Newslinks November 2012
November 2012

Regular Columns

From the Editor
by Betty Bouchie

Be Inspired
by Gary Blair

Something to Smile About...

Member Testimonials

Widgets

Stepping Up Your Game: Members Only
Not Just a Jacket, but a State of Mind

by Gary Pudles

The Service Mentality
by Nancy Friedman

Featured Articles

Checking in on the NAEO Board of Directors
by Trisha Stenberg

Upcoming Webinars

Meet an NAEO Member — TigerTel Communications Inc.
by Ron Waine

Randi Busse to Keynote at NAEO Annual Conference
By Kelli Harrigan

 

Amtelco Annex

Display Shifts from Multiple Schedules with IS Directory OnCall Groups
by David Drenk

Infinity Voice Mail Callback Enhancements
by David Drenk

From the Editor

by Betty Bouchie

When we first considered buying Infinity, NAEO assigned us an Ambassador. Many of you will remember Shane Burleson. I cannot tell you the number of hours of pain and suffering and just plain hard work that Shane was able to help us overcome. He spoke the same language and understood our complicated structure. After a few conversations, and a few weeks on the listserv, I went to my manager and said, "We can do all the things you want done with this system, as long as we have NAEO to help us!” That was the beginning of a ten-year relationship! The number of hours of saved time and effort, the number of fantastic ideas we would never have come up with on our own, the support, the humor, the education. I just do not know how any company can thrive, without the generous support of this amazing group. As a health care group, where every penny is scrutinized to make sure we are receiving value for money, this is the ONLY membership that my manager renews without question.

GO NAEO!!!

I usually include a link to an informative, related article. The most informative link I can send you to is below:

http://www.naeo.org

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Be Inspired

Submitted by Gary Blair

What is the recipe for successful achievement? To my mind there are just four essential ingredients: Choose a career you love, give it the best there is in you, seize your opportunities, and be a member of the team.
~Benjamin F. Fairless

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.
~ Helen Keller

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Something to Smile About...

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Member Testimonials

"Our company didn't join NAEO because we purchased Amtelco equipment; we purchased Amtelco equipment so that we could join NAEO!!”
~Scott Lyons, Extend Communications, Brantford, Ontario


"One of the best investments we have made was to become members of NAEO. Not only have dear friendships been made, but the sharing of knowledge has been priceless. Many times I have gained ideas from others that I have incorporated into our system. I have never been involved in a group that was so willing to share their expertise, experience and knowledge with others.”
~Marie McGuire, AnserTel, Athens, Alabama


"The friendships you make are priceless! My membership led to my participation in a profit club which enabled me to learn from six of the smartest NAEO industry leaders in the country. Their sharing enables me to go from working in my business to working on it. We were able to grow it by a factor 4 and raise the profitability from break-even to enviable margins! Many of those same NAEO members gave unstintingly of themselves as we struggled to overcome a fire and 72-hour service interruption.

Every day of the year as a member carries the opportunity to learn from your peers: dial strings, scheduling techniques, employee relations, SIP challenges and opportunities, server virtualization, IS tips & tricks and on & on. I cannot imagine where I might be without this organization and the people who have made it so great for the past 26 years!”
~Tom Gelbach, ProComm, Greenville - Raleigh - New Orleans - Hilo

Widgets

by Michael Goumas, ProComm

How do I convert a Date to a Day in a script?

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Gary Pudles

Stepping Up Your Game: Members Only
Not Just a Jacket, but a State of Mind

by Gary Pudles, AnswerNet

I am an active member of many organizations—from technology groups like National Amtelco Equipment Owners (NAEO) to consumer advocate groups like Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business (SOCAP International). Being a member of these groups helps me expand my business, my network and my mind.

The trick to reaping the benefits of a membership group is to pick selectively. You want to be a member of a group that A) offers great networking opportunities throughout the year, B) has an online support forum so you can share information easily and C) is something you are truly passionate about. If the group you are looking to join satisfies all three needs, then becoming a member will work for you.

There is another key component to the benefits of membership—being a good member. Don’t sign up and expect the perks to come your way. You need to be involved. Ask the organization what you can do. More times than not, they are looking to fill spots for webinar speakers, tradeshow moderators and even blog contributors. You won’t be just a member, but also a part of the organization’s growth.

If you are on the fence about becoming a member of any organization, consider these tips as your guide. With the right mix of opportunities, you could find yourself in a group that is not only beneficial, but rewarding as well.

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The Service Mentality

by Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

Customer Service. Pick up any ad, and there's probably a line of type or two of how well you'll be treated when you shop there. Usually the advertisement reads, "We're the best" or "Service is our middle name" — something like that. The phone book advertisements are loaded with commercials for being very customer service minded.

Why then, do we hear so many horror stories about how people were treated? Telephone Doctor recently surveyed several companies, to seek out the traits — the characteristics of those that have the service mentality. Clearly, not everyone does. The good news is, you can learn the skills of the "best." No one has a monopoly on a Service Mentality.

Telephone Doctor culled the seven traits that were among the highest in the survey. Here are the results.

#1 Empathy

This trait won, hands-down, as the most important characteristic when serving customers. In so many cases you get apathy, the exact opposite of empathy. Simply put, empathy is putting yourself in the other person's shoes. How would you feel if what happened to them, happened to you? True Story: On a recent trip, my wallet was stolen. All my credit cards, checkbook, drivers license, and, of course, the few dollars I had in it.

I proceeded to start making the appropriate phone calls to each credit card company — there were four in all. After explaining who I was, and that I was at Disneyland and my wallet was stolen with four credit cards, cash, and checkbook, the person on the other end blurts out: Name?

There was no, "Gee, I'm sorry that happened," no "Oh my, how sad." All they wanted was my name. No empathy at all. I hope those people (and by the way; all four credit card companies did the very same thing) never have to go through that loss. All I wanted to hear was a, "Gee, that's so sad." Or a plain old, "I'm sorry to hear that." Someone who understood.

Empathy is the #1 ingredient for a service mentality.

#2 Enthusiasm

Ah yes, enthusiasm. Appropriate enthusiasm cannot be replaced. It's a sign of giving service that is above and beyond. When a customer feels that you are enthusiastic for them, they just fall right into the palm of your hand. Generating enthusiasm with a customer is perceived as their having made the right decision. It's a confirmation that they've done the right thing. And everyone likes that.

It's the #2 ingredient of a great service mentality. Do you show enough enthusiasm in your job?

#3 Responsibility

Being responsible is so important. Being responsible is living up to a previously agreed commitment. It can be a large responsibility or a small one. Example: I was speaking at a corporate meeting last spring, and when asked my needs, I told them all I needed was a handheld wireless microphone. "No problem," I was told by the contact. She said she had told "Bob" to have the handheld wireless microphone ready for when I was supposed to speak.

Well, when I got to the meeting room, there was only what they call a "lavaliere" microphone. The one you clip onto your garment. Not the correct one we ordered; but nonetheless, it would have worked. However, my contact was terribly disappointed. She told me, "You know, I gave Bob the responsibility to get you the handheld, and he let me down — which in turn let you down." She continued, "I gave Bob the responsibility of getting you the microphone you needed, and he didn't do it." When you agree to something for a co-worker or a customer, it's key to be responsible and keep your commitment.

#4 Resiliency

How fast can you pop back into a good mood when something has disrupted your schedule? Or do you pout and fret about it, and linger and wallow in it? The ability to bounce back from any adversity is an important service mentality.

We all get hit with some problems during the day. Things that weren't what we planned. And as my mother use to tell me, "It's not the problem, Nancy, it's how you handle it." As usual, mothers are right. The handling of any situation is what makes the situation good or bad. And if you've been hit with a disappointment or something that you weren't planning on, it's up to you to bounce back — be resilient. Your customers should never know you were disappointed. Need to work late and miss dinner with some friends? Or perhaps you had a minor disagreement with someone? The customer should never know that. Resiliency is needed to have the service mentality.

#5 Balance

Just like the justice scales that need to be kept in balance, so it is with our workload vs. the customer. There's a fine line between pleasing the customer and losing money for the company. In other words, it shouldn't all be one-sided. When a customer needs something, that's fine. If, however, we go over the line, it becomes unbalanced and not fair to either the customer or the company.

Finding the right balance at your job and in your company will help you maintain the right balance for both you and the company. Is the customer always right? No, the customer always thinks he's right. We need to know the difference between giving away the store and sticking to company guidelines.

Balance keeps everything in "check."

#6 Ownership

This is my personal favorite. Because I see it so much as I call and shop around. It runs rampant though the business world. This is the proverbial "it's not my job, or not my department, or I wasn't here that day, or I don't know anything about that."

Customers don't care if you were on vacation when something happened and they need help. They don't care if it's not your department. You answered the phone; they're depending on you. You are at the counter to help them now.

If you answered the call, you own the call. Take ownership of the situation. It's not that you'll need to do everything; but taking ownership, and making sure the customer knows that you will find out for them is the key! Telephone Doctor feels it should never take two people to give good customer service. You get the call. You own the call.

#7 Adaptability

Granted, this service mentality might need some practice, but it is another important ingredient, characteristic, or trait of the service mentality.

Think about the number of people who you help every day, either on the phone or in person. They're all different, aren't they? Not only in culture, color or accent, but in mood and personality. We need to be able to adapt to all kinds of personalities. Having difficulty understanding someone? Learn to adapt to their particular problem. Ask them if they could please slow down so you can get what they need. Slow talkers? Adapting to them is so important. Mostly because slow talkers don't like to be rushed. So rushing a slow talker through a conversation will only make matters worse. You'll need to adapt to those that are slow talkers. And of course, there's the fast talker — who you also need to adapt to.

Think of the chameleon. That little lizard takes on the color of the vegetation shere it happens to be. The animals adapt to the color around them. And usually they're difficult to see. We need to adapt to the situation so that every transaction is a seamless one.

Well, there you have it; the 7 characteristics that make up a service mentality. You probably have some of them already. Work on the ones that you don't have or aren't up to par in. Possessing these traits will garner you happier customers (and a happier boss).

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Checking in on the NAEO Board of Directors

by Trisha Stenberg

This Board is never Bored!

Hello, members! It’s hard to believe we are halfway to Nashville and that Las Vegas was so many months ago, already! Time sure has a tendency to move quickly these days. I want to provide you with a quick update about what we have been doing on your Board of Directors and what we are doing to work hard for all of you!

Your Board had an in-person meeting this month and we got a lot done in just a few days. We were able to accomplish much during that time. We reviewed our strategic plan and the progress we have made so far this year and found we have completed a great deal of the plan and are making good progress on the items that remain. We are on pace to complete this by the end of the year and will get ready for another strategic planning session in the spring to decide where the next two years will take us!

Each of our Committee Chairs gave a report on the hard work your committee members have been up to, and they sure have been busy! You will see a report from each of our committees in the coming issues of Newslinks with details! Some highlights are:

  • We have chosen a keynote speaker for our NAEO Conference in Nashville! More on that to come, so watch Newslinks and the Listserv for the announcement.
  • Plans are in full swing for Nashville and this is a conference you do not want to miss. I am particularly excited about our opening reception – it will be an affair to remember!
  • The Education committee has some very exciting things going on that they will announce at conference. Be prepared to find bigger and better ways to learn than ever before!
  • We are working on choosing a location for our IS Training classes next summer. Stay tuned for details!
  • Our Future Directions Committee is in full swing and looking at where we are going, what we want to see when we get there, and how we can help Amtelco be prepared to assist us in the days ahead.
  • It’s that time of year again where we are looking for interested candidates to run for our Board of Directors. If you are interested we would love to hear from you! Watch your email for a call for nominations and please speak up — we need you!
  • Scholarship Applications are ready to be filled out! Be sure to share the information with your staff and good luck to everyone!
  • We discussed location possibilities for our 2014 conference. Be sure to join us in Nashville and be there when our location is unveiled!

We had a very productive meeting and each of your committees is hard at work on your behalf. We are always in need of additional support so please, if you are not already doing so, get involved! I promise you will always get back more than what you give by getting involved in this organization. It is worth every minute of your time, a hundred fold, to do so! If you are interested, please go to www.naeo.org for contact information for any of our committee chairs or reach out to me directly. I am happy to help point you in the right direction to help out! I look forward to seeing all of you in Nashville!

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Upcoming Webinars

SQL Reports
November 14, 2012 | 2:00 pm EST

Presenters: Kurt VanderScheer, Adam Haines and/or Ken Anderson
Moderator: Lina Masri

SQL education (impacts on system with respect to features). If you have SQL then you can use it to run several reports. Save client information in SQL and report on it.

Revenue Generation
November 28, 2012 | 2:00 pm EST

Presenters: Mike Burkinshaw and Mike Leibowitz
Moderator: Hettie Dunwoody

The process of selling our products and services to produce income is a main driver in maintaining a successful business. Learn tips and tricks as well as share your ideas with like minds.

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Meet an NAEO Member — TigerTel Communications Inc.

TigerTel operates 13 call centers located in most major cities coast to coast in Canada. Ten of our centers utilize the Amtelco Infinity/eCreator platform and three other centers operate with an Interactive Intelligence platform for seamless inbound and outbound predictive dialing service capability. In addition to our national centers, there is a head office for corporate, accounting, finance and human resources with no call center operation included.

Of the ten centers operating with Infinity, seven have systems hardware residing in the office and three of the centers operate as satellite locations. The satellite operations are connected with dedicated PRI and internet facilities to one of the seven hub systems. We are licensed for a total of 400 Agent stations, 210 for Infinity and 190 for Interactive Intelligence.

TigerTel has recently acquired the Amtelco Intelligent Series platform for all of our Infinity sites resulting from a successful pilot project. With the IS platform in place, we anticipate a continued evolution toward utilizing more satellite locations and fewer hub systems. At TigerTel, we are firm believers that local service representation is an important aspect of customer service satisfaction and competitive advantage. We have no plans to consolidate the total number of centers.

TigerTel can track its NAEO membership back to at least the Year 2000. However, it is possible that some of the independent call centers that we have acquired over the years were members before 2000.
Without any doubt, the primary benefit that TigerTel has gained through NAEO membership is the relationship that has formed with other members. These valuable and enjoyable relationships allow us to gather much feedback for important decision-making based on the sharing of successes and failures of various initiatives and strategies. We find that the annual NAEO conference is the best vehicle to establish and enhance our inter-member alliances. On a year-over-year basis, TigerTel continues to send more and more attendees to the conference as a result of this benefit.

There are many examples as to how TigerTel is a more effective business today because of NAEO member assistance in the past; following are just a few:

  1. Many years ago, TigerTel only used Voice Logger capability at a couple of our locations and it was provided to our customers without cost. Through the interaction with other NAEO members, we learned that many were charging a monthly service fee for the Voice logger feature and the storage of the voice files. We quickly used this information to prepare a business case for the purchase of additional Voice Logger capability for all of our sites, which generated a three month return-on-investment and great new revenues and profit for the future.
  2. Much of the information that we used to initially set up our three satellite branches was gathered from other NAEO members who had already pioneered both technical and process success. This satellite concept allowed us to serve customers with local representation while reducing capital hardware and software costs.
  3. We have several Not-for-Profit customers that receive exceptional call volumes and donations during times of worldwide disasters such as the earthquake that devastated Haiti. TigerTel received many more calls than could be handled by our internal network of call centers. Thanks to the tremendous support of other NAEO member companies, we were able to quickly respond with a combined network to satisfy call volumes and maximize donations for the benefit of our customers and the citizens of Haiti.
  4. TigerTel continues to grow our "home-based" customer service representative capability as a percentage of our total force. We have found that by equipping our staff at home, we are able to be more responsive during staffing challenges such as illness, snowstorms, and unexpected call spike periods. The basis of the Agreement we use for this home-based set up with our employees was originally established by another NAEO member and shared with TigerTel.

At TigerTel, we passionately believe that our involvement with NAEO, beyond basic membership, has very much enhanced our ability to leverage our inter-member relationships and allow them to flourish. TigerTel has had representation on the NAEO Board of Directors, standing NAEO Committees and participation in Conference presentations and panels. We would strongly promote active involvement to all members for the mutual benefit of assisting the NAEO organization and helping themselves!

Ron Waine
Vice President & COO

TigerTel
Connect with Confidence
Tom Ryan Award for Ethics, Integrity and Quality Above All Winner (2009)
CAMX (2012) and ATSI (2012) Awards of Excellence & Distinction Winners

Voice: 1-877-280-5406 | Fax: 416-760-3778
Email: rwaine@tigertel.com

http://www.tigertel.com | Like us on Facebook!

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Randi Busse to Keynote at NAEO Annual Conference

By Kelli Harrigan

2013 NAEO Conference Banner

Your conference committee is hard at work pulling together an excellent educational experience for all of our attendees and we are excited to announce that Randi Busse, founder of the Workforce Development Group and author of recently published Turning Rants into Raves, Randi works with business owners and healthcare providers to improve customer and patient experience thereby maximizing revenue growth. In addition to her keynote presentation, she has also graciously offered to lead a breakout session on building a culture of ownership with your staff. Regardless of their position, staff that work within a culture of ownership will provide the best possible experience to your customers, callers and patients. Randi’s past experience includes several years of working within Verizon’s call center environment.

Beyond the keynote session, you can be assured that all of the conference educational sessions will provide valuable insights to owners and staff from any level in your organization, so make plans to attend today! Visit www.naeo.org for more details on pricing and hotel reservations. More program details will be coming soon!

See you in Nashville!

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david drenk

Display Shifts from Multiple Schedules
with IS Directory OnCall Groups

by David Drenk

The IS Directory OnCall Groups feature can be used to create an on-call schedule that displays shifts and on-call assignments from other on-call schedules in the same IS Directory Subject. The purpose of this feature is to group select shifts from other schedules so that they can be displayed in one group schedule but can still be assigned in separate on-call schedules.

A Schedule column has been added to the OnCall display so that the name of the schedule that each shift belongs to can be displayed. In the preceding image, the Department OnCall schedule is a group schedule that displays shifts from the Cardiac, Urgent Care, Lab, Obstetrics, Ophthalmology, Orthopedic, and Pediatrics schedules. The names of the schedules that contain the grouped shifts are displayed in the Schedule column.

The OnCall Group settings are found in the OnCall Schedule Properties and the Shift Definition Properties. These settings work together to determine which shifts are displayed in a group schedule.

Group Tab in OnCall Schedule Properties

The settings on the Group tab are used to display information from different on-call schedules in one group schedule. Each of the schedules must belong to the same IS Directory. This feature can be used to group a number of schedules together so that on-call assignments can be made in separate schedules but displayed in one group schedule.

The Group tab lists all of the on-call schedules created for the selected IS Directory. Select the check box next to the name of each schedule that contains shifts that you want to display in the schedule you are currently editing.

For example, if you wanted the Trauma Team schedule to display shifts from the Cardiac, Radiology, and Urgent Care schedules, you would edit the Trauma Team schedule, click the Group tab, and select the check boxes for Cardiac, Radiology, and Urgent Care.

Only shifts that have been marked "Group Visible” can be displayed in the group schedule. When resource assignments are made to those shifts, they are displayed in the group schedule. Unassigned shifts from those schedules are not displayed. The Group Visible check box is located in the Shift Definition Properties when editing a shift definition and in the OnCall Shift Assignment settings when editing an assigned shift.

Group Visible Setting in Shift Definition Properties and OnCall Shift Assignment

The Shift Definition Properties page that is displayed when creating or editing a shift definition and the OnCall Shift Assignment page that is displaying when adding or editing a shift both contain a Group Visible check box.

Group Visible: The Group Visible check box is used with the settings on the Group tab to create a schedule that displays information from other schedules in the same IS Directory. In order for a shift to be visible on a group schedule, the Group Visible check box must be selected.

  • Select the Group Visible check box to make this shift visible in group schedules that include this schedule.
    OR
  • Clear Group Visible check box to exclude this shift from group schedules.

Requirements:

  • IS Supervisor 5.60.3748.8
  • SQL Server 2000 or later
  • IS Web version 3.1.3748.8 or later (optional)
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.3748.24 or later (optional)

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david drenk

Infinity Voice Mail Callback Enhancements

by David Drenk

The optional Infinity Voice Mail Callback (VMCB) feature has been enhanced in several ways in Infinity version 5.60.02. The enhancements include prevention of duplicate entries, system printouts, "Vmcb” call label, and more robust callback scheduling.

A voice callback file has been added to the Infinity server to prevent duplicate entries. The callback file keeps a list of the callback numbers for all voice mail callback requests that are currently scheduled. If a callback request is made for a phone number that is already scheduled for a callback, the new request is denied and a printout is generated on the system printer.

When a duplicate entry is attempted for a voice mail callback, the system printer prints the date, the time, and "VM Callback Already Scheduled for acct,” along with the account number, the callback phone number, the ANI (Automatic Number Identification) of the call, and the scheduled date and time.

When a voice mail callback is successfully scheduled, the system printer prints the date, the time, and "VM Call Scheduled acct,” followed by the account number, the ANI of the call, and the scheduled date and time.
When a voice mail callback request fails, the system printer prints the date, the time, and "Unable to schedule VM callback for acct,” followed by the account number.

On stations using Infinity Telephone Agent version 5.60.3748.01 or later, Voice Mail Callback calls are labeled as being in the "Vmcb” call state on their call lines on the Infinity Telephone Agent screen. Voice Mail Callback calls also list the "Vmcb” call state in the Waits window displayed in the High-Resolution area of the Infinity Telephone Agent screen.

When someone hangs up on a Voice Mail Callback call, the Infinity system will schedule the call if a ten-digit number has been entered. The system will also schedule the call if a ten-digit number has been entered in Infinity Voice Mail Callback but has not been confirmed by pressing 5.

Requirements:

  • Infinity 5.60.02 or later
  • Infinity Supervisor 5.60.0005 or later
  • Infinity Telephone Agent 5.60.3748.01 or later
  • Voice Mail Callback feature

Amtelco Part Number: 232S822

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© 2012 National Amtelco Equipment Owners. All Rights Reserved.
NewsLinks is distributed quarterly to NAEO members.

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www.naeo.orgmanagement@naeo.org
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