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March 2010


Betty Bouchie

From the Editor
Forward March!
by Betty Bouchie

Well, the days are speeding by and it is finally light AFTER I arrive home from work! That means spring- and THAT means the NAEO conference in Newport Beach! What an amazing lineup! I am looking forward to all the new and exciting developments with IS and with all the great people in the group! Don’t get lost on the road to success! See you at Newport Beach!

Oh, and in case of precipitation, I will leave you with the advice of one of my favorite icons.
"Save a boyfriend for a rainy day, and another, in case it doesn't rain."
- Mae West

 

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Be Inspired

"Keep talking, I always yawn when I'm interested."

- Anonymous

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Something to Smile About...
Tech Support

something to smile about

This is what makes life worth living every minute, every day.

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The Road To Success is Always Under Construction
A Motivational Poem
by Unkown Author

Life is not no much a matter of position as of disposition.
The best vitamin for making friends, B-1.
If you don't care where you're going, any road will get you there.
A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.
He who throws mud loses ground.
A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
Ideas won't work unless you do.
The future is purchased by the present.
One thing you can't recycle is wasted time.
Triumph is just "umph" added to try.
He who forgives ends the quarrel.
Children need more models than critics.
Frogs have it easy, They can eat what bugs them.
The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime.
If the going gets easy, you may be going downhill.
Jumping to conclusions can be bad exercise.
The best labor-saving device is doing it tomorrow.
A turtle makes progress when it sticks its neck out.
Failure is the path of least persistence.
Patience is counting down without blasting off.
Have a backbone, not a wishbone.
Some folks won't look up until they are flat on their backs.
If you want your dreams to come true, don't oversleep.
Friend: One who knows all about you and likes you just the same.
Birds have bills, too, and they keep on singing.
A good example is the best sermon.
The Ten Commandments are not multiple choice.
Well done! is better than, Well said!
Minds are like parachutes— they function only when open.
If you can laugh at it, then you can live with it.
People don't fail, they give up.
When looking for faults use a mirror, not a telescope.
Smile- it takes only 13 muscles; a frown takes 64.
Kindness, a language deaf people can hear and blind people can see.
A small leak can sink a great ship.
You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.
We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.
Tact is the ability to see others as they wish to be seen.
A friend walks in when everyone else walks out.
If you must cry over spilled milk, then please try to condense it.

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Reasons to Attend the NAEO Conference
By Marci Imes

Let's look at a few small questions, with a few big answers.

Why?

Q: Why should I spend precious time and extra precious money to attend the annual National Amtelco Equipment Owners Conference?

A: There are a great deal of reasons, but in a nutshell, your business will be markedly better off by April 1 if you invest the time and energy to be there- guaranteed. The investment will pay dividends all year long, and will put you in a much better position to race ahead of your competitors in the year ahead.

When?

Q: When will my business benefit?

A: You will very likely benefit within the first 24 hours. You're in the same air space with others who face and manage the same challenges your office faces- and are often willing to share their story, their advice about what has worked, and even what hasn't. You will be surrounded by others who speak your language, understand your questions, delight in sharing tips and offer support. Even after the first of several days, you will benefit with a sense of renewal, and the knowledge that when you return to your office it will be with a new perspective, renewed energy, and a keen sense of direction.

Who?

Q: Who in my organization should I send?

A: As many of your key staff members as possible, as there are specific seminars geared toward Sales, Operations, and Marketing— in addition to the general topics. Granted, you need enough people to stay behind in-house to run your office, but if you can possibly run one or two short, your attendee experiences will multiply the benefits of the conference. All of the networking, learning, and collaborating result in a powerhouse of new knowledge and momentum.

What?

Q: What will be shared at this conference that just can't wait until next year when I am financially stronger?

A: It is hard to quantify, but having access to the Amtelco team, our most important vendor, will enable you to keep your finger on the pulse of what it happening with the tools, technologies, and processes you utilize now, and will utilize in the future. Using this knowledge today could add efficiency and result in a better bottom line. Having the opportunity to talk to your main vendor about your specific wants and needs is rare, but they will be there for you. In addition, NAEO has been working hard to bring you a member benefit that may prove to be one of the most important yet, and the launch will include important details that you won't want to miss. Yes, you could wait until next year, but whenever you have 200 like-minded people in a room, you’re bound to get something good out of it. Conversation is the inspiration for innovation. When you attend a conference, the opportunity to contribute and learn is huge.

Where?

Q: Where do I go to register?

A: Go to www.naeo.org. Then, once you have registered, either call or go online to reserve your room at the Newport Beach Hotel and Spa (details are also on the NAEO website). Lastly, look at the major airlines, as well as Alaska and Southwest Airlines. Keep in mind that you can fly into Santa Ana, Long Beach, LAX, Palm Springs, or San Diego airports, depending on your willingness to drive and explore the surrounding areas.

If you are looking into direct flights into Santa Ana (SNA) they are available from Atlanta on Delta, Chicago on American and United, Dallas/Fort Worth on American, Denver on Frontier, Southwest, and United, Detroit on Delta, Honolulu on Continental, Houston on Continental, Las Vegas on Southwest and US Airways, Minneapolis/St. Paul on Delta, Newark on Continental, Oakland on Southwest, Phoenix on Southwest and US Airways, Portland on Alaska Air, Sacramento on Southwest, Salt Lake City on Delta, San Francisco on United, Southwest, and Virgin America, San Jose on Southwest and Seattle on Alaska Air.

Now that I have decided to attend the 2010 NAEO Conference, here's the really big question with the small answer...

Q: Shall I plan to arrive on Friday night, or Saturday and enjoy an extra day in California?

A: Why not?

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Your Guide to NAEO’s Roadmap to Success Annual Conference

Conference Attire:

  • Business casual is appropriate for all meetings and social events. Lunches and evening receptions are planned to be outside weather permitting, so a light sweater or jacket may be useful.
  • Tuesday night is a free night to explore Newport Beach on your own. There are several restaurants and an outdoor mall nearby that you can walk to, so bring walking shoes!

Internet Connectivity:

  • There is FREE wireless internet in the guest rooms, so you can stay connected if you bring your laptop along.

Airport Transportation:

Be Sure to Bring:

  • A laptop if you are participating in the IS Workshop (or buddy up with someone else who has one!)
  • Your golf clubs if you want to explore some of the championship golf courses in the area;
  • Walking shoes to explore the mall and restaurants nearby or hike down to the bay;
  • Plenty of business cards to exchange

And if you are a Starbucks addict, you will be happy to know that there is a Starbucks right on property to feed your habit!

Tips for Making Your Conference Experience a Success!

A few tips on the Roadmap to Success for making the most of your NAEO conference opportunity …

1. Come Early! Even if you are not planning to attend the Supervisor seminar, conference events start on Sunday afternoon with the Amtelco University and continue in the evening with our First Timers and Opening Receptions. These are great opportunities to catch up with old friends and get acquainted with new contacts in the industry.

2. Set a Goal for the Conference – whether that is to find the answer to a nagging question, meet 5 new people in the industry, match a face with a name you’ve seen on the list serv, or brainstorm with someone on how to script a problem account, if you come prepared with a goal for what you want to accomplish, you are bound to succeed and leave with even more than you bargained for!

3. Participate – throughout the workshops and conference sessions, you will have opportunities to ask questions and, just as important, share your experience with your peers. While our speakers pave the way with the topics, the participation of our attendees is often what can really turn a session into an "AHA!” moment.

4. Network – Conference sessions and workshops aren’t the only times to be on your toes! Lunches, dinners, in the hall between sessions – these are all times for you to continue to the conversations started in conference rooms. NAEO is known for having one of the most "sharing” groups of members, and you will always find someone willing to continue the discussion. Bring business cards to share and continue the discussion even after the conference is over!

5. Learn What’s New – stop in and see Amtelco in their demo room to get some hands-on demonstrations, the latest news and discover what new features await!

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Something for Everyone at the NAEO Annual Conference

NAEO’s Annual Conference sessions are valuable for owners and managers at all levels. General sessions this year include such critical issues as:

  • keynote speaker Cameron Herold’s discussion of the systems we need to go from Good to Great
  • an update on NAEO’s newest member benefit – Business Continuity Planning assistance
  • Amtelco’s latest and greatest news in their Road Rallys
  • Round tables where you can have a free-flowing discussion with your peers on a variety of "hot topics”

Supervisors:
NAEO’s popular Supervisor Training Seminar is joining the conference this year for the first time. As a parallel track to our Annual Conference, it allows you to bring along Supervisors or Team Leaders for the day-and-a-half workshop only, or as an opportunity to broaden their horizons and join us for the entire conference. Our Supervisor Workshop offers a chance to learn more about effectively utilizing the technology Amtelco has built into Infinity to better manage your front-line staff.

Operations Managers:
Owners and staff focused on the Operations side of the business will have the opportunity to learn about the role of Core Values in building your business (a great follow-up to last year’s presentation by John Ratliff on building the culture in your business!), managing compliance with Human Resources rules on documenting issues with your employees, how to motivate your staff, how to be proactive in your customer service interactions and one of the hottest topics on the listserv: how to manage Remote Operators.

Technical Staff:
Each year, new technological challenges arise and the Education committee prepares an agenda to help us meet those challenges head on. This year’s breakout sessions for the technical track include understanding the best practices for Infinity upgrades and maintenance, the latest tools available for SMS messaging, learning how VoIP can be used in your business now and moving forward, building your Business Continuity Plan and, of course, the IS Workshop!

IS Programmers:
Whether you are an all-around go-to techie person for your company or just delving into the IS programming, this hands-on, day-an- a-half workshop will provide an excellent opportunity for you to build a new account from scratch, starting with the basics and then, as you move into the advanced portion of the workshop, adding on the "bells and whistles” (on-call scheduler, database lookups, contact based dispatching, etc.) that can really make IS such a powerful tool for enhancing your service to your customers and improving your bottom line.

Sales and Marketing Staff:
It goes without saying that many of us are always looking for new ways to improve our revenue stream – offering new services, marketing to new customer niches, up-selling our existing customers. NAEO’s Sales and Marketing breakouts are meant to help you do all that and more. Come to the 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes sessions to brainstorm with your fellow attendees, join us for a panel session on the variety of CRM solutions available and how they can work for you, learn how to put Social Media marketing to work for you and discuss how you can create a marketing plan to fit your business model.

And if you wear some of these hats, or ALL of these hats in your office, you will find something of value in every session you can attend. One of the favorites last year was the final "Best Ideas of the Conference” session, where everyone shared the one idea that they considered the most valuable from the conference— so we will continue the new tradition this year. If you miss a session, this last one could be your chance to learn from the rest of us and take home that BIG IDEA that will make you money, reduce your costs or simply make your life easier!

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AMTELCO NAEO Presentations

AMTELCO University:
When: Sunday, March 21, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Where: AMTELCO Demo Room at the Newport Beach Marriott in the Cardiff Room

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines…
Trip tricks, driving techniques and interesting ways to control, organize and manage your daily activities while you upgrade your destination and add revenue to your bottom line.
Presenters include Gary Kerner, Susan Kirkpatrick, Bill Curtin IV, and Brett Torvik.

Attend and get a faster start to the prize-filled AMTELCO Presents "Road Rally” starting on Monday, March 22, at 9:15 a.m.

AMTELCO Road Rally I
When: Monday, March 22, 9:15 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Grand Pacific Ballroom, Salon C-F
AMTELCO Presents a fun-filled "Road Rally” full of Major Announcements that will revolutionize TAS messaging and shift your profitability into high gear.

Kevin Beale, Director of Software R&D leads this can’t miss presentation. You will find out how to give your organization more horsepower, better efficiency and a jumpstart on your competition. Bring your driving gloves and your thinking cap and be prepared to win points toward "Fast Lap Prizes.”

AMTELCO Road Rally II
When: Tuesday, March 23, 9:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Where: Grand Pacific Ballroom, Salon C-F
"Road Rally II” provides analysis with answers and clarifications to questions from Monday’s "Road Rally I,” along with new insights into unlocking the fast and fully-loaded "Tech Helper.” This high-efficiency model from AMTELCO is designed to get you the answers to your operational and technical questions.

Plus… A few more opportunities for points toward "Fast Lap Prizes.”

AMTELCO Infinity Upgrades and Maintenance
When: Tuesday, March 23, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Where: Grand Pacific Ballroom, Salon A-B
Infinity upgrades and maintenance. Greg Beale and Jody Laluzurne will take you under the hood of your Infinity and show you the latest tune-up techniques that will shift your Infinity into high gear and give you the driving tips that will help you get to your destination a winner.

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NAEO Conference Speakers

NAEO Conference Keynote Speaker, Cameron Herold

NAEO is excited to bring Cameron Herold, founder of Backpocket COO, to our annual conference. Several of our members have had the opportunity to hear him speak at other venues and here is what they had to say…

John Ratliff of Appletree Answering Services, Inc. says…

"I really feel like it is critical in business to continue learning all the time. I like to surround myself with business thought leaders that understand the mechanics of small business. Cameron Herold is one of those thought leaders. His advantage is constant exposure, day in and day out, to best practices across a range of industries. In fact, that is his passion!

"He researches it, writes about it, blogs and tweets about it. I can't recommend enough the value of spending some time with him when NAEO travels to Newport Beach. I have seen Cameron present at least half a dozen times and every time I gain a new insight."

And from Gerald R. Brosseau, II of Always On Call Answering Service …

"John Ratliff of Appletree Answering Service extended me the opportunity to attend a ‘Birthing of Giants’ Seminar in June, 2009 in New York City. During this seminar, I had the pleasure of meeting Cameron Herold during his presentation of the ‘Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster.’ Cameron’s insight, experience, and perspective helped me and others understand and appreciate the daily highs and lows endured by an entrepreneur and telephone answering service owner. I am looking forward to attending my second Cameron Herold presentation at the 2010 NAEO Annual Conference in Newport Beach, California to better learn how to take my company from ‘Good to Great'!"

Check out Cameron’s website and sign up for his blog and tips emails online – www.backpocketcoo.com


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What Type of Questioner Are You?
by Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor

We all ask questions. And when we ask the right way — and ask the right questions — we normally can get the best and right answers.

J. Douglas Edwards, a master sales trainer from years ago, now deceased, said: "Questions ARE the answers." And we so agree with him. To get the right answers, we need to ask the right questions and in the right "mode." And there are various types of questioning techniques.

It's like your mother said, "It's not what you say, but how you say it." Telephone Doctor has defined several questioning techniques to help you get the right answers.

Every salesperson knows that, as Mr. Edwards said, questions ARE the answers. As salespeople we are taught to ask questions, to talk less and listen more. One of the best ways to listen more is to ask good questions.

From "Do you have the correct time?" to "Where did you go on your vacation?" asking questions can be the key to your success. Let's go over them now. What type of questioner are you?

1. The Open-Ended Question: These are questions without a fixed limit. They are questions that encourage continued conversation and help you get more information. They're used to get people to open up and talk. Not all, but most open-ended questions will start with one of these words: Who, What, Where, Why, When and How. I say most, not all, because while these are well known words to begin open-ended questions, they can still get you one-word answers. So while not perfect, open-ended questions will normally get you much more information.

2. Closed-Ended Questions: Conversely, closed-ended questions do have a fixed limit. They're often answered with a yes or no or a simple statement of fact. Closed-ended questions are usually used to direct the conversation, to get brief specific information, or to confirm facts.

The next time you watch a movie that has a trial scene, you'll see lawyers using open and closed-ended questions, at the right time, to get the answers they need/want. Pay attention to how they use them.

3. Probing Questions: These are normally used after an open-ended question to get yet more information. And that's because we sometimes ask an open-ended question and we only get part of what we need. So it's more of a follow up to get more information.

Probing questions can start off with, "Tell me more about." Example: After you have asked, "Where did you go on your vacation?" And the customer says: "Disney World." The probing question would be: "Tell me more about Disney World." Probing questions are valuable in getting to the heart of the matter.

Oftentimes, you need to offer "aided recall" to help the customer along. Aided recall is part of probing. Something like: "Does the message on the screen say error, reboot, or does it just freeze up?" These types of questions are helpful to the customer and will lead you to the right answer.

4. The Echo Question: This doesn't mean you repeat the question 50 times, but it does mean you take all or part of the statement the customer made, repeat it once, and turn it into a question. Like this:

Customer: I didn't get the right information!

You: You didn't get the right information?

Customer:
That's correct. I needed all 4 pages and only got 2.

See? By using the echo question the customer gave you more information. Good technique.

5. Leading Questions: These are the fun and favorite types of questions by salespeople. They're often called "tie downs." They're used to cement the information in your favor. They're short phrases used after a statement of fact. They invite agreement and help the customer to say, "YES."
Like this: "You'll want to see both islands, won't you?" or "After 10 years it's time to get new carpeting, isn't it?"

Leading questions are useful in helping someone who's undecided make the right decision.

What type of questioner are you? You should be all of them. We invite you to preview our new updated program on questioning techniques. It will help you become more proactive, don't you agree? (That's a leading question.)

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Business Continuity aka "Disaster Recovery 101"
By Joe Adam
President-elect, NAEO

Let me give you a little quiz.....

Question: What is a disaster?

A. A storm (hurricane, snow storm, tornado, etc.) has disrupted my business and I can no longer take calls.
B. My switch failed and I have no backup system.
C. The person who handles my payroll/IT support/Billing was in an accident and I do not have access to his/her computer.
D. The phone company had a fiber cable cut, and I will not have phone service for four days.
E. All of the above.

If you chose E, you are correct.

Is your company prepared to handle the next disaster? Do you have a plan in place in case you have to evacuate you office or you lose all your phone lines? What are you going to do if you cannot pay your employees or get your billing out on time?

How long can you afford to be out of business? Four hours, one day, a week, a month? If you don't know the answers to these questions or how to figure out what the answers are, then read on!

Your NAEO Board is proud to announce that at our 2010 Annual Conference in Newport Beach, we will roll out a new member benefit program. NAEO has partnered with Barney Pelant & Associates (one of the leading consultants in Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning) to develop a planning guide and workbook tailor-made to NAEO and our industry.

Over the last year, we have worked closely with various member offices and our consulant to develop an extensive planning guide and workbook to help you survive the next great disaster! I will present two different sessions at this year's conference to kick off this program, as well as laying the groundwork for upcoming training sessions and other valuable tools to assist you in using this great program.

Those of you who already have a Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plan in place will still benefit from this program. Did I mention that this new program is free? As long as you are a member of NAEO, you will have access to this program and all its features.

This planning guide and workbook is designed so that no matter what the size of your organization, you can still benefit and improve your company's survivability. It is very comprehensive (more than 250 pages) and has numerous examples, hints, definitions and checklists to assist you in completing the guide. We will also hold numerous webinars over the next year to assist you in completing the planning guide.

The Planning Guide is broken out in several phases (planning, development, implementation). We also provide an Action Checklist broken down by business size (small, medium and large) to assist you in determining what various parts of each phase should be considered a high, medium or low priority.

I hope to see you in Newport Beach and I am excited to be a part of this great new member benefit!

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Park Orbit
By Betty Bouchie
Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre
Halifax, Nova Scotia

 

What do you do with callers who don’t want to talk to an answering service, don’t want to leave a message and don’t want to talk to voice mail? They just want to talk to the person they called! Don’t you sometimes wish you could send them into orbit?

Well, guess what? You can! Infinity enables you to "Park” a call, placing the caller on hold, and then send the call into "Orbit," removing the call from the operator’s screen.

By choosing "Orbit Answer” as the Standard behavior in the Source Setup, you can program numbers that allow an operator to place a caller on hold and remove the call from the screen. The operator would then provide the client with a direct dial telephone number where the caller will be waiting. This eliminates operator time and connects the caller and the client without operator intervention.

Park Orbit pic 1

Park Orbit pic 2

There are several system options that can be adjusted as needed. These settings include the following:

A. Prompts for the caller to speak their name {Orbit Intro}.
B. Amount of time the caller has to "Speak their name” {Intro Time}.
C. How long the caller remains on hold {Orbit Timeout}.

park orbit pic 3

This is how a call is placed on Park Orbit.

1. With the caller on the line, press the Park Orbit key.

2. The system will display a list of available Park Orbit numbers, highlighting the next available number. The operator may choose the number highlighted or a different, specific, Park Orbit number, if it is available.

park orbit pic 4

3. Press the Park Orbit key, again. The caller is placed on hold and asked to speak their name (The operator can not hear this).

a. The Park Orbit number will appear above the status line.

park orbit pic 5

b. The Park Orbit number can then be added to the message ticket.

4. The client can then be paged with the Park Orbit number.

If the caller holds for a pre-determined length of time (Orbit timeout ring count) and the client does not answer the call, the call will ring back to an operator on the client account number as an Orbit timeout.

park orbit pic 6

If the client dials the Park Orbit number and the caller is on the line, the client will hear the name spoken by the caller during the Park Intro. The client may be presented with a list of options as to how the call will be handled. The client may be prompted to press a digit to perform one of the following actions. Any or all of these options may be programmed on each Park Orbit account. If no digit options are programmed, the client will immediately be connected to the caller:

A. Send the caller back to the operator {Orbit to Op}

B. Tell the caller the client is not available. The caller will then be disconnected. {Orbit Disconnect}.

C. Send the caller to Voice Mail {Orbit to VM}

D. Be connected to the caller {Orbit Answer}.

park orbit pic 7

If the client dials the Park Orbit number and the caller has hung up or has timed out and been sent back to an operator, the system will transfer the client to an operator. The call will appear on the display as Park Orbit and show the Park Orbit account number. The operator will need to inform the client that the caller is no longer on the line. The operator may check for a message by fetching the client’s account number and pressing CHECKIN to see the list of messages. The correct message may be identified by the Park Orbit number in the message ticket.

park orbit pic 8

A variation of the Park Orbit account allows an incoming caller to automatically be placed in a Park Orbit state without going to an operator. The standard account behavior would be "Automated Park” and the call would follow whatever action was listed in the list number indicated. This type of automated park does not need operator intervention.

park orbit pic 9

A caller who has been placed in Park Orbit will sit in Infinity wait, on the port where the original call entered Infinity. When the client picks up the Park Orbit, the two are "patched” together on the incoming ports, for the duration of the call.

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© 2010 National Amtelco Equipment Owners. All Rights Reserved.
NewsLinks is distributed quarterly to NAEO members.

National Amtelco Equipment Owners
www.naeo.orginfo@naeo.org
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