Volume 3, Number 1 - January 18, 2008

Our Contact Info:

David Butler
Executive Director

National Association of Call Centers
100 South 22nd Avenue
Hattiesburg MS 39401
Tel: 601.447.8300
Fax: 601.266.5087

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

Circulation

In Queue circulation 34,475

Underwriters

All leading call center companies and suppliers should examine the new NACC Underwriting opportunity in 2008 as evidence of their dedication to the growth of call center industry. See the New 2008 Media/Advertising Guide link below for more information.

In This Issue

Blog Me This, Blog Me That
Fork in the Road
60 Ideas in 60 Minutes
Letter to the Editor
Call Center Comics

Share the Knowledge

Send this newsletter to colleagues by clicking "Forward this email" at the very bottom and end of this newsletter.

Blog

"I suppose it was that commitment to integrity that ultimately proved to be the magazine's downfall."

Hear this and what is being said in the NACC blog. Just click on the words above to see the recent postings.

NACC Investment Portfolio

Data close of market 1/15/2008

Stock	Price	Value	Change
NT	15.97	6.82	-3.18
NICE	34.15	7.10	-2.90
VRNT	18.84	7.08	-2.92
SYKE	19.37	8.83	-1.17
WIT	15.54	8.59	-1.41
CVG	16.89	8.34	-1.66
TTEC	22.00	8.65	-1.35
ICTG	12.08	8.45	-1.55
APAC	1.31	5.34	-4.66
TOTAL		69.21	-20.79

Original Value start 11/6/2007
=US$90.00 or US$10.00 per stock

Total Portfolio Value Now= $69.21

2008 is off to a rocky start with the NACC Investment Portfolio. After a late rally at the end of 2007, the portfolio has given back all of those gains and lost even more. Every stock in the portfolio is in negative territory right now.

NACC Composite Index

Date	Value	Change	Percent
11/6/07	100.00	na	na
11/8/07	94.62	-5.38	-5.69
11/16/0794.94	0.32	0.34
12/5/07	94.38	-0.56	-0.60
12/26/0797.90	3.53	3.60
1/15/08	80.89	-17.02	-21.04

Other Composites Same Period

Dow Composite               -7.75%%
S&P 500 Composite          -8.36%
NASDAQ Composite          -12.69%

The NACC Composite Index is down strongly from the end of 2007. Presently down 21% from late 2007. This trend does not compare favorably to all of the major indices. The NASDAQ, which is down most at 12%, is down only about half as much as the NACC Composite Index which seems to indicate some perceived softening in the companies which make up the call center sector. Does this mean that the recent slate of mergers and acquisitions are coming home to roost or that their are great bargains and the market has overreacted?

Real Estate

If you are looking for a new call center location you should check out the NACC Real Estate page by clicking on this link to see some of the available existing sites.

Quotes

"If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it!"
-Jonathan Winters

Picture of the Week

This is part of the floor of an Irish church/cathedral. What I have found travelling around Europe and visiting these great works of architecture is that there are often small an intricate pieces of the places that are not seen. For whatever reason, most of the churches and cathedrals are dark, with some illumination coming from stained glass windows or recessed lights. This picture shows a beautiful and intricate design existing on the floor. Most people's eyes look up at the buttresses, mosaics, or frescos, but often there are equal, if not more beautiful work, right under your feet. Because of the poor lighting most people cannot see it though. The reason why this image is so revealing is the flash. Look at the top of the picture where the flash is less prominent and you see the colors and designs fading. Most people visiting the darkened church/cathedral would look down to see a dark or gray set of tiles and that is about it. With a little flash, pow, glorious and wonderful colors and designs emerge. So I recommend to you next time you are in and old church or cathedral, point your camera with the flash downward and see what nice art you may be walking upon.

Advertise with Us

Our NEW 2008 Media/Advertising Guide is now on the street. Click on the image below to download a copy. Read it over and see the great opportunities that await your company by advertising with the NACC.

To advertise with the NACC, please contact the NACC at:
Tel: 601.447.8300
Fax: 601.266.5087
E-mail:
David.Butler@nationalcallcenters.org

 

 

 

Blog Me This, Blog Me That

We have started a blog! People have asked us for over a year now to create a forum that would allow people to interact more freely and timely than our newsletter. We have enlisted the generous help of Paul Stockford of Saddletree Research who will be our main blogger for now. Not only is Paul knowledgeable on the call/contact center industry he is also a good writer, funny, and an all around genuinely nice guy. He has already started to post blogs on our site, so visit them, respond to them, and get a good 'ol conversation/debate on the industry and what works and what doesn't on this site. We would love to hear from you. Click here to begin reading.

We will be launching a few more initiatives this first quarter of 2008 so keep your eyes peeled for these new events.


Fork in the Road

Matthew P. McCormick, Technology Decisions, Inc.
[email protected]

With all the options available to an in-bound call center, is the death of the human agent in a call center far behind? Call centers and their agents do have competition for their existence. They’re called websites. And while unintelligent, mere repositories, that still place the burden of finding the correct information on the customer, the competitors (self-service options) are marching along to the rhythmic cadence of continual improvement.

Simultaneously, call centers continue to push for greater efficiencies and ultimately get to the point where there is no hold time to reach an agent, this truly will be progress. Won't it be wonderful when call centers

-realize they are not merely a cost center, a burden on the bottom-line, and an annoying and necessary evil
-are realized as the ultimate customer facing arm of the organization
-are understood for their the compassionate, understanding, flexible, eager to please face of the business
-are a strategic and competitive asset in the enterprise’s image and interaction with their customers
-are a force for positive customer experience leading to re-purchase
-have the power by virtue of their direct, unimpeded access to the customer of enhancing the image of their employer in the eyes, ears, and mind, and the heart, of the customer
-have goals of how positive can we make the next interaction with the customer
-ask how much value can we deliver
-interaction is looked forward to by a customer

-regularly exceeded expectations?

Call centers are not yet currently obsolete, but they will become so unless they realize the opportunity they have to deliver services that automation currently cannot: being human and humane. This opportunity implies

-that initial interaction with customers be fast to answer the phone
-that call center agents will be knowledgeable in the caller’s area of interest
-satisfying that caller sooner and better than they expected
-allowing the caller to determine how they wish to be served
-giving callers an analogous cost choice to providing post-sale services
-tiering the price according to method of purchase for pre-sales calls.

Either call centers will become a “human” asset in enterprise communication and interaction with its human customers, significantly enhancing that customer experience, or they will become an anachronistic and, to future generations, highly amusing, droll, and curious footnote of the antiquated and expensive use of humans to resolve human customer queries. Which direction will you lead your call center?


60 Ideas in 60 Minutes

The 60 Ideas in 60 Minutes forum will continue next issue with Round 4. We just ran out of space in this issue. Thanks for hanging in there with us as we attempt to accommodate all interesting essays.


Letter to the Editor

Dear In-Queue -

"Here, here" to Mr. Adsit's article concerning call center malpractice, and the possibility of tossing scripts (Vol. 2, No. 24). I concur, particularly from the perspective of our market.

Ours is an out-bound fundraising call center - that's right, we raise money be phone for charities. In-Queue readers may not know that, in addition to adhering to all of the same teleservices laws and regulations as other call centers, those that work with non-profit fundraising must follow additional regulations.

Without belaboring the point, although there are some federal laws governing charitable solicitation by phone, the true burden is at the state level. Registrations, bonding, and reporting requirements differ significantly by state. In some states we are required to submit all scripts to the attorney general's office before any solicitation begins; failure to comply with the approved script results in substantial fines starting at $10,000 per incident.

When utilizing the telephone for legitimate charitable solicitation it is easy to see how the regulations help and support the industry. Donors must be guaranteed that the reasons for giving as presented, are accurate; TSRs can not be permitted to just say whatever they think will be persuasive.

Quality control in our call center is the largest non-salary budget item, involving live monitoring, recorded monitoring, recorded verification, and multiple levels of redundancy to ensure that our reps are representing each and every charity in an honest and straightforward manner. Heck, some states require that each call begin with full disclosure of the name of the TSR, name of the fundraising company, and a statement of fact that the call is not coming from the charity but from a paid professional fundraiser. Without scripts, do we really believe that our reps would disclose all of that?

Having pontificated, I should note that I am aware of more than one service provider in the fundraising sector who has indeed thrown scripting to the wind. In one case, they haven't been caught yet; in another, they were fined over $900,000 for multiple violations. We in our company support call center legislation as a positive influence on the industry, which helps to separate quality service providers from those so focused on the bottom line that they would sacrifice integrity. In our corner of the teleservices world, non-scripted calling is simply irresponsible.

Martha E. Connor
President & CEO
DirectLine Technologies, Inc.
[email protected]


Call Center Comics

CONTEST UNDER WAY! Ozzie, the artist behind call center comics, and me, want to hear your original ideas for call center comics (no drawing required, just creative ideas). The best entrees will be selected, drawn, and will appear in this newsletter. Forward this to your call center coaches and supervisors and tell them to form teams to come up with the best idea for a comic. It will be a great release and motivation builder for the beginning of 2008. Winning entries will be not only be recognized in this newsletter but I will also send that person (or team) a bag of goodies. Just submit your entries to [email protected].

If you like this comic and would like to see more write Ozzie at  [email protected] and visit his website at http://callcentercomics.com/cartoon_categories.htm or just click on the comic to take you to his page. The NACC appreciates Ozzie letting us use some of his comics in our newsletter.


To view past issues of In Queue, please click here.

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Copyright 2008 National Association of Call Centers

 

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