

Sadly, sometimes we hire folks because they're breathing. I've done it. It happens.

Let's take a look at each type: Which one are you? Remember, none of them are bad.

PASSIVE – Telephone Doctor's definition is: A passive person receives information and does nothing or very little with it. The dictionary's definition is: Receiving or subjected to an action without responding or initiating an action in return: the mind viewed as a passive receptacle for sensory experience. (Our definition is just simpler!)

Passive does not mean a person is bad or shouldn't be helping customers. It simply means they're passive – not active. Are there passive sales people? Of course there are. The thing about being passive is most people don't like to be called that.

Yes, passive individuals usually receive information and do nothing with it. Happens all the time. You go into the grocery store. You hand the checker your check or credit card which has your name on it! The checker asks you for identification sometimes. And then does whatever it is they do, hands you back your ID and (sometimes) says, "Thank you." No other words are exchanged. Even though he had your name, it was never used.

This person is passive. Passive individuals receive information and do nothing with it. The checker had your name. Twice. Once on the check and once on the ID.

But again, it's not a bad thing. From my experience, those who are in the passive mode and are put into a proactive situation are, in truth, uncomfortable. Not bad, just uncomfortable. They're not at ease telling others what is best for them or making decisions for others.

So if you have passive individuals on your team, talk with them; be sure they're happy. Be sure they're comfortable in their job.

AVERAGE – It is easier to get an average person to be proactive than it is to get a passive person up to average. It just is.

Let's see what the dictionary says about average: medium, mediocre, fair, middling, indifferent, and tolerable.

FACT: There are huge numbers of average folks out there. Millions of them, and I don't want to be one of them. Not sure about you, but I made a decision a long time ago that I didn't want to be average. I didn't want to be in the mass of mediocrity. Again, average folks aren't bad. They're fine upstanding citizens. But they're average; like a lot of people. And they don't stand out to be remembered. If you're in sales, or in any active exchange area, you want and need to be remembered.

Average individuals receive information and honestly try to do something with what they receive. It's just that they don't seem to be able to get over the hurdle. Average folks say a lot of words like "wow" and "gee, that's so interesting." Telephone Doctor calls those "agreement" statements, when they're really "don't know what to say" statements. So you can see they're not bad, just not effective.

Day after day millions of people – including sales people – go about their business being average. And yes, average people make sales. They do. And sometimes they even "fall" into a large order. In truth, it's usually not something that they're responsible for doing. The sale just fell into their laps.

Average people go about their business being sort of happy with themselves when they could be so much more. Sad. I know some average folks I'd love to take under my wing to help them be more proactive.

PROACTIVE – Ah yes, it's the proactive people in this world who make things happen. They find the sales and help the customers. They are detectives. They are "naturally inquisitive." They ask more questions, look a little deeper and always double check to be sure. Very few proactive people take "no" as an acceptable answer (or a final one).

They are as we say, naturally inquisitive. They know it can be done. Proactive people love sales. And let's remember, sales don't always need to be a product. It can be a thought, a service, an appointment, helping someone. We just normally think of a product when we think sales.

A proactive person isn't necessarily a workaholic. They enjoy vacations. (Even relax on them.) But back at work, they have the ability to turn "on." Normally upbeat and happy, proactive people seldom wallow in negativity or self-pity. They're somehow able to turn that negative into a positive.

Proactive people find a way to get it done. They know "it can be done." They make one more call, research a little more thoroughly, answer one more question, write up one more sale and never run out of questions to ask.

Proactive people think for their clients. They provide solutions. They enjoy solving problems for their clients. They enjoy success. So again, I ask, "Which one are you?"

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Webinars

May 9 Webinar Recap

Presenter and Education Chair Gerald Brosseau led the CTRL F-12 Settings webinar for NAEO members on May 9, 2012. During this detail-packed webinar, such settings as programming function buttons, keyboard setup, operator station setup, high resolution mode setup, logging operator chat messages, and much more were covered! Available in the members section of the NAEO website is a recording of this presentation for future review by you or you staff, as well as important documentation provided by Amtelco to set up your 101 keyboard and the corresponding assignments. If you missed this, please log on to www.naeo.org and check it out at your convenience or register for another upcoming webinar!


June Webinars

Wednesday, June 13

12 pm to 1 pm EST – Hosted by Kurt VanderSheer and Joe Adam

Business Continuity

This series of webinars will cover the NAEO Disaster Recovery Plan that was written exclusively for our NAEO members. This program was developed over a two-year span in conjunction with Barney Pelant and Associates (a leader in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning).

We will discuss why your business (regardless of its size) will benefit from this program.

We will also discuss the program materials as well as what outside resources will be made available to the membership to assist with completing this program. In the first session we will briefly discuss the various sections of the plan and also start working through Chapter 1 of the program. For the next sessions we will cover a chapter each webinar. But don't worry, if you miss one of the webinars you can still join the series later; just watch the recorded sessions to get caught up.

The goal of this webinar series to work through the plan as a group so that everyone will benefit from each other’s experiences and knowledge.

2 pm to 3 pm EST – Hosted by Theran Mossholder

Call Distributions

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.


Wednesday, June 20

2 pm to 3 pm - Hosted by Evelyn Portinari and Deborah Anders

Anatomy of a Complaint

Knowing what happened from beginning to end can assist in saving a Customer, as well as not repeating a problem. Join us to take a look at a Complaint from its infancy to assist in better serving your Customers.


Wednesday, June 27

12 pm to 1 pm - Hosted by the NAEO Education Committee

Introducing the Philly Workshop

Learn about our summer workshop on how to Become a Master of Intelligent Series Scripting. You will get a preview of the workshop highlights and agenda, as well as the steps needed to register.

You will also learn about our simultaneous Leadership Development workshop on Creativity and Innovation about how to promote your Superstars and give them the tools they need to succeed.

2 pm to 3 pm – Hosted by Carolyn Puckett and Gail Russell

How to prepare for IS

Upgrading to IS can be a challenging experience if you do not have the ground work laid out. Join us to learn what steps can assist you in being prepared for IS!

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NAEO Summer Seminar Series

Join the NAEO Education Committee & Amtelco for a "Never Before Offered” Intensive 3 Day Workshop: Programming, Leadership & Certification

Monday, August 6 – Wednesday, August 8, 2012 | REGISTRATION

Philadelphia Airport Courtyard Marriott Hotel | view map
8900 Bartram Avenue | Philadelphia, PA 19153


Leadership Development & ATSI Certification Seminars are
Non-Platform Specific – You do not need to be an Amtelco user or an NAEO member to attend!

Become a Master at Intelligent Series Scripting

Sponsored by Amtelco

August 6-8, 2012 – Philadelphia Airport Courtyard Marriott Hotel

Join the NAEO Education Committee and Amtelco for a "Never Before Offered” Intensive 3 Day Workshop for Both Entry Level and Expert Programmers!

See Details

Seminar on Leadership Development for Telemessaging Industry Employees

Creativity and Innovation
A Workshop on Leadership Development

August 6-8, 2012 – Philadelphia Airport Courtyard Marriott Hotel
See Details

ATSI Certification Workshop

August 6-8, 2012 – Philadelphia Airport Courtyard Marriott Hotel
See Details

Full event details and registration | Seminar Agenda

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Join NAEO in Nashville, the City Where Innovation Sings!

By Kelli Harrigan, Spectrum Communications Services, Inc.

Get this on your calendar now – NAEO’s 2013 annual conference will be held at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, March 16-19, 2013.

Nashville's rich and diverse musical history, friendly reputation and diverse scenery make Gaylord Opryland a great destination for our NAEO attendees. Within the hotel, in the climate-controlled glass atriums (no worries about wind or rain this time!), you'll find nine acres of indoor gardens, cascading waterfalls and an indoor river. And if you want to explore outside the hotel, downtown Nashville is just minutes away.

NashvilleYour NAEO Conference committee is already hard at work planning another exciting and inspiring conference with educational tracks for Operations, Technical, Sales/Marketing and Hospitals. And thanks to the success of our Supervisor and IS workshops over the last couple of years, they will make a return in Nashville, so be sure to keep this in mind for your supervisory staff and IS programmers. More details will be coming soon!

Check out the hotel at http://www.gaylordhotels.com/gaylord-opryland/ or see what sites you might want to visit in or around Nashville at http://www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/index.

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Live Answer or Voice Mail

By Deborah Anders, Operations Manager, The Legacy Connection

Have you ever had that customer who wanted their callers to have the option of leaving a voice mail message or, if needed, getting through to the call center to reach the on-call person? Or do you have an account where callers frequently tie up your employees at the busiest times just to give directions to the office? Well, here’s a simple solution for both – use a pre-announcement to give callers an option. They can speak to a live person, leave a voice mail message, or get directions just by choosing an option. If they are going to voice mail, we then offer our customer the option of checking the voice mail box themself or having our operators transcribe the voice mail for them, having the voice mail emailed to them, or just being notified when they have a voice message…. The options are many, but the set-up is easy!

How to set up option for live answer or voice mail for client:

  1. Set up a pre-announcement on main account (ex: "You have reached Dr. Jones' office. If your call is not an emergency and you would like to leave a voice mail message for the office, press 1 now. If your call is an emergency and you need to speak to the on-call doctor, press 0 now or hold on the line and someone will be right with you.” )
  2. Set up the main account as usual for standard answering account. Set up a sub account as a voice mail account. Go to "source setup” on the main account. If this is an account you only answer at night, then select night behavior; if you answer more than just nights make sure you set both day & night. For "standard” set "to operator”; under digit "0” set "to operator”; under digit "1” set "chg client” and then for "client #” set it to go to the sub account # you created. Just as a backup, I always set all the other digits to also go to operator.

If the office will check the voice mail themselves, give instructions to the office for checking the voice mail account. If they want you to transcribe it for them, simply set it to pop to a CSR screen and have your CSRs do it for them – whatever fits the customer’s needs.


Getting Around the Message Limit in UltraComm

By Michael Goumas, ProComm

UltraComm is a good tool – but the Infinity message length can inhibit getting the full message to a fax machine. I have figured out that UltraComm’s Email Retrieval can retrieve an email that is a full page, turn around and fax or email it in its entirety (up to a single page). I have noticed that either Copia or UltraComm truncates an IS field to the width of the page for faxing. I am more inclined to think that it is Copia because a broadcast from UltraComm also truncates.

First, go into UltraComm and pick an account to setup. Open the Email Retrieval tab.

In my case, I have made an account on our Exchange Server based on the account number in Infinity. This is an example of account# 5000 for us. Something to note is, "Retrieve Unread Messages Only" and "Delete Retrieved Msgs From Server" are checked. If you do not delete the message it will retrieve and send the same messages. It does not mark the message as read if it sends the message the first time.

You have a multitude of options, as you can see, for what you want to be included on the faxes and emails to the client. I try to keep it at a minimum.

There is a side benefit for the clients you have set up for this. Let’s say the person on-call does not have a fax machine at their disposal to fax a message to the office for the morning. They can email to the mailbox on our mail server and UC will pick it up and fax it. This has helped a couple of our clients when they were on the road and they had a smartphone. I gave them their account number and they were able to send a message to the office. Of course, we could have taken the message and sent it to the office for them.

View the sample output that was faxed out of UC in a PDF format.

Willis of Delaware Discontinuation

The NAEO Board of Directors has received notice from Willis of Delaware, our E&O insurance provider, that they are discontinuing their relationship with NAEO. Willis has determined that providing coverage for members across such a large geographic region does not fit its current business model. If you currently have E&O coverage through Willis, your policy WILL NOT be canceled mid-term. Willis of Delaware will send you notice of non-renewal prior to the expiration date of your policy per your state’s requirements. A sample copy of the letter you will receive is available here.

Your board realizes this benefit is important to many of you, so we are actively researching our options for establishing a relationship with a new E&O provider. If you have any suggestions, please contact Laurie Blow, Membership Committee Chair, at laurie.blow@cvc-aac.com or (802)747-1200.

Action Items

"Ever wonder what all those things do in the Action section of an IS script? Here is the current Amtelco document and for updates check this link!"

Response Element Library Supervisor Reference Guide

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david drenk

Take Quick Notes and Copy Information into Message Fields Using the NoteBox

by David Drenk

The NoteBox is a free-form text tool that agents can use to quickly take notes about a call that doesn’t follow the flow of a script. All of the text entered into the NoteBox can be copied directly into the script message fields by using shortcut keys or by right-clicking the field and selecting the text from a menu. The NoteBox saves time by letting agents capture information that they aren’t ready for and then copy it into the appropriate part of the script without having the caller repeat the information.

Whenever an agent is working in a script that has the NoteBox feature enabled, a button is displayed at the bottom of the message window. The agent can click this button to display instructions for using the NoteBox. This button is also available in Test Drive View and the Run tab in IS Supervisor.

To display the NoteBox while taking a message, press the ESC key. The NoteBox window is displayed over the top of the message window.

 

Agents type information into the NoteBox without restriction on form. Pressing the ENTER key separates each piece of information that the agent types. The agent can type a colon (:) in the middle of a line to indicate that the text to the left of the colon is a label and the text to the right is data. When this information is copied into the script, the label is displayed in the menu but is not copied into the script field. This provides an easy way for agents to label the information they type without having to take time to separate the data from the label when copying the information into the message script.

After taking notes, the agent presses the ESC key to return to the message script. The NoteBox feature allows the agent to navigate from one field of the script to another by holding down the ALT key and pressing the up and down arrow keys. This works in addition to the TAB key and mouse that are available for navigation in any script. Any Tab actions in the script are performed, whether the agent navigates with the TAB key, the ALT and arrows keys, or the mouse.

To copy information from the NoteBox into a script field, the agent can either right click on the field or tap the CTRL key twice. A menu appears, showing each line of information entered into the NoteBox. The agent selects a line (using the arrow keys and the ENTER key or using the mouse) and the information is copied into the script field, minus any label. There are also Undo commands in the menu and commands to copy information from other input fields in the script. The Flash Back command can be used to jump to the last input that the agent selected before selecting the one that is in focus now.

Requirements:

Infinity Telephone Agent 5.51.3371.01 or later
Infinity 5.51.00 or later
IS Supervisor 5.51.3371.0 or later
IS Messaging
SQL Server 2000 or later

or

Soft Agent
IS Supervisor 5.51.3371.0 or later
IS Messaging
SQL Server 2000 or later

 

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david drenk

Option to Turn a Remote Operator’s State
to "Off” When Audio Is Lost

by David Drenk

Infinity version 5.60 adds an option to turn an operator off if audio is lost. This feature is intended for use with remote operator stations to keep new calls from being sent to operators who have lost their audio connections. The option is located in Infinity Supervisor System Setup under System Options, Op/Station, General. The check box is labeled "Turn off remote station when audio is lost.”

If this check box is selected, Infinity will change an operator’s call state from "On” to "Off” if the operator loses audio. This same option does not allow an operator to change to the "On” call state until operator audio is established. Calls are routed to operators who are in the "On” state until the operator who is without audio reestablishes an audio connection and switches back to the "On” state.

Requirements:

  • Infinity 5.60.00 or later
  • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.0000 or later

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