Volume 3, Issue 16 - August 15, 2008

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

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Qualify candidates before you hire with FurstPerson.

Circulation

In Queue circulation 66,547

Underwriters

Fortune 500 Site Selection Company
Call Center Practice Group
Sam Weatherby 214.414.9707
[email protected]

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 2008 Media/Advertising Guide link below for more information.

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NACC Investment Portfolio

 

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

Total Portfolio Value Now= $68.59

The NACC Investment Portfolio gained value the past two week to the tune of almost $5.00. Not only were a number of stocks up, but our favorite stock of late, Sykes, has now moved into positive territory at $10.48 value (start value was $10.00).  Other third-party providers also gained ground such as ICTG, APAC and TTEC while the technology providers were mixed.

NACC Composite Index

 

The NACC Composite Index was down 1.48% percent the past two weeks. Though this percentage drop is small, we would still have preferred to see the index in positive territory. Note as well that we have included only one day per month now in our index listed above instead of each two-week period as we have been previously reporting. This index was becoming too large for the newsletter so we have scaled back what we are showing to only one period per month.

 

The NACC Composite Index underperformed all of the other major indices this past two weeks. The Dow was slightly lower like the NACC Composite Index with the S&P 500 slightly higher. The NASDAQ, which is considered a technology-heavy index, was up over 4% the  past two weeks.

Quotes

Olympics -- A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.
-Jesse Owens (1913-1980)

Picture of the Week

In the spirit of the Olympics (see quote above as well) I thought I would share this photo from China with you. On television China is being depicted as a modern fully developed nation-on par with the United States, Canada and the rest of Western Europe. This is true, but only partially. Many parts of China are still very old, undeveloped, and do not fit into the Olympic images being portrayed. The image above, for example, was one my friend took in Shanghai, China, this summer after he was fitted for a new suit at a local tailor. The person is using an abacus, yep that is what it is, to calculate the cost of his new suit. When was the last time you saw an engineer in the West using a slide-rule to complete a calculation?

Advertise with Us

Our 2008 Media/Advertising Guide is available for downloading and viewing. Did you know we are one of the least expensive avenues of advertising in the industry? 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

 

 

 

And the Winner Is...

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

Back in February of this year, the NACC launched a survey among readers of the “In Queue” biweekly newsletter. Among the questions asked was one in which we queried respondents about the factors that influenced their purchase of contact center equipment this year. Not surprisingly, the overwhelming response to this question was “Price.” Buyers still look at price as the number one factor when considering a purchase of contact center solutions.

The number two factor was a little more surprising. Respondents cited company reputation as the number two factor in their decision process regarding the acquisition of contact center solutions. Accordingly, we decided to find out which companies had the best reputation among the buyers represented in our readership survey.

Six weeks ago we launched another survey asking respondents to rate a handful of companies according to reputation. We chose for this survey eight major contact center technology suppliers to be rated. The survey was kept simple with respondents asked to rate the companies’ reputation according to the following scale:

• Among the industry’s best reputations;
• Good reputation;
• Average reputation (neither good nor bad);
• Poor reputation;
• Among the industry’s worst reputations;
• Not familiar with the company.

The companies we chose to be rated were Alcatel (including Genesys), Aspect Software, Avaya, Cisco, NICE Systems (including IEX), Nortel, Siemens and Verint (including Witness Actionable Solutions). Each company received 100 percent of ratings based upon the scale listed above so, for example, the total percentage of all companies receiving a rating of “Among the industry’s best reputations” will not equal 100 percent. But, each company received a 100 percent total rating across all six rating data points.

We received a total of 103 responses. The companies receiving ratings of “Among the industry’s best reputations” and the corresponding rating percentage among all respondents rating that company are as follows:

• Verint (including Witness Actionable Solutions) 40.4%
• Nortel - 29.3%
• Avaya -24.2%
• Cisco -20.4%
• Aspect Software - 12.8%
• Alcatel (including Genesys) - 7.4%
• Siemens - 7.4%

Of all respondents rating Verint, 40.4 percent rated the company as having a reputation among the industry’s best.

We also gave respondents an opportunity to post comments to support their company ratings. Among the comments received, exactly as posted, were the following:

“Verint has a great portfolio and great people to work with.”
“Terrific service and support from Verint. They live and breathe customer service.”
“Nortel has a strong portfolio and good integration and development skills.”
“Avaya was a good company to deal with but under new management, with massive layoffs of customer facing people, with too many overlapping products is beginning to look like a risk.”
“Cisco benefits from a halo effect.”
“Genesys is good at complex integrations but too expensive and not reliable.”
“Siemens doesn't have the focus on Contact Centers”

It appears as though some companies, regardless of how highly rated, did not emerge unscathed from user comments. In addition, some companies received no comment at all. We will leave it to the reader to draw his or her own conclusions regarding the absence of comments.

In the “Not familiar with the company” category we found it interesting that 29.8 percent of respondents, the highest response percentage in that category, were not familiar with Alcatel, including Genesys. We read that as a wake-up call to the marketing people in that company to reconsider current marketing practices and plans. Apparently what they’re doing now is not working.

The company that received no responses in the “Among the industry’s worst” reputation category was Aspect Software. This rating is significant in that it indicates that none of the survey respondents appear to have had a negative experience with their Aspect equipment.

Finally, it should be noted that the population sample of this survey is not statistically significant for the call center industry as a whole. Rather, it is representative of the readership of this newsletter. Full survey results are available to the members and sponsors of the National Association of Call Centers.


Home Foreclosures and Call Center Help

Earlier this week I was contacted by Anne Batte, Founder of Operation Restoration. She told me that her non-profit organization was attempting to find ways to help people keep their houses instead of foreclosure in this time of financial turmoil in the housing industry. See was seeking a call center to work with on her project. She wanted me to list the various third party providers for her and make the necessary introductions. I told her that instead of proceeding down that path that I would instead mention her and her cause in the newsletter so that all readers would know that type of assistance she was seeking.

Here is a bit of background on the organization. Operation Restoration is a national campaign comprised of dedicated alliances cooperatively working together to stop foreclosure. It is looking for a call center in metro Atlanta, Georgia, that can provide agents who empathetically speak with borrowers nationwide, who diligently pursue documentation, and who effectively handle documentation and communication flow between alliances, inbound and outbound.

Using a customized call center solution, Operation Restoration agents will follow a proven system of case intake, documentation collection, referral to alliances, and follow up to ensure that each case is tracked from beginning to end. This system is accomplished through relationships with Home Preservation Foundation and HOPE NOW Alliance (who specialize in loan restructuring), traditional Lenders and NACA (for refinancing), Lenders’ Servicers (collection agents), and Realtors for house sales.

If you are a call center provider and are interested in hearing more about this project please contact Anne Batte, Founder, at [email protected].


Call Center not Call Girls

Here is a funny story from late in 2007 that I ran across in the archives. In Manila, The Philippines, their National Bureau of Investigations raided what was claimed to be a call center in Pasig City. The name of the organization, American Chat Link, Inc., was located on the 12th floor of the Tycoon Center and had over 400 employees working in four shifts.

Apparently this "call center" was a disguise for a "cybersex den" that had 12 internet hubs, several internet servers and 200 adult sites. The Cybersex operators sold membership to the adult websites, set up profiles online, and chatted with people online pretending to be the people they set up on the profiles. The cost to the client was $5 for a 24 hour period.

Responding to this raid, the chief of the National Bureau of Investigation he said, "But apparently (being a call center) was only a disguise for its real (business) of providing obscene and immoral pornographic materials for exhibition to foreign and local clients, most of whom were elderly men."

There is so much here that can be commented upon, but I shall refrain, and let the imagination of the readers draw the conclusions, parallels, and satire.

 


Call Center Comics

 

 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.


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Copyright 2008 National Association of Call Centers

 

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