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www.WSTA.biz Information go to www.BusinessCalls.biz or
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A newsletter for the customers of Company Name
Record/PlayTek, Inc. Healthy...
What is That Message Worth?
Donna West at firstname.lastname@example.org
e’ve suspected it all hat is an interesting question, with a great many answers. An independent industry
www.tasmarketing.com or call
survey done in the late 1980’s gave us some amazing answers:
www.recordplaytek.com confirmed. About
half the excess calories consumed
by Americans come from liquids.
4% estimated that the value of their messages was under $100.00
CEO is the Cadcom Equipment Owners
16% believed their messages were between $100.00 and $500.00
Our two-year-olds run around 26% valued their messages between $500.00 and $1,000.00 but…
with juice boxes, our teens are 40% said their messages could be valued between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 and
rarely without a soda, and adults
PUBLICATIONS ask for
(800) 369-6126 &
14% acknowledged their messages were worth over $5,000.00!
add alcohol to the mix and keep
Association established in 1993. The group is loading in the liquid calories. In
1977 we drank about 80 calories a
day in the form of juice and soft
drinks. Today, that number has
Wow! Adjust for inflation and today’s pricing and the numbers become staggering. Let’s look
at the kind of messages we take at Company Name.
A message for a physician could mean a $65.00 office visit, a $3,000.00 office procedure, a
comprised of OnviSource (formerly Cadcom)
tripled, equating to about 15
pounds per year.
$12,000.00 surgery, or…a life.
A message for a towing company could be a $350.00 tow, or a city contract worth over a million
dollars a year.
Equipment Owners. Contact us at: An apartment ceiling that caves in due to a water leak on the floor above can cost many
hundreds of dollars to repair. Proper handling of a “smell of gas” call could save millions of
CEO Coordinator’s Office, 703-370-9610 or
here was a time when
savings bonds to their
grandchildren for birthdays and
dollars and hundreds of lives. Even a call regarding a light out in a hallway could save a person
from falling and being severely hurt, and the property from a lawsuit.
A computer service company may charge $250.00 for a repair, but if their customer has lost
graduations. Maybe it’s time to payroll data, it could affect the lives of all their employees.
go back to that custom – or just
at our web site www.ceowners.com
buy savings bonds for ourselves. Consider the message from a child who wants to say goodnight to Daddy, or from a young wife
Dan L’Heureux - Exec Director, 763-473-0210 Today, you can buy a bond for as
little as $25.00, and these aren’t
your grandpa’s savings bonds!
Today, we have the “I – Bond”
which is tied to the interest rate
who has just gone into labor…anyone want to put a value on those messages?
Whether a message is worth pennies or millions doesn’t matter. Each week we answer many
thousands of calls on behalf of our customers. Each one is important and each one is given the
care and attention it deserves.
(hence the “I”). As interest rates
go up, so does the rate of
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bonds stop earning interest after
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Please Read and Respond
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o we, at Company Name, have enough information to be able to help you in an
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Consider this incident that happened in a Virginia Beach answering service recently:
574-848-5233 Its more than just an insurance policy!
back and say, The answering service received a call from the Highway Patrol. One of their clients had
“At least I been killed in a car wreck; her office phone was forwarded to the service. She was a
divorced mom with a child. The service had no idea who her babysitter was, or what her
didn’t lead no
humdrum life.” former married name had been. The supervisor at the answering service finally reprinted all
of her messages, found a call from a relative and was able to notify the family.
and PI USERS For more information
– Forrest Gump
Is there information in your account or in your billing information that would help us to
DanL’Heureux–ExecDir-763-473-0210 help you if there was an emergency?
www.PinUsersGroup.com Record/PlayTek, Inc.
or call 888-303-4297.
Dan L’Heureux–Exec Dir-763-473-0210 www.recordplaytek.com
An association of Amtelco users dedicated to education,
networking, and development of best practices
Focusing exclusively on the telephone answering service industry www.TASTrader.com
G BILLING SOFTWARE EQUIPMENT Your Company
To find our how, contact Valerie at
BROKERS 866-668-6694 or
Mergers & Acquisitions Valerie@ConnectionsMagazine.com
We offer Telephone Answering Service brokering
and Private Business hosting. We also sell Call
Centers & Voice Mail Companies. Current
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com
listings available on our web site. MAY 2012 • 3
Steve Michaels - TAS Marketing
406-827-4131 • Fax: 406-827-4554
Gets Down to Business .........11
By Donna Fluss
Speech analytics provides critical access to the
voice of the customer. Not surprisingly, speech
analytics will continue to gain momentum –
especially as best practices unfold. Speech
analytics use will be strong for the foreseeable
future; it will be conducted on a real-time basis
and provide feeds into other applications that
From the Publisher .........................7
“Do You “Like” Social Media?”
By Peter DeHaan
Contact Center Industry News .......8
4 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
How Web Chat Helps Prevent Effective Call Center Management..............22
Shopping-Cart Abandonment ......................15 By Scott Ray
By Matt Rocco Following these four steps can make
Shopping cart abandonment, now standing self-realization and self-evaluation part
at 74 percent, is an important issue that of your agent coaching practices this year.
can’t be overlooked. It’s the second
most important website metric to track; Multilingual Contact Center Directory.......24
only conversion ranks higher.
The Twelve Steps to Successful
Why Your Turnover Reduction Telemarketing – Step Six: Restating ...........26
Efforts Are Not Working ..............................18 By Kathy Sisk
By Dennis Adsit, PhD Restating is a crucial part of prospecting,
Call center turnover is higher than most as it allows you to remain in control. It
other industries and is a huge challenge will also prove extremely effective later
for managers. One critical reason is that on in handling objections. Once you have
no one seems willing to address the fact completed the restating step, you can
that call center work is tough. then move into the selling step
Learn How to Handle Irate Customers.......20
By John Tschohl
When you successfully handle the
complaints of irate customers, you will
be rewarded with a satisfied customer –
and their loyalty. Here are some steps to
take when dealing with irate customers.
Self-Realization: A Key Ingredient to
Find more information online:
• FCC Amends Telephone Consumer
Protection Act Regulations,
by Mac Murray, Petersen, & Shuster LLP Read more articles online at: www.ArticleWeekly.com/cm
• Payment Card Industry Data Security • Top Four IT Trends to Master in 2012, by Paul Kenyon
Standards (PCI-DSS) Guide for Contact • The Scary New Hacking Trend, by Philip Lieberman
Center Managers, DMC • Taming Disruptive Behavior, by Dr. Marty Martin
• The Value of Outsourcing, • Two Reasons Interviewing Fails So Often, by Brad Remillard
presented by 3W • Learn How to Sell Based on Value, Not Price, by Nathan Jamail
• Engage Your Workforce: Use Conversations, Not Dissertations,
by Pat Heydlauff
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 5
Upgrading to PInnacle
was a breeze and has increased business
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Westpark Communications, Inc., based in Houston,Texas, has
been serving a wide variety of organizations since 1968.
When it became necessary to move to a new platform, there
was only one solution that made the most sense to
President and CEO, Kathie Edwards and her team.
“Upgrading to PInnacle has created the
ability for our company to be more efficient
and provide a higher level of service for continued
growth in the call center industry. We were able to
expand our business, adding an additional call center and
it was done in such a smooth, proficient manner, without any
interruption of service.” Contact us to see what PInnacle
can do for your business. So get growing!
CALL 800-344-9944 TO ARRANGE YOUR
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Kathie L. Edwards
President & CEO
8 0 0. 3 4 4. 9 9 4 4
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Publisher/Editor Peter DeHaan
Do You “Like”
Display/Classified Advertising ...............Valerie Port
Social Media? Peter DeHaan, Ph.D.
W henever the phrase social media is uttered, people have one of three
responses: “I love it,” “I’m sick of it,” or “I don’t have time for it.”
Much has been said about social media, and that’s bound to continue,
48955 Hickory Lane • Mattawan, MI 49071 most likely with increasing frequency. Social media is not going away
www.connectionsmagazine.com anytime soon – and before that happens, it will become even more prevalent.
e-mail email@example.com The nagging reality is that it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses
Upcoming Insertion Deadlines: to have a presence on social media. Do you?
Article/PR Space While it’s not practical to be on every social media site – there are hundreds –
Issue Deadline Deadline Featuring
June April 30 May 4 Integrating Text Chat w/ the Contact
there are some biggies that should be considered: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter,
Center, Outbound Call Center Listing as well as blogging. Although in its early stages, Google+ is worth considering.
July/Aug June 18 June 22 Contact Center Channels,
Canadian Call Center Listing
Sept Aug 6 Aug 10 Contact Center Workforce Management,
Connections Magazine on Social Media
Offshore Call Center Listing Here’s the information for our various social media activities:
Mission: To be the principal clearing house of relevant and
• Newsfeed: newsfeed.connectionsmagazine.com
practical information for the teleservices industry. • Podcasts: podcast.connectionsmagazine.com
• Facebook: Connections-Magazine
Distribution: Connections Magazine is distributed monthly
(with combined Jan/Feb and Jul/Aug issues) to the TeleServices • Twitter: @connections_mag
industry, including outsource call centers, telephone answering • Google+: Connections Magazine
services, and industry professionals who actively buy and sell We hope that you will be able to make use of these and connect with us
products and provide service to this industry. The distribution list is
continuously monitored and updated via the Connections Website on the platform of your choice.
(www.ConnectionsMagazine.com), reader requests, and the change
of address service from the U.S. Postal Service. POSTMASTER: Call Center Vendors on Social Media
Send address changes to Connections Magazine, 48955 Hickory Ln,
Mattawan, MI 49071. We’ve recently contacted industry vendors to find out what they’re doing
on social media and to connect with them. About half (48 percent) have a social
Subscriptions: Connections Magazine is an advertiser
supported magazine. It is sent free to individuals and companies in media presence, while one-third (34 percent) have no social media presence –
the outsourcing and teleservices industry. Subscribe at and the rest did not respond to our repeated requests for information.
Among the vendors we contacted, the most popular social media platform is
Notice: Advertisers and their agents assume all liability for content, Facebook, at 62 percent; this is not surprising, given that it’s the world’s most
including text, representation, and illustration of any advertisement
popular site. One-third uses Twitter and one-fourth have company blogs. No one
included in this magazine as well as for any claims made against the
publisher arising therefrom. The publisher reserves the right to reject any is yet using Google+, but we are there, ready when you are. Also, four of them
advertising that is not in keeping with the standards of the magazine and to have company LinkedIn pages.
add the word “advertisement” to any ad herein. The publisher makes no Of all those we contacted, the American Teleservices Association (ATA) is the
claims regarding the legality or condition of any goods or services
advertised in this magazine. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those most prolific on social media. They are on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Plus, each
of the authors and not necessarily those of Connections Magazine or any of of their eleven chapters has a Facebook page, and six key staffers are on LinkedIn.
its agents. The information contained herein is for informational purposes
only and is not intended to provide legal, medical, tax, or any other
professional advice or counsel. My Social Media Efforts
Personally, I’ve been blogging since 2008 and now have several active
Follow Connections Magazine on
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ blogs. This has been the primary focus of my social media efforts. I’m also on
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, but with blogging receiving most of my
Other Publications and Websites:
social media time allotment, these other options have been shortchanged. Next,
AnswerStat.com I will be giving more attention to Twitter. (If you want the list of my social
MedicalCallCenterNews.com media links, please go to my personal website, www.authorpeterdehaan.com.)
s I will be talking more about social media in upcoming issues. Until then, learn
more about social media through our online publication, Article Weekly, at
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 7
Peter DeHaan Publishing Named a 1-800 We Answer
Constant Contact 2011 All Star Receives Diversity
Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc, publisher of Connections Magazine, received the Business Award
2011 All Star Award from Constant Contact®, providers of an email marketing 1-800 We Answer has been recognized
platform to half a million organizations worldwide. Each year, a select group of by DiversityBusiness as an outstanding
Constant Contact customers is honored with the All Star Award for their exemplary provider of telephone answering services
marketing results. Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.’s results ranked them among the top in the United States and included in the
ten percent of Constant Contact’s customer base. organization’s annual Top Business List.
“We are truly honored to have been recognized as an email marketing All Star DiversityBusiness.com provides research
for 2011. This is our second year in a row, which makes this award doubly exciting,” and data collection services to determine
stated Peter DeHaan, publisher of Connections Magazine. “We work hard to follow the top businesses and the most successful
and exceed industry standards and expectations with our email messages to entrepreneur's across the United States.
subscribers. We strive to keep our bounce rate low and increase our open and Companies were evaluated based on each
click rates. Offering messages that are relevant, valuable, and appreciated by our organization's annual gross revenue and
subscribers helps with this. Once again, Constant Contact has seen our efforts and other significant elements of their
rewarded us as a result.” business profiles.
Peter DeHaan Publishing, which publishes Connections Magazine, TAS Trader, “1-800 We Answer is proud to be
AnswerStat, and Medical Call Center News, uses email to connect with readers and recognized by DiversityBusiness for
share important information. our achievements during 2011,” stated
Robert Porter, president and CEO of
Don Berry Award of Excellence 1-800 We Answer, Inc. The company has
to Tom Reandeau achieved record growth represented by a
Startel National Users’ Group (TeamSNUG) awarded Tom Reandeau with the 127 percent growth in revenue since
Don Berry Award of Excellence. TeamSNUG selected Reandeau because of his 2007. During 2010, the company earned
exceptional dedication and involvement in the business; this award is specifically $13.2 million through the combined sales
bestowed on individuals who exemplify excellence in the advancement of SNUG of telephone answering services, call
and its members. center support, market research, virtual
Don Berry was the founder of Startel Corporation, and the award was started office services, and telephone system
in 1994 to honor his legacy. Reandeau has demonstrated service to others through sales and support.
SNUG, and he and his company are leaders in the industry. “We are fortunate to 1-800 We Answer, Inc. offers its
have a person like Mr. Reandeau who is willing to donate his valuable time to clients a full suite of live inbound and
our organization,” said Dan L’Heureux, executive director of TeamSNUG. outbound telecommunications features,
Mr. Reandeau will be serving as president of SNUG this coming year. including live operator customer service,
Reandeau is vice president of operations for Focus Telecommunications Inc., telemarketing, opinion polling, surveys,
an inbound telemarketing call center based in Eldersburg, Maryland, with offices and market research services.
in York, Pennsylvania. He has been an active member of SNUG since 1994.
For more information, visit www.teamsnug.org and www.startel.com.
Amtelco Announces New VPs
Tom Curtin, president of Amtelco, announced the promotion of Pam Hinz, Mike
Friedel, Greg Beale, and Kevin Beale to officers of the corporation, carrying the title
of vice president for their respective areas. The new officer titles are:
• Pamela Hinz: VP Finance and Human Resources
• Greg Beale: VP Customer Operations
• Kevin Beale: VP Research and Development, Software
• Michael Friedel: VP Sales,
Tom Curtin said, “This is great news for all of us and the future of Amtelco as
we strive to grow and continue our tradition of innovation and industry
leadership for decades to come.”
8 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
West Corporation Unveils New Name for Hays Affinity Adds
West Corporation, a provider of technology-driven communications services, to Professional Liability
announced the rebranding of its IP communications subsidiary as West IP Program
Communications. The new name replaces Smoothstone, which was acquired by West Hays Affinity announced two new
in June 2011. West IP Communications is a part of West’s Unified Communications coverage enhancements to the ATSI
business segment and provides design, configuration, management, and support of Professional Liability Insurance Program.
next-generation unified communications applications and services. It specializes in Effective April 1, 2012, when ATSI
transitioning its clients to a cloud-based delivery model for voice services, network members purchase the Professional Liability
services, contact centers, and collaboration. policy, coverage will automatically include
“Aligning our IP communications business with the West name gives us a Cyber Liability ($100,000 sub-limit).
consistent voice and clarity in the marketplace,” said Todd Strubbe, president of West’s The new policy will also include third
unified communications business segment. “Our vision for unified communications party HIPAA/HITECH claims and
always begins with our clients, so we want to ensure they understand the full breadth HIPAA/HITECH fines and penalties
of the West product portfolio upon which they can build their businesses.” ($50,000/$100,000) coverage. Members that
West’s unified communications business segment offers a suite of services, require higher limits of cyber liability will be
including network management, enterprise voice, conferencing and collaboration, able to purchase up to $1,000,000 limit of
messaging and presence, and client applications integration solutions. liability for a nominal additional premium.
The cyber liability enhancement will
ForeSee Benchmarks Call Center Satisfaction provide protection for claims alleging
ForeSee, a customer experience analytics firm, released its February Contact breach of network security and customer
Center Benchmark, which allows companies to determine how the contact center notification and regulatory fines and
experience they provide compares to industry averages and customer expectations. penalties for violations of systems breach
Nearly 11,000 customers expressed their opinions about contact centers to and privacy regulations as they pertain to the
ForeSee during the month of February. ForeSee’s satisfaction benchmark for HIPAA/HITECH Acts.
contact centers is at 70 on a 100-point scale. This is an average score that contact In addition to the new cyber liability
centers can use as a yardstick against which to measure their own performance. coverage, Hays has negotiated the addition
Companies scoring significantly higher than 70 are outperforming the industry of the ATSI “tower endorsement.” This
average. Companies scoring significantly below 70 have a lot of work to do, collection of ten coverage enhancements
because their customers’ satisfaction has a direct impact on future actions, such as addresses many of the ancillary exposures
the likelihood to purchase from the company in the future. faced by today’s firms, including travel
Scores for individual companies ranged from 53 to 86. Some companies are indemnity, identity theft expenses, employee
well loved for the contact center experiences they provide, while others are strongly dishonesty, and defense expense benefits.
disliked. When ForeSee isolated scores for service-focused call centers, there was For more information, visit
a benchmark of 67. This comes as no surprise, since customers contacting a https://atsi.haysaffinity.com. The
service-oriented center are likely calling with a problem and may already be frustrated. Professional Liability Insurance Policy is
only available to members of ATSI.
Focus Telecommunications Turns Twenty-Five
Focus Telecommunications, Inc., is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this
year. Incorporated on April 6, 1987, the family-run company has grown over the past
twenty-five years into one of the leading call centers in North America. Focus has
earned over forty awards for excellence during its twenty-five years and has helped to
educate the industry by creating several training videos that have been sold throughout
“Our Focus family is the beating heart of this organization. I can’t imagine life
without them! And we would never have made it to this milestone without our valued
clients,” stated Focus president Donna West. “Our commitment to 100 percent customer
satisfaction is the reason why we are here, and we have dedicated our company to
extraordinary customer service for the next twenty-five years.”
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 9
Crossing Platforms with Telescan
Telescan’s cross-platform products can
make any system better.
Sharon Campbell of Answer But the real change to their we have only scratched the
Direct is an Amtelco user who business came when they surface of what Spectrum
has successfully incorporated Scheduler.
added Spectrum Scheduler. Scheduler can do for us.” If
two Telescan cross-platform “Spectrum Scheduler allows us you want to see what Spectrum
products into her system, to set up schedules in so many Scheduler will do for your
Spectrum Messenger and different ways,” Sharon said. business, visit our website:
Spectrum Scheduler. Answer “You
“You can create disciplines www.telescan.net,
www.telescan.net, or call
Direct has used Spectrum based on countless different Telescan
Telescan at 800-770-7662,
Messenger for two years.
two criteria.” or Patty at 314-616-2445
“Spectrum Scheduler has or firstname.lastname@example.org.
been a great tool to help our “Spectrum Scheduler has
two locations stay connected,”
two locations stay connected,” helped me expand my Your
Keeping Your Business in
said Sharon. business,” Sharon said. “I am Platforms
Business, Across Platforms
now able to sell additional
services to most of my clients.
Many of them I was unable to
offer scheduling before. I think
To view videos of other users, scan the code or go to our new website: www.telescan.net.
By Donna Fluss
he speech analytics market hit its stride in
2010 and is going to continue to come on
strong for the foreseeable future. Despite a
weak economy, this technology sector has continued
to pick up momentum and grow.
(Continued on page 12)
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 11
(Continued from page 11)
The number of speech analytics implementations
increased by 22 percent between 2009 and 2010, on top of
growth rates in the prior three years of 39 percent, 50 percent,
and 106 percent respectively. New vendors continue to enter
the market, and others have been bought by larger
competitors to fill a void in their portfolios – all of which is
Gets Down typical of a vibrant technology segment. Speech analytics
continues to be compelling because:
to Business • It addresses a real and measurable need.
• It delivers quantifiable benefits.
• It is not a replacement for something that came
• There is nothing else like it available in the market.
• It can and is being used in conjunction with other
• It improves the performance and benefits of other
In addition, speech analytics is highly compelling
conceptually and engages the imagination of managers.
Initially, speech analytics was sold primarily to contact
centers because they “own” the company’s call recordings,
but it is actually an enterprise application that can deliver
benefits to all customer-focused departments. Speech
analytics is expected to see growth outside of the contact
center in the coming years, as executives become more
familiar with the capabilities of these applications.
Speech Analytics in the
Timing is playing an important role in the adoption of
speech analytics. After years of paying “lip service” to the
importance of listening to their customers, executives finally
seem to be coming around. Enterprises are becoming more
interested in truly hearing what customers have to say. It
would be nice if this were happening because senior
executives realized the importance of their customers’
opinions, but this does not appear to be the case. Instead, it is
happening because of the power of social media.
Customers – and any other interested party, for that
matter – are no longer powerless. Any individual who has
access to the Internet can be heard. Enterprises can no longer
afford to ignore customers’ issues as they did in the past and
are now trying to figure out the best way to get on top of the
public conversation in order to avoid embarrassing situations.
Speech analytics provides insights into customer needs and
wants, positioning enterprises to use this information to
identify and resolve complaints on a timely basis so that they
are not blindsided by unexpected issues. Speech analytics
truly gives enterprises access to the voice of the customer in a
well-organized and systematic manner.
12 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Historical Versus Real-Time
Today, speech analytics is predominantly used on a
reactive basis. The current best practice is to analyze recordings
overnight to identify trends. Once issues are surfaced, they
are shared via dashboards and heat maps and passed on to the
appropriate people or departments. In leading organizations,
speech analytics is owned by an analytics team that works
independently but cooperatively with all of the customer-facing
and back-office departments that can be assessed using
Companies that have a need to identify issues on an intra-day
basis generally use a phonetic speech analytics solution to
analyze their calls a couple of times per day. This is rare,
because it is difficult for organizations to respond quickly to
identified issues, as the required actions are predominantly
manual and take time to implement.
In the future, speech analytics will be conducted on a
real-time basis and will provide feeds into other applications
that automate the outcomes. For example, speech analytics
will be used in real time to identify and communicate a
caller’s emotional state to the agent or customer advocate in
order to determine the most effective way of interacting with
every caller. Speech analytics will also be used to rapidly
identify whether a caller is open to hearing an up-sell opportunity,
or to suggest the best approach to collecting outstanding
payments from a caller. The challenge is that speech analytics
will need to feed into a predictive analytics solution that can
directly initiate the recommended action. This closed-loop
process will ensure that speech analytics findings are used on
a real-time basis. Even when speech analytics evolves into a
real-time application, there will still be value in identifying
trends and regularly conducting “post-mortem” analyses.
Making Speech Analytics
The big issue in the market today is making the insights
from speech analytics actionable – that is, making sure to take
action once an insight or issue is discovered. While some
organizations have a process in place for responding to
speech analytics findings, too many are still concentrating on
what they can find rather than what they need to do to fix the
surfaced issues. Change management remains the key to a
successful speech analytics implementation.
During 2010, the market saw a breakthrough in this area.
A growing number of companies realized the importance of
acting on their findings and made organizational changes to
position themselves to rapidly identify and address issues.
This has had a positive impact on the perception of speech
analytics, as more implementations are generating quantifiable
benefits. However, for every successful speech analytics initiative,
there are likely at least twice as many where companies are
using speech analytics primarily for reporting and are not
realizing the expected return on investment.
(Continued on page 14)
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 13
(Continued from page 13) DMG expects adoption of
speech analytics to continue to
The Outlook for
Speech analytics truly pick up momentum, particularly
as best practices emerge to help
Speech analytics is a very
exciting solution that has great
gives enterprises companies succeed with their
implementations. More vendors
potential for its users. While it is
maturing, and some of the appli-
access to the voice are incorporating speech analyt-
ics into their solutions, and the
cations have evolved enough to of the customer... speech analytics vendors are
be considered second generation, expected to continue to build out
speech analytics is still relatively their solutions to enable their find-
new. Companies are just begin- ings to be actionable without hav-
ning to figure out how to use ing to be fed into other applica-
speech analytics findings to tions. Quality assurance is also
enhance their performance by utilizing identified customer expected to continue to evolve and improve over the next few
insights and feedback to improve the customer experience, years, as speech analytics becomes a standard component of
uncover new product ideas, identify operational, system, this essential business function. The technology is ready to
product, or procedural issues, reduce operating costs, improve go. The question is: When are you going to adopt it? ¤
first contact resolution rates, and increase staff
satisfaction – just to mention a few of the current applications. Donna Fluss is the founder and president of DMG
The penetration rate for speech analytics in contact cen- Consulting LLC, a provider of contact center and analytics
ters as of July 2011 is 11.6 percent, which means that most research, market analysis, and consulting. She is the author
companies are still not using this valuable solution. of industry reports on contact center hosting, IVR, speech
Enterprises that are willing to make the necessary investments analytics, performance management, workforce management,
to change how they do business can realize significant benefits surveying and analytics, and quality management/liability
from speech analytics. Even companies that want to use this recording. Contact Donna at email@example.com.
tool just to identify customer trends are finding it very helpful.
14 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
How Web Chat Helps
Prevent Shopping Cart
By Matt Rocco
t seems to happen for no apparent reason, and it appears World Stats determined that over two billion are people using
that there’s no way to prevent it – or stop it once it’s started. the Internet worldwide. If, according to recent recordings,
Any retail business with an online shopping website fears nearly three-fourths of the users currently shopping don’t
it, yet very few know how to deal with it. What is it? follow through with their purchases, the amount of potential
Shopping-cart abandonment – when a customer buying from revenue never earned is staggering.
a retail website fills their cart with items to purchase but Shopping-cart abandonment is one of the most important
never completes the transaction. While some revisit the site to metrics for businesses to maintain, second only to conversion.
purchase items later, the majority never returns. Advertising and maintaining a website becomes practically
The scale of this issue can be fully realized simply by the pointless if the site itself is ineffective in generating revenue.
sheer numbers and a little imagination. According to a recent This loss of business can be halted and reversed, but the
Listrak marketing article, the rate of cart abandonment rose reasons why it happens must be brought to light first.
71 to 74 percent during the first six months of 2011. Internet (Continued on page 16)
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 15
(Continued from page 15) The Benefits of Web Chat
Businesses and their clients alike can greatly profit from
Reasons for Abandoned a Web chat experience. When a retail website provides chat
Shopping Carts options, customer service ratings tend to go up. Studies
Online shopping seems simple enough, and it’s often show that Generations X and Y prefer chat as a method of
more convenient than driving to the nearest retail store. But communicating with the companies they purchase from. A
just as in a physical retail store, problems arise for customers Web chat is essentially like being assisted by a sales associate
that result in leaving the business without making a transaction. at a retail store. Strangely enough, Web chat almost seems to
Customers on an e-commerce site typically expect to find an benefit the business more than it does the paying customer.
indicator that the site is credible (such as an SSL certificate). Not only do Web chat services improve sales and lower
Even if the website is credible, customers will exit if they operational costs, they’re also one of the most valuable ways
can’t successfully navigate the pages or the links don’t take for a modern firm to learn about its practices. Chat conversations
them to the pages they expected. Sometimes shoppers leave can supply an unbiased look into a company, potentially
due to high or unexpected shipping costs that haven’t been leading to changes in product development, marketing,
clearly stated during the shopping process. IT issues, and general business-related actions. Information
Most online shoppers want to know how much they’re obtained from chats can even serve to adjust prices,
paying while they are still shopping, not when they check out. promotions, and company policy.
Some patrons that leave a site without making a transaction
typically may have read a negative customer review before Two Types of Chat
they proceeded to the checkout, and others decide to comparison- Web chat can be broken down into two basic categories:
shop on competitors’ websites. Questions that cannot be live chat and proactive chat. Live Web chat is a relatively
answered by “FAQ” pages can also result in visitors exiting simple tool to use, where the visitor only needs to click a link
the site. This problem, along with most of the others, can be to begin the process – no downloads or plug-ins required.
alleviated by online Web chat – something that 33 percent of Live chat is convenient because the customer can take a break
shoppers look for when making a purchase, according to a from the pop-up window to find information or follow an
study conducted by OneupWeb. operator’s troubleshooting instructions.
Proactive (or “rules board invite”) chat is a program that
automatically opens up when certain online customer behav-
ior patterns are followed or when certain pages fail to load.
The settings for inviting customers to chat are easily
customizable and interchangeable. Customers that are
nervous or unfamiliar with a website often benefit greatly
from this software, especially if they’re nervous to initiate a
chat with an associate or don’t know how to find the informa-
tion on their own.
Home Working Best Practices One of the greatest obstacles to a company’s
for Contact Centres establishment of a Web chat option is the method in which
they implement the service. Typically, these two basic
options are 1) the purchase, installation, and implementation
of the Web chat software to operators within the company
AT HOME itself, and 2) outsourcing to a business that specializes in chat
services. Each method has different components that benefit
Strategies for Success different types and sizes of companies. Even if the description
of a Web chat type seems to fit a certain company, either
WORKSHOP approach can be put to use to fit a company based on their
Plenty of websites offer easy-to-install chat software that
can be put to use immediately. Some websites don’t even
Sheraton City Centre Toronto require a download to utilize the software. All that is
necessary is creating an account on the Web chat company’s
July 26-27 site. The software is often tested and updated by the company
providing it, making the process much simpler than creating
athomecustomercontacts.com and customizing the software internally. These programs
16 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
include everything needed to begin using a Web chat
option except the employees to maintain the chat program.
However, despite its simple installation, a few issues can
come up. The chat programs may require the webmaster,
as well as visitors to the site, to have certain software and
special firewall settings in place in order to allow the chat
window to appear.
1-800 We Answer has been in my family for forty
years. With over 11 locations we can leave your call
Using the services of a company with extensive knowledge
center in place along with YOU, your management
of Web chat often results in less overall work and time for a and employees. I have bought over 30 answering
business. Representatives with an outsourced firm are highly services. As a result 1-800
specialized, which means they can likely handle many more We Answer can buy - and
simultaneous chat conversations – often sustaining up to ten buy fast. If you need my
at a time – than a beginner within the company. In addition, assistance or would just
an outside company’s focus is on providing superior chat like to chat, call me on my
services and customer service, while an internal employee cell at 212-560-5366. I can
arrange quick, generous,
may have an alternate agenda or other tasks to distract their
There are many outsourced companies with an emphasis
on first-rate Web chat experiences, and they are surprisingly
simple to find. These companies have departments that
conduct chat conversations with an emphasis on efficiency,
cost-effectiveness, productivity, and gaining customer loyalty
and satisfaction. They work closely with their clients to
determine software metric needs as well as the company’s
overall goals. The most credible companies are ATA-SRO
accredited, which means that they strictly follow call
compliancy measures in order to improve a customer’s Finding the right buyer is tough enough but add in
experience while continuing to successfully close sales. These the legal hassles, brokers and government
firms also serve to raise sales numbers without incurring regulations-and the selling process can get a little
costs, something which an internal business without Web chat more complicated for a small business. Add in the
services would have difficulty accomplishing. commissions, tire kickers and a long due diligence
process and you need a buying partner to help you
navigate the process, not just a buyer. 1-800 We Answer
Conclusion has helped dozens of businesses eliminate the
Online shopping-cart abandonment is an important issue cost associated with lawyers, contracts, brokers and
that should not be overlooked. It can cost companies extended due diligence stress and keep more money
thousands of dollars in potential revenue and bad sales in your pocket. Avoid making these costly mistakes
metrics. Luckily, there are varieties of solutions that can help when selling. I am a free and outstanding resource
to use as your guide. Please call me and I can
companies to improve and grow their online revenue. Either
provide you with a list of all our transactions and the
of the two options – implementing Web chat software sellers allowing you to sell with confidence.
internally or hiring a company to handle the execution and
operation of software and employees – can alleviate situations I welcome your call on my cell
that provoke customers to leave a site without making a
purchase. Once shopping-cart abandonment has been
or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
minimized, clients can stop being limited by a loss of online
revenue and move on to accomplishing goals to expand and www.weanswer.com
improve their company. ¤
Matt Rocco is president and CEO of Etech Global
Services. Etech Global Services is a provider of intelligent
sales and service solutions utilizing inbound and outbound
voice and Web chat. To learn more, email email@example.com.
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 17
By Dennis Adsit, PhD
urnover may be the biggest challenge call center leaders • Including an emphasis on recognition versus
face. Even in tough economic times, call center monetary rewards
turnover is higher than in almost any other industry. As • Strengthening the coaching capabilities of those who
an example, one major financial services firm has an 80 percent work with the agents
annualized turnover in the US, despite unemployment • Incorporating “feel good” activities if certain milestones
remaining stubbornly high. They run new agent training are achieved (supervisors cooking hot dogs, hanging
classes of twenty-five or more agents year round. yellow smiley balloons, singing songs in front of the
Agent turnover is also one of the biggest sources of hid- agents, putting roses on agents’ chairs, handing out
den cost. An HR staff is required to exit and onboard agents. chocolates, etc.)
Additional training staff is necessary. New agents must be There is nothing wrong with any of these suggestions.
monitored more, which means more off-phone, indirect labor. They are all good ideas and doing them is certainly better
When new agents are off the phone more for coaching, more than not doing them.
agents are necessary to maintain service levels. And finally, The shortfall I see in most recommended approaches to
new agents make more mistakes and are slower, both of turnover reduction is that no one seems willing to address the
which add costs. fact that call center jobs are tough. On a good day, the job is
Given such a sizeable, ongoing problem, call center lead- tiring and probably a bit boring. On a bad day, it can be
ers are always on the lookout for strategies to help reduce extremely taxing. Let’s face it: It’s hard to talk on the phone
turnover. Most articles on the subject touch on one or more of all day. Think about how taxing long conference calls are.
the following: Imagine eight or more hours of that!
• Making improvements to the hiring process, including Call center jobs are repetitive too. One client’s agents
realistic job previews, so candidates know what they were taking more than seventy cell phone activation calls a
are signing up for day. Eighty percent of these calls were the same: the same
• Adding variable comp plans so great work gets questions, the same disclosures, the same cross-sells. Do you
rewarded and ensuring that those variable comp efforts think picking songs for the supervisors to sing is going to
are aligned with key outcomes for the business make that job more enjoyable?
18 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Finally, many call center jobs are stressful. The stressful. Finally, best of all, turnover would actually go down
customers are often rushed, frustrated, or downright surly. dramatically.
There is a lot for agents to remember, especially in tech This is just one suggestion to make the point that automation
support jobs. The agents’ tools often don’t work well together driven by the agent can improve performance and make jobs
and a lot of opening and closing of windows and cutting and easier. There are dozens more ways agent-assisted automation
pasting are needed to carry out even simple tasks. There is can be applied to reduce stress and improve outputs.
relentless pressure to monitor and increase metrics, such as In conclusion, you should certainly apply the typical
FCR (first call resolution), AHT (average hold time), strategies to reduce turnover. These are best practices, and
schedule adherence, C-Sat (customer satisfaction), and they can be effective. But if you stop there, don’t be surprised
compliance. These are accompanied by the often not-so- if, despite these efforts and expenditures, your month-over-
subtle innuendo that there are plenty of other people applying month turnover percentage remains unchanged.
for this job. Having a supervisor hand an agent a hot dog once If you are fed up with high turnover and the costs
or twice a year offers little amelioration. associated with it, go one step further and start viewing a call
Let’s say we were in a different industry, and you were center agent’s job like a blast furnace operator’s job: tiring,
trying to reduce turnover for running a blast furnace. I’m boring, and stressful. Don’t ask, “How can I brighten the
guessing you would say, “No wonder these guys are quitting. place up?” Don’t ask, “How do I make the agents feel better
This job is brutal.” You would not consider that a moveable about their jobs?” Instead, ask, “How do I make the agents’
trophy, a pizza party, or a realistic job preview would reduce job easier and less repetitive?” Then implement those changes
turnover. You would not kid yourself that a rose on the blast as fast as you can.
furnace operators’ seats would reduce turnover. You would Your turnover problems will quickly fall to more
not think that earning a chocolate for not giving someone tolerable levels, and all you will have to worry about is
around you third-degree burns would actually make someone keeping the birds off that bronze statue of you in front of the
love their job and want to stay. Instead, you would probably building. ¤
dramatically improving the pay and do everything in your
power to make the job easier, safer, and more bearable. Dennis Adsit, PhD, is VP, Process Improvement
Unfortunately, call centers don’t adopt either of these Consulting at KomBea Corporation. He may be reached at
approaches. Call centers are cost centers, and there is a lot of firstname.lastname@example.org.
pressure to keep costs down. There is
often a ready supply of labor, especially
in this economy, so the wages are not
Centers also don’t do enough to
make the jobs easier by allowing the We saved a lot on our
agents to leverage automation. In the costs! Infinitymakes
labor costs! Infinitymakes our
telco client example previously operators more efficient and
mentioned, why did the agent have to reduces errors.
read the same disclosures seventy times
a day on cell phone activation calls?
Why not have those disclosures recorded Stability was an issue with
Stability was an issue with
our old system. Infinity is so
our old system. Infinity is so
so the agent can say something like, “I
stable, I don’t have to worry
stable, don’t have to worry
now need to give you some important about downtime anymore!
about downtime anymore!
information in a voice other than my What relief!
What a relief!
own. I will remain on the phone with
you the entire time, so if you have any
questions, feel free to interrupt,” will have over
will have over
and then let the agent play recorded 100 new features added
100 new features added
disclosures? to it this year. I’m going to
to it this year. I ’m going to
Here’s what would happen if you AT
the ATSI Conference on June
the ATSI Conference on June
did: You would dramatically improve 13-15 to check it out!
13-15 to check it out! t
compliance. Handle time would be
reduced. C-Sat would remain the same.
Repeat calls might go down. Further,
although it wasn’t your objective, your
agents would venerate you because you
just made their job less tiring and less
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 19
Customers who have complaints are a blessing in
o matter how good you are at what you do, what business
you are in, or where it is located, you will at some disguise. They let you know where you and your organization
point find yourself facing an irate customer, but have flaws – and provide you with the opportunity to correct
perhaps no more so than in a call center. Maybe the product them. When you do, you will realize increased customer
was flawed, a delivery was late, or a charge was inaccurate. loyalty, revenues, and profits. It’s a win/win situation.
How you deal with that customer not only will determine how You should be more concerned with the customers who
he or she feels about your organization – or your client’s don’t complain than with those who do. In a recent study of retail
organization – but how you feel about yourself. banks in the United Kingdom conducted by J.D. Power and
When you are able to turn an irate customer into a Associates, results showed that 25 percent of customers who have
satisfied customer, you will gain confidence in your ability to experienced a problem in the past twelve months say they
diffuse a volatile situation and evoke a positive outcome. You’ll definitely or probably will switch institutions in the next year.
also gain the respect of your coworkers and attract the attention And 55 percent of customers who have had a problem or
of your supervisors. Who knows? You might even be promoted. complaint were disappointed with the resolution process.
When most people encounter an irate customer, their first That study also found that, while incentives are important
instinct is to turn and run. Dealing with a customer who has a in attracting new customers, customer service is essential to
problem and is upset about it can be more than a little daunting. retaining them. Almost 40 percent of customers left their
With the proper perspective, however, you will see that the banks because of a poor service experience, and an additional
customer’s complaint is actually an opportunity for you and 43 percent cited poor service as a top reason for intending to
your organization to put your best foot forward. leave their banks.
Learn How to Handle
By John Tschohl
20 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
Customer service is key to the success of any business.
And dealing with irate customers and solving their problems
is a critical element of that service. When dealing with an
irate customer, take these steps:
• Listen carefully and with interest to what the
customer is telling you.
• Apologize without laying blame, regardless of who
is at fault.
• Put yourself in the customer’s place, and respond in
a way that shows you care about his or her concerns.
Use phrases such as “I understand that must be
upsetting,” or “I don’t blame you for being upset;
I would feel the same way.”
• Ask pertinent questions in a caring, concerned
manner and actively listen to the answers.
• Suggest one or more alternatives that would address
the customer’s concerns.
• Solve the problem quickly and efficiently, or find
someone who can.
• Using these steps will quickly calm most unhappy or
angry customers and allow you to address and solve
their problems. Patience and tact are critical. Even if
a customer is making outrageous statements and, in
essence, throwing a fit, it’s important that you remain
calm. Do not take those statements personally.
Apologize, take the blame, and empathize with the
customer, and then solve the problem.
Just as important as what you should do, there are some
things you should not do:
• Don’t directly challenge someone who has a complaint
and is angry. Even if that customer is wrong, don’t
attempt to prove it. Your goal is to solve the problem,
not to enter into a debate on the merits of the complaint.
• Don’t let the conversation wander or get off the
topic. Solve the crisis at hand without looking for –
and finding – additional problems.
• Don’t participate in faultfinding. Shifting blame
doesn’t help anyone.
• Don’t let your personal feelings get in the way.
Stay cool, and use courtesy and tact to diffuse the
When you successfully handle irate customers and
their complaints, you will be rewarded with a satisfied
customer – a customer who will be loyal to you and
your organization. That loyalty will have a positive impact
on your organization’s bottom line – and make you look
like a hero. ¤
John Tschohl, the internationally recognized service
strategist, is founder and president of the Service Quality
Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Described by USA
Today, Time, and Entrepreneur as a “customer service
guru,” he has written several books on customer service and
has developed more than twenty-six customer-service training
programs that have been distributed throughout the world.
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 21
A Key Ingredient to Effective
Call Center Management
By Scott Ray
“We wait all these years to find someone who requirements of the tasks assigned. Process improvement and
understands us, I thought, someone who accepts us as we are, product awareness are usually easy to identify and correct
someone with a wizard’s power to melt stone to sunlight, who when things go wrong, but how do you manage behavioral
can bring us happiness in spite of trials, who can face our issues? Interestingly, the answer often lies with the agents
dragons in the night, who can transform us into the soul we themselves and can be realized and addressed easier than you
choose to be. Just yesterday I found that magical someone is might think.
the face we see in the mirror: It’s us and our homemade For standard information-based development, we create
masks.” training curriculum, analyze results, evaluate accuracy and
–Richard Bach, American novelist performance – and we even coach occasionally. When
dealing with behavioral issues, however, we often miss the
one area that makes effecting change more easily attainable.
n my fifteen years in the in the call center industry, I have
encountered many agents who have expressed similar Helping agents become self-aware is often the key. Creating
feelings to those expressed by Mr. Bach. Perhaps not as tools and infrastructure that help agents gain self-realization
broadly or intellectually stated of course, but they do look to skills should be incorporated not only into your daily quality
their supervisory and training staff for help, guidance, and management routine but should be interwoven with your
assurance as they seek to improve their individual job company’s messaging and values as well.
performance. When dealing with those tangible issues related What exactly is self-realization? As defined by Maslow’s
to a given process or product, they need help from those hierarchy of needs, it refers to the desire for self-fulfillment
possessing the knowledge and know-how to meet the and the tendency for a person to become aware of his or her
22 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
potential. Self-realization is the manifestation of the desire to Step 2: Give Your Agents a Chance
become more and more what one is, to become everything Self-realization is achieved by your agents when they are
one is capable of becoming. Yet I have found that it is rarely given the opportunity to hold themselves accountable in a
used consistently in today’s call center workplace. We tend to non-hostile environment. Provide an environment where
lump behavioral patterns into our standard training practices agents have the opportunity to self-assess and ask for open
instead of recognizing the value of addressing these issues feedback.
individually with tools that do the work for us.
Let me explain: a few years ago, I was participating in a Step 3: Define and Develop a Plan for Success
workgroup where we routinely recorded and evaluated our First, you need to determine your ultimate goal. My
own call performance. Using call monitoring and recording biggest piece of advice during this step is to let your agents be
software, I was able to experience my voice as my customer a part of the process. Take their feedback and suggestions and
did, and it was an eye-opening experience. I couldn’t believe incorporate them into your plan. Remember to keep your
some of the bad communication habits I had formed over the agents’ goals aligned with the overall company objectives.
years, but if I hadn’t experienced it privately, with time for
reflection, it’s likely I would have resisted another person’s Step 4: Recognize Your Agents for
negative critique. After all, I have always had a wonderful Positive Growth
“radio voice,” so how could anyone accuse me of having poor Positive energy feeds off a positive working environment.
communication skills? My “homemade mask” was what I Publicize your agents’ achievements on a regular basis, and
believed myself to be, not what I actually acted out. Don’t get celebrate individual, team, and corporate successes.
me wrong, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t nearly as good as I Make self-realization and self-evaluation part of your
had led myself to believe, and there was definitely room for contact agents’ goals for this year. I promise you, it will pay off.
improvement. After all, remember that we are our own toughest critics. ¤
The key to my motivation was that these improvements
were important to me personally, and I made it my business to Scott Ray is a customer advocate manager for Envision,
work out a plan to address the negative nuances and behaviors a contact center workforce optimization solutions provider.
that detracted from my message. No one had to coax or Scott works to identify contact center needs and implement
convince me; the evidence was indisputable and I expected solutions to ensure ongoing performance improvement.
better from myself.
I don’t think my personal experience was unique. Most
of the people I’ve come to know in this industry have
reasonably high expectations of themselves and expect to
perform at a superior level. If we find that we are not meeting
our own expectations, we will quickly address the problem;
no one needs to do that for us.
Do you allow your agents to experience themselves and
then come to your evaluation team with an improvement
plan? If not, you are missing a great opportunity to form a
unique bond between management and the folks taking care
of your customers. You may already have the tools to put a
self-awareness program in place, but the greater question is –
will you make it a priority?
Here are some actionable tips to make self-realization a
routine part of your agent-coaching practices:
Step 1: Evaluate Your Current Culture
On the road to helping your agents achieve self-realization,
it is important to evaluate your current culture. Are you in an
environment that is willing to accept change, do you have to
force change, or are your agents actively seeking change?
Every environment is different, but in most instances this
self-realization coaching format can be applied to your
management and supervisory team, too. Take the time to do
an internal evaluation of your call center and assess your
Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 23
Multilingual Contact Center Directory
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24 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
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Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 25
The Twelve Steps to
Successful Telemarketing –
Step Six: Restating
By Kathy Sisk
n the last two issues, we learned how to qualify our when accountability comes into play.
prospect in Step Five: Probing. For what happens next, Here are some examples of restating:
there are several options to consider, depending on the • “Thank you for sharing this information with me.
type of marketing you are doing: Based on what you’ve said, Ms. Smith, your company
• If you are generating leads only, you can end after sees the value of XYZ product. Unfortunately, you
Step Five by thanking them for their time and telling have not been given the opportunity to conduct a
them to have a great day. competitive analysis to determine (pause) the
• If you are generating an appointment, you will not cost-effectiveness of your current supplier. That
need to follow the entire twelve steps, but you will comparison would give your company a competitive
need to proceed to get the prospect to say “yes.” edge in the marketplace. Is that correct?”
However, most of you who are reading this will want to • “Thank you for sharing this information with me. I
use the remaining steps to generate sales. Therefore, the want to be sure I understand everything correctly.
examples given here will be to focus on how to sell. You’re currently working with XYZ company, and
The next step is Step Six, the restating step. Step Six is you were motivated to select that company because
the bridge that leads to the selling step. of its competitive rates. However, you expressed
a concern that you haven’t heard from your
How It Fits In representative for some time, and the firm’s rates are
During Step Five: Probing, your prospect is actively not as good as when you initially acquired their
answering your questions. Once you have completed the service. Customer service and quality are important
probing step, most prospects don’t remember exactly what to you, yet you have not made a recent comparison
they have said. Therefore, in the restating step you summarize to determine (pause) how you can get the service
the prospect’s responses and emphasize the important ideas you’re entitled to while still meeting your needs
he or she gave you, reflecting them back to the prospect in a cost-effectively. Is that correct?”
more dynamic way. This way prospects can see their own When you begin by saying, “Thank you for sharing this
expressed wants and needs from a fresh, objective perspec- information with me,” you let the prospect know that you are
tive. This puts your prospects on the outside looking in at finished asking questions. This eases the prospect’s mind.
their needs. Later in your presentation – during the trial close The rest of the restatement qualifies and summarizes
– should they respond negatively, you can redirect them back the information your prospect has given you during the
to the restating step and help them to hold themselves more probing step.
accountable. By restating the information, you encourage your
Restating the information your prospect shared with you prospect to agree with what you’ve just said. This is called
reinforces the prospect’s own sense of what is important. indirect selling. Be careful not to over-exaggerate your
Prospects will generally agree with the points you found most restatement. It must be closely correlated to what your
valuable to them. From this information, you will be able to prospect said, but your rendition should give a more positive
begin determining what direction you should take during the emphasis of the prospect’s views.
next step (Step Seven: Features and Benefits). Make it a priority to become good at restating. It is a
crucial part of prospecting, it allows you to remain in control,
Two Functions and it will prove extremely effective in handling objections.
There are two functions in Step Six. The first is to Once you have completed the restating step, you can then
summarize what the prospect just said, but in a more positive move into the selling step. ¤
way. The second function is to get a confirmation from your
prospect. This will give you a “yes” response, which you may Kathy Sisk is CEO of Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc.
need later during the objection-handling process – this is
26 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
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Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 27
s ASSOCIATIONS s SEEKING ACQUISITIONS s SEEKING ACQUISITIONS
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28 • MAY 2012 www.connectionsmagazine.com • Connections Magazine
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contact Valerie at 866-668-6694 or For advertising information, contact:
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Connections Magazine • www.connectionsmagazine.com MAY 2012 • 29
COMING EVENTS All new listings or changes are italicized
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