Connections Magazine_ May 2012

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					                                           MAY 2012


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                        Startel National Users Group                              “TAS Tips” newsletter.
       Startel National Users Group, Inc.                                                     Steve Michaels-Broker (800) 369-6126                                                       800.344.9944
      Learn how Certification canL’Heureuxyour Value in real $$.
                           Dan demonstrate Exec Director                 EQUIPMENT   •                                 
         Dan L’Heureux Exec Director 800-317-8529                                                                                                                            EXECUTIVE RECRUITERS
                                               CALL CENTER SERVICES                                                                                INSURANCE SEARCH SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                                                                             PREMIER EXECUTIVE
                                                                                                                                                                             PREMIER EXECUTIVE SEARCH SPECIALISTS
                                                                                                                                                                             • Search consultants to most of the top ten service

                          Annual Meeting - Oak Brook IL
                             Supervisor Seminar -                                                                                                                              agencies in the US and over 50 of the Fortune 500
                          Annual Meeting StOak Brook IL
                              May 9/1022-24, 2007
                               October - Louis                                                                                                                                                        Professional Liability
       Great Lakes
       Great Lakes
                          Dan L’Heureux, Exec 2007
                               October 22-24,
                           Dan L'Heureux ExecDirector
                                               Director                                         Etech
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                                                                                                                                 Let Etech Global Services be the trusted
                                                                                                                                     advisor you’ve been looking for!
                                                                                                                                                                               companies. Small companies, too.
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                                                                                                                                                                             • All custom searches using a 25,000 Program
       Telemessaging       Dan L'Heureux Exec Director
                                                                           quality inbound, outbound and web chat solutions
                                                                                                                                                                               plus extensive proactive calling.
       Services Association                              IMPROVE YOUR SALES AND SERVICE                                                                  • Dedicated telesales/customer service searches
       Services Association                                                                                                                                Hays has partnered with ATSIbest!
                                                                             Etech Global Services o ers intelligent sales and service                                         since 1981—the first and the to offer members
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                                                                          solutions utilizing inbound and outbound voice and web chat.                                              specifically crafted & Associates
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                                                                                                                                                                                     R.L. Bencin for the TAS industry.
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                                                                                                                                                                                      on equipment Personalized for YOUR Company
                                                                                                                                                                               The Newsletter for YOUR Clients •such as Infinity or
       Dan L’Heureux, Exec Director
       877-754-4103 •877-754-4103 •
                                                                                                                                                                  Information go to or
                                                                                                                                                                             For MoreCMC. See our banner on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 A newsletter for the customers of Company Name

                                                                                                                              Record/PlayTek, Inc.                              Healthy...
                                                                                                                                                                              W emailT
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     What is That Message Worth?
                                                                                                                                                                                         Donna West at

                                                                                                                                                                                            e’ve suspected it all           hat is an interesting question, with a great many answers. An independent industry
                                                                                                                                                                                            along…now it’s

                                                                                                                                                                             or call
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            survey done in the late 1980’s gave us some amazing answers:

                                                                                                                                                             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)
                               Equipment Owners
                                                                                                                                                                                tripled, equating to about 15

                                                                                                                                                                                      Steve Michaels.
                                                                                                                                                                                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
                                                                                                                                                                                          grandparents gave
                                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                                                                                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

                                                                                              Voice Logging Recorders
                                                                                                                                                                                payment on the bond. These
                                                                                                                                                                                bonds stop earning interest after
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Critical Information—

                                                                                              Voice Logging Recorders                                                                                                                                           ATSI Errors and Omissions
                                                                                                                                                                                30 years, so they are great

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Please Read and Respond
                        PIN USERS GROUP
                                                                                                                                                                                vehicles for long term savings.

                                                                                                                                                                                ...and Wise
                        SupportingPINNACLEandPIUSERS                             Easily records ALL conversations—just click and play                                                                                D                                Program
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              o we, at Company Name, have enough information to be able to help you in an

                                      PIN USERS GROUP                            Easily records ALL conversations—just click and play                                           A        lways
                                                                                                                                                                                         be able
                                                                                                                                                                                         to look
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         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

                                         Supporting PINNACLE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         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
                                                                                                                              Record/PlayTek, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                – 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?

                                                                                               Record/PlayTek, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        or call 888-303-4297.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   April, 2011

                Dan L’Heureux–Exec Dir-763-473-0210                                                                 

                            National Amtelco
                            Equipment Owners
           An association of Amtelco users dedicated to education,
               networking, and development of best practices
                                                                                                                                                                             Focusing exclusively on the telephone answering service industry

G      BILLING SOFTWARE                                                  EQUIPMENT                                                                                                                  Your Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Can be
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Listed Here
                                                                                                                                                                              To find our how, contact Valerie at
       BROKERS                                                                                                                                                                                                                    866-668-6694 or

                  Mergers & Acquisitions                                                                                                                             

              We offer Telephone Answering Service brokering
              and Private Business hosting. We also sell Call
                Centers & Voice Mail Companies. Current
      Connections Magazine •
                     listings available on our web site.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 MAY 2012 • 3
                      Steve Michaels - TAS Marketing
                     406-827-4131 • Fax: 406-827-4554
               2012 v20.4

Cover Stories
                   Speech Analytics
                   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
                   automate outcomes.

                    Professional Directory....................3
                    From the Publisher .........................7
                    “Do You “Like” Social Media?”
                    By Peter DeHaan

                    Contact Center Industry News .......8
                    Advertiser Listing.........................27
                    Coming Events.............................30

4 • MAY 2012          • Connections Magazine
Features                                                                         18
                             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

   Whitepapers                                                                          15
   Find more information online:
   • FCC Amends Telephone Consumer
      Protection Act Regulations,
      by Mac Murray, Petersen, & Shuster LLP            Read more articles online at:
   • 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 •                                                                     MAY 2012 • 5
Upgrading to PInnacle
was a breeze and has increased business
for Westpark Communications

                           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
                           LIVE REMOTE DEMONSTRATION.

                     Kathie L. Edwards
                     President & CEO
                     Westpark Communications
                     Houston, TX

                                                                    8 0 0. 3 4 4. 9 9 4 4
    Connections                                MAGAZINE
                                                                                   FROM THE PUBLISHER
 Publisher/Editor                                            Peter DeHaan
    Phone .................................................866-668-6695

                                                                                Do You “Like”
 Display/Classified Advertising ...............Valerie Port
    Phone .................................................866-668-6694
    Fax .....................................................866-668-6698
                                                                                Social Media?                                                Peter DeHaan, Ph.D.
 Designer/Production.......................David Margolis
    Phone .................................................866-668-6696
    Fax .....................................................215-369-0144
                                                                                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
                                           anytime soon – and before that happens, it will become even more prevalent.
         e-mail                                 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:
 practical information for the teleservices industry.                                    •    Podcasts:
                                                                                         •    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.
 (, 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,
                                                        I will be giving more attention to Twitter. (If you want the list of my social
                                             media links, please go to my personal website,
                           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 •                                                                                                  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 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 and

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,
          1Call Division
     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                                                            • Connections Magazine
West Corporation Unveils New Name for                                                      Hays Affinity Adds
Subsidiary                                                                                 Enhancements
     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                    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
the world.
     “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 •                                                                      MAY 2012 • 9
                                                   has helped
                                                    me expand
                                                     y business.

         Platforms      Telescan
Crossing Platforms with Telescan
Telescan’s cross-platform
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
    Telescan cross-platform
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,
                                                            , 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
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.
                                  ser vices
                                  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:
            Speech Analytics
              Gets Down
              to Business
                                                                               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 •                                                         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

      Speech Analytics
                         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
                                   before it.
                              • 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
                         Voice-of-the-Customer Era
                              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             • Connections Magazine
Historical Versus Real-Time
Speech Analytics
     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
speech analytics.
     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 •                     MAY 2012 • 13
Speech Analytics
(Continued from page 13)                                                                              DMG expects adoption of
                                                                                                 speech analytics to continue to
The Outlook for
Speech Analytics
                                          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
tool just to identify customer trends are finding it very helpful.

14 • MAY 2012                                                         • 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 •                                                                     MAY 2012 • 15
Web Chat
(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.

                                                                    Implementation Options
  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
                                                                    unique needs.
                                                                          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
                                and customizing the software internally. These programs

16 • MAY 2012                                                        • 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
Chat Outsourcing
                                                                   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
                                                                   cash transactions.
     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
minimized, clients can stop being limited by a loss of online
revenue and move on to accomplishing goals to expand and               
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

Connections Magazine •                                                           MAY 2012 • 17
Why Your
Are Not

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                                                       • 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
pressure to keep costs down. There is
often a ready supply of labor, especially
in this economy, so the wages are not
going up.
     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.
                                                                                        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 •                                                                  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
                                   Irate Customers
                                                                    By John Tschohl

20 • MAY 2012                                                        • 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 •                     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                                                        • 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 •                                                                   MAY 2012 • 23
Multilingual Contact Center Directory

ABC Communications                             Call Experts                                   Education, Retail, Finance                       1591 Savannah Hwy                          Etech is a provider of intelligent sales
Multilingual: English, Spanish                 Charleston, SC 29407, USA                      and service solutions utilizing
                                                                 inbound and outbound voice and
                                               Contact: 800-374-0911 or                       Web chat.
Advanced Customer Services                                             Services: Inbound, Email, Text Chat, IVR
Contact: Mark Leidlein, director of business   Multilingual: English, Spanish             Global Response
     development, at 248-583-8070 or           Call Experts is a complete contact                       center covering all voice and text    Contact: Steve Majeski, VP of sales, at
Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,                 messaging needs. They offer               800-537-8000 or sales@globalre-
     Text Chat, IVR                                 custom applications, SMS servers,
Multilingual: English, Spanish                      and extensive Web reporting.          Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,
Vertical Markets: Medical, Consumer                                                           Text Chat, IVR
     Goods (warranty sales and                                                            Multilingual: English, Spanish, French
     service)                                  CallPoint New Europe
                                               Multilingual: German, French, English,     Investigator Support Services
A Live Answer, Inc                                 Italian, Spanish, Russian                                                                 Contact: Karen Bork, operations man-
Multilingual: English, Spanish                                                                 ager, at 773-278-1567 or
                                               Commprise, Inc                        
                                               750 Main St Ste 608                        Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,
Answer Center America Inc                      Hartford, CT, 06103, USA                        Text Chat, IVR                                               Multilingual: English, Spanish, French-
Contact: Sales team at 800-270-7030 or         Contact: Sales team at 800-922-6603 or          Canadian speaking agents; live                                            translations in 150 languages
Services: Inbound                              Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,        Vertical Markets: Healthcare, Clinical
Multilingual: English, Spanish                     Text Chat, IVR                              Trials, Pharmaceutical
                                               Multilingual: English, Spanish
                                               Comprise is a fully US-based contact
AnswerPlus Inc.                                    center services provider, offering     Lead Source Call Center                                  both technical and non-technical
Multilingual: English, French                      services.                              Multilingual: English and Spanish

ATS Call Centers, Inc., dba TeleRep            Etech, Inc                                 Listen Up Espanol                                1903 Berry Dr                    
Contact: Joe Simpkins, sales and business      Nacogdoches, TX 75964, USA                 Contact: Randall Anderson, SVP Sales,
     development, at 800-638-2000 or                               at 207-774-1425 or                     Contact: Jim Iyoob, vice president at 
Services: Inbound, Email                            936-559-2258 or                       Services: Inbound
Multilingual: English, Spanish                            Language: Spanish
Vertical Markets: Pharmaceutical,              Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,
     Nonprofits, Government Agencies                Text Chat
                                               Multilingual: English, Spanish
                                               Vertical Markets: Telecommunications,

24 • MAY 2012                                                         • Connections Magazine
PDL Contact Centres Ltd                    Specialty Answering Service                  Telegraz Group LLC                              800 N Henderson Rd Ste 200         
Multilingual: English, French              King of Prussia, PA 19406, USA               Contact: Arman Grigoryan, president,
                                                 at 818-770-2777 or
                                           Contact: Nicolas D’Alleva, business    
Personalized Communications                    owner, at 888-532-4794 or                Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,
205 E Center St                             Text Chat, IVR
Duncanville, TX 75116, USA                 Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,          Multilingual: English, Armenian,                       Text Chat, IVR                               Russian, Spanish
Contact: Stanley Gardner, president,       Multilingual: English, Spanish
    at 800-850-7099 or                     Specialty is a professional inbound call                       center offering order processing,        Tele-Page
Services: Inbound, Outbound                    appointment setting services,  
Multilingual: English, Spanish                 inbound and outbound telemarket-         Multilingual: English, French
Outsource your full operations while           ing, survey response, and out-
    maintaining ownership of your              sourced customer service.
    clients: 24/7 live operators, order-                                                Transparent BPO
    taking, inbound telemarketing                                             
    services, Internet operator, and       Synergy Solutions, Inc.                      Contact: Lafayette Moran, director of
    Web-enabled.                                       business development, at
                                           Contact: Shannon Hays, business                  800-276-5140 x3005 or
                                                development director, at 607-584- 
RDI Marketing Services Inc.                     0216 or          Services: Inbound, Outbound, IVR                     Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,          Multilingual: English and Spanish
Contact: Scott Monahan, director,               Text Chat, IVR
     at 513-607-5363 or                    Multilingual: English, Spanish             Vertical Markets: Financial Services,        UGL Premas Contact Centre
Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,             Healthcare/Insurance,         
     Text Chat, IVR                             Telecommunications, Retail/             Multilingual: English, Japanese,
Multilingual: English, Spanish                  E-Commerce, Cable                           Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese,
Vertical Markets: Financial,                                                                Malay, Indonesian, Tagalog
     Telecommunications, Insurance,
     Technology, Consumer                  TeamHealth Medical Call Center
                                           1431 Centerpoint Blvd Ste 110                WRB Communications, Inc.
                                           Knoxville, TN 37932, USA           
Robertson Telecom                                  Multilingual: English, Spanish, French                   Contact: Karen Brown, RN, at                     Canadian
Multilingual: English, French, Spanish,         865-985-7304 or
    Punjabi                           ;
                                                Jeanne Griffin at 865-985-7303 or
                                                                                        If you wish your call center to be
Solix, Inc.                                Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,                                IVR                                     included in future directories in
Contact: Steve Peralta, COO - care         Multilingual: English, Spanish
                                                                                        Connections Magazine and online,
     division, at 217-639-1101 or          Vertical Market: Medical            THMCC is a 24/7 call center providing        please sign up at
Services: Inbound, Outbound, Email,             healthcare information and nurse
     Text Chat, IVR                             advice in an effort to direct to the
Multilingual: English, Spanish                  appropriate level of care in times      secure/outsource.html.
Vertical Markets: Telecommunications,           of need.
     Utilities, Healthcare

Connections Magazine •                                                             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                                                       • Connections Magazine
1-800 We Answer..............................17             Startel....................................................32     PROMPT…
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AnswerStat ............................................28   TAS Marketing ....................................29             If you are considering selling your business, we
The Medical Call Center Magazine                            Business Brokers                                          800-369-6126                                                     would welcome the opportunity to discuss your
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800-344-9944                                                                                                                                   President

               FOR MORE
           INFORMATION visit
    about advertisers in Connections Magazine,
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        our website:                                                                            Toll Free: 1-888-558-2726
                  and click on “vendors.”                                                                            
Connections Magazine •                                                                                                                MAY 2012 • 27

s ASSOCIATIONS                                          s SEEKING ACQUISITIONS                  s SEEKING ACQUISITIONS

                                                          PAY CASH
s OUTSOURCE CALL CENTERS                                    or
                                                           F Your
                                                            TAS.                                     A fair offer by an established,
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                                                         Call Doris 1-800-785-9436.
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                         Please thank them for their support.         customers. Let’s talk. Contact Doug at
                                                                                                 888-693-7935 or

                                                                                 Covering Healthcare
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                                                                                  Telehealth Industry

                                                                         Get your FREE subscription at:

                                                                                                    Also, check out
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28 • MAY 2012                                                               • Connections Magazine
s SEEKING ACQUISITIONS                            s MISCELLANEOUS

 CALL ROBERT PORTER                                Used Equipment For Sale: CadCom Equipment
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Connections Magazine •                                                                               MAY 2012 • 29
COMING EVENTS                                      All new listings or changes are italicized
                                                              See the most recent updates online:
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                             please email your information to:

                             May 9-10, 2012                            August 23-24, 2012
                      GLSTA Supervisors Seminar                      At Home Strategies for
                    Holiday Inn -Fairview Heights IL                  Success Workshop
                              (by St. Louis)                              Denver, CO
                For more information:
                            or                             homeworkshop

                               June 4-8, 2012                          September 9-12, 2012
                13th Annual Call Center Week: Continue the             TUNe Annual Meeting
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                       2012 Call Center Olympics
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                      Contact: Stewart Wolfenson at                       & Trade Show
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30 • MAY 2012                           • Connections Magazine
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