04 by pengxuezhi

VIEWS: 50 PAGES: 48

									                                          APRIL 2008




 VOLUME 16, NUMBER 3




                                  PLUS…
                             THE NEXT LEVEL IN
                        PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
                         TRAINING UPDATE FOR 2008
                              LEARN TO EARN


ATSI Convention Registration Information: Page 15
AGENT OUTSOURCING
AGENT OUTSOURCING                                                BILLING SOFTWARE
                                                                 BILLING SOFTWARE                                              EQUIPMENT
                                                                                                                               EQUIPMENT




                                                                                                                                                                                        PROFESSIONAL Directory
AGENT OUTSOURCING                                                BILLING SOFTWARE                                              EQUIPMENT
                                                                 BROKERS
                                                                 BROKERS




                                                                Marketing
                                                                Marketing
                                                                            Mergers & Acquisitions
                                                                            Mergers & Acquisitions




                                                 AS
                                                                         We offer Telephone Answering Service brokering
                                                                         We offer Telephone Answering Service brokering
                                                                          and Private Business hosting. We also sell Call
                                                                         and Private Business hosting. We also sell Call
                                                                            Centers & Voice Mail Companies. Current
                                                                            Centers & Voice Mail Companies. Current
ASSOCIATIONS
ASSOCIATIONS                                                                     listings available on our web site.
                                                                                listings available on our web site.
                                                                 BROKERSMichaels --TAS Marketing
                                                                      Steve
                                                                      Steve Michaels TAS Marketing




                                                            Marketing
                                                                            Mergers & Acquisitions
                                                                                   800-369-6126




                                              T T
                                                                                  800-369-6126




                                               AS
                                                                            406-827-4131 Fax: 406-827-4554
                                                                            offer Telephone •• Fax: 406-827-4554
                                                                         We 406-827-4131Answering Service brokering
                                                                         and Privatetas@tasmarketing.com sell Call
                                                                                       Business hosting. We also
                                                                                     tas@tasmarketing.com
                                                                                      & Voice Mail Companies.
                                                                           Centerswww.tasmarketing.comCurrent
                                                                                     www.tasmarketing.com
ASSOCIATIONS
   12 Academy Avenue                                                            listings available on our web site.



                                                                         www.weikertonline.com
   12 Academy Avenue

                                                                        www.weikertonline.com
   Atkinson, NH 03811, USA
  Atkinson, NH 03811, USA                                            BUSINESS BROKERS
                                                                              Steve Michaels - TAS Marketing
                                                                    BUSINESS BROKERS
                                                                                  203-371-6423
                                                                                 203-371-6423
                                                                                         800-369-6126
           Charlene Glorieux
          Charlene Glorieux                                                  406-827-4131 • Fax: 406-827-4554
                 866-896-ATSI
                866-896-ATSI                                                         tas@tasmarketing.com
                 www.atsi.org
                www.atsi.org                                                        www.tasmarketing.com                        AFFORDABLE TAS EQUIPMENT
                                                                                                                                AFFORDABLE TAS EQUIPMENT




                                                                                                                                           TASECO
                                                                                                                                           TASECO
        12 Academy Avenue

                                                                          and Associates 1-888-731-7002
                                                                Shatz and Associates 1-888-731-7002
                                                                                                                                   FOR ANY SIZE SERVICE

                                                                Shatzwww.weikertonline.com
                                                                                                                                   FOR ANY SIZE SERVICE
  Atkinson, NH 03811, USA  Atlantic StatesTelephone
                          Atlantic StatesTelephone
                         Atlantic States Telephone              CONSULTING
                                                                CONSULTINGBROKERS
                                                                    BUSINESS
                                                                                 203-371-6423
                           AnsweringAssociation
                         Answering Association
                          AnsweringAssociation                                                                                              LEASING AVAILABLE
                                                                                                                                            LEASING AVAILABLE
          Charlene Glorieux
                                                                 Telephoneanswering service brokering and consulting.
                                                                Telephone answering service brokering and consulting.
TAS Owners & Supervisors helping each other grow.
          Supervisor Training, Fall 2007
                                                                        4%-5% commisions to sell your business
                866-896-ATSI
         Supervisor Training, Fall 2007
                                                                       4%-5% commisions to sell your business
             Dan L’Heureux /Exec Dir.
              Dan L’Heureux/ExecDir.
            Dan L’Heureux /Exec Dir.
                                                                      29 years of telephone answering experience
                                                                      29 years of telephone answering experience
                www.atsi.org                                                                                                    AFFORDABLE TAS EQUIPMENT

  Startel National Users Group,Group CONSULTING
                  Startel Users Users Inc.
 Startel NationalNationalGroup, Inc.
          800-718-1712 www.astaa.org
          800-718-1712 www.astaa.org
         800-718-1712 •www.astaa.org




                                                                                                                                          TASECO
                                                                                                                                        888-527-2224
                                                                                                                                        888-527-2224


                                                                Shatz and Associates
                                                                EQUIPMENT 1-888-731-7002
        12 Academy Avenue                                                                                                          FOR ANY SIZE SERVICE
                          Atlantic StatesTelephone                                                                                     www.taseco.com
                                                                                                                                      www.taseco.com
Learn how Charlene Glorieux in real $$.
          Certification can demonstrateyour Value
                             your Value your $$
Learn how Certification can demonstrate in realValuein real $$.
   Atkinson, NH 03811, USA

            Dan L’Heureux /Exec800-317-8529
    Dan L’Heureux Exec Director800-317-8529
   Dan L’Heureux Exec DirectorExec Director
                          AnsweringAssociation                                                                                              LEASING AVAILABLE
                   Learn how Certification can demonstrate
                                                                EQUIPMENT
                                                                Telephone answering service brokering and consulting.
                www.TeamSNUG.com
               www.TeamSNUG.com
         Supervisor Training, Fall 2007
                                                                       4%-5% commisions to sell your business
                866-896-ATSI
                    Dan L’Heureux Dir.                                                                                         EXECUTIVE RECRUITERS
                                                                                                                               EXECUTIVE RECRUITERS
                                                                     29 years of telephone answering experience
  Startel National Users Group, Inc.
                 www.atsi.org
                 888-712-9396 www.TeamSNUG.com
          800-718-1712 www.astaa.org                                                                                              AFFORDABLE TAS EQUIPMENT
                                                                                                                                PREMIER EXECUTIVE SEARCH SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                               PREMIER EXECUTIVE SEARCH SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                                               888-527-2224
                                                                                                                               EXECUTIVESIZEof the top ten service
                                                                                                                                  Search consultants to RECRUITERS




                                                                                                                                   TASECO
                                                                                                                                       FOR ANY most SERVICE
                                                                                                                               •• Search consultants to most of the top ten service
                                                                                                                                               www.taseco.com
                                                                                                                                  agencies inEXECUTIVE over 50 of SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                                  agencies the US and SEARCH the Fortune 500
                                                                                                                                PREMIERinthe US and over 50 of the Fortune 500
 Great Certification can demonstrate your Value Director
Learn howLakes                                  in real
                              OctoberDirector2007 $$.
                                 Meeting Oak
                          AnnualMeeting --Oak Brook IL
                         AnnualDan L’Heureux Brook IL


   Dan L’Heureux
 Telemessaging Exec Director 800-317-8529
                                Exec 22-24,
                                                                 EQUIPMENT                                                                      Small to AVAILABLE
                                                                                                                                  companies. Small companies, too.
                                                                                                                                  Search consultantscompanies, the
                                                                                                                                • companies. LEASINGmost of too.top ten service
                              October22-24, 2007
                                                                 Brandywine
             www.TeamSNUG.com
 Great Lakes             Supervisor Conference
                           Dan L'Heureux Exec
                          Dan L'Heureux Exec Director
                                                                                                                                  All custom searches using 25,000 Fortune file
                                                                                                                                  agencies in the US and over a 25,000 resumé 500
                                                                                                                               •• All custom searches using a50 of theresumé file

                                                                                  mmisions to sell your business
 Telemessaging                   April 2008
                                  888-712-9396                                                                                 EXECUTIVE RECRUITERS
                                                                                                                                  plus extensive proactive calling.
                                                                                                                                  companies. Small companies, too.
                                                                                                                                  plus extensive proactive calling.
 Services Association
                                 888-712-9396
                                888-712-9396
 Services Association www.gltsa.org
                                  www.gltsa.org
                                 www.gltsa.org                   Technology
                                                                      29 years of telephone answering experience
                                                                                                                                  All customtelesales/customer service searches
                                                                                                                               •• Dedicated EXECUTIVE SEARCH SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                                  Dedicated searches using a service searches
                                                                                                                               PREMIER telesales/customer25,000 resumé file
                                                                                                                                  sinceextensive888-527-2224
                                                                                                                                  since 1981—the first calling.
                                                                                                                                  plus 1981—the first and the best!
                                                                                                                                                  proactive
                                                                                                                               • Search consultants toand the best!top ten service
                                                                                                                                                          most of the
                                                                                                                                • Dedicated telesales/customer service searches
              Southern Telemessaging                             Telecom Planning, Network Support,                                                         & 50 of the
                                                                                                                                                 Bencin & Associates
                                                                                                                                         R.L. Bencinand the best!
                                                                                                                                  agencies in the US and overAssociates 500
                                                                                                                                         R.L. www.taseco.com Fortune
                    Annual Meeting - Oak Brook
             Southern Telemessaging IL                                                                                            since 1981—the first
                                                                                                                                  companies. Small companies, too.
             Association
             Association 22-24, 2007
                         October                                 VoIP Solutions, Workforce Management                                   440-526-6726 rlbencin@netzero.net
                                                                                                                                        440-526-6726 •• rlbencin@netzero.net
 Great Lakes                                                                                                                                     Bencin & a 25,000
                                                                                                                                          R.L. www.RLBencin.com resumé file
                                                                                                                               • All custom searches using Associates
                                                                                                                                                 www.RLBencin.com
   We are MORE        Dan L'Heureux Exec Director
    We are MORE than just a cruise, we TRAIN!
     We are MORE than just a cruise, we TRAIN!
                         a cruise, we
 Telemessagingthan just Exec DirectorTRAIN!
                                                                    Voice Logging Recorders
                                                                   Voice Logging Recorders
                                                                 Chuck Boyce 866-656-6100                                               440-526-6726 • rlbencin@netzero.net
                                                                                                                                  plus extensive proactive calling.
          Dan L'Heureux     888-712-9396
          Dan L'Heureux Exec Director                                    NOT JUST ONE SOLUTION
                                                                        NOT JUST ONE SOLUTION                                                    www.RLBencin.com
 Services Associationwww.sta-assoc.org
       800-475-0857
       800-475-0857 •• www.sta-assoc.org
                            www.gltsa.org                        www.brandywinetechnology.com
                                                                        Recording, Monitoring, Bridges
                                                                                                                               HOSTED SYSTEMS
                                                                                                                               • Dedicated telesales/customer service searches
                                                                                                                               HOSTED SYSTEMS
                                                                                                                                PREMIER EXECUTIVE SEARCH SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                                  since 1981—the first and the best!
                                                                       Recording, Monitoring, Bridges
                                                                                                                               Marketing
                                                                                                                               Marketing




                                                                  www.vlrcommunications.com 800-369-8273
                                                                  www.vlrcommunications.com 800-369-8273                                   Hosted to most of Broker
                                                                                                                                          consultantsSystems Broker
                                                                                                                               • Search Hosted Systems the top ten service
                                                                                                                                         R.L. Bencin & Associates
                                                                                                                AS


                  Southern Telemessaging
 Western States Telemessaging Assoc.
             Western States Telemessaging Assoc.
            Western States Telemessaging Assoc.                  EQUIPMENT                                                        agencies in the US and over 50 of the Fortune 500
                                                                                                                                          Receive the
                                                                                                                                           Receive the• benefits too.the large,
                                                                                                                                                                     of
                                                                                                                                        440-526-6726 benefits of the large,
                  Association Sept 23-25
 Supervisor EducationFallMeeting Sept 23-25
                         Seminar
                       Fall Meeting
                                                                                                                                  companies. recruitingrlbencin@netzero.net the call
                                                                                                                               We specialize inSmall companies,
                                                                                                                                                          for a variety
                                                                                                                                                 www.RLBencin.comof roles in costs.
                                                                                                                                                                   without the file
                                                                                                                                           expensive systems without the costs.
                                                                                                                                          expensive systems 25,000 right candidate
     Vegas MORE than
 LasWe are – May 2008 just – Palm Springs
                        Parker a cruise, we TRAIN!
                        Parker – Palm Springs                      Voice Logging Recorders                                     • All custom searches is to identify the resumé
                                                                                                                               center industry. Our goal using a
 Dan L’Heureux Exec Director Exec Exec Director
                    Dan L'Heureux Director
            Dan L'Heureux
                     Dan L'Heureux Exec Director                         NOT JUST ONE SOLUTION
                                                                                                                                           Host proactive your
                                                                                                                                          Host or carpool your accounts/service
                                                                                                                                   the extensiveor carpool calling.accounts/service
                                                                                                                               in plus shortest amount of time. With an active resume
 877-754-4103 • www.WSTAonLine.org
         800-475-0857 • www.sta-assoc.org
                877-754-4103 ••www.WSTAonLine.org
                877-754-4103 www.WSTAonLine.org                        Recording, Monitoring, Bridges
                                                                                                                               HOSTED SYSTEMS
                                                                                                                               • Dedicated equipment such service searches
                                                                                                                               database and telesales/customer as Infinity or the
                                                                                                                                          on over 25 years such as Infinity or
                                                                                                                                           on equipment of industry experience,
                                                                                                                                           CMC. See and the best!
                                                                                                                                  since 1981—the firsthas access on
                                                                                                                               BrandonWayne Groupour banner to more qualified
                                                                                                                           Marketing




                                                                                                                                        Hosted our banner on
                                                                                                                                        CMC. SeeSystems Broker
                    CEO theTelemessaging Assoc.
                     States Cadcom Equipment Owners
            WesternCEO isisthe Cadcom Equipment Owners
                                                                  www.vlrcommunications.com 800-369-8273
                                                                                                             T T
                                                                                                              AS




                                                                                                                                          than Bencin firm in the call center
                                                                                                                                        R.L.any recruiting& Associates
                   Association established in 1993. The group
                    Association established 23-25
                  Equipment Septin 1993. The group isis
                                                                                                                               candidates www.tasmarketing.com or call industry.
                                                                                                                                          www.tasmarketing.com or call
                  CADCOM / OnviSource                                                                                                     Receive the rlbencin@netzero.net
                                                                                                                               Our programs, rates and •benefits of the large,
                     comprised of OnviSource (formerly Cadcom)
                    comprised of OnviSource (formerly Cadcom)
                     Fall Meeting Owners                                                                                               440-526-6726 services are unmatched.
                                                                                                                                         (800) 369-6126 & ask for
                                                                                                                                        (800) 369-6126 & ask for
                     Equipment Owners. Contact at:
                    Dan L’Heureux — Exec.usat:
                                                                                                                                        expensive systems without the costs.
                    Equipment Owners. Contact usDirector
                                                                                                                                  800-946-2693www.RLBencin.com
                        Parker – Palm Springs                                                                                                   careers@CallCenterWorkforce.com
                                                                                                                                        Steve •Michaels.
                     CEOCoordinator’s Office, 703-370-9610 or
                    CEO Coordinator’s Office,
                                                                                                                                        Steve Michaels.
                    Dan@CallConsult.net 703-370-9610 or
                                                                                                                                        Host or carpool your accounts/service
                                                                                                                                           www.CallCenterWorkforce.com

                     at our web site www.ceowners.com
                   Dan L'Heureux Exec Director
                    at our web site www.ceowners.com
               877-754-4103 • www.WSTAonLine.org
                    www.ceowners.com                                                                                                    on equipment such as Infinity or
                                                                                                                               INSURANCE
                                                                                                                               INSURANCE banner on
                                                                                                                                   CMC. See our
                 PINUSERS Cadcom Equipment
                     CEO is the GROUP
                PIN AssociationGROUP in 1993. Owners is
                                                                                                                                   Hosted Systems Broker
                                established        The group
                                                                                                                                   www.tasmarketing.com or call
                     USERS
                PIN USERS GROUP                                          Voice Logging Recorders
                                                                         Voice Logging Recorders                                            ATSI Errors and Omissions
                                                                                                                                            the benefits and Omissions
                                                                                                                                   Receive ATSI Errors of the
                    comprised of OnviSource (formerly Cadcom)
                 SupportingPINNACLEandPIUSERS                                                                                      (800) 369-6126 & ask for large,
                                                                                                                                                   Insurance
                                                                                                                                                  Insurance Program
                SupportingPINNACLEandPIUSERS                                                                                       expensive more than just anProgrampolicy!
                    Equipment Owners. Contact us Pinnacle
                Release the POWER of your at:
                Supporting PINNACLE and PI USERS
                                                                                                                                            Its systems without the policy!
                                                                                                                                   Steve Michaels. just aninsurance costs.
                                                                    Easily records ALL conversations—just click and play
                                                                    Easily records ALL conversations—just click and play

                Dan CEO Coordinator’s Office, 703-370-9610 or
                 TechnicalTrainingManchester–Sept27&28                                                                                     Its more than            insurance
                TechnicalTrainingManchester–Sept27&28                                 574-848-5233
                                                                                      574-848-5233                                 Host or carpool your accounts/service
                    at our web site www.ceowners.com
                                                                                                                                                      For more information
                                                                                                                                                     For more information
                 DanL’Heureux–ExecDir-763-473-0210
                    L’Heureux–Exec Dir-763-473-0210
                DanL’Heureux–ExecDir-763-473-0210
                 www.PinUsersGroup.com
                www.PinUsersGroup.com
                www.PinUsersGroup.com
                                                                                      Record/PlayTek, Inc.
                                                                                      Record/PlayTek, Inc.                                       https://atsi.haysaffinity.com,
                                                                                                                                                 https://atsi.haysaffinity.com,
                                                                                                                                   on equipment such as Infinity or
                                                                                      www.recordplaytek.com
                                                                                      www.recordplaytek.com                    INSURANCE or call 888-303-4297.
                                                                                                                                                      or call 888-303-4297.
                                                                                                                                   CMC. See our banner on
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.comVoice Logging Recorders                                                          www.tasmarketing.com or call
                                                                                                                                           ATSI Errors and2008 • 3
            PIN USERS GROUP                                                                                                                              APRIL Omissions
            SupportingPINNACLEandPIUSERS       Easily records ALL conversations—just click and play
                                                                                                                                                  Insurance Program
                                                                                                                                   (800) 369-6126 & ask for
                TechnicalTrainingManchester–Sept27&28                                 574-848-5233
                                                                                                                                           Its more than just
                                                                                                                                   Steve Michaels. more an insurance policy!
                                                                                                                                                     For        information
                DanL’Heureux–ExecDir-763-473-0210
                www.PinUsersGroup.com                                                 Record/PlayTek, Inc.                                           https://atsi.haysaffinity.com,
       Contents
                         4/2008
Cover Story



 The Challenge of
 Remote Agent Training ............27
 By Lindsay Gibson
                                                     Departments
 The training of remote agents is especially         Professional Directory....................3
 challenging. Lindsay Gibson offers her tips
 to help overcome the difficulties in training a     From the Publisher .........................7
 remotely distributed workforce.                     “Let’s Watch a Movie”

                                                     Industry News ................................9
                                                     Advertiser Listing ........................43
                                                     Mind Your Business .....................43
                                                     “Q and A with Steve Michaels”

                                                     Classifieds/Marketplace ...............44
                                                     Coming Events.............................46
 ATSI Annual Convention
 & Expo Registration
 Information ...................................15
4 • APRIL 2008                                                www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Features                                                                      39
                             The Next Level in                                                 Do You Provide World-Class Service?........39
                             Performance Management ...........................31              By Michael Guld
                             By Cliff Hurst                                                    The pressures of globalization, technology,
                             Most call centers measure efficiency,                             market segmentation, consumer skepticism,
                             responsiveness, and quality. As an industry,                      and numerous alternatives can leave you
                             we do a great job tracking efficiency and are                     wondering what you need to do to stand
                             effective with responsiveness, but we need                        out from competitors. Providing world-class
                             improvement with quality. Quality monitoring                      service is a sure solution, but what does
                             is much more than addressing individual                           that mean, and how do you do it?
                             agent performance; it is time that we get
                             quality right.                                                    Training Update for 2008 .............................41
                                                                                               By Rosanne D’Ausilio
                             Learn to Earn: 10 Tips for                                        The biggest challenge for call centers is
                             Financial Success ...........................................34   agent training. On one side are high training
                             By Steve Michaels                                                 costs, exacerbated by high turnover. On
                             Steve Michaels shares excerpts and his                            the other side is poor service leading to lost




31                           thoughts on Robert Kiyosaki’s book
                             Rich Dad Poor Dad as it applies to the
                             teleservice industry.

                             Empower Employees Using
                             eLearning Technologies ................................37
                             By Patrick Botz
                                                                                               clients and depressed profitability. A few
                                                                                               relevant facts might help clarify the situation.




                                                                                                  39
                             Call center work is hard. Agents face                             Training and Managing
                             constant rejection and complaints; the                            Remote Agents ...............................................42
                             resulting stress affects quality and                              By Doris Primicerio
                             performance. Real-time training and                               The hiring and training of remote agents
                             performance management technologies                               needs to be done with the same care and
                             can be implemented to provide call centers                        attention as local agents. Taking shortcuts
                             with tools to better deal with and respond                        or not giving this your full attention is an
                             to these issues.                                                  invitation to problems and turmoil.


                                                       MyArticleArchive.com
 Whitepapers                                             Read more articles online at: www.MyArticleArchive.com/cm
                                                         • Myths About Multicultural Customers, by Michael Soon Lee
  Find more information online:                          • Make Change Stick, by Gary Bradt
  www.connectionsmagazine.com/papers                     • How to Get Older and Younger People to Work Together,
  • Proactively Boost Performance and                      by Garrison Wynn
     Improve the Customer Experience,                    • Bring Trust and Loyalty Back to the Workplace, by Roger Hall
     presented by VPI                                    • When Gen-X Is in Charge: Harness the Younger Leadership Style,
  • The Art of Coaching in the Contact                     by Anne Houlihan
     Center, by Mark Selcow and                          • Simple and Easy Media Tips to Getting and Giving Interviews,
     Matt Glickman from Merced Systems                     by Marsha Friedman


Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                                  APRIL 2008 • 5
With PInnacle’s help,
Pronto Connections doubled
its business in 18 months


Pronto Connections is a bilingual communications
firm specializing in inbound call response since 1980.
Lately the company has experienced powerful
growth—new accounts, new revenue, new
momentum—thanks in part to PInnacle 2.1.
A turnkey call center solution, it combines
the industry’s most powerful scripting and
order-taking program with innovative TAS
messaging and dispatch software.
Michele Ringwood credits the flexibility and
reliability of PInnacle 2.1 in helping her
organization streamline operations, maximize
productivity, minimize agent training time,
and meet client needs more easily. Ready for
a growth spurt of your own?

CALL 800-344-9944 TO ARRANGE YOUR
LIVE REMOTE DEMONSTRATION.




                          Michele M. Ringwood
                                     President
                            Pronto Connections                      AT I N G
                                                               BR

                                                               ars
                               Chicago, Illinois
                                                          E
                                                         CEL




                                                          25 ye                                800.344.9944
                                                                                   CE
                                                                               EN




                                                           O                   L
                                                                                        www.professionalteledata.com
                                                               F
                                                                    EXCEL
   Connections                                                                                                                  from the
April 2008

Publisher/Editor
                                              MAGAZINE

                                               Volume 16, Issue 3

                                                            Peter DeHaan
                                                                                                                               Publisher
   Phone .................................................866-668-6695
   E-Mail.................peter@connectionsmagazine.com
   Fax .....................................................866-668-6693
Display/Classified Advertising ...............Valerie Port
   Phone .................................................866-668-6694
   E-Mail..............valerie@connectionsmagazine.com
   Fax .....................................................866-668-6698
                                                                                                                      Let’s Watch a Movie
Designer/Production.......................David Margolis                          Peter DeHaan, Ph.D.
   Phone .................................................866-668-6696
   E-Mail .................dave@connectionsmagazine.com
   Fax .....................................................215-369-0144

              48955 Hickory Lane • Mattawan, MI 49071
                                                                                              hen someone says, “Let’s watch a movie,” what’s the first thing



Issue
             www.connectionsmagazine.com
        e-mail connect@connectionsmagazine.com
         Upcoming Insertion Deadlines:
          Article/PR Space
          Deadline Deadline            Featuring
                                                                                 W            that comes to mind? Do you immediately think of a group outing
                                                                                              to go watch the latest flick? Perhaps your preferred viewing venue
                                                                                 is the more cozy environment of your living room couch. Could it be that
                                                                                 watching a movie is a solitary experience for you, one that is enjoyed parked
May       Mar 28     Apr 4             Call Center Language Interpretation;
                                       Multilingual Call Center Listing
                                                                                 in front of your laptop computer? Whatever it may be, there are a multitude
June      May 2          May 9         Hosted Services and Software              of options for watching a movie – and a diverse list of business enterprises
                                       Disaster Recovery; Canadian               that support those variations. Consider the following:
                                       Teleservice Agency Listing
                                       Bonus Distribution at ATSI Convention     • Drive-in Movie Theaters: This is not likely where you would start your
Jul/Aug June 13          June 20       Scripted Call-Processing Software;             list, but, yes, drive-in movie theaters still exist – and there is resurgence
                                       ATSI Convention Coverage                       of interest. The Web site www.drive-ins.com lists 520 drive-ins operating
Mission:                                                                              in the United States today.
To be the principal clearing house of relevant and practical information         • Single-Screen Theaters: The traditional theater with a solitary screen is
for the teleservices industry.
                                                                                      also waning in popularity and in numbers, but it is not a thing of the past
Distribution:                                                                         either. Close to where I live is a one-screen theater that has been making
Connections Magazine is distributed monthly (with combined
Jan/Feb and Jul/Aug issues) to the TeleServices industry, including                   a go of it – and attendance is increasing.
outsource call centers, telephone answering services, in-house call              • Multiplex Theaters: The multiscreen theater is the premier venue for the
centers, and industry professionals who actively buy and sell products                off-site (that is, away from home) movie-viewing experience. These theaters offer
and provide service to this industry. The distribution list is                        multiple titles and varied viewing times. For major openings, they can show
continuously monitored and updated via the Connections Website
(www.ConnectionsMagazine.com), industry sources, reader requests,                     films simultaneously on multiple screens and with staggered starting times.
and the change of address service from the U.S. Postal Service.                  • Network TV: This is the least costly option for those willing to wait to
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Connections Magazine,                             watch a particular movie. With an antenna, viewing is essentially free,
44895 Hickory Ln, Mattawan, MI 49071.                                                 sans the electricity to operate the TV. If you have cable or satellite, the
Subscriptions:                                                                        effective cost goes up, but still there is no incremental per movie charge.
Connections Magazine is an advertiser supported magazine. It is sent             • Movie Channels: Some movie channels are included as part of a
free to individuals and companies in the outsourcing and teleservices
                                                                                      cable/satellite subscriber package, whereas others require a monthly
industry. Subscribe at www.connectionsmagazine.com/subs/.
                                                                                      subscription. These are great ways to watch current and classic movies –
Affiliation:                                                                          and everything in between – providing you are willing to scrutinize the
Connections Magazine is pleased to serve as the official magazine of
ATSI (www.atsi.org), the Association of Teleservices International
                                                                                      programming schedule for desired titles.
                                                                                 • Pay-per-View: This is generally available on cable/satellite systems,
Notice:                                                                               allowing for the viewing of movies (limited to what is offered and when
Advertisers and their agents assume all liability for content, including text,
representation, and illustration of any advertisement included in this                it is showing); there is a charge for each viewing. Essentially this model
magazine as well as for any claims made against the publisher arising                 combines the scheduling and admission elements of a theater with the
therefrom. The publisher reserves the right to reject any advertising that is         comfort of home viewing.
not in keeping with the standards of the magazine and to add the word            • Video-on-Demand: On-demand is pay-per-view without the schedule.
“advertisement” to any ad herein. The publisher makes no claims regarding
the legality or condition of any goods or services advertised in this                 Start a movie at any time, on any day.
magazine. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors           • Local Video Rental Store: Video rental stores function like a library for
and not necessarily those of Connections Magazine or any of its agents.               movies – except that there is a cost for each rental. Most stores are fairly limited
The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is            in their titles and may stock few copies.
not intended to provide legal, medical, tax, or any other professional advice
or counsel.                                                                                                                                     (Continued on page 8)

 Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                                                  APRIL 2008 • 7
from the
Publisher
  (Continued from page 7)

  •    Mail Rental: Netflix (90,000 titles) led the way with this            •   Mail Rental: Netflix changed how we rent movies, but
       option, with Blockbuster (80,000 titles) and others                       this model will quickly fade. Downloading movies will
       following. This service allows customers to order a                       soon make this option passé.
       movie online and have it mailed to their home, often by               •   Download Rental / Streaming Video: This remaining
       the next day. Watch the movie and mail it back – with                     option seemingly has no immediate threats, but it is a
       free mailing. Although advance planning is required, it                   technology-based solution and technology changes rapidly.
       is less hassle than driving to a video rental – twice – and               As such, a pervasive threat to this business model could
       there are many more titles and copies available.                          erupt at any moment and with little or no warning.
  •    Download Rental / Streaming Video: This is much like
       the video-on-demand option, but it utilizes the Internet for                The call center industry is likewise fragmented. There is
       distribution (think YouTube, with high quality, for movies).          in-house and outsource options. There is onshore and offshore.
       Currently Netflix and Movielink (acquired by Blockbuster)             There is live and there is automated. There is centralized and
       each have 6,000 titles available for download.                        decentralized. There is office-based and there is home-based.
                                                                                   There are call centers stuck in the past. I recently
       What does all this mean? Plenty – and it can apply to                 received a call from one such entity. They needed to update
  any industry or business, especially call centers.                         their equipment, which was obsolete and unrepairable, but didn’t
       The movie distribution business is highly fragmented                  want to have to use a computer database – they preferred writing
  with many competing variations. Each of the options listed has             everything by hand. And though I haven’t run into it for a
  a threatened existence. Some of them are arguably obsolete,                while, I am sure there are still centers out there who are yet to
  requiring innovation and determination to remain viable. Many              embrace the headset, never mind ACD, IVR, QC, call recording,
  are feeling competitive pressures that endanger their existence.           and all the rest. These centers, mired in obsolescence, are
  For those on the leading edge, technological advances could                still in business because they have done what the drive-ins
  render them obsolete in an incredibly short time.                          and single screen theaters have done: somehow they reinvented
       Let’s revisit the list again, with these issues in mind:              themselves, found a niche, and marketed effectively.
  • Drive-in Movie Theaters: This is an obsolete option.                           Then there are call centers that are trapped in their business
       Those that have survived have adjusted their business                 plan, traveling down a narrowing road. Perhaps their distinctive
       model and reinvented themselves to make it work. Over                 advantage is their staff, but they can’t hire enough qualified
       500 have done just that.                                              agents. Maybe they have staked their future offshore and are
  • Single-Screen Theater: This option is one step removed                   stymied by communication issues, management challenges, or
       from the drive-in. Those that have stayed open have figured           an unstable local government. Other call centers are loaded with
       out how to market themselves and fit into a desirable,                technology, but the next competitive technological innovation
       sustainable niche.                                                    could render all that they have as something that no one wants.
  • Multiplex Theater: The leader among off-site movie                             This analysis is not unique to movie distribution and call
       viewing, and the conventional business model, the multiplex           centers. It exists in every business, in every industry, and in
       is facing increased and intense pressure from the remaining           every economy. Some will survive and some won’t. The key
       options on the list (except for network TV).                          is taking what you have and using it to your advantage, perhaps
  • Network TV: This is the last distribution node to obtain a               in a way that no one else has thought of. It could be your location,
       movie after its release; therefore, it is typically the last option   your staff, your technology, your niche, your management
       we consider. How would you like to be least preferred                 team, your leadership, or something else. If you have none of
       option and garnering decreased interest? Enough said.                 these options, then perhaps it’s time to morph into another line
  • Movie Channels: An option for many, but increasingly                     of business, be it within or apart from the call center industry.
       viewed as limited in comparison to the next five options.             Regardless of your situation, with determination and innovation
  • Pay-per-View: You get to see movies closer to their release              there’s always the opportunity to reinvent your business. The
       date then the preceding options, but the titles are quite             one solution that won’t work is to do nothing at all. ¤
       limited in selection and somewhat restricted by schedule.
  • Video-on-Demand: This solves the scheduling restriction
                                                                             In case you missed it, here are some recent posts on Peter’s
       of pay-per-view, but still suffers from limited titles.
  • Local Video Rental Store: Who wants the hassle of                        blog: http://blog.peterdehaan.com:
       going to a video store to rent a movie, especially without                 • Feb 8: Do you have Vista?
       knowing if your title will be available? Succinctly put,                   • Feb 12: SaaS
       this model is rapidly approaching obsolesce. This is precisely             • Feb 15: Dialing for Dollars
       why Blockbuster ventured into rental via mail.                             • Feb 18: How Many People Does it Take to Install a

  8 • APRIL 2008                                                                        www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                                                                    TASbiller Supports
   IndustryNEWS                                                     CenturiSoft Billing Data
                                                                         TASbiller announced enhanced support for CenturiSoft
                                                                    billing data by accumulating statistics for all possible
                                                                    CenturiSoft call termination reason codes in addition to total
Startel Corporation Announces                                       calls and time used by most billing systems. This enhancement
Their Recent Acquisition by                                         will allow TASbiller users with CenturiSoft equipment to bill
Bilrob LLC                                                          at different rates for the various voicemail services possible
     Startel Corporation, a provider of integrated voice, data,     with the CenturiSoft product.
and networking solutions for call centers, announced their               For more information about TASbiller (www.tasbiller.com),
recent acquisition by Bilrob LLC, an investment company             contact Randy Ripkey at ripkey@aol.com or 706-860-
controlled by Bill Robertshaw and his family.                       0868. For more information about CenturiSoft, visit
     The Robertshaw family has a diverse portfolio of               www.centurisoft.com or contact John Pope, president, at
businesses including construction companies, commercial and         800-866-1929 x 121 or john.pope@centurisoft.com.
residential real estate ventures, and interests in over
seventy-five telemessaging call centers. Bill has been a            2008 Call Center Coaching Clinics
longtime advocate and supporter of Startel; many of his call             CAM-X, the Canadian Call Management Association,
centers utilize Startel products. “I have always believed in the    will hold their Call Center Coaching Clinics in Toronto,
Startel products and the talented and committed employees who       Ontario April 18-19, 2008 and in Calgary, Alberta May 2-3,
develop and support them. I am very happy to be able to             2008. Following the theme “Year of the Leader” as set out by
contribute to Startel’s future success,” said Mr. Robertshaw.       the board of directors this past November, the two-day
     For more information on Startel Corporation and its            seminar will reinforce the importance of the leadership role of
products, visit their Web site at www.startelcorp.com.              supervisory personnel.
                                                                         In 2007 CAM-X launched CSR and supervisor certification
Amtelco Users Set Attendance                                        at the coaching clinics with tremendous success. This year’s
Record at Conference                                                clinics will return to the more traditional style program, but
     The recent NAEO 2008 Conference set an attendance              will include breakout sessions on both days to accommodate
record with more then 250 attendees from over 100 call centers.     delegates who wish to undergo CSR and supervisor certification.
Amtelco provided educational presentations and announced                 The schedule of events will include sessions covering:
their latest innovations. Kevin Beale, Amtelco’s director of             • Performance Management: Setting objectives; learning
R&D Software, presented new releases; items generating the                    objectives, tools, and strategies; employee competence
greatest interest included:                                                   and commitments; becoming proactive in managing
     • Unity Voice Logger: an integral solution, using                        performance; dealing with misconduct
          Infinity voice processing and conferencing resources           • Leadership from Within: By you and for you
          for call recordings                                            • The Leadership Revolution at Work: Building a
     • Infinity Real-Time Backup: allows the entire                           strength-based leadership team
          Infinity database to be replicated on a real-time basis        The Call Center Coaching Clinics are an ideal resource
          to a backup Infinity Server, ensuring a current           for supervisors, managers, and team leaders. These sessions
          backup server if it is ever needed                        are available for both CAM-X members and nonmembers.
     • VoIP Technology: adds native VoIP services to                     For more information, contact Linda Osip, executive director at
          Infinity with Amtelco’s new XDS VoIP Board.               800-896-1054 or linda@camx.ca; you can also visit www.camx.ca.
          Uses include local and remote operator audio and                                                    (Continued on page 10)
          SIP trunking to VoIP telephone carriers and PBXs
     • Client Management Intelligence (CMI): integrates
          with Intelligent Messaging to automatically build a
          contact database of callers
     • ANI Behavior: streamlines call screening and
          automated forwarding and caller lookup
     • Contact-Based Dispatching: ensures message
          delivery
     The day before the conference, Amtelco University
hosted a well-attended seminar by Gary Kerner and Susan
Kirkpatrick who presented the latest “Work Smarter, Not
Harder” tips and tricks.
     Contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or info@Amtelco.com.

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                  APRIL 2008 • 9
                                                                       with twenty-five job descriptions and salary ranges is

   IndustryNEWS
(Continued from page 9)
                                                                       available to companies for $45 and may be ordered online at
                                                                       www.tmrecruiters.com.

                                                                       Amtelco University Announces
Telemanagement Search                                                  Technical Seminars
Releases 2008 Call Center                                                   Amtelco University upcoming seminars, Telephony 101
Salary Guide                                                           and 201, will be held in Columbus, OH and Hartford, CT.
     Call center recruiting firm Telemanagement Search has             These hands-on, interactive sessions are held on a regular
updated its annual National Salary Guide for the call center,          basis throughout the year. Different levels are provided for
telesales, and customer service positions. Now in its twenty-third     beginning, intermediate, and advanced Amtelco product users.
year, the guide provides information about twenty-five key call             • Telephony 101: Provides an in-depth explanation of
center positions, including average base salary (as well as the high            telephony and interfaces from early analog up to and
and low numbers, which allow a salary range to be ascertained).                 including T1. It includes a hands-on lab demonstrating
Also included is a basic position description and a list of common              the use of the tools of the trade; workbooks included.
responsibilities for each title.                                            • Telephony 201: Covers T1 up to and including
     Where applicable, the guide breaks positions down                          VoIP and SIP trunking/networks, providing a better
between inbound and outbound. It also provides regional                         understanding of how and when this interface
variations for each state, as well as major metropolitan areas,                 benefits call centers. Workbook and handouts are
including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York,                       included. T101 is a prerequisite for this course.
Philadelphia, and San Francisco.                                            The purpose of these courses are to educate personnel
     The guide begins with an overview of how to use and               that have more recently joined the industry and not gone
interpret it and concludes with an explanation of Telemanagement       through the progression of a n a l o g c ir c ui ts t o digi tal
Search’s methodology, which is designed to remove the                  interfaces. Courses also serve as a great learning aid
number of distortions commonly associated with salary                  to a better understanding of newer interfaces.
surveys conducted by mail.                                                  For more information about Amtelco University seminars,
     This guide is concise and easy to use. The full report            contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148 or AmtelcoU101@Amtelco.com.
Appletree Leads                                                   Lori Fentem Contributes
PCI Growth Rate Index                                             to Career Ideas for Kids
     The Private Company Index (PCI) announced that                     Lori Fentem, president of Synergy
Appletree Answering Service is its 2007 Top Growth                Solutions, Inc., a provider of outsourced
Company. A $12 million company today, the twelve-year-old,        teleservices, contributed to the Career Ideas
Wilmington-based business, which offers live answering and        for Kids Who Like Talking book, designed to
call center services, experienced an average annual revenue       provide career possibilities for kids in grades
growth of 65 percent over the past three years.                   five through nine with good communication
     The PCI measures monthly revenue-growth trends in            skills and who enjoy verbal interaction.
the under-$100 million sector of private companies. In                  Lori Fentem introduces children to the world of telemarketing
2007 the index saw an increase of 33 percent, which means         by sharing her career story, which began as a telemarketer at
that the diverse portfolio of PCI companies grew that amount on   age fifteen; today she serves as founder and president of
average. Appletree not only doubled PCI performance,              Synergy Solutions, an outsourced teleservices provider with
but also sustained consistently high growth for three years       seven locations and over 1200 employees. Reading her
running.                                                          profile, kids “get acquainted” with Ms. Fentem. They “take a
     “It’s hard to believe when you put it in that context.       trip” and cruise down the telemarketing career highway,
We just get up and do it everyday, so it doesn’t seem like a      exploring career options in the call center services industry.
big deal to us,” said Appletree CEO John Ratliff. He                    Ms. Fentem said, “I am honored to be able to contribute
attributes this significant growth to a combination of            to Career Ideas for Kids Who Like Talking. There are few
acquisition and organic development. Though they acquired         formal educational programs available to introduce children to
ten companies between 2006 and 2007, Ratliff insists that         these career options, and I sincerely hope that my experience
acquisitions are not the silver bullet to revenue growth that     of starting on the phones and working my way up will inspire
people may think.                                                 children to explore a career in the call center industry.”
     For more information, visit www.privatecompanyindex.com.           For more information, visit www.careerideasforkids.com.
Appletree’s Web site is www.appletreeanswers.com and their        Contact Lori Fentem at 800-547-0504, info@callsynergy.com, or
phone number is 800-914-9666.                                     visit www.synergysolutionsinc.com.
                                                                                                            (Continued on page 12)
                                                                  DNC – making the list more accurate.”

   IndustryNEWS
(Continued from page 11)
                                                                     Visit ATA at www.ataconnect.org.

                                                                  VLR Announces Recorder for
                                                                  Small and Medium-Sized
ATA Supports Congress’                                            Call Centers
Decision to Extend DNC                                                 VLR Communications announced the availability of a
     Congress recently addressed two bills affecting the future   feature-rich call center recorder aimed at small and medium-
of the National Do-Not-Call Registry (DNC). There are             sized call centers that have not been able to afford recording
approximately 150 million people who have listed their phone      or monitoring in the past. This system, which has been used
numbers on the DNC Registry, and there has been a large           throughout the country for over two years, is accessed via a
political effort to ensure that consumers’ information will not   LAN or Web with no licensing cost. In fact, call center
be purged from this list.                                         customers can actually monitor calls and retrieve their own
     H.R. 2601 was passed by a House vote and forwarded to        recordings via the Web. This is important for call centers
the president to allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)         whose customers want to listen in to calls being made.
to continue to collect fees to support the DNC program.                The recorder capacity starts at sixteen analog channels
     H.R. 3451 would result in the DNC registry becoming          and grows to sixty-four. For digital station recording, the
permanent, eliminating the need for consumers to reregister       capacity goes from eight to ninety-six channels. Recording
their phone numbers after a specified period of time. This bill   sources can be mixed, recording analog and digital stations on
is set to be approved by the Senate and then sent to the White    the same recorder.
House for review.                                                      Contact VLR Communications at 800-369-8273 or
     Tim Searcy, the chief executive officer of the American      sales@vlrcommunications.com.
Teleservices Association (ATA), said, “We are in support of a
permanent Registry, but we would like the assurance that it is    WW-Outsourcing
being appropriately updated. We would encourage the FTC           Welcomes Jeff Brooks as
or Congress to require phone companies to provide a record        Project Manager
of all disconnected numbers so they can be removed from the           Doris Primicerio, president of WW-Outsourcing
                                                                                   International Services, Inc (WW-OISI)
                                                                                   and A Courteous Communications Inc,
                                                                                   announced the addition of Jeff Brooks as
                                                                                   project manager for WW-OISI. Jeff
                                                                                   comes to WW-OISI with over twenty-
                                                                                   five years experience in the call center
                                                                                   and telemessaging industry and had been
                                                                                   for ten years president and general
                                                                                   manager of Palm Beach Business
                                                                                   Services, Inc. in West Palm Beach.
                                                                                        “Outsourcing will play an enormous
                                                                                   role in the level of success achieved
                                                                                   by call centers and telemessaging
                                                                                   companies, not to mention other industries
                                                                                   that already take advantage of these
                                                                                   talented and inexpensive agents,” said
                                                                                   Jeff Brooks. “I’m very excited about
                                                                                   bringing the technology to our colleagues
                                                                                   that already saves A Courteous
                                                                                   Communications thousands of dollars
                                                                                   every month.”
                                                                                        “With Jeff’s entrepreneurial back-
                                                                                   ground and experience, he understands
                                                                                   the needs of call centers today and the
                                                                                   impact our outsourcing services can have
                                                                                   of their bottom line,” said Doris
                                                                                   Primicerio. “Jeff’s primary objective
                                                                                                     (Continued on page 14)

12 • APRIL 2008                                                             www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
No More TAS Coffee Tables!
                                                           Throw out or sell
                                                           your existing TAS
                                                           system.


      ???
                                                           Own your own
                                                           new one.
                                                           Do what you do
                                                           now better, and
                                                           do new things
                                                           you could not do
                                                           before…even use
                                                           overseas agents.
                                                           •   Agent performance statistics
                                                           •   Agent skill set routing
                                                           •   Appointment scheduling
                                                           •   Billing and invoicing
                                                           •   Call barge, coach, steal and
                                                               spy…even on remote agents
                                                           •   Customer portal for self-pay
                                                               via credit card
                                                           •   Customize what information
                                                               is taken for each contact
                                                           •   Faxes originate as emails for
                                                               easy re-sending
The system is asterisk based
                                                           •   IVR setup - easy as pie
                                                           •   On-call database
Asterisk reached 1 million downloads in 2007…
                                                           •   One click dial patch
it will be here for the next 10 years.
                                                           •   One click dispatch...paper,
                                                               fax, email, text, alpha or any
Bandwith.com ran 1.2 billion minutes on asterisk in 2007
                                                               combination.
                                                           •   “Presence”" for easy
Refreshingly inexpensive.                                      communication between
                                                               agents and administrators
                                                           •   Time-Of-Day based screen
                                                               pops
                                                           •   Voicemail
                                                           •   Voice logging

  License free TAS systems, 24/7 support
        http://www.GlobalFone.biz
                                                                      “We are thrilled that Startel has decided to include

   IndustryNEWS
(Continued from page 12)
                                                                  XLScheduler as part of their solution. We look forward to
                                                                  working with Startel in offering their clients a wider range of
                                                                  products for added business value,” said Annika Heaver,
                                                                  president of XLScheduler AB.
will be to bring a number of ‘win-win’ options to our                 For more information, call Dan Feis, Startel director of
colleagues.”                                                      sales at 800-782-7835, extension 714 or visit
     For more information, contact Doris Primicerio with          www.startelcorp.com.
WW-Outsourcing International Services (ww-oisi.com) at
800-785-4766.                                                     Amtelco Announces
                                                                  Greg Strehlow as Sales Rep
Startel Corporation                                               for Western States
Teams with XLScheduler                                                 Amtelco announced that Greg
to Offer WFM                                                      Strehlow has been added to its sales
     Startel Corporation announced that it has teamed up with     representative force. Greg will be
XLScheduler AB to become a value-added reseller (VAR) of          covering the west coast locations of
XLScheduler software. XLScheduler AB is a Swedish-based           Amtelco’s 1Call Hospital and Higher
company that develops workforce management (WFM)                  Education division and assisting Nora
systems based on Microsoft Excel. Their XLScheduler product       Farber with the Call Center division.
is a powerful call center scheduling system that uses graphical        Greg received a degree in nuclear physics with a minor
presentation and diagrams to make complex planning                in technical communications from the University of
situations easy to understand.                                    Wisconsin. Previously, he played a major role in the
     “Startel is delighted to partner with XLScheduler AB.        development of the Infinity Intelligent Series (IS) scripting
Combining the statistics generated by the Startel systems with    capabilities and was an Amtelco trainer. He has been with
the power of the XL Scheduler program to manage staffing          Amtelco for five years.
costs allows business owners to positively impact their                Gary Kerner, director of Call Center Sales, stated
bottom line,” stated Alice Reuter, president of Startel.          “Greg was the primary IS trainer for many installations on the
                                                                  west coast. Greg’s insider knowledge of the IS benefits
                                                                  and familiarity with existing customer’s operations has
                                                                  already proven to be a great asset to Amtelco and its west
                                                                  coast customers.”
                                                                       For more information Amtelco, contact Amtelco at 800-356-
                                                                  9148 or 608-838-4194, or visit http://callcenter.Amtelco.com.

                                                                  AnswerNet Network
                                                                  Launches Blog
                                                                       The AnswerNet Network is taking a new step in the digital
                                                                  world with the introduction of its all-new blog:
                                                                  www.answernet.wordpress.com. The blog will serve as a
                                                                  way for AnswerNet employees, customers, and Web surfers
                                                                  of all kinds to participate in any number of topics.
                                                                       Aside from discussing industry hot buttons, best management
                                                                  practices, and current events affecting the business community,
                                                                  the blog will serve as a direct connection to the entire
                                                                  AnswerNet community. Along with Gary Pudles, president
                                                                  and CEO of AnswerNet, employees of all levels will be sharing




                                                                                                                         ?
                                                                  insight on a virtually limitless number of topics.
                                                                       More information about AnswerNet Network can be
                                                                  found at www.answernet.com.

                                                                                   Want to Sell
                                                                                   Your Business
                                                                                   Call Steve Michaels
                                                                                   TAS Marketing (800) 369-6126
                                                                                   www.tasmarketing.com
14 • APRIL 2008                                                             www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
               Step Up to The Plate: Hit it Out of the Park at the
                         The Plate: Hit it Out of the
              Step Up to64th ATSI Convention & Expo Park at the
                                64th ATSI June 18-21, 2008 & Expo
                                           Convention
                                                June 18-21, 2008
                               Hyatt Regency St. Louis, Union Station, St. Louis, MO
   Join us in St. Louis                                        Union Station then….
   ATSI is very pleased to return to St. Louis for our         In 1894 St. Louis Union Station opened as the
   64 us in St. Louis
Join th Annual Convention & Expo. Its central location          Union most beautiful terminal in the United States.
                                                               largest, Station then….
   allows easy access from across the U.S. for
ATSI is very pleased to return to St. Louis and our             In 1894 St. Louis Union Station opened as $6.5
                                                               This enormous project was built at the cost of the
64th Annual Airlines servicing the St. Louis Airport
   Canada. Convention & Expo. Its central location              largest, most beautiful terminal in the United States.
                                                               million. The piece de resistance of this new station
   include Air Canada, American, the U.S. and
allows easy access from across America West,                    This enormous project was built at 65-foot
                                                               was the Grand Hall, which featured athe cost of $6.5
   Continental, Delta, Midwest, Northwest, Southwest,
Canada. Airlines servicing the St. Louis Airport                million. The piece de resistance of this leaf,
                                                               barrel-vaulted ceiling decorated with gold new station
   United and USAirways. There are taxis and
include Air Canada, American, America West,                     was the Grand Hall, and stained glass windows
                                                               Romanesque arches, which featured a 65-foot --
   shuttles readily available at the airport, Southwest,
Continental, Delta, Midwest, Northwest, as well as              barrel-vaulted ceiling decorated with Allegorical
                                                               the most magnificent of these being thegold leaf,
   the and USAirways. There the airport to
UnitedMetroLink which runs fromare taxis and Union              Romanesque is majestically framed by the
                                                               Window, whicharches, and stained glass windows --
   Station and further downtown.
shuttles readily available at the airport, as well as          famous "Whispering Arch".
                                                                the most magnificent of these being the Allegorical
the MetroLink which runs from the airport to Union             Window, which is majestically framed by the
   The and Union Station…..
StationHyattfurther downtown.                                  famous "Whispering Arch".
  As part of historic St. Louis Union Station, the Hyatt
  Regency St. Louis hotel reflects the grace and
The Hyatt Union Station…..
  opulence of the Romanesque architecture and
As part of historic St. Louis Union Station, the Hyatt
  enjoys proximity to business and financial centers
  as well as Louis hotel reflects the grace and
Regency St. cultural and tourist attractions. The Hyatt
  is one of the Romanesque St. Louis, and is
opulenceof the best of hotels in architecture and the
  place to stay for business and financial centers
enjoys proximity tobusiness or pleasure.
as well as cultural and tourist attractions. The Hyatt
is one of the best of hotels in St. Louis, and is the
   Room Reservations
   ATSI stay for business or pleasure.
place to has reserved a block of rooms for the special
   rate of $152++/night Single/Double. Call the Hyatt
Room Reservations
   directly at (314) 231-1234 or by calling Central
   Reservations at 1-800-233-1234 – for be special
ATSI has reserved a block of roomsand thesure to
   mention ATSI. Online reservations Call the Hyatt
rate of $152++/night Single/Double. can be made at
   http://stlouis.hyatt.com/groupbooking/stlouatsi2008
directly at (314) 231-1234 or by calling Central
   The room at 1-800-233-1234 – and be sure to
Reservationsreservation deadline is May 18, 2008.
mention ATSI. Online reservations can be made at
   Registration Savings
http://stlouis.hyatt.com/groupbooking/stlouatsi2008
   There are many options for registration 18, 2008.
The room reservation deadline is Maysavings this
   year. If you register by April 1st, you’ll be eligible to
   receive savings of $100
Registration Savings or more off the standard
   and on-site registration fees. There are also other         Union Station now…. During the 1950s, people
There are many options for registrationnd       savings this
   savings if you register between April 2 and May             began choosing other forms of transportation and
year.th If you register by April 1st, you’ll be eligible to
   15 . Be sure to review the registration form that           with the decline in rail traffic, the station languished
   follows the agenda – or register online standard
receive savings of $100 or more off the at
and on-site registration fees. There are also other            for a number of years until, in October 1978, the
   www.atsi.org.                              nd
                                                                Union Station now…. During end of an era. In
                                                               last train pulled out, marking the the 1950s, people
savings if you register between April 2 and May                 began of 1985, after two years of extensive
                                                               August choosing other forms of transportation and
15th. Be sure to review the registration form that
    Non-members who join within six months of the               with the decline in construction costing $174
                                                               restoration and newrail traffic, the station languished
    Convention will have register online at
follows the agenda – orthe difference between the               for a number of years Station October 1978, the
                                                               million, St. Louis Union until, in celebrated its grand
www.atsi.org. non-member rate applied to their
    member and                                                  last train as a specialty retail, restaurant,
                                                               reopeningpulled out, marking the end of an era. In
   dues.                                                        August of 1985, after two years
                                                               entertainment, and hotel complex.of extensive
Non-members who join within six months of the                  restoration and new construction costing $174
Convention will have the difference between the
  ATSI members who have not attended an ATSI                   million, St. Louis Union Station celebrated its grand
  Convention since 2002 rate applied to an extra
member and non-member are eligible for their                   reopening as a specialty retail, restaurant,
  discount! Contact ATSI at 866-896-ATSI for more
dues.                                                          entertainment, and hotel complex.
   details.
ATSI members who have not attended an ATSI
  16 • APRIL 2008                                                     www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Convention since 2002 are eligible for an extra
discount! Contact ATSI at 866-896-ATSI for more
details.
                 Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                 at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

                                                     Program Agenda
                                                        (subject to change)



 Wednesday, June 18, 2007                                          service. However, someone forgot to ask the consumer
                                                                   what they want. Tim Searcy, with candor and wit, looks
 12:00-6:00pm            Convention Registration                   at the future of our business through the eyes of
                                                                   technologists, buyers and, most importantly, the
                                                                   consumer to give us a forecast for where we go
 1:00–3:00pm              User Group Meetings                      next. Begin thinking about the future of your business
                          Several user groups will be              by understanding where it will fit in society.
 conducting meetings during this time. To learn more
 contact the individual user groups.                               Tim Searcy has been involved in the direct marketing
                                                                   industry for over 30 years, beginning at the age of 10.
                                                                   He has had the privilege of serving as a senior executive
 3:15–4:30pm             Members Talk to the ATSI                  in the largest and fastest growing direct marketing
                         Board and Committees                      companies in the world, including West Teleservices,
                           ATSI Board and Committee                APAC Teleservices, Transcom Worldwide, and Rapp
 leaders are available to listen to feedback, answer               Collins. With sales and CEO responsibilities combined,
 questions and talk with members.                                  Tim has been responsible for development of over $2
                                                                   billion in outsourced teleservices and direct marketing
                                                                   solutions worldwide.
 4:30-5:00pm             Annual Business
                         Meeting                                   Currently Mr. Searcy serves as the CEO of the American
                                                                   Teleservices Association (ATA). As legislator’s turn their
 6:00–8:00pm             Opening Reception in                      focus from the outbound sales component of our
                         the Grand Hall                            business, Mr. Searcy fights to preserve the operational
                                                                   freedom of inbound practices from over regulation.

                                                                   Internationally, Mr. Searcy has worked in the United
                                                                   Kingdom, Canada, India, Panama, the Philippines, the
                                                                   Dominican Republic and Brazil to encourage
 Thursday, June 19, 2008                                           compliance, growth and education throughout the
                                                                   industry.

 7:30am–5:00pm           Registration Open                         Mr. Searcy has conducted hundreds of interviews on
                                                                   issues related to federal and state legislation, and has
 8:15am          Welcome to the 64th                               appeared on national programs and networks including
                 Annual Convention & Expo                          Hardball with Chris Matthews, The O’Reilly Factor,
 Join ATSI President Allan Fromm and Convention Co-                Crossfire, Fox News, CNN, CNBC, NBC, ABC, and
 Chairs Jannemieke Keener and Gary Pudles for a                    others. He testifies before U.S. House and Senate
 rousing welcome and overview of the coming                        Committee, and lobbies in Washington regularly.
 proceedings                                                       Mr. Searcy has been inducted into the Teleservices Hall
                                                                   of Fame and has received Customer Interaction
 8:30–10:15am Keynote Address                                      Solutions’ Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member
                “Futurecast for the                                of the Board of Directors for the University of Akron’s
                TeleServices Industry: It ain’t                    Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing Studies, and sits on
                                                                   the Editorial Board of Direct Marketing: An International
                what you think it is!”                             Journal. Mr. Searcy is a highly sought after international
                Tim Searcy, CEO, ATA                               speaker and published author on CEO leadership, sales
                Everyone is talking about automation and           and marketing, and the future of the direct marketing
                offshore for everything from telephone             industry.
                answering to complicated customer



Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                         APRIL 2008 • 17
                Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

10:30am–12:00pm          General Session                      Thinking about ATSI Site Certification? A panel of
                “HR & Legal Issues of                         “experts” will talk about the documentation necessary to
                Managing a Remote                             achieve Site Certification and also speak about Good
                                                              Business Practices in the event of a Disaster.
                Workforce”
        Martin Ween, Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz,                The point of the ATSI Site Certification is to ensure that
        Edelmon & Dicker                                      your firm has in place the recognized best practices for
                                                              maintaining 99.9% run-time. Be it Fire, Flood, Tornado
The topic of discussion, Human Resources and Legal            or Snow Storm – you need to be prepared and have a
Issues in Managing a Remote Workforce, looks at               back-up system in place. Disaster Recovery is the
various internal and external issues raised by the            process, policies and procedures of restoring operations
increasing use of remote operators and work stations.         critical to the resumption of business, including regaining
The issues include the issues and problems with               access to data (records, hardware, software, etc.),
controlling the performance of remote personnel, such         communications (incoming, outgoing, toll-free, fax, etc.),
as ways to enforce confidentiality and HIPAA                  workspace, personnel and other business processes
compliance; the criteria to be used in determining what is    after a natural or human-induced disaster. To increase
the legal employment relationship of these remote             the opportunity for a successful recovery of valuable
personnel to the telephone answering service, including       records, a well-established and thoroughly tested data
whether such personnel are to be considered employees         recovery plan must be developed A DRP is part of a
or independent contractors; what are the possible claims      larger process known as business continuity planning,
and legal exposures to the service provider that makes        which is exactly the point of the ATSI Site Certification
use of a remote workforce, both from the remote               program.
operators as well as from clients and third parties;
and what preventative steps could or should be taken to       Beth Cooper is Director of Operations at Answer Quick.
mitigate or eliminate these areas of potential liability,     She has been a cheerleader for the certification program
such as background and site checking and verification,        since it’s inception by SNUG in 2002, and is proud to
monitoring, manuals, checklists and scripts.                  hold Site Certification #002, as the second site to be
                                                              certified under the program.
Martin M. Ween is a senior partner of Wilson, Elser,
Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP, in its New York             Ray Shaw is the immediate Past-President of ATSI and
office. He has been with the firm since 1973 and has          has been active in the telephone answering service
been dealing with professional liability of all types since   industry for over 30 years. He is Treasurer of Business
he joined the firm. In particular, Mr. Ween has been          & Professional Exchange, Inc. of Beverly, MA. Ray was
involved with the issues of liability and claims in the       a founding member and is a Past President of the
Telemessaging industry for many years and has                 Professional Inbound Network (PIN) and the Northeast
counseled, and represented members of the industry, as        Association of Telemessaging Services (NEAT). He has
well as their insurers, on matters ranging from               also been active on the ATSI Board of Directors having
contractual provisions to preventing and resolving            served from 1995 to 2001 as a member of the Executive
lawsuits. He has also spoken to a number of industry          Committee and as Vice-President Treasurer and
groups on various topics. Mr. Ween received his               again 2004-2008. Ray has written articles for Answer
Bachelor of Arts degree Cum Laude, with Distinction in        Magazine and has been a frequent industry speaker on
English, from the State University of New York at Buffalo     topics of finance, call center operations and disaster
and his Juris Doctor degree from the New York                 planning affecting the telephone answering service
University School of Law.                                     industry.
12:00–5:00pm Expo Open                                        4:15-5:15pm     General Session
12:00–1:30pm Lunch in Expo Hall                                                   “Using ATSI’s Model
                                                                                  Contracts, Agreements and
2:30–4:00pm     General Session                                                   Forms”
                “Documenting Your Site for                                        Gary Pudles, AnswerNet Network
                Disaster Recovery”
               Beth Cooper, Answer-Quick, & Ray
        Shaw, Business & Professional Exchange                ATSI has provided its members with a wide variety of
                                                              contracts, agreements and forms for use in their


18 • APRIL 2008                                                       www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                 Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                 at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

 businesses. These have been created to provide               No Man's Land is the awkward, adolescent state of
 protection for industry businesses and to minimize           corporate growth. It’s a transitional time that every
 exposure to potential liabilities and damages. Join us for   growing company encounters. Doug Tatum discusses
 a discussion of what is available, where and how they        the tricky stage of corporate growth and four hurdles
 can be used, and why it’s important to cover all bases.      company founders can face during this stage that will
                                                              help you get through this process successfully.
 Gary A. Pudles is the President and CEO of the
 AnswerNet Network. Since founding AnswerNet in 1998,         Doug Tatum is the founding chairman of Tatum, LLC
 Pudles has won the prestigious “Ernst and Young              the nation’s largest financial and technology executive
 Entrepreneur of the Year”, for business service providers    services firm, with more than one thousand
 and was named to the NJ Biz “40 under 40”. Pudles is         professionals in thirty-three offices across the country.
 also nationally recognized in the fields of                  Tatum, LLC provides a broad range of clients that
 telecommunications and business operations and               include state and federal government, entrepreneurial
 teaches at the Wharton Small Business Development            emerging growth, private equity sponsored and large
 Center. He has appeared on TV and radio and regularly        multinational companies with strategic, financial, and
 contributes articles and interviews to a variety of          technology leadership.
 publications including being a regular contributor to Inc.
 magazine’s award winning Inc.com web site. Prior to          Mr. Tatum is a recognized expert on the capital markets
 founding AnswerNet, Pudles served as Vice President &        and entrepreneurial growth businesses, having testified
 General Counsel of Apex Site Management, Manager of          before Congress on more than one occasion concerning
 Real Estate for American Personal Communications and         the financing issues faced by growing companies and
 Vice President of Muzak in Washington one of the             US tax policy and as keynote speaker at the Securities
 largest and oldest wireless services companies in the        Exchange Commission Forum. He is currently involved
 United States. He received a Juris Doctorate degree          in a number of research initiatives designed to provide
 from the Washington College of Law at the American           the keys to understanding the strategic importance of
 University and a Bachelor of Arts in Policy Studies from     growing businesses and their impact on the U.S.
 the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse                economy and other economies abroad. His insights into
 University.                                                  the No Mans Land transition facing growing companies
                                                              have been published in a number of magazines and
 6:30-11:00pm    ATSI Education                               journals.
                 Foundation Event
                                                              Mr. Tatum is a graduate of Florida State University
 Join us for a special “Evening at the Ball                   where he received his Bachelor of Science - Magna
 Park” at the Hyatt. Our event provides you                   Cum Laude and Masters in Accounting and later also
 an evening of great food and drink, dancing,                 served as adjunct faculty at the business school. Prior to
 games of skill and chance, special auction                   Tatum, LLC, Mr. Tatum served as an officer and senior
 items, and lots of fun and laughter. This is                 level executive at a number of national companies. He is
 an extra ticket item with all proceeds                       a highly sought after speaker presenting to groups of
 benefiting the ATSI Education Foundation! Help support       CEO’s nation-wide the material included in his new book
 the Foundation that supports the industry! Join your         No Man’s Land: What to do when your company is too
 industry peers for a great evening.                          big to be small and too small to be big.

                                                              10:00am–5:00pm           Expo Open
 Friday, June 20, 2008                                        10:30–11:10am Concurrent Sessions
 7:30am–5:00pm           Registration Open                                        Operations Track:
                                                                                  “Pay for Performance”
 8:30–10:15am Keynote Address
                                                                                 Janet Livingston, Answer Center
                “No Man's Land: What to Do                                       America & Sharon Campbell, Cal
                When Your Company Is Too Big                                     Johnson’s Telephone Answering
                To Be Small but Too Small to Be                                  Service
                Big”
                Doug Tatum, Tatum, LLC


Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                     APRIL 2008 • 19
                Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

Pay for performance allows you to keep a carrot in front     plan to keep your sales talent motivated – is critical to
of your employees daily instead of right before and right    helping your call center grow and prosper. Creating a
after an annual review. It allows you to reward your staff   well-designed sales management and compensation
for greatness. We use a simple matrix that is not hard to    program to attract and keep sales talent can spell the
monitor or manage for you to implement this process          difference between success and failure. But what plan is
into your own operation. This will help you improve your     best for your business? Join Michael McMillan, President
overall quality on a consistent basis, will help control     of Answer Center America, as he explores sales
attendance issues and build overall good moral amongst       compensation plans that can help you achieve your
your agents.                                                 growth goals and keep your marketing efforts on track.

Sharon Campbell is the owner/President of Cal                Michael McMillan is a young entrepreneur who was
Johnson’s Answering Service, Inc., Fairview Heights,         raised in the world of sales. He says that “at the ripe age
IL. Cal Johnson’s Answering Service is celebrating           of 7 I was helping my mother make cold calls for her
                                                             company so she could compose her hit list to call the
60 years in the telecommunications business in
2008. Sharon worked during her college years as an           next morning. After many years of that, when it came to
operator and later on as General Manager for Cal &           picking my own profession I chose, computers!! I bet you
                                                             thought I was going to say sales!! While attending
Kathy Johnson. Cal & Kathy Johnson decided to
retire in 1986 and sold the business to Sharon, and          college at thee Ohio State I needed some extra cash so I
she gives much of the credit for her business                took a job for HHGregg as a sales rep. Low and behold,
                                                             I had a natural ability to sell. After a few months I
success to them. Sharon specializes in developing
custom service programs designed to meet the                 decided to head home to Chicago, IL and go back to
individual needs of each client. She consults for            work for the family company in sales. After only 2 years
                                                             I ended up taking over the sales department. Then in
contact centers across the country as well and is a
mentor for the Belleville BNI Group, a member of the         early in 2007 after saving all my nickels and dimes I
Education Committee for National Amtelco Owners              bought the business from my mother to take over as
                                                             owner. Over the last year I have lead my team to huge
Association, the President of the Great Lakes Tele-
Services Association and the current President of the        growth and we have already seen a great start 2008. So
                                                             as you see my life is business and sales as is my loving
Fairview Heights Chamber of Commerce.
                                                             and supportive wife.”

Janet Livingston, Answer Center America, Chicago, IL
has worked in the call center industry for 21 years. Her                       Technology Track:
passion for education in our industry is the reason she                      “SMS”
has focused so much of her efforts in the education of                       Moderators: Gary Kerner, Amtelco, and
supervisors. During her presidency of GLTSA she put a                        Roger Young, Telescan
lot of effort in expanding the working knowledge of Sales
and Marketing as well as Supervisor Training.                Come see and hear about the evolution of SMTP,
                                                             SNPP, SOAP, SMPP and how SMS is finally the answer
                                                             to our messaging prayers. How does SMS work, why is
                   Sales & Marketing Track:                  or isn't it better than what we had before. Can
                   “Sales Commissions and                    SMS save agent hours and moderate call flow? How
                   Strategies”                               does SMS make money in the call center?
                    Mike McMillan, Answer Center
                    America, facilitator                     11:15am-12:00pm Concurrent Sessions

                     Don’t miss this exciting session on                        Operations Track:
                     one of our industries most difficult                       “How to Take Your Staff from
                     subjects. Our panel is comprised of                        A to Z”
                     a group of the most successful sales                       Katie Kirick, Answer Center America
organizations in our membership. If you are considering
starting or improving your sales team in you service or                         We all find it challenging to continue
center this is a session you do not want to miss.                               to educate our staff once we get them
                                                                                on taking calls. We will give you a
Your salespeople are your company ambassadors to the
world. A great sales team – and the right compensation


20 • APRIL 2008                                                      www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                  Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                  at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

                                                               stepsons and four grand children. Mike feels there is no
 easy track on taking your staff from A to Z. I will supply    industry like the service industry and as long as you
 a CD with a digital job application, pre employment           provide the BEST service in any industry you will always
 testing, employee review forms, employee audit forms          maintain a growing quality list of clients. His company
 and motivational training material. Good training             motto is: SERVICE IS OUR BUSINESS QUALITY IS
 practices.                                                    OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

 Katie Kircik has worked at Answer Center America, in
 Chicago for two years. She is responsible for employee                           Technology Track:
 development. She has worked in developing a staff for                           “Securing your VoIP Network”
 80 operations people. Katie had been very active in                             Lori Jenkins, Answer-All Secretarial
 GLTSA for the past two years in Supervisor training and                         Services
 development. Katie was an education major and worked
 in the Child Care industry for 5 years prior to joining the                       VoIP 2008 works, QOS is better and
 ACA team.                                                                         it's more reliable. But once the QOS is
                                                                                   solved, what about network security.
                                                                                   After spending all those years and
                    Sales & Marketing Track:                                       dollars managing your internal
                  “Prospecting”                                network and your connection to the Internet, where does
                  D. Michael Fultz, The Answer Network         the VoIP circuit fit in your security structure? Is this a
                                                               HIPAA issue? We'll have the questions and the
 THE JOB WE ALL LOVE TO HATE! If you are in a                  answers.
 standstill mode and have no growth, and are waiting for
 the phone to ring for new clients, PUT THIS ON YOUR           Lori Jenkins has been in the Telephone Answering
 SCHEDULE. This session is a simple but thorough way           Service Industry virtually her whole life. She is the Office
 to utilize EVERYONE in your existing service or center        Manager at Answer-All Secretarial Service
 to open up new avenues and ways to add customers. It’s        in Westminster CO, a family owned and operated
 a job we all hate. So, if you are serious about adding        service. She is also the President –CEO of SkyStream
 customers, BE HERE to find out eleven key points to           Broadband & Voice Integration, LLC a Voice over
 developing a successful Prospecting program for your          Internet Protocol Reseller- located in Ft. Lupton CO
 company.                                                      since 2003.

 Michael Fultz has been involved in the tele-                  Lori has served on multiple committees through the
 communications industry since 1974. He has worked for         years and served as the Convention Chair of Both Snug
 operating telephone companies in all areas of tele-           and ATSI. She Served on the board of Startel
 communications. His formal education is in Electronics        National User Group 1994-1999 and was President of
 and Engineering but quickly discovered his desire to be       Snug in 1998-1999 and Served on the board of
 involved in sales and marketing of the telecom industry.      directors of ATSI 2000-2007 and was the President of
 Mike was directly involved in the first Regulated /           ATSI 2005-2006.
 Deregulated telephone company offering resale of long
 distance service and paging in the Commonwealth of            She lives with her husband in Fort Lupton Colorado.
 Virginia. Mike has also worked in the direct sales for a      She is the mother of four children, Jeremy, Brody,
 fortune 500 companies with his emphasis on Federal            Aubree and Corey as well as the proud grandmother of
 Government and fortune 500 companies. In 1993 he              Rylee Grace.
 formed JEI inc. a telecommunication and security
 holding company. Within one (1) year JEI was Bell
 Atlantic (Verizon’s) largest sales agent both in revenues     12:00–1:30pm Lunch in Expo Hall
 and profits. Due to shrinking commissions and a closing
 window of opportunity JEI began THE ANSWER                    2:00–3:00pm      General Session
 NETWORK and put all its efforts toward building a start                     “The Role of Regional
 up company with no customers and no calls. Today
                                                                       Associations & User Groups in the
 THE ANSWER NETWORK is a successful telephone
 answering service and call center continuing to maintain              Industry”
 a sustained growth both in revenues and profits. Mike is              Facilitator: Gary Pudles, AnswerNet Network
 married to his wife Sherry and has two daughters, two



Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                      APRIL 2008 • 21
                Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

                   Join representatives of the industry’s                        Sales & Marketing Track:
regional associations and user groups who will talk
                                                                             “Pricing Structures and
about what is going on in their respective organizations,
and discuss the roles they each play in addressing the                       Strategies”
needs of their constituents and the industry at large.                       Gary Pudles, AnswerNet Network

                                                             Your business relies on getting an appropriate price for
3:00–3:45pm     Concurrent Sessions                          your services but using the wrong pricing model will cost
                                                             you the client. Also, as programs get more complex, the
                    Operations Track:                        need to understand new pricing models becomes more
                 “The Art of Hitting: Organization           important. Come listen to the latest thoughts on pricing
                 for the Organization – from the             structures and strategies for your business.
                 Commissioner to the Bat Boy”
                                                             Gary A. Pudles is the President and CEO of the
                 Donna West, Focus
                                                             AnswerNet Network. Since founding AnswerNet in 1998,
                 Telecommunications
                                                             Pudles has won the prestigious “Ernst and Young
                                                             Entrepreneur of the Year”, for business service providers
                   Learn how to find what you need, meet
                                                             and was named to the NJ Biz “40 under 40”. Pudles is
deadlines easily, and accomplish more with less
                                                             also nationally recognized in the fields of
frustration. Have confidence that you can do more and
                                                             telecommunications and business operations and
do it with less stress. It all comes from being organized.
                                                             teaches at the Wharton Small Business Development
This isn’t your standard spiel, first written for an ASTAA
                                                             Center. He has appeared on TV and radio and regularly
meeting - when Donna was called away from the
                                                             contributes articles and interviews to a variety of
meeting, she handed this presentation to Jannemieke
                                                             publications including being a regular contributor to Inc.
Keener, who was able to carry on without a problem.
                                                             magazine’s award winning Inc.com web site. Prior to
Learn how to be able to walk away and know it will be
                                                             founding AnswerNet, Pudles served as Vice President &
done.
                                                             General Counsel of Apex Site Management, Manager of
                                                             Real Estate for American Personal Communications and
After founding her multimillion dollar company, Focus
                                                             Vice President of Muzak in Washington one of the
Telecommunications, just over 20 years ago, Donna
                                                             largest and oldest wireless services companies in the
West has worked to improve the service we offer our
                                                             United States. He received a Juris Doctorate degree
customers. She has been honored by the NAEO,
                                                             from the Washington College of Law at the American
Member of the Year Award, and the SNUG, Don Berry
                                                             University and a Bachelor of Arts in Policy Studies from
Award and is a recent recipient of the ATSI “Sharing
                                                             the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse
Award” for her contributions to the industry. She is the
                                                             University.
author of the “Excellence Series”, the only DVD Training
Series specific to our industry, and is widely published
and a frequent speaker at Regional Groups and User
                                                             3:50–4:45pm     Concurrent Sessions
Groups, as well as ATSI.
                                                                               Technology Track:
                  Technology Track:                                          “Co-Locating”
                                                                             Moderators: Gary Kerner, Amtelco and
                “One Number”
                                                                     Allan Kalik, Professional Teledata
                Moderator: Roger Young, Telescan
                                                             Those Telco Central Offices are nice and cool in the
One Number Call Forwarding is the solution to
                                                             summer, they have very reliable power supplies and
everything FUSF. Or is it? What can one number do for
                                                             awesome Telco connections. When was the last time
me and what will I be sorry I tried. Hear Brian Gilmore
                                                             you saw the inside of your central office. Wouldn't it be
and Darlene Campbell's first hand experiences. This
                                                             a great location for your switch? Louis Werderich and
session will conclude with a brief advertisement for the
                                                             Larry Bear can tell you how.
Saturday, June 21 FUSF main session.




22 • APRIL 2008                                                      www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                  Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                  at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

 4:00–5:00pm      Concurrent Sessions                            This session will be one of the most productive you can
                                                                 attend at the convention. It will cover three key
                     Operations Track:                           ingredients to a successful marketing plan. Our speakers
                   “Pre-Employment Screening                     are some of the most informed and successful in the
                   Tests”                                        industry. Make plans to attend this session and explore
                   Facilitator, Jannemieke Keener,               the following:
                   Keener Communications
                                                                        Networking and forming business alliances –
                   Have you ever wished that you had a               Kelli Robbins
                   crystal ball every time you hire                  Would your call center like to gain a competitive
                   someone? Do you find that you have                advantage over your competition? Networking is
                   to hire (and train) four agents to                one of the most highly effective means of building
 permanently fill one position?                                      your business, one connection at a time. Your
                                                                     success depends on making those “warm
 This session will take the guesswork out of a lot of your           connections” and then following up effectively. Join
 hiring decisions. Panelists will compare & discuss the              Kelli Robbins, President of Contact One
 benefits, drawbacks, and cost of several pre-                       Communications Inc, as she explores strategies and
 employment screening tests currently used in our                    techniques to target the right venues and the right
 industry                                                            resources to ensure that you are making the most of
                                                                     profitable networking relationships.
 Upon graduation from the School of Hotel Administration
 in The Hague, Netherlands, Jannemieke Keener was                                       Utilizing the ATSI Marketing Kit
 hired by Hyatt International and sent to Orlando, Florida.                         Successfully – Randy Ripkey
 After a year in training, and a year "opening" the Hyatt                           Mr. Ripkey was recently able to add
 Regency Grand Cypress, she was transferred to the                                  over 120 accounts and increase his
 Hyatt Regency Maui, Hawaii, to renovate that property.                             billing by 25%. He will be sharing
 In 1985, after one baby and pregnant with # 2, she quit                            his marketing experiences, including
 Hyatt hotels and moved to Richmond, Virginia, where                                a lesson on what not to do, as well
 she started A Friendly Answer as a sole proprietorship,                            as what worked, utilizing the ATSI
 open Monday through Friday from 8-6, with no                                       Marketing Kit as one of his tools.
 customers for 6 weeks! Since 1990 Keener has been                   Learn how he did it and how you can grow your
 24/7, and now has 20 operator positions, with remote                business too!
 agents working from as far as St. Johns, Newfoundland.
                                                                                             Utilizing the Internet and
 Jannemieke firmly believes in the value of promoting the                                 Webinars – Dennis O’Hara
 sharing of experiences and ideas; "Not everyone can be                                   The World Wide Web is full of
 an expert in all aspects of their system and in all aspects                              free and low cost marketing
 of running a business. When you have a group of                                          resources that you can tap into
 competitors that share as freely as everyone shares in                                   that will allow you to gain
 this industry, the industry as a whole gets stronger as a                                valuable insights. In addition
 result. I also believe in maintaining a positive relationship                            Dennis can show you just how
 with our vendors, since our success as business owners              easy it is to host your own webinars. Think it might
 is directly related to their success in providing us with the       be valuable to be seen as THE expert in your area?
 best tools and support." Jannemieke has represented
 ASTAA on the ATSI board since 2005.
                                                                 Dennis O'Hara is president of Associated Call Centers
                                                                 located in Levittown, PA. Dennis is an active member
 4:00–4:45pm      Concurrent Sessions                            of SNUG, ATSI, ASTAA and a variety of local and
                                                                 national business associations. He found out the
                     Sales & Marketing Track:                    importance of user, regional and trade groups after he
                                                                 purchased a local answering service running an old
                  “Marketing Resources”                          2700 with 3 operator stations. Since then ACC
 Dennis O’Hara, Associated Call Centers, Randy Ripkey,           has grown to a 15 station multi-use center and has
 TASBiller, Kelli Robbins, Contact One Communications            upgraded equipment adding voicemail and email



Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                      APRIL 2008 • 23
                 Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                 at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

services. ACC also offers enhanced services such as            Branding is the creation, development and maintenance
Order Entry and "Special Applications" handling.               of a mutually-valuable relationship with a strategically
                                                               selected group of customers, through the medium of a
Dennis is the currently the President-Elect of ATSI and        fresh and compelling elaborated proposition that is
serves on the executive committee; in addition he is the       delivered consistently over time.
Past-President of SNUG, (Startel National User's Group)        We will discuss and interact about how to create, deliver
and has also served on the board for his regional group,       and maintain a unique and consistent customer/prospect
ASTAA. He currently chairs the Industry Standards              experience.
committee, the marketing committee and the vendor
relations committee for ATSI. He also finds time to help       Wil Porter has worked in the TAS industry for 22 years.
out on the convention, legislative and web committees          He has worked as a front line staff, a site manager,
for ATSI. Active in local politics and a self-avowed           customer service and has developed a passion for sales
"political junkie" Dennis tries to keep the industry profile   and marketing. Wil has served on the Marketing
front and center in his interaction with politicians and       Committee for ATSI and believes now more than ever
media types. Dennis states, "I am a great believer in this     that opportunities abound for his company and for this
industry and I believe in giving back to those who have        industry. Wil has developed sales materials and
helped me so much in my time. I am very proud of the           programs for Ansaphone, and developed and
work I have done for the industry and hope to do more”         maintained customer relationship programs that
“I doubt that any industry can boast the number of             increased client retention. "I have seen my sale's cycle
“givers” that are involved in this wonderful community.”       go from weeks to months to years. This only
                                                               emphasizes the value of branding, so that current
Randy J. Ripkey has been in the answering service              customers continue to receive the same quality of
industry since 1995 as the owner of Accurate Messages,         service year after year and prospects that first inquired
Inc. of Augusta, Georgia. Accurate Messages is a ten           about my services in 2004 receive the same quality
position TAS serving over 400 accounts on the Amtelco          experience in 2008, when they make their decision to
Infinity platform. He is a Past President of the Southern      partner with Ansaphone."
Telemessaging Association (STA) and has served on its
Board of Directors. He is very active in the industry and
frequently speaks to regional and user groups, sharing                           Technology Track:
his experiences and methods of profitability analysis.                         “Networking Security and
Randy also markets his popular TASbiller billing and                           Remotes”
analysis software for the answering service industry. He
has sold over 130 systems. His background includes             Learn about remotes and security issues. How do you keep
computer programming and commercial real estate                them working and keep others out? Can their computer virus
appraisal.                                                     affect me? Can we keep them working and keep hackers out?
4:50–5:30pm      Concurrent Sessions

                   Sales & Marketing Track:                    Saturday, June 21, 2008
                 “Branding”
                                                               7:30–11:00am Registration Open
                 Wil Porter, Ansaphone Service, Inc.
                                                               8:30–10:15am General Session
How did one gasoline company become known for being
the "detergent gasoline" when all name brand gasoline                            “What Every TAS CEO Needs
have detergent?                                                                  from Their CFO (Even if They
                                                                                 Don’t Have One)”
How can one TAS differentiate itself from another,                               Roger Pell, Inmatrix, Inc.
locally, regionally, nationally, when the "perception" with
most customers is "all answering services are the                                 Often the CEO of a TAS business
same"?                                                                            does not have the luxury of a resident
                                                                                  CFO. That means the CEO must do
Can you be all things to all people?                           double-duty and wear the CFO hat as well. In the
                                                               instance that there is an internal CFO, the CEO must be
Do you want to be?



24 • APRIL 2008                                                        www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                 Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park
                 at the ATSI Convention June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO

 conversant with the basics of finance to ensure a true      issues, set prior to the meeting by our facilitators/
 management partnership in supporting strategic              attendees, and will be announced on the ATSI website
 decision-making. This session will deliver guidance on      (www.atsi.org) as we get closer to the convention dates.
 the importance of 1) creating and improving the             Join some of the best technical minds in the industry in
 accuracy of a cash management system as priority-one,       the chance to delve deeply into your critical issues.
 and 2) have a working knowledge of the elements and
 functions of finance.
                                                             10:30am–12:00pm          General Session
 Presentation goals for participants include:                                “Legislative Update: Where we
        Know the 8 priorities to implement a strong cash                     stand now with the Universal
        flow management system
                                                                             Service Fund – It’s all about
        Understand the application of Financial Health
        Check techniques                                                     your money”
        Demonstrate modeling and stress-testing                              Darlene Campbell, Information
        finance decisions                                                    Communications Group
        Review 7 attributes of good financial
        management                                                           It’s all about the money! YOUR money!
        Employ financial best practices
                                                             Learn about the latest information on the USF and what
        Escalate the likelihood of a strong internal
                                                             the Association of Teleservices International has been
        finance structure
                                                             doing for you and your business this past year.
        Illustrate state-of-the-art financial decision-
        making techniques                                    Learn from your peers who went to Washington D.C. on
        Provide a comprehensive CFO “checklist-for-          your behalf have to say about the current status of the
        success”                                             USF issue and the impact on your business.
        Identify TAS Key Performance Indicators
        Perform forecasting, projections and budgeting       Learn about the grass roots legislative efforts of industry
                                                             members who worked on your behalf this past year.
                                                             Hear what you can do in the future to make sure we
 Roger M. Pell is Senior Vice President of Inmatrix, Inc.    continue to have a foot print in Washington D. C.
 and has served the business community for three
 decades. He has comprehensive top management,               Darlene Campbell, President and owner of Information
 sales, consulting and training experience in software       Communications Group, started her inbound call center
 solutions, banking, insurance and securities. His career    business in Leawood, Kansas with five clients in 1986
 includes international assignments in Europe and the        after selling a home health agency to a locally owned
 Middle-East. Roger’s responsibilities with Inmatrix, Inc.   Kansas City hospital. Darlene was President of her user
 span business development and client relationship           group the TUNe organization from 1997 until 2001. She
 management in the United States, Canada and the             also served as President of the Southwestern
 Caribbean.                                                  Association of Telephone Answering Services in 1998-
                                                             1999. Darlene was President of ATSI in 2001-2002. She
 Roger has appeared as a frequent speaker before             developed a Disaster Preparedness Program in
 service and professional trade groups that include the      cooperation with the American Blood Centers and the
 Association of Small Business Development Centers,          members of ATSI in 2002-2003. Darlene has served on
 American Bankers Association, and the Bank Marketing        the Legislative Committee of ATSI since 2003 and is
 Association. He has been listed in Marquis Who’s Who        presently Chairman of the Legislative Advocacy
 in Finance & Industry and Who’s Who in the West.            Committee.
 Roger is the author of numerous articles published in
 professional magazines such as Bank Marketing, Best’s       12:30-2:30pm     Awards Luncheon
 Review and Personal Selling Power.

 9:00am–12:00pm             Technology Track:
                          “Tech Get Together”
 Join us for a morning of free-flowing roundtable
 discussions on tech-relevant subjects! The topics of
 discussion will include the most current and pressing


Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                    APRIL 2008 • 25
                                                                                                                                                                                          www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                       Step Up to the Plate: Hit it Out of the Park at the ATSI Convention
                                               64th Annual Convention & Expo, June 18-21, 2008, St. Louis, MO
   2008 ATSI
Convention & Expo
                                     2008 ANNUAL CONVENTION ATTENDEE REGISTRATION FORM
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        The Challenge of Remote Agent Training
                                                    By Lindsay Gibson




        emote agent training can be one of the most challenging      percentage of the interaction consisting of what is actually

R       aspects of the hiring process for a virtual call center.
        There are many aspects involved in any call center
agent training program: educating new agents on technology,
                                                                     being said. This fact is easily proven in a traditional classroom
                                                                     setting; if a student is confused, frustrated, or just not paying
                                                                     attention, the instructor can easily tell by observing his or her
processes, procedures (how to answer phone, e-mail, and              posture, facial expressions, and other nonverbal signs.
chat; how to work with customers), and all of the intricacies        However, in a remote agent setting, when the instructor can’t
that go along with being the voice of the brand that they            actually see the student, it can be much more difficult to
represent. This can be a tough task to handle in any call            understand that student’s mindset.
center, whether centrally located or remote.                              There are two ways to overcome this vital obstacle:
     Training agents who work from home adds extra                        1. Utilizing technology
challenges. These challenges must be overcome, given the                  2. Going the extra mile to ensure that a lack of face-to-
increasing visibility in the industry of home-based agents.                    face communication doesn’t lead to a lack of
Developing training programs for agents working – and training                 person-to-person communication
– outside of a traditional call center setting is a necessity. The        Many new technologies allow the remote learning
following tips are designed to help anyone confronted with the       experience to be interactive. Used in conjunction with the old
challenges of training a remote workforce.                           technology standby – the telephone – these new tools can
                                                                     make learning in a virtual environment much easier. Utilizing
A Lot Can Be Said for Interpersonal Interaction                      a learning management system (LMS) can streamline
    The majority of every interaction is made up of                  the learning process, making it easier for the student and
primarily nonverbal communication, with only a small                                                          (Continued on page 28)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                               APRIL 2008 • 27
The Challenge of Remote Agent Training
(Continued from page 27)                                                                 questions, “staying after class” to talk to the
                                                     The instructor-to-student           instructor, and generally interacting as much
instructor to work in tandem. For instance,                                              as they would if they were attending class in
while a remote instructor can’t physically           ratio should be no more             a physical classroom. Instructors also need
look over the shoulder of his or her students,       than 1:15,                          to set an example by taking attendance at
they can virtually look at what a student is                                             regular intervals during class, calling on
doing on their screen, or share theirs with                                              students to role-play or answer questions, and
the student as needed. Combining the visual                                              generally requiring a great deal of interaction
learning that happens online with the auditory                                           and participation during class.
learning that happens via a simultaneous
conference call, with the instant feedback                                               Self-Study versus Instructor-Led:
one gets from a tool such as chat or instant                                             A Fine Line
messenger, can ensure that students are not                                                     A proven way to ensure that remote
lacking the means to communicate with their instructor or              certification is as effective as “traditional” certification is
classmates.                                                            through utilization of instructor-led courses. However, not all
                                                                       course content necessitates being led by an instructor; much
Size Matters                                                           of it can easily be taught using self-study.
     The next step in the virtual learning process is making it              Make sure not to rely too heavily on self-study content,
as interactive as possible. I believe strongly that virtual training   though, for several reasons. First, if an agent “graduates”
requires smaller classrooms, which results in more personalized        from their certification course without ever speaking to an
attention. The instructor-to-student ratio should be no more           instructor, it is impossible to know what they will be like on the
than 1:15, and smaller if possible.                                    phone. If an instructor has spent a good deal of “in-person”
     Smaller classes make it easier to emphasize engagement            time with them, that instructor can determine what aspects of
and participation, which is a key aspect to any successful             the agent’s interaction need to be worked on before the agent
virtual training program. Students should be encouraged by             can take calls from customers. Another problem with
instructors to participate in class, such as by raising their          self-study is that giving a student too many self-study
hands (which they can do virtually in a LMS), asking                   modules can become overwhelming – and, quite honestly,




28 • APRIL 2008                                                                  www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
boring – leaving a struggling student feeling even more frustrated.
     I have found that the best solution is a combination of the
two. Ideally, an instructor will start allowing students to
begin with self-study modules, followed by assessments to
determine their level of learning and retention. Assessments,
however, should be a barometer of a student’s learning, not a
be-all and end-all as to whether they will make it through
training and onto the phones. If a student doesn’t do well on
his or her assessments, it is vital for instructors to spend
individual time with that student to help them master the
subject matter and allow them to take the assessments again.
     An opportunity that instructors have in both traditional
and virtual learning environments is tailoring course material
to students with different learning styles. The “share, show,
do” method is a great way to ensure success no matter what
the student’s level is or what they are learning. Using this
model, the instructor first “shares” a new topic with students.
Then the instructor “shows” how to accomplish this new task,
followed by the students demonstrating that they can “do” it
themselves. A student can easily say that they have grasped
material, but it is much more effective if they prove it via a
scenario similar to those they will encounter with real callers.

Don’t Throw New Agents to the Wolves
     It is critical that after the training is complete, instructors
do not throw new agents into the live calling environment
without a plan they can follow. A “soft live” is an integral
component of effective training. During a soft live, students
nearing the end of their class take calls from real customers,
while instructors listen to their calls. If there are any hiccups
along the way, the instructor can immediately send an instant
message to the student with suggestions of how to get the call
back on track. Once the call is over, the student goes back to
class and reviews the call with their instructor and classmates.
Oftentimes, a student has a successful call and is excited to
share with the class how, for instance, they made a large
up-sell. In other situations, students may have made mistakes
from which both they and their classmates can learn.
     A post-certification plan will also help new work-at-home
agents stay on track. So much information is given to them in
a short learning period during the certification process that it
can be overwhelming. Keeping newly certified agents on
track and on the phones is vital to agent retention and
program success.
     Properly training anyone in a customer-facing position is
the backbone to a remarkable customer experience. The tips
outlined above will help trainers who are new to a remote or
home-based agent model develop the best training program
possible. ¤

     Lindsay Gibson, a member of ASTD (American Society of
Training Development), is VIPdesk’s director of training.
VIPdesk is a provider of premium virtual contact center
solutions serving Fortune 1000 clients. For more information
on VIPdesk, visit www.vipdesk.com.

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                     APRIL 2008 • 29
The Next Level
in Performance
Management
By Cliff Hurst




         urs is still a young industry. Management practices            However, let’s not kid ourselves as to the real reasons why

O        within call centers continue to evolve as our industry
         matures. We can be forgiven, I suppose, for having
some practices that are still a little rough around the edges.
                                                                        we monitor calls. We say that we do it to help improve overall
                                                                        call quality, but our actions belie that intent. In practice, call
                                                                        centers use Quality Monitoring (QM) primarily, if not solely,
Quality Monitoring (QM) is one of those rough edges. Currently,         as a tool for measuring and evaluating agent performance. This
most call centers manage their performance by concentrating on          is shortsighted and prevents us from achieving improvements
three primary measures: efficiency, responsiveness, and quality.        in the performance of the organization as a whole.
We do a better job with some than with others.
     On the whole, we are excellent at measuring and managing           The Consequences:
efficiency. In fact, efficiency is the cornerstone on which call             The way we habitually approach quality isn’t working. It
centers were founded. The telephone is a highly efficient way           ends up in finger-pointing, blaming agents, lowered agent
of relating to customers. It is therefore, also quite cost effective.   morale, a lack of commitment to the QA process from both
The industry is also becoming better at measuring and managing          agents and management, frustration all around, and no
responsiveness, as measured by service level.                           discernible improvement in quality over time. We can do better;
     Quality, however, remains the stepchild of performance             we owe it to our clients and to our agents.
management. We don’t measure or manage quality very well.                                                      (Continued on page 32)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                   APRIL 2008 • 31
The Next Level in Performance Management
(Continued from page 31)                                                                   Answering these four questions ought
                                                     …a higher                        to be the fundamental goals of QM in any
A New Model:                                                                          call center. Answer them well and your
    I have been working to develop a new         standard is going                    quality team will perform like an orchestra,
model called Getting Quality Right. This                                              instead of like a one-man band.
new model really excites me; I hope it will          to require
                                                                                      What’s Not Working Today:
excite you. Implementation of this model
will result in significant advances in QM           monitoring a                           The problem encountered by most call
and coaching feedback. It may well do for
QM what service level has done for managing
                                                 larger percentage                     centers is that we try to answer all four
                                                                                       questions by using one methodology. That
responsiveness. It will allow managers to
make rational decisions based on statistically
                                                      of calls.                        doesn’t work. It results in a nearly exclusive
                                                                                       focus on question 3: How is this agent
sound principles applied to a uniquely                                                 doing? But evaluating the level of
complex environment.                                             performance of individual agents doesn’t take us very far.
                                                                 This is not where our biggest improvements can come from.
Why Monitor Calls?                                               Bigger improvements come from improving our processes,
    My own “Aha!” moment came when I realized that there         systems, training, policies, and leadership practices. The
is no one single answer to this question. Any attempt to         heavy lifting gets done in response to question 2, but to
answer it begs four additional questions, and an effective       answer 2, we first need to answer question 1!
Quality Monitoring program must answer all four.                      We crunch a lot of numbers in call centers. Mostly, we
    • How are we, as an organization, doing at representing      count things – lots of things. We tend to shy away, though,
        our call center?                                         from analyzing statistically the things that we count. If we’ll
    • What can we, as an organization, do to get better at       learn to analyze numbers statistically, however, we will able to
        representing our call center?                            gain much more meaning from them than if we merely count.
    • How is this agent doing at representing our call center?        It is especially useful to be able to use inferential statistics.
    • What can we, as managers, do to help this agent get        With inferential statistics we are able to infer meaning from
        better at representing our call center?                  our analysis of a smaller subset of data (such as the calls that




32 • APRIL 2008                                                             www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
were observed) with confidence that our findings represent
the whole (such as all calls handled by your center in a period
of time).
                                                                     PROMPT…
How You’ll Know:                                                   CONFIDENTIAL…
    You will know that you are doing this right when you
can say to senior management or your outsourcing clients
something like this:
                                                                     SECURE…
         “I am xx percent confident that our overall quality
         score this past month is zz on a scale of 100, and
                                                                     IF YOU ARE THINKING
         this score is accurate within plus or minus a yy               OF SELLING YOUR
         percent margin of error. Here’s how our trend
         looks over time.”                                            TAS OR VOICE MAIL
    The xx percent and yy percent are standards of accuracy
and precision that you set. Once you set them, you can calculate      BUSINESS—WE ARE
how many calls in a given period of time you will need to
monitor in order to obtain a representative sample. Then you        INTERESTED IN BUYING

                                                                    If you are considering selling your business, we
measure your actual performance against your own standard.
    There is no “right” percentage to use here. You may

                                                                    would welcome the opportunity to discuss your
elect to establish a 90 percent confidence interval with a

                                                                    needs and the direct purchase of your business.
5 percent margin of error. Or you may opt for a 99 percent
confidence interval and a 2 percent margin of error. The

                                                                   We will be happy to coordinate with you and your
choice is yours. Just be forewarned, a higher standard is


                                                                   tax advisor, if necessary, in determining effective
going to require monitoring a larger percentage of calls. It
costs money in terms of staffing and resources devoted to

                                                                    and sensible tax strategies relating to the sale of
Quality Monitoring. This is like managing service level.

                                                                      your business, whether the transfer is on an
You first set a standard, and then you establish the practices


                                                                          all cash or deferred payment basis.
needed to achieve that standard.



                                                                        Prompt quotes for full service centers
The Key to Answering Question 1:

                                                                    including fixtures and equipment or account
     The key to being able to express your quality results in


                                                                                  only transactions.
the above manner is to first be sure you are monitoring a
representative sample of calls. If you have a high level of
confidence that the sample you monitor does, indeed,

                                                                                  Joe Truszkowski
represent the calls taken by your organization, then you have

                                                                                   Vice President
found a way to answer question 1.


                                                                                   John Sophocles
     Your answer to question 1 is always an inferential


                                                                                      President
statistic. This means that you can never know for certain
what level your quality is. But you will have a way to
express the degree of confidence you can place in your
measurements. You will know how accurate and how precise
your answer is. The guesswork can finally be taken out of
QM. This, then, is the first practice to master in the model for
Getting Quality Right.
     QM is foremost about measuring, managing, and improving
overall performance. This opens the entire customer interaction




                                                                       Message Centers
process to improvement opportunities. Using QM to train
and coach agents becomes a secondary objective; using QM




                                                                   Toll Free: 1-888-558-2726
to evaluate agent performance is a distant third. ¤
     [Look for part two of this article in the May issue.]



                                                                   E-mail: john@tascomessagecenters.com
     Cliff Hurst is president of Career Impact, Inc, which he


                                                                      joe@tascomessagecenters.com
started in 1988. Contact Cliff at 207-499-0141, 800-813-
8105, or cliff@careerimpact.net. Sign up for his free email
newsletter at www.careerimpact.net.

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                     APRIL 2008 • 33
                                       LEARN TO EARN:
                                         10 TIPS FOR
                                          FINANCIAL




                                                   By Steve Michaels




    received a call from a call center owner who had hit rock      to death. “We will always have emotions of fear.” By not

I   bottom. Essentially, her business was destroyed when its
    sale to an unscrupulous buyer went bad. When I asked
her what I could do, she broke down and cried. This scenario
                                                                   giving into your emotions, you are able to delay your reac-
                                                                   tions and think. Learn to use your emotions to think instead
                                                                   of thinking with your emotions. Higher emotions tend to


                                                                   TIP 2:
is played out all too often; she had been working in the           lower financial intelligence.
business for twenty years, but just because she knew how to
answer a phone did not qualify her to know how to run her
own business.                                                      Know the difference between liabilities and assets;
     One of the first things I suggested was that she read the     then buy assets.
book, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. This number                 If you want to be rich, this is all you need to know. As
one New York Times best seller would help her learn more           Kiyosaki says, “Rich people acquire assets. The poor and
about the business world. Although the author does not agree       middle class acquire liabilities, which they think are assets.”
with the strict accounting rules advocated by CPAs, his            An asset is something that puts money in your pocket; a
methodology of making money is proven and can help                 liability is something that takes money out of your pocket.”
anyone who owns their own business. Here are some of his           The road to wealth is through increasing your monthly cash


TIP 1:
more thought-provoking tips (with my thoughts interspersed):       flow from the asset column to the point where it exceeds your


                                                                   TIP 3:
                                                                   monthly liabilities (expenses).

Choose your thoughts rather than reacting to emotions.
     Ask yourself, “Is working harder the best solution to this    Being financially “illiterate” leads to financial struggle.
problem?” Most people are so terrified at the truth that fear is       Most financial difficulties are caused by a lack of education.
in control. By not thinking, they continue to work themselves      Too many call centers charge an arbitrary rate that is not

34 • APRIL 2008                                                              www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
supported by the financial facts. Financial reports tell a story –
the numbers reveal the plot; they tell you where your cash is
going. In poorly run businesses, the financial story is working       Information
TIP 4:
hard in an effort to get ahead.


Be realistic about how long you could survive
                                                                      Is Priceless
without working.
    Do you have assets that create wealth in addition to your
paycheck, or is your paycheck your primary source of
                                                                     From the #1 NY Times bestselling book
income? Wealth is the measure of cash flow from the asset            “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki
column compared with the expense column. If you have to              explains one of the secrets to creating
increase your expenses, first you must increase your cash
flow from your assets to maintain your level of wealth. Your
                                                                     wealth is to hire a knowledgeable bro-
next goal would be to reinvest the excess cash flow back into        ker who knows the industry inside and

TIP 5:
your asset column.                                                   out.

                                                                     Unlike some discount brokers,
Take advantage of being a business owner.
    Your financial security should revolve around your asset         TAS Marketing:
column versus your income column, which can be aided by                • Bases business evaluations on
owning your own business or developing your assets. Being                  facts and comparables, which
an owner of, or a partner or investor in a business can enrich
your asset column. Other income generating assets include                  are listed on their website...
stocks, bonds, mutual funds, income generating real estate,                not idle rumors.

TIP 6:
and notes.                                                             • Attends trade shows and are
                                                                           members of ATSI, NAEO, SNUG
Put your money to work for you.                                            and PIN to monitor the industry
     The following advice from Rich Dad Poor Dad applies                   and meet face-to-face with
to you whether you are an owner or an employee: “Once a
dollar goes into your asset column, it becomes your employee.              buyers and sellers
The best thing about money is that it works twenty-four hours
a day and can work for generations. As your cash flow grows,          When you are ready to sell your
you can buy some luxury items. Rich people buy luxuries
last, while others tend to “buy luxuries first.” Remember,
                                                                     business, contact TAS Marketing

TIP 7:
investing in your assets and developing them is the real luxury!
                                                                             Remember,
Maximize your tax advantages.                                         you get what you pay for!
     Utilizing a corporation or another legal entity wrapped
around the technical skills of accounting, investing, and
markets can aid growth. An individual with the knowledge of
the tax advantages and protection provided by entities such as
corporations can get rich faster than someone who is an


TIP 8:
employee or a small business sole proprietor.                           TAS
                                                                      Marketing
                                                                     “Using the Power of Information
Don’t be afraid to take some risks.                                    to Serve the TAS Industry”
    Quoting Kiyosaki again, “It’s not the smart that get ahead
but also the bold.” Called guts, chutzpah, audacity, bravado,
cunning, daring, tenacity, or brilliance, financial genius
                                                                            (800) 369-6126
                                                                      233 Whitepine Creek Road • Trout Creek, Montana 59874
requires both knowledge and courage. “If fear is too strong,
the genius is suppressed.” You need to take risks, be bold,                 www.tasmarketing.com
                                     (Continued on page 36)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                         APRIL 2008 • 35
LEARN TO EARN: 10 TIPS FOR FINANCIAL SUCCESS
(Continued from page 35)                                             •     “People who hurry and catch a wave late usually are
                                                                           the ones who wipe out.”
and tap into your inner genius, allowing it to overcome your          • “Don’t listen to poor or frightened people.”


TIP 9:
fears and self-doubt, turning them into power and confidence.         • “You become what you study.”
                                                                      • “It’s not how much information you know but how
                                                                           fast you learn.”
Decide to “pay yourself first.”                                       • “Keep your expenses low. Build up assets first.”
     This is probably the most difficult to master if it’s not        • “Use [your valuable] time to make more money.”
part of your makeup. When you collect your monthly                    • “Save money instead of borrow money.”
receivables, Kiyosaki’s advice is to “allocate money to your          • “Don’t be too focused on money”
asset column before you pay your monthly expenses. Use                • “Financial intelligence solves problems and
this pressure to inspire your financial genius to come up with             produces money.”
new ways of making more money, and then pay your bills.”              • “Money without financial intelligence is money soon
Remember, “Poor people have poor habits.” One such habit                   gone.”
is depleting your savings. The rich know that savings are             • “Sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.”


TIP 10:
only used to create money, not to pay bills.                          In the process of writing this article, I have learned a lot.
                                                                 I discovered that if you want to learn about making money,
                                                                 teach it to someone else. This is also true for a smile, love,
Your two most important assets are education and time.           and friendship. I trust that the law of reciprocity works; what
     The single most powerful tool you have is your mind.        I give out, I will receive. Simply put, “what goes around
Conversely, Kiyosaki warns that “an untrained mind can           comes around.”
create extreme poverty that lasts a lifetime.” Most people            I give Rich Dad Poor Dad a five-star rating; it is ideal for
simply buy investments rather than first learning about          anyone interested in growing his or her business and creating
investing. Having no money to invest is not an excuse not to     financial wealth. ¤
learn. Each of us knows people who are highly educated, but
their balance sheet paints a different picture.                      Steve Michaels is a business broker with TAS Marketing and
     Here are twelve more poignant quotes to keep in mind:       can be contacted at 800-369-6126 or tas@tasmarketing.com.
     • “A truly intelligent person welcomes new ideas.”          His Web site is www.tasmarketing.com.




36 • APRIL 2008                                                            www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
   Empower
   Employees Using
   eLearning Technologies
   By Patrick Botz

      ew occupations require as much patience and resilience        ongoing, real-time communication and empower agents with

F     as that of the call center agent. It’s essential for agents
      to bounce back from constant rejection and cope with a
barrage of complaints from frustrated callers. Even the most
                                                                    the information essential to do their job well are needed.

                                                                    Agent Empowerment: The Ultimate Stress-Buster
experienced and controlled agents have their limits. It’s a              Agents are always going to have to deal with difficult
tough business, and stress is a real issue that has a compound      callers and irate clients; it is a stressful part of the job that
affect on quality and performance. Unhappy, stressed-out            can’t be eliminated. However, when agents are properly
agents don’t perform well. While regular pep talks and casual       trained to deal with them, there are many circumstances when
Fridays may provide some relief, many contact centers are           particular caller disputes or dissatisfaction issues can be
recognizing the need to address some of the major stress            quickly contained, managed, and resolved. Without this
factors head-on. Good training can make a big difference to         training, agents can be thrown when faced with unexpected
agent morale, and eLearning solutions are being implemented         surges of difficult calls.
with impressive results. Real-time training and performance              The problem is that classroom training is time-consuming
management technologies provide call center professionals           and not particularly cost-efficient. It requires careful s
with powerful tools designed specifically to support agents         cheduling and usually leads to multiple agents being pulled
and equip them with the knowledge and skills to stay in control,    away from their stations on a regular and ongoing basis. In
manage their customer interactions, and minimize stress.            addition, most of the damage is already done by the time the
                                                                    problem has been recognized and all of the agents have been
Creating Good Will in the Call Center                               trained to respond to it. This is where real-time eLearning
     A 2007 ICMI survey indicated that nearly 50 percent of         and performance management solutions can be effectively
call centers don’t measure agent satisfaction. This is a rather     implemented.
alarming when you consider the consequences. Agents                      Let’s say, for example, that a client’s competitor
account for roughly two-thirds of a call center’s operating         launched an aggressive direct mail campaign that could
costs. Agent turnover is expensive, costing anywhere from           potentially result in a devastating degree of customer
$2,000 to $10,000, and takes its toll on morale, service quality,   defection. Customers begin calling en masse to cancel policies
and productivity, ultimately creating more stress for the           or services. The agents dealing with these calls have no
employees that remain. Call centers that don’t care about           recourse other than to comply with the callers’ wishes; their
agent satisfaction and loyalty are going to suffer the              standard script and objection handling skills can’t effectively
consequences, continually fighting a battle with cost containment   counter the competitor’s offer. A fully integrated real-time
and caller satisfaction. Technologies that proactively enable                                               (Continued on page 38)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                              APRIL 2008 • 37
Empower Employees Using eLearning Technologies
(Continued from page 37)                                             creation and testing, users can include third party content.
                                                                           In order to maximize the success of each agent, it is vital
performance management solution will quickly alert management        to implement a solution that allows you to deliver relevant,
to the high volume of cancellations. The problem can then be         custom content to agents in time for new campaigns. This
investigated and a solution devised. In this case, it may be         includes flash training, quizzes, eLearning courses, educational
possible to counter the competitor’s offer and neutralize the        tips, examples of best practices calls, compliance bulletins, and
threat. A message would then be sent to the desktop of every         pre-shift announcements. Skills-based agent training ensures
agent involved, alerting them to the situation and providing         progressive agent development, from basic to advanced skills.
concise, systematic instructions on how to manage the                It is also important to be able to deliver courses based on rules
specific customer cancellation calls. Not only are the agents        or classroom assignments. A rules-based distribution system
prepared and empowered to keep callers on board who may              can manage the delivery of training content to agents, groups of
otherwise have taken their business elsewhere, but a highly          agents, and managers across multiple sites.
stressful and costly situation has been averted.                           Lastly, by integrating eLearning with workforce management
                                                                     you can facilitate the delivery of training based on work and
Advanced eLearning Solutions: What to Look For                       shift schedules to maximize productive agent uptime. Rules
     There are various training software solutions available;        can be defined to trigger the delivery of training materials
look for packages that offer real-time eLearning capabilities        based on performance metrics thresholds.
and messaging functions, including the ability to send targeted
training content to agents. The material can be customized           Track Your Agents’ Progress
based on agent skills and distributed when it is most relevant,           Although you can’t underestimate the importance of
thereby improving each agent’s opportunity for success.              providing good, ongoing training, it is just as important to
     Course content can be organized and intelligently distributed   keep track of your agents’ progress and the effectiveness of
to agents and managers, either individually or as a group, and       your training materials and processes. A training solution
there should be an option to provide training manually in a          should offer tools to assess learning results, enabling quizzes
classroom or deliver it automatically to custom Web pages or         to be embedded or linked to course material. A tracking
agent desktop dashboards based on business rules such as             function allows managers and trainers to measure whether
performance results or schedules. In addition to content             training was viewed and understood, associating KPIs (key
                                                                     performance indicators) with courses to track the impact of
                                                                     specific training content on agent performance.
                                                                          Built-in assessment tools enable you to easily measure
                                                                     and track the results of training and its impact on group or
                                                                     individual performance. Training progress may also be
                                                                     associated with specific KPIs. User-created quizzes can
                                                                     measure the full extent of agents’ comprehension and the
                                                                     retention of training content. Detailed reporting capabilities
                                                                     allow tracking of training usage and test scores.

                                                                     Happier Agents Equal a More Productive,
                                                                     Profitable Call Center
                                                                           Many things can help make the lives of call center agents
                                                                     less stressful. From ergonomic office furniture, daily affirmations,
                                                                     and frequent breaks to fair evaluations, many factors come
                                                                     into play when striving to achieve a healthy balance. To aid
                                                                     in this balance, there are significant benefits to be gained
                                                                     from implementing the best possible training solutions. With
                                                                     better-trained, well-informed agents you’ll see better results
                                                                     and improved customer service quality. ¤

                                                                         Patrick Botz serves as global director of marketing for
                                                                     VPI (www.VPI-corp.com), a provider of interactions recording
            Association of TeleServices International                and workforce optimization solutions for contact centers. As
            12 Academy Avenue, Atkinson, NH 03811                    a CRM practitioner, he focuses on the mission-critical
            Toll Free (866) 896-ATSI                                 aspects of capturing customer intelligence and optimizing
            admin@atsi.org                                           workforce performance in real time. Contact Patrick at
            www.atsi.org
                                                                     PBotz@VPI-corp.com.

38 • APRIL 2008                                                                www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                                                              Do You
                                                              Provide
                                                              World-Class
                                                              Service?
                                                              By Michael Guld




       oday’s business environment is becoming increasingly             What companies come to mind when you think of

T      complex and competitive due to globalization, new
       |technology, increasing product proliferation, brand
erosion, market segmentation, consumer skepticism, and time
                                                                   world-class service? What establishments do you patronize
                                                                   whose service exceeds your expectations on a continual
                                                                   basis? Typically, these are not the places that have the lowest
poverty, rendering traditional business plans obsolete. For just   prices. Rather, their value is created by elevating the
about every product or service, there is an overwhelming           customer experience to a point where paying a premium is
number of alternatives to choose from, leaving consumers           not an issue.
dazed and confused. So how can you stand out from a sea of              First, companies should understand the difference between
competitors promoting similar offerings? Quite simply, you         the product (the commodity or service being delivered) and the
must become known as the company in your field that provides       process (the method by which that product is delivered). Pike
world-class service.                                               Place Fish Market in Seattle, Washington has become world
     What is world-class service? It is the talk of many but       famous for this differentiation. While their product is fish, Pike
the reality of few. When a company provides a client with          Place’s word-of-mouth fame was created due to the process of
world-class service, it often becomes a legendary experience       how that product is delivered – throwing fish. The product of a
that the client retells to others in a form of free publicity,     doctor is clinical expertise, whereas most people would agree
which can’t be bought.                                                                                     (Continued on page 40)

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                              APRIL 2008 • 39
Do You Provide World-Class Service?
(Continued from page 39)                                                    How you do it:
                                                                            Are you there to please or appease? Is it just a job for you –
that the process by which that product is delivered (bedside manner)   are you just going through the motions? Or do you take pride in
may be just as important. Since Realtors do not have exclusives        your company and your work and truly care about the well-being
on the homes (product) they show and sell, their sole value is         of your customers? Making customers feel special and
created by the service they provide (process). Here’s the point:       appreciated creates an emotional bond that is not easily broken.
Your reputation in your field may be created more by the
customer experience you deliver than the product or                         When you do it:
service you sell.                                                           Do you consider your response times? Immediate
      Six simple actions will determine your level of customer         response times that exceed expectations create a positive
service (from the customer’s perspective). When a realistic            perception, while long wait and response times create
and objective assessment is made in each of these actions              frustrations, leading to a negative perception. We are now
coupled with systems and strategies to improve (with                   living in a “drive-thru” world where communication
training), it can result in immediate and transformational             expectations are greater than ever before with the advent of
changes in your business. The six simple actions are:                  emails, cell phones, PDAs, and text messaging.
                                                                            Most service experiences are unremarkable. We tend to
     How well you listen:                                              remember only those experiences on the extremes of either
     Do you clearly understand the needs of your customers?            side. Poor customer service tends to leave consumers
As Mark Twain once said, “We have two ears and one mouth               frustrated and disappointed. In the restaurant business there
so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” You do not           is famous saying: “You are only as good as your patron’s last
need to start out offering all the answers; first begin by asking      visit.” An exceptionally long delay in receiving food may be
all the right questions. What do your customers really want,           as damaging to a restaurant’s reputation as a bad meal.
and how can you better serve them?                                          Why is it important to create a world-class service
                                                                       culture? Because not only are the products or services in
    What you say:                                                      most categories being commoditized by your competitors –
    How well do you answer questions, provide information,             where the lowest price wins – but more and more often the
give guidance, or offer direction? Helping your customers              service component is playing a greater role in your
understand the range of offerings available (both pros and             customers’ buying decisions. For example, if you look in the
cons) and what best fits their unique needs will build loyalty.        Yellow Pages under “Automobile Repair and Service” you
Helping them all along the way and being available for                 will find pages of ads with every company communicating
service after the sale will build customers for life.                  basically the same message. Since most people don’t truly
                                                                       understand what is being done underneath the hood, their
      How you say it:                                                  loyalties lie with the way they are greeted on the phone or at
      Have you evaluated your nonverbal communication                  the first meeting, and the way they are treated.
(i.e., body language, tone, and inflection)? In his book, Silent            Finally, when talking about world-class service, it all comes
Messages, Dr. Albert Merhabian found that communication is             down to people. When asked, “Why does everyone working at
57 percent nonverbal (body language, eye contact, a warm               Disney seem so happy?” Michael Eisner replied, “Easy, we
smile, and open gestures), 38 percent voice quality (volume,           don’t hire grumpy people.” Robert Spector, author of The
tone, and inflection), and only 7 percent verbal words. Yet            Nordstrom Way, relays that Bruce Nordstrom’s hiring philosophy
most people tend to focus their time, energy, and training on          was to “Hire the smile and train the skill,” noting that he could
the words they say.                                                    teach anyone to sell shoes, but he couldn’t teach everyone to
                                                                       smile. If you look at the organizations that provide world-class
    What you do:                                                       service, you will usually find they hire the best people and then
    Do you consider your actions – taken or not taken? The             provide a supportive culture where those employees can flourish.
only thing worse than doing nothing is saying you are                       Now is the time to stand up and provide a wow factor that
going to do something and then not doing it. It creates                will create customers for life. ¤




                                                          ?
disappointment and a loss of trust. Taking the time up front
to address your customer’s every need, want, and desire will               Michael Guld is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and
keep them coming back.                                                 radio commentator whose business development expertise lies
                                                                       in increasing sales performance, marketing exposure,
                  Want to Sell                                         employee productivity, and creating a world-class service
                  Your Business                                        experience. He is the president of The Guld Resource Group
                  Call Steve Michaels                                  and creator of “Talking Business with Michael Guld,” airing
                  TAS Marketing (800) 369-6126
                  www.tasmarketing.com
                                                                       on Central Virginia’s Public Radio. He can be reached at
                                                                       804-360-3122 or at michael.guld@guldresource.com.

40 • APRIL 2008                                                                  www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
       tatistics consistently reinforce that

S      the biggest challenge in today’s
       contact center environment is agent
training. Turnover continues to be high,
and new hire costs are on the rise; I’ve                                                        By Rosanne D’Ausilio
seen anywhere from $6,500 to $10,000
quoted per agent. At the same time,
losing customers because of bad call experiences negatively         only 18 percent who feel they do. What an exposure for a
affects the bottom line. What can you do? How do you                company to have: not only to not provide sufficient, robust
justify the training expenditure?                                   training, but to have the majority of employees feel they
     Research has been making a case of how spending in             weren’t provided with enough training, so they don’t have the
human performance areas, such as training, translates into          tools necessary to do their jobs!
bottom line growth. Accenture’s study on the impact of training           In another study, the good news is that nearly half of
on ROI has some interesting results. First, in the area of          U.S. employers planned to spend more time and money on
recruitment, training opportunities were among the top three        training in 2007 (Novations Group Survey). One of the top
criteria people considered when deciding where they want to         categories of training is customer service, followed by
work (the other two are the opportunity for advancement and         technical training, interpersonal/teamwork, and communications,
a good benefits package).                                           on down to basic skills.
     In the area of productivity, as a result of training,                The part of this study that concerns me is that employers
employees:                                                          “plan to spend more time and money.” Like me, I’m sure
     • were 17 percent more productive                              you’ve heard this before. Let’s make sure the feet go where
     • had 20 percent higher performance levels relative to         the mouth leads. As they say, talk is cheap; let’s get those
           their peer group                                         training initiatives implemented.
     • stayed with the company 14 percent longer                          After all, in today’s competitive environment, what
     In the area of retention, employees who had access to          separates one company from another is not their product or
training were:                                                      service, but their customer service. And who has that awesome
     • two times more likely to expect to be with the               responsibility to deliver this world-class customer service? Yes,
           company in two years                                     your frontline agents who feel they haven’t been trained enough
     • six times more likely to think the company was a             in customer service skills.
           “great place to work”                                          In a recent Training Magazine Study (November/December
     • more likely to think they were fairly compensated            2007), the training delivery methods reflect the following from
     Dollar figures associated with their statistics for a fiscal   year 2006 to 2007 (see charts on left).
year report the annual per person net benefit of $25,324.                Where do you fit in the above stats? Are you taking
They multiplied this number by their 50,000 employees,              great care of your agents so they can take great care of your
yielding a companywide benefit from training of $1.26               clients and their customers? If not, I suggest you make this a
million. By dividing the benefit by the cost of one year of         priority. Create a training initiative today!
training ($358 million), researchers concluded that the ROI
(at Accenture) is 353 percent.                                           Rosanne D’Ausilio, PhD, an industrial psychologist, consultant,
     However, most organizations still do not provide               master trainer, best-selling author, executive coach, customer service
comprehensive, let alone adequate, training in today’s              expert, and president of Human Technologies Global, Inc.
marketplace. A recent report by the Service & Support               (www.human-technologies.com), specializes in human performance
Professionals Association (SSPA) showed that only 27 percent        management. Over the last twenty-three years, she has provided
of service and support staff spend more than five days on           needs analyses, instructional design, and customized, live customer
annual ongoing training.                                            service skills trainings as well as executive/leadership coaching. Also
     Beyond that, 82 percent of new hires feel that they do not     offered is agent and facilitator university certification through Purdue
receive much training in customer service skills, compared to       University’s Center for Customer Driven Quality.

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                   APRIL 2008 • 41
Training and Managing
Remote Agents
By Doris Primicerio

        ike in-house agent training, remote agent

L       training is done much the same way. The
        applicant fills out an application and takes
our typing, spelling, comprehension, and
grammar tests; lastly they will have a telephone
interview. Once they are hired, they will shadow
one of our trained agents. The on-site trainer will
give them a complete overview of our equipment
and keyboard functions. We will then run test
calls and get the new agent familiar with taking
the calls and working with the keyboard.
      We begin our agents with simple calls,
service and will checks, then move them up to
medical and more specialized accounts. One of
the most important parts of training and
maintaining remote agents is continued monitoring.
Not only is it important to monitor them at each
level while they are being trained, but to continue
monitoring them when they are fully trained
agents. It is also important to make sure your
remote agent’s stats are equal to the in-house                    direct link with the ability to have immediate one-on-one
agents with the same level of training.                           communication with the agents during live calls.
      Recently we purchased a call center in California. Our           Another interesting observation was that the remote
local manager was sent to the new location to set the system      agents were not reporting to their scheduled shifts for many
up to be able to work via our local switch in Orlando, Florida,   of the same reasons of in-house agents. This brings us back
and to provide the necessary training for the newly acquired      to the very reason most call centers go to remote agents: the
agents. When our manager returned to the home office we           idea that it would be more convenient for the employees and
noticed a variety of issues. Not only were the unsupervised       cut down on the agents’ problems. In our remote managed
agents not working to the best of their abilities, worst of all   locations, we find the training of the agents much easier
they were not increasing their knowledge and                         because they have someone right there to help them. We
progressing to the next level. In short, the                           do over 50 percent of our business in three different
agents working in an unsupervised environ-                                remote managed locations. It is working quite well
ment were not performing as well as our                                     for us and we are always striving to make it easier
agents with direct supervision. We knew a                                      and more efficient.
better process had to be implemented; we now
know that on-site supervision at our remote locations                               Doris Primicerio is president of
is a requirement.                                                                  WW-Outsourcing International Services in
      Since the opening of our location in the                                      Orlando, Florida (licensed to do business
Philippines, we have been able to bring our remote                                   in the Philippines). She has thirty-four
agents under direct supervision and have exponentially                                  years of experience in the telemessaging
increased our training programs. Many changes have                                        industry and is president of A
made our remote operations a success. With the help of                                      Courteous Communications. For
Wayne Scaggs and Alston Tascom, we have installed                                             more about agent outsourcing,
several different monitoring devices. Our new equipment                                          contact doris@ww-oisi.com
provides us with the ability to listen to remote agents and                                        or call 800-785-4766.
monitor their computers in real time, as well as gives us a

42 • APRIL 2008                                                            www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
                                                                                                                       Mind
      AdvertiserLISTING
                                                                                                                       Your
Alston Tascom, Inc...........................32           Professional Teledata, Inc..................6
13512 Vintage Place                                       175 Canal Street




                                                                                                                       Business
Chino, CA 91710                                           Manchester, NH 03101
866-282-7266                                              800-344-9944
909-517-3660                                              sales@proteledata.com
fax: 909-517-3670                                         www.proteledata.com
www.alstontascom.com
                                                          Shatz and Associates.................28
Amtelco .......................................12, 48     Brokering and consulting services




                                                                                                                       Q:
800-356-9148                                              888-731-7002                                                                                         Steve Michaels is a business
or 608-838-4194                                           www.shatzandassociates.com                                   By Steve Michaels                       broker with TAS Marketing
fax: 608-838-8367                                                                                                                                              and can be contacted at
info@amtelco.com                                          Startel ................................................47
www.callcenter.amtelco.com                                17661 Cowan Avenue                                                   I am thinking about             800-369-6126 or
                                                          Irvine, CA 92614                                                     starting an answering           tas@tasmarketing.com for




                                                                                                                       A:
ATSI ............................................38, 43   800-782-7835                                                         service. Do I need a            questions. His Website is
12 Academy Avenue                                         fax: 949-863-9650                                            business plan?                          www.tasmarketing.com.
Atkinson, NH 03811                                        www.Startelcorp.com
603-362-9489
admin@atsi.org                                            Szeto Technologies .....................10, 11                        Some entrepreneurs spend too long polishing overly long
www.atsi.org                                              Call Management Equipment                                             business plans (fifty to a hundred pages or more) when
                                                          888-421-3737                                                          they should be completing a market survey instead. It
CenturiSoft ...............................36             info@szeto.ca                                                doesn’t take a year of planning to figure out whether someone
800-866-1929                                              www.szeto.ca                                                 wants your service or not; all you have to do is start selling.
sales@centurisoft.com
www.CenturiSoft.com                                       TAS Marketing.....................14, 35, 40                      I recently received a call from a prospect who wanted to
                                                          Business Brokers                                             start her own business and outsource her traffic in lieu of
Contemporary Web Plus ...................9                800-369-6126                                                 purchasing equipment. She spent hours going over the
www.contemporarywebplus.com                               fax: 406-827-4554                                            outsource agreement and is spending thousands of dollars on a
                                                          tas@tasmarketing.com                                         Website. Does she have one client yet? No!
General                                                   www.tasmarketing.com
Equipment Leasing ...................29                                                                                     A recent University of Michigan study of 100 businesses
1111 N Westshore Blvd Ste 211                             TASbiller.............................................2      started by individuals who graduated between 1985 and 2003
Tampa, Fl 33607                                           800-545-1535                                                 found no statistical difference in success between those started
800-226-0049                                              ripkey@aol.com                                               with a formal written plan and those without one. According to
www.geleasing.net                                         www.tasbiller.com                                            Tom Kinnear, executive director of the Entrepreneurial Studies
GlobalFone ...............................13              Tasco..................................................33    Institute at the University of Michigan, “Unless you need to
www.globalfone.biz                                        888-558-2726                                                 raise external start-up capital from institutional sources, you do
                                                          John Sophocles                                               not need to write a formal business plan.” If you need money
OnviSource ...............................14              john@tascomessagecenters.com                                 to start your business, venture capitalists often base their
2300 N. 10th                                              Joe Truszkowski                                              decision to invest on their trust in the people running the busi-
Enid, OK 73701                                            joe@tascomessagecenters.com
800-311-3025                                                                                                           ness as much as the idea itself.
www.onvisource.com                                        Telescan, LLC...................................30                While a formal written plan itself may not be worth much,
                                                          10679 Midwest Industrial Blvd                                the planning process is essential in honing strategy and dodging
Outsourcing International                                 St. Louis, MO 63132                                          potential calamities; just don’t spend too long on it.
Services Inc. ......................................28    800-770-7662                                                 “Entrepreneurs should spend no more than a few months
24-hour agent outsourcing                                 fax: 314-426-1357
800-785-4766                                              www.telescan.net                                             planning and writing a plan of less than twenty pages,”
                                                                                                                       concluded Kinnear. It would be more important to define
                                                                                                                       opportune sales channels and decide on the ideal price –
                          FOR MORE INFORMATION                                                                         decisions that have to be made before you hit the market.
   about advertisers in Connections Magazine, visit our website:                                                            Three key questions need to be addressed in the plan:
   www.ConnectionsMagazine.com and click on “buyers guide.”                                                                 1) Who is going to start and manage the service?
                                                                                                                            2) What features/services will you provide that moves
                                                                                                                                  you beyond the competition?
             Our Advertisers make                                                                                           3) How are you going to sell your product or service?
                                                                                                                            Much of the real planning happens once you start selling
        Connections Magazine possible.
                                                                                                                       and encounter situations that you may not have anticipated.
     Please thank them for their continued
                                                                                                                       A business plan is just a compass pointing you in the right
          support for this magazine.                                                                                   direction.

Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                                                                 APRIL 2008 • 43
                 CAM-X
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                                                              List your Business Here; www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connectionstax advisor.
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36 • OCTOBER 2007                                             List Cohen in Tucson, go to
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44 • APRIL 2008                                                                                        www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
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Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com                                                                          APRIL 2008 • 45
coming                                          All new listings or changes are italicized


Events                                                      See the most recent updates online:
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                             April 3, 2008                         June 18-21, 2008
                     ATA New York Metro Chapter             ATSI Annual Convention & Expo
                           Technology Expo                   Hyatt Regency Union Station
                            New York, NY                             St. Louis, MO
                      For more information, visit           For info contact 866-896-ATSI
                       www.ataconnect.org or
                          call 317-816-9336                    September 17-19, 2008
                                                                  PIN Fall Training
                             April 6-8, 2008               Manchester, NH – Radisson Hotel
                  American Telemedicine Association          Contact Dan L’Heureux at
                      Thirteenth Annual Meeting &                 763-473-0210 or
                               Exposition                       Dan@CallConsult.net
                      Washington State Convention
                               & Trade Center                   September 21-23, 2008
                              Seattle, WA                        WSTA Annual Meeting
                         Special one-day course:         Hilton San Diego – Gas Lamp Quarter
                     “The Role of Call Centers in              Contact Dan L’Heureux at
                         Telemedicine,” April 6          877-754-4103, Dan@CallConsult.net,
                  For more information: 202-223-3333,           or visit www.wstaonline.org.
                        info@americantelemed.org or
                         www.americantelemed.org.               September 23-26, 2008
                                                            CAM-X 44th Annual Convention
                          April 14-16, 2008                         & Trade Show
                      GLTSA Supervisors Seminar                    Deerhurst Resort
                         Fairview Heights, IL                 (www.deerhurstresort.com)
                       Contact Dan L’Heureux at                     Huntsville, ON
                            763-473-0210,                   Contact: Linda Osip, Executive
                        Dan@CallConsult.net                  Director at linda@camx.ca or
                                                                    800-896-1054.
                            April 20-26, 2008
                         STA Conference at Sea                    October 13-15 2008
                             Carnival Liberty                   ASTAA Annual Meeting
                           Ft. Lauderdale, FL                 Baltimore, MD (Hotel TBA)
                       Contact Dan L’Heureux at                Contact Dan L’Heureux at
                  800-475-0857, Dan@CallConsult.net,      763-473-0210, Dan@CallConsult.net.
                       or visit www.sta-assoc.org.
                                                                November 9-11 2008
                           April 27-30, 2008                     STA Annual Meeting
                    ATA 2008 Washington Summit                The Inn at Christmas Place,
                    Hyatt Regency Crystal City, VA                Pigeon Forge, TN
                      For more information, visit             Contact Dan L’Heureux at
                        www.ataconnect.org or                       800-475-0857,
                           call 317-816-9336                 Dan@CallConsult.net, or visit
                                                                    www.sta-assoc.org.
                             May 6-7, 2008
                        WSTA Spring Seminar:                      March 15-18 2009
                      “How to Supervise People”               TeamSNUG Annual Meeting
                            Las Vegas, NV                    Chicago, IL – Hard Rock Hotel
                       Contact Dan L’Heureux at                   www.teamsnug.com
                  877-754-4103 Dan@CallConsult.net,            Contact Dan L’Heureux at
                        or visit www.wstaonline.org                763-473-0210 or
                                                                 Dan@CallConsult.net.

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