The Boost – February 2018

The Boost – CAM-X Newsletter  February  2018 – Volume 1 Issue 26

In this Issue : 

  1. A message from President Dana Lloyd
  2. Taking Control of Change – The Key to Improving Results by TwoGreySuits
  3. Member Spotlight : Christian Roy
  4. Education Committee Updates
  5. The Millennials are Here – Are You Ready ?

A message from President Dana Lloyd

Welcome to February!

The theme for CAM-X this year is Grow to Greatness and I can’t think of a better example of our theme than our upcoming webinar series.  Starting in February, CAM-X is offering a series of 6 webinars that will run monthly until July.    Topics range from Ingredients of the Spectacular Call, Handling Difficult Callers, Handling Client Complaints, Dealing with Change, How to build Great Scripts and Remote Reps.   The sessions are a great learning opportunity for Operations Managers, Supervisors and agents alike.   The speakers are all incredible and well informed experts in our industry and are able to provide knowledge that is both relevant and necessary within our businesses.  I hope everyone checks out these webinars.  You are able to purchase the entire series or stand alone topics.

Also, our AOE Registration is now open.  We have three AOE offerings this year, which includes the regular AEO option of 10 calls, a 20 call option should you want a greater opportunity for more of your agents to be tested, and AOE Plus, our newest option, which includes a quality check on the dispatch portion of the call.  If you have any questions about any option please contact Linda Osip at linda@camx.ca.

Lastly, I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our annual trade show and conference in Puerto Vallarta from Oct. 25 – 28th.    A survey recently went out asking for topic suggestions.  If you have any burning issues or challenges within your organization, and want some industry advice, please submit in your survey.    FYI – the temperature in Puerto Vallarta is expected to hit 85 F or 29 C today.

Warmest Regards,

Dana Lloyd


Taking Control of Change – The Key to Improving Results

This article is part of the TwoGreySuits Managing Employee Performance Series and is offered by our partner, the TwoGreySuits HR Power Centre as a service to our members.

PERSONAL LEADERSHIP

For organizations to survive and thrive in the new economy, employees at all levels need to develop and practice the qualities of Personal Leadership. Personal Leadership is essential to success.

How do we define success?  The aim of all human life is to be happy and the ingredients of happiness are the things we all have in common. We want to be healthy, have good relationships, meaningful work, financial independence, a feeling of growth and peace of mind.

The results of success are self-esteem (feeling good and valuable and important to yourself), self-respect and personal pride. This improves our ability to get along with others, our performance and our overall productivity.  There are four major qualities of Personal Leadership.

The first is vision.  Your vision is based on values and virtues.  Leaders know who they are and what they stand for.  The second quality of leadership is courage.  Leaders have the ability to face their fears and act in spite of them.  The third quality of leadership is realism.  Realism is the ability to see the world as it is, not as you wish it were. The essence of realism is integrity. The fourth quality of leadership is responsibility. Responsibility means self-reliance. Leaders volunteer for responsibility.

There are seven rules for Personal Leadership:

1) Your life only gets better when you get better.
2) It doesn’t matter where you are coming from, only where you are going.
3) Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first.
4) You can learn anything you need to learn and achieve any goal you can set for yourself.
5) You are only as free as your options.
6) Within every difficulty you face is the seed of an equal or greater opportunity.
7) The only real limits on what you can do are self-imposed.

Imagine if employees developed and practiced the qualities of Personal Leadership.  Productivity would improve and, importantly, the need for costly and disruptive terminations could be reduced.  Think about it!

Accessing the TGS System is simple. If you have not signed up email linda@camx.ca directly and we will help you out. It’s as simple as that and it’s free. Why wait?  Don’t let important people management issues go unresolved when you can deal with them today.


Member Spotlight : Christian Roy

When did you join i24 Call Management Solutions and what brought you into the call center industry?

I joined i24 Call Management Solutions in January 2015.  At the time I was coming off a 3 year hiatus after 7 years working in technical support.  When re-integrating into the workforce, the opportunities in technical support that resonated well with me were on the slim side.  I fell on a recruitment ad for i24 and wasn’t quite sure how “customer” support would play out but I gave it a go.  The primary interview went fairly standard but it was a follow up interview with company president Gary Blair where he explained his vision for the company and my possible place within that vision, that I knew that this was an industry and company I wanted to be a part of and grow in.

Can you tell us a little more about the evolution of your career path with i24 Call Management Solutions?

Anyone who knows someone who is primarily a “technical” person, rather than a “people/customer” person, knows that we tend to see things differently (what is broken? how can I fix it?) and are often not the most diplomatic or relatable of people.  The first of my evolutions was to have a paradigm shift from “what’s the problem?” to “how may I help you?”  A few months on the floor allowed me to achieve that and evolve on that front.  I started on the floor as an agent in January of 2015, 2 months later saw me graduate to dispatch, and 1 month further saw me wearing the team lead/supervisor hat where I spent the next 2 years.  In that role I reached out amongst all my colleagues in order to learn everything I possibly could with the goal of raising the general knowledge amongst my team and increasing our overall aptitude and performance.  I achieved this by playing to my technical background’s strength that knowledge is power, which evolved for this industry to knowledge is confidence, an unavoidably needed trait for agents that you cannot teach directly but that can be gained within a favorable environment.  In March of 2017, I was offered the position of Trainer and Quality Control Specialist where my goal would be coupled with the power and capability to rejuvenate our processes.  As I had done before, I continue to expand my capabilities, never satisfied with what I know and I now work to elevate and empower our Team Leads to greater heights via custom made tools, knowledge unification sessions and encouraging them to repeat the cycle and build up those under their care.

What was your first CAM-X experience?

My first CoachU was in 2015.  I was still a relatively fresh Supervisor at that time.  I found the event to personally resonate with me and my approach.  We got to share situations and problems, we discussed possible approaches/solutions and came away with knowledge and different points of view to these situations that may have lacked coming in.  In short, a valuable learning experience.  Not everything can be implemented or is necessarily tailor made to our company’s needs, but the concepts and ideas I walked away with were memorable.

Can you tell us more about how you’ve participated, or benefitted from CAM-X membership?

Coming back from CoachU 2015, at our internal meeting to touch on what we would like to implement and how, our Operations Manager, Sabrina Perron, encouraged us to participate should we wish to share something the following year.  We all have strengths to play on and mine was always facts, numbers and black and white results over feelings, thoughts and concepts (something I carry with me to this day from my still yet greater technical brand of customer support experience).  One of the things I noticed was that most of the presentation were theoretical or conceptual and did not have numbers or examples of implementation and expected return.  Being a math and fact type of person, I love to have numbers back up whether or not things improve, remain the same, or have taken a step back.  That’s what I set out to do.  I took a concept (the lean method), applied it internally within our business to encourage agent participation to improve our knowledge and scripts.  I was able to get 6 months of data while keeping the project a secret before unveiling the results at CoachU 2016 alongside my presentation (which even my colleagues who participated that year learned of for the first time).  We were able to see a gradual diminishment in agent errors and even more importantly, an increase in participation and investment by the agent team, which was the original goal, by almost 60% (tracked by reports).  I got to share my findings, my methods and black and white results of implementation of concept.  I thought it was a nice merger of the norm with a personal twist.  I hope that my past experience, knowledge and technical background may have inspired or provided a new point of view to my fellow attendees that year.

What does your business look like today vs. ten or more years ago?
Now that is something I cannot say without inventing history as I’ve been here for 3 years only.  But we certainly have had enough evolution internally for me to paint a drastic before and after portrait of the company.  The offices were renovated, and we added a central Island to put our team leads at the heart of the agents, as opposed as at the end.  We’ve had so many upgrades and additions to our infinity platform and work method, be it contact dispatch, message center, integrating an IS holiday tool and eliminating the use of special notes, automating account greeting, creating and implementing a street database to name but a few.  We’ve had an increase in the responsibilities of our supervisors, perhaps due to my own dissatisfaction with my current capabilities and knowledge and my drive to pull everyone up with me as opposed to running ahead of the pack.  We’ve turned our recruitment and training on its head and refocused it to fall in line with our company culture and values.  Finally since my entrance into the role of Trainer and Quality Control Specialist we’ve been hard at work to render a uniformity in our current supervisor’s knowledge and capabilities and truly unify our team.

What platform do you use?  Are you a member of the NAEO user group and why?
We use Amtelco Infinity and IS. Personally, I’ve but recently joined the NAEO group as of last December.  I’ve yet to delve into the group as the holidays were on the hectic side but what kind of seeker of knowledge would overlook or turn down a source of knowledge and experience that is so readily available.

Tell us a little personal background about you, your family and your hobbies or interests.
I have a higher IQ than most and in my youth, I had difficulty relating with my peers, I was a special classes, math camp, national physics quizzes antisocial type of youth.  This left me with a very crude set of social skills and difficulty with seeing from any perspective outside my own.  Not your typical story for someone who ends up working in customer service, an industry that focuses on empathy and the capability to understand/relate with people is it?  And yet here I am, and I’d like to think that I excel in my current role.  Two life changing incidents and an epiphany saw me re-focus from academics to serving people, and enter the technical service industry a bit over a decade ago.  From there, I’ve evolved to who I am today.  I am a bachelor and though I have no kids of my own, I have 2 nieces and a nephew that I get to spoil.  I was a part of the gaming generation and I’ve been programming since I was 7 years old.  Those two things remain my hobbies to this day.  While I was in university, I was studying computer engineer with a goal of specializing in artificial intelligence.  I remain to this day interested in the possibility of continuing down this path on the side.


Education Committee Update
Submitted by Co-Chairs Sabrina Perron & Leisa McDonald

Webinars
Starting early 2018 – Agent Training Series
$49.00 per webinar or 6 for $250.00

  1. February 14th @ 13h00 – Ingredients Of The Spectacular Call
  2. March 14th @ 13h00 – Handling Difficult / Irate Callers Professionally
  3. April 18th @ 13h00 – Handling Client Complaints
  4. May 16th @ 13h00 – Dealing With Change For Agents And Managers
  5. June 20th @ 13h00 How To Build Great Scripts
  6. (TBA) – Remote Agents:  Contracts, Agreements And Keeping Everyone Engaged
COACH U – Grow to Greatness
We are proud to announce that the 2018 edition will occured in Toronto on April 30th and May 1st. Location to be announced.

We welcome your suggestions for speakers and topics.  Email directly to either sabrina.perron@image-24.com, or leisa@northerncom.com


The Millennials Are Here – Are You Ready ? 
Submitted by Steve Newell, Director of Sales, Startel

Millennials (born between 1980-1998) are the fastest growing consumer demographic, and they are already pushing centers to change the way they serve their customers. They comprise an increasingly larger segment of our clients, and their expectations differ quite significantly from the customer base most of our current answering services have been built on. According to the 2016 Microsoft State of Global Customer Service Report, here are a few things to consider as you look ahead to satisfying their requirements:

  • Millennials have a higher expectation of customer service. The survey found that 78% of Millennials expect the agent to already know their name, contact information and product or purchasing history when they call. While older customers were satisfied with waiting until their information is retrieved, millennials are far less patient.
  • 78% of Millennials expect a response on social media within 24 hours and 64% believe that social media is an effective channel for customer service. More and more, our centers need to have agents adept at not just answering calls, but fielding interactions from multiple channels, including social media.
  • This generation prefers informal, conversational assistance that feels authentic rather than a stiff, scripted call. Training your agents to have more friendly conversations will go a long way towards winning the allegiance of a generally distrustful group.
  • Millennials want FAST service! One of their top frustrations is not being able to resolve their own issue or find the answers they needed online. Finding more ways to automate and quicken their interactions will become a real priority, and they love the option to get an automatic call-back rather than wait in queue.

There is tremendous opportunity ahead for the answering services that can adapt to this growing segment of our customer bases – are you ready?