Volume 2, Number 18 - September 28, 2007

Our Contact Info:

David Butler
Executive Director

National Association of Call Centers
100 South 22nd Avenue
Hattiesburg MS 39401
Tel: 601.447.8300

David.Butler@nationalcallcenters.org
http://www.nationalcallcenters.org

Scoreboard

In Queue circulation 18,931
NACC members 3,583
Calendar of Events Listings 31
Job Board Listings 39
Real Estate Listings 4

In This Issue
Nimble
Blame Canada
Call Center Comics (NEW!)

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Quotes

"'Off days' are a part of life, I guess, whether you're a cartoonist, a neurosurgeon, or an air-traffic controller."
-
Gary Larson (Far Side cartoonist)

 

 

 Contact Professional is not only a great trade publication, but also owned and operated by some darn fine people. Click on the image above to see for yourself.

Fun Facts

As part of the data we collect at the NACC we are always seeking new ways of counting the number of call centers and call center workers that exist to determine the health and well-being of the industry. Using US census and Department of Labor data we found no short of 11 occupational categories that call centers fall into in various schedules and that was not inclusive. We are in dire need of solid and true count for our industry.

Picture of the Week

Here is the Eiffel Tower at night. If you have not visited this large structure, let me tell you a few things about it. It is LARGER than you think. This is not the Eiffel tower of Las Vegas. This steel monster is giant with bases on the ends of its four legs the size of most homes. It is tall, way tall. In fact, this image above I have on my wall in my house. When people see it they have two reactions. If they have seen it in person they say "it is much bigger than you think, isn't it?" If they have not seen it in person, they say, "That is neat. I would like to see it one day."

Another interesting fact is that Mr. Eiffel actually paid for the construction of the tower himself. Many people would not back him. The tower was build for the World's Fair, was a huge hit, and Eiffel made money enough to cover the cost and the much more. At one point after the fair there was talk of taking the tower down since most Parisians did not like the large and gaudy edifice in their skyline. They found it offensive. Obviously it was saved from being scrapped and is one of the most recognized objects in the world.
 

To advertise in In Queue or with the NACC, please contact the NACC at:
Tel: 601.447.8300

E-mail:
David.Butler@nationalcallcenters.org

 

 

 

Nimble

The people of the NACC know we are not the largest, most well funded, or oldest organization and newsletter in the call center industry. We do believe, however, that we are the most fun, informative and interesting. We would like to add to that list of adjectives the word "nimble." Because we are not old, slow, and bureaucratic we can offer new stuff quickly to our members and readers in a short turn around. If you demand something, we then try and produce, like our new Real Estate page highlighted last issue. People asked for it and bam, we had it for you.

This issue we bring you....comics! Yes, call center comics (see below). We have teamed with Call Center Comics to bring you a comic each newsletter for the next eight issues. I like comics and I think they are a natural part of a newsletter, like ketchup and fries. If you like them, let me and them know and we will continue the relationship or even expand it in new and interesting ways. If you don't like it, tell us that as well. We are nimble and can adjust.


Blame Canada

Paul Stockford, NACC Advisory Board Member and Saddletree Research [email protected]

In the U.S., we often take our neighbors to the north for granted. Other than hockey, beer and prescription medicine most of us don’t pay a lot of attention to or, frankly, know much about what’s going on north of the border. Despite its international reputation as a welcoming country with a true concern for the welfare of its 33 million citizens, there’s more to Canada than meets the eye. In fact, in the communications industry there’s a lot that we can blame Canada for.

Remember when telephone long distance rates meant shopping for a carrier and timing your calls to coincide with when those variable long distance rates were at their lowest so you could pay 30 cents per minute rather than 50 cents per minute? Today, long distance rates hover around one cent per minute, often less. Long distance calling has become financially feasible to almost all businesses regardless of size and to nearly the entire U.S. population. How did that happen? Blame Canada.

The Canadian market was the first to deregulate long distance. By forcing carriers to compete without artificially buoyed rates, prices came down and long distance became affordable for everyone. The U.S. soon followed suit.

Every week I get recorded messages from my daughters’ school keeping me informed of school events, issues, opportunities, etc. In the past, I had to depend on mail delivery or a newsletter sent home with my daughters to get this important information. Now the information is delivered in a timely and efficient manner. How did that happen? Blame Canada.

The Canadian province of New Brunswick has always been progressive in its use of technology to better the lives of its residents. Back in the pre-Internet early 1990s the provincial government made available voice mailboxes to all its telephone company customers specifically for the use of communicating information of interest to the community. The Canadians pioneered the use of voice messaging not just for business but for the good of the community.

Since 2003, I have through my writings been trying to convince someone, anyone, in the contact center industry to consider establishing a contact center on a Native American reservation. It is unfathomable to me how we can send thousands of jobs offshore to India, the Philippines and elsewhere when we have an educated, willing and shamefully underemployed workforce of Native Americans right here at home. I have written many articles over the past four years presenting the arguments for considering establishing a call center on a Native American reservation, but have had little response from the industry. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t seem to get my point across to the industry.

Then about a year ago I received a phone call from one Y. Kathy Brown of the Heiltsuk Nation, First Nations, in Bella Bella, British Columbia. She had read my articles and had told me that the Canadians had long been doing what I was proposing we do in the U.S. Her band of First Nations people had established a contact center in their remote village on Campbell Island and it was highly successful in providing work experience and job skills to band members who then went on to further their education or to find productive employment elsewhere in the province. Rather than going on social assistance and becoming a burden to society, Heiltsuk band members were going to work in a call center and then on to becoming contributing members of society.

At the ICCM Canada conference in Toronto on October 23, I will be joining Ms. Brown in a conference session that will review the story and explain the success of the Bella Bella call center in the Heiltsuk Nation. I hope that a few American contact center executives with open minds will be in that audience. I hope that one day people in the U.S. will wonder how we were able to get so many Native Americans off of government assistance and into a productive career in the customer care industry. Perhaps once again the answer will be “Blame Canada.”
 


Call Center Comics (NEW!)

If you like this comic and would like to see more write Ozzie at  [email protected] and visit his website at callcentercomics.com. The NACC appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.


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