NAEO Newslinks-October09
October 2009

Betty Bouchie

From the Editor:
Best Practices
by Betty Bouchie

I work in a very large hospital that is affiliated with nine other hospitals in the central district of the province. We have been upgrading our telephony infrastructure to improve communications between the sites. This would also allow us to migrate incoming calls to a central call centre. We are the "big bully”, the "borg”, assimilating without thought or care… Well, not exactly.

Because we are a large hospital, we need to define and adapt our processes and procedures until they become the most efficient way to reach the desired result. Our call volume is sometimes 100 times or more, the volume of a smaller site. Does that mean we do everything the very best way? Unfortunately, no. What it does mean is that we are constantly reviewing and redefining the best "way”, the best "practice.” Evaluating how to do things better.

As we "assimilate” a new site, we also evaluate their processes and procedures, and guess what? Sometimes, because they have a smaller number of resources, out of necessity, they have developed a very efficient way of doing something. We learn from them, and they from us. Developing a best practice is a dynamic process. It is not something you can do once and then never revisit. It is a living, growing organism that requires constant attention. So, if your office plants are dead, better check on your practices.

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Be Inspired

"Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means."

Albert Einstein

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Something to Smile About...
Police Emergency

This is the true story of George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi, who was going to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the shed. George opened the door to go turn off the light but saw there were people in the shed in the process of stealing things.

He immediately phoned the police, who asked, "Is someone in your house?" and George said no and explained the situation. Then they explained that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be there when available.

George said, "Okay," hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again.

"Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now because I've just shot them all."

Then he hung up. Within five minutes three squad cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up. Of course, the police caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the policemen said to George: "I thought you said that you'd shot them!"

George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

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Did you know?

If you cannot view this video, click HERE.

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Using Competencies Successfully
by Hugh Murray

While most people are familiar with the concept of competencies, not everyone clearly understands their full importance to the organization or to individual careers.

What exactly are competencies?
Simply put, competencies are "the way we want people to do things around here." They are written descriptions of the behaviors we expect team members to exhibit. Successfully navigating your organization's competency framework can help you in these three areas:

  • Appraisals
  • Promotion interviews
  • Self-development

Competencies set the standards for the way people do things in an organization. In the same way that budgets and accounting rules govern the financial state of the organization, so is it that competencies govern the standards of behavior at work.

So how are competencies arrived at?
Organizations will have a culture whether there is a competency framework or not, but the framework makes it explicit. Without it, different managers and different teams may behave in different ways. Customers, suppliers and other stakeholders will have varying experiences of the organization. To establish a competency framework, the organization looks at the way it does things and identifies behaviors that it wants to encourage. These are the behaviors that it believes will lead to success. Once it has identified those behaviors — those ways of doing things — that it believes will lead to success and that it wants to encourage, it sets them down formally in a competency framework.

What does a competency framework look like?
The building blocks of a competency framework are observable behaviors. They are something that we can actually see, hear or experience. They are expressed in terms of how someone actually behaves and not in terms of their ability or knowledge. So, for example, "Takes prompt corrective action in a crisis," is an observable behavior — we can see whether or not someone does it. In contrast, "knows what to do in a crisis" is not something we can actually observe. It may be true, but it does not tell us anything about how a person will behave in a given situation.

How Competencies Can Affect Appraisals
We'll use the word appraisal, but we are talking about any situation in which your performance is reviewed at work. Begin by looking at each of the behavior indicators that you know your manager will be looking for. Ask yourself, in each case, whether you could produce convincing evidence, using real and specific examples, that would convince your manager that you display the desired behaviors to the standard required.

How Competencies Can Affect Promotions
The most common mistake that people make is to assume that being good at their present job qualifies them for promotion. Your starting point in looking for a promotion should be the competencies required by the job that you are considering. But if you leave it until you are about to apply, chances are that you will not have enough time to change your behavior so as to demonstrate the desired behavior. You should be developing yourself for promotion the whole time, if promotion is what you want. Identify and write down the differences between the way you behave now and the ideal behaviors for a more senior post.

How Competencies Can Affect Self-development
The third area in which you can use competencies successfully is in self-development. You should constantly seek to measure your own behaviors against it and you should seek feedback from others in terms of how your behaviors stack up against those in the framework.

You should be constantly looking for opportunities to develop your behaviors to bring them in line with what is desired. And when you are satisfied that you can demonstrate that you display all the behaviors needed at your level, with convincing and compelling evidence, start to develop your higher-level behaviors — those that the competency framework tells you will be needed later on as your career develops.

Commit to fully understanding your organization's competency framework and how displaying the behaviors called for will help in your job performance, advancement and satisfaction!

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2010 Conference Topic Selection Survey

Greetings, NAEO Members! We want your opinion!

We are working on putting together the agenda for the next conference and, after narrowing down our list by at least 75%, we still have more topics than we have room for in our schedule. While this is a great problem to have, we aren't lacking great sessions to bring to you all in Newport Beach, we would like your assistance in making sure what we deliver is what you are really craving.

If you could take a moment and rate each of the following topics as to your level of interest (1 being not interested and 5 being very interested) it will help us a GREAT deal! This should only take a moment so we are hoping for a huge response.

Thanks for taking the time to help us deliver what you really want. The link to the survey is here:

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Transfer by ANI
by Gary Santill, A Virtual Receptionist, Albuquerque, NM

I was recently asked if you could transfer an ANI to another caller using Auto Attendant. The answer is yes, and you can use it in multiple ways. Two examples are:

  1. Auto Attendant: when a caller is automatically patched and the receiver wants to know who is calling.
  2. Any one who wants the caller ANI to appear on their caller ID.

Just imagine the reasons for an additional service $$$ that you can provide.

It is this easy. First you go to boards and ports.

Create a new route assignment.

Select your ports.

Go to options and check the "Transfer ANI” box.

Now we go to the account and make the final changes.

Above is if you want all outbound calls made on the account to pass the ANI OR

If you only want some of the numbers on various accounts, just use the dial string "6r5555551212” in the service list on those accounts.

A note of caution!!! Don't just make the change on an existing route, or you will be passing every caller's ANI.

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Telephone Doctor Customer Service Contest
by Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor

Winner Receives $500 – Send Us Your Story!

On a recent trip to Las Vegas while waiting to check into one of the mega hotels on the strip, I saw something that surprised me.

I couldn't help but notice how surly and downright rude some of the reception/check-in staff were to the guests. With all that's going on in this down economy, I wondered what it would take for them to smile, say something nice and be more polite. Others in line noticed it too. We started talking and we all agreed we wouldn't want to come back to this property.

YES, it's tougher now. YES, times are difficult. YES, jobs are being lost. YES, people are spending less. But the good news is, they are still spending. And customers want to spend their money where they are welcomed and appreciated. It got us thinking, in this down economy, what companies are rising to the top to keep your business? Who's doing more than the bare minimum?

Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, headquartered in St. Louis, MO, wants to hear from you. Nancy Friedman, President of Telephone Doctor, says: "We're seeking the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE STORY in the past year. We want to hear about something, someone or some company who created a really positive experience for you that you're still thinking or talking about." The winning story will receive $500 and receive front-page placement in our new book. Tell us how you were treated above and beyond.

There are hundreds of "worst customer service stories" out there. Telephone Doctor wants to turn the tide. We want positive stories that we can pass along to help other businesses. Let's raise consumer confidence with GREAT customer service.

Submit as many entries as you'd like, as long as they're positive. Please include your name, company (if applicable), address and phone number in your email to There's no limit to the number of words in each submission; however, Telephone Doctor reserves the right to edit the story should it get reprinted. All stories become the property of Telephone Doctor, Inc. and could be published in our new book.
Contest is open through January 31, 2010. Winners will be notified by April 1, 2010.

For an interview or more information, call Nancy Friedman, at Telephone Doctor 314-291-1012.

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