From where I stand, Winter is here. As we come into this holiday season I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a joyful filled time. As this season is usually spent with friends and family, time is what really matters. Time with the ones you love.
A recent team exercise turned up this bit of history for us. It’s interesting how TAS companies can be their worst enemy at times. We learned from this experience, mostly from our own perspective, but some we picked up from other TAS companies. Maybe you went through something like this too?
Before the widespread use by TAS companies of computer-based telephone systems, the most common method of tracking how busy customers were was by the message or by the call. This was an improvement over billing each customer a fixed amount since customers were billed according to how much operator time their account required. In other words, this was fairer to the TAS company because the billing rates more closely matched the direct cost the TAS company paid. Except that, well, it wasn't perfect. First of all, this billing rate needed to be negotiated when the customer was starting. Invariably, this meant that many customers got a different rate, which wasn't necessarily fair but was based on the customer and sales negotiation. Secondly, some customer's calls were more involved and some less, so calls for different companies required differing amounts of time on average. It appeared that the best solution was time-based billing so that the amount of time that required a TAS company to spend on their account could be billed, instead of the simpler call based billing. So, time-based billing is more generally fair to the TAS company.
But, what happens at your service when the calling traffic spikes upwards? For your customers who are paying for time, are those customers able to receive the service they desire? It would be fair, even during busy times, to staff according to the level of work that is needed to be done. But, as I've seen, a TAS company will instead focus on tasking agents to handle calls faster during busier times. This is where TAS companies can be their own worst enemy, they allow customer service to suffer during busy times. In my experience, busy times means that customers receive less service: rushed or faster calls and work is delayed until inbound traffic slows down. This is a significant cost saving in terms of agent costs for the TAS company, but is it what the customer wants and is paying for?
Perhaps a fairer way to look at this issue is to assign the time based value to each call, let's say $1 per minute. If a customer is willing to pay $1 per minute for an agent's time and, during normal, non-rushed time a call takes about 45 seconds, then is that customer not being treated more unfairly when, during busy times due to staffing levels, the agent spends 30 seconds on each call? Sure, the call only costs $0.50 instead of $0.75, but did the customer not receive $0.25 less value? In other words, faster calls mean that customers get less value, even though they have time-based rates and are willing to pay for operator time.
It's worthwhile to consider that customers expect excellent service even during busy times, and if your service is unable to handle the volume of calls during these times with the same level of customer service as during normal times, then the best response is to increase your staffing levels rather than require operators to handle their calls faster. This response is what the customer wants and is paying for. When was the last time a customer of yours asked for agents to handle their calls faster in order to spend less time on their calls? A high quality professional call means that the agent is confident, accurate and certainly not rushed.
Looking forward to seeing you all at CAM-X 2020. It’s really going to be an amazing event, and I can’t wait to see what surprises Brad has in store for us.
Your President, Garrett Bidewell.
Membership Development Committee Report
Respectfully submitted by Leslie Wilson & Garrett Bidewell
Our monthly Member Spotlight for December is Glenn Ruecker of Teleconnect International. Glenn’s story shows us that when the opportunity arises, jumping on it takes you to new heights.
If you or anyone you know would be interested in being our next Member Spotlight and sharing their story, please be in touch directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Spotlight is for anyone; owners, senior management, the operations team at any level, sales staff, programmers, supervisors or agents. Remember, we want to throw open the doors and make introductions that strengthen the connections within the industry! We want to get to know YOU!
One day an email may show up with some questions for you to answer so that when we all show up in Kingston, ON. for the CAM-X annual Tradeshow and Convention in 2020, we will know more about the friends among us.
Convention 2020 Kingston
Respectfully submitted by Brad French, Convention Chair
Planning for 2020 convention in Kingston, Ontario is coming along exceptionally well. With over ¾ of the agenda set, this will be a jammed pack convention with so many take ways that you cannot afford to miss.
We will be launching videos of Kingston and the incredible speakers we have lined up in the coming months.
Kingston is located where the St. Lawrence River and Rideau Canal meet Lake Ontario in the heart of the thousand islands. Not only do we already have a great start to convention topics and speakers, but we also have some great events planned including a dinner cruise through the 1000 Islands, tours through Historic Kingston (the first capital of Canada), a pub crawl and of course a site tour of my new office.
The 2020 convention will be September 30th to October 2nd. Mark your calendars as this is one convention you will not want to miss!
Two Grey Suits
TwoGreySuits Announcement -
Our long-time HR Service provider TwoGreySuits has undergone a complete website redesign. The new website has a very new and different look and feel to it. A number of improvements have been made and there are important changes for you to know to be able to continue to access and download from the thousands of pages of documents on the site.
There is a new & improved downloading process where members download into their shopping cart, go to check out and the cost of all their downloaded documents is free. The site is more secure, easier to navigate, faster and allows you to keep track of your downloads when you log in.
Also, as a result of this refresh, TwoGreySuits has a significant number of documents in the works right now which will be added to the downloadable documents section and members will be advised of new content on a regular basis. BLOGS are also more frequent and displayed more prominently.
Important Changes: (downloading we think is quite intuitive on the site, however here are all the steps in detail)
VERY important to know: Our new login is camx.twogreysuits.com
(If you simply log in as before to www.twogreysuits.com, it will treat you as a public visitor and require payment when downloading documents vs. being an Association paid member where unlimited downloads are free)
Each member still uses the same username and password, the email address your company has on file with CAMX, and Password 10XMAC.
You will see documents with prices that are crossed out for CAMX members. This means there is no cost for CAMX members. These are the prices that public website visitors pay to download individual documents.
Once you have successfully logged in you will arrive at your Dashboard. From here you can see your recent downloads, account details, and membership status. You can change your address, email and access your available downloads here once you have completed the document selection from the available product downloads
To see documents, click any module on the top navigation bar or do a product search in the Product Category section. When you have found the document you are looking for adding it to your cart or click to view more details. You will see a price of $0 for all your downloads and follow the steps and checkout. Make sure you fill in the 4 required fields in the Billing Address section at checkout. This correct information confirms your order. You must click the box that you agree with the website terms and conditions (standard for websites). Click ‘Place Order’.
When you have completed your checkout you will see a screen that contains your address, the date and order details. It will also include your download link for your selected documents. This will also be emailed to you as well. You will also see your available files in the ‘my account’ page “ie. CAMX.twogreysuits.com/my-account”. You will also see the link in the footer of the CAMX/TwoGreySuits website. This will have your selected downloads.
We value our long-standing relationship with TwoGreySuits and see value in our members being able to access TwoGreySuits. Please browse the website for yourself and download as you see fit. As always feedback appreciated.
If you are not currently signed up, please email me directly email@example.com
Signing up is hassle free. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It's as simple as that.
Hassle-free, effortless HR Solutions for your business ...Because HR Happens
Respectfully submitted by Linda Osip
TwoGreySuits: New Website and instructions for logging in
To login go to www.camx.twogreysuits.com
Your user name is your email address. Your password is 10XMAC
If you are not currently signed up please email me directly email@example.com
HR web portal – an amazing resource for anything and everything HR
Some of our members have saved thousands of dollars in legal and consulting fees:
“I wanted to share with everyone what an amazing resource we have with 2 Grey Suits. We needed some HR advice yesterday and reached out to Ron Guest. Ron put together a templated (with some customization) letter for us, within an hour, and offered invaluable advice that literally saved us an enormous amount of time and money." Dana Lloyd, AnswerPlus
Education Committee Update:
Sheila Jessup - November 27- Coaching different personalities
Leisa McDonald – December 11 - Conflict Resolution
Leslie Wilson – January 8 - Perfect Call - Training
Mental Health Part 1 – January 22
Mental Health Part 2 – January 29
Mental Health Part 3 - February 5 Coping strategies for employers and employees
Gloria Tonne – February – Hiring Motivating and retaining good staff
* Recordings available of all webinars in the CAM-X Library
CPET – Pre Employment Software
DEMO Available contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hire with confidence!! CAM-X pre-employment testing software provides an effective means to filter unsuitable applicants and reduce your overall hiring costs while testing for relevant skills necessary to succeed within our industry.
Spelling & Grammar
Audio / Comprehension, Message Taking and Call Handling
Show your staff they are worthy:
CSR and Supervisor Certification
Pre Employment Testing Demo Available
Contact email@example.com for instructions
Member Spotlight – Glenn Ruecker of Teleconnect International
Q. When did you join Teleconnect International and what brought you into the call center industry?
We got started in August of 1979. Our business started out as a small Taxi company, and the local Answering Service was doing some of our dispatching. My partner at the time came to me and said that she was selling and we should buy it, so we did. The two complimented each other quite well, however in early 1998, we shut down our Taxi operation and concentrated more on the Answering service side.
Q. Can you tell us a little more about the evolution of your career path with Teleconnect International
It’s been everything from the bottom where it all gets dumped on you to the top where you receive all the accolades. Given a choice I prefer the accolades. We started with a single cord board and very few staff. Installed our first computer based equipment in 1992, and haven’t looked back. Over the years we have acquired several small services along the way.
Q. What was your first CAM-X experience?
I believe it was spring 1991 at a seminar in Calgary. I was blown away by the openness of the members, and left there with an application for membership. Next was the Conference in Halifax.
Q. Can you tell us more about how you’ve participated or benefited from CAM-X membership?
It has opened doors I didn’t even know existed. As I said the willingness of members to share is unbelievable, and when I tell some of my business acquaintances, they don’t believe me. Have a question, ask and you’ll receive an answer. What other industry does that?
Q. What does your company look like today vs. ten or more years ago.
Nothing even close. We started in a place that was referred to as the dungeon. It was in the basement of a strip mall. From there we moved to an above-ground rented facility in a strip mall, eventually moving to our own building and finally to our current location in an even larger building. I have tripped down memory lane with some of our long-time staff on occasion and it’s hard to imagine how far we have come.
Q. What platform do you use? Are you a member of the user group and why?
We use Telescan Prism. We love the functionality of it, and the support we get from them. Yes, we belong to TUNe and for the same reasons as we belong to the CAM-X list serve.
Q. Tell us a little personal background about you, your family and your hobbies or interests
Married to Susan for 45 years. We have 3 grown children and 10 grandchildren. Our 2 daughters live in Wetaskiwin. The eldest is quite active behind the scenes in all 3 levels of politics. The youngest is active within the business, and our son is a member of Edmonton City Police. Hobbies are sports (watching, my participation days are behind me) and watching my grandchildren at their endeavors. I’m supposed to be turning over the operation to Leslie, however, my truck just seems to show up here all the time..