Volume 2, Number 11 - June 8, 2007

Our Contact Info:

David Butler
Executive Director

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



In Queue circulation 18,954
NACC members 3,525
Calendar of Events Listings 11
Job Board Listings 29

In This Issue
More Free Stuff; Will it Ever End?
The Customer is Always...
What I am Watching

Share the Knowledge

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"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."
-Steve Jobs



Call Center Week is the largest case study driven call enter event in the marketplace!

Fun Facts

According to EFYtimes.com on 17 May 2007, a new Japanese language call center in India which will have both Indian and Japanese representatives. Locating the call center in India reduces the cost to the Japanese company by half. I wonder if the same jokes about Indian call centers that take place in the US and UK will now be heard on the streets of Tokyo?

Picture of the Week

This is a picture of the Hearst Building in San Francisco. At one time the Hearst publication empire controlled much of the information flow within the United States and thus influenced politics, economics and culture. The company, still in existence, is over 100 years old. Though the building is now surrounded by other skyscrapers, the outside facade, is still impressive if you don't miss it on your hurried walk through downtown.

Victor Flemings's Gone With the Wind


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More Free Stuff; Will it Ever End?

A few weeks ago I received an email from a reader of In Queue asking the following question: "Do you happen to have another conference like this one later in the year?" referring to the Call Center Week banner ad in the newsletter. I informed the reader that the Call Center Week conference was not ours, but that we do our best to share as much industry information with professionals in the industry as possible. Then I began to list all of the forthcoming workshops, webinars, and conferences in 2007. It was at that time that I realized that for every email we receive at the NACC, there are scores of unwritten emails with the same request. So, we decided to offer the professionals in the industry a single point of reference for all events in our industry. We call it simply our "Calendar of Events."

This means that if you are looking for a webinar, workshop, classes, a conference, a showcase or any other such event, take a look at the "Calendar of Events" from our entry pages on the NACC website (nationalcallcenters.org) and you should have your choice of various activities many months out. If you are an event planner, conference organizer, webinar maker, workshop speaker or someone who will wear something scandalous at an up and coming public event and want us to see you, send us the information for the event and we will post it on the site for free.

The Customer is Always...

You know the mantra, "The customer is always right." Well, I am here to tell you that a) the customer is often wrong; and b) that placing such a philosophy as a cornerstone of your call center has repercussions.

Stay with me here for a second as I explain this.

You have three people. A manager, representative and a customer. If the customer is always right-no matter how stupid he/she is, acts, speaks to you on the phone or screwed up a process royally-then there is an issue between the customer and the representative that the manager must resolve through an escalated call.  In situations like this the representative loses because, let's say it all together, "The customer is always right." Very good. This means that in any given situation where a customer is not perfectly happy an inherently conflictual situation is set between the customer and the representative. This makes the customer more aggressive and the representative more cautious, both knowing that if anything screws up, the representative is always wrong. This creates discontentment within the call center and pushes representatives into a more conservative, less helpful position on the phones vis-à-vis the customers. Let's now turn the idea on its head.

"Employees First" is a philosophy adopted by a group of companies and organizations. This philosophy has as its core that the employees are supported, protected, and treated with respect everyday, no matter what. I know what you are thinking, "If this is the case, then the employees will treat the customers poorly knowing that they can get away with it and then we will lose customers, revenue, and market share." Nope, you are wrong. Why? Because when an employee is hired and supported correctly, empowered to do their job well without fear of always being on the wrong side of a conflict, they rise to the occasion, go out of their way to help customers. Customer service increases, not decreases. Empathy for the customer increases, willingness to solve the problem (hello 1st call resolution) correctly increases. They are empowered to do their best, which is why you have hired them in the first place, correct? 

What I am Watching

Gone with the Wind-1939. The movie that won 9 Academy Awards and was nominated for 14. Notable Oscars went to Vivien Leigh as "Scarlet" and Hattie McDaniel as "Mammy;" the first African-American to be nominated and win an Academy Award.

The movie is an epic, large in size, scope, duration, and issues. It pushes all of the buttons with heroes and heroines, love stories abound, struggles to survive, sibling rivalries, unrequited love, wealth, and poverty. It is all here, bundled together in such a way there is something for everyone of any age to appreciate.

There are books written about this movie, so I won't even attempt to do this movie justice, but would like to make three comments. One, though nominated, it did not win for special effects. In watching the Oscar movies from the past, to this one in 1939, the special effects were dramatic, and combined with the score, meshed with the movie perfectly. I know when people think of Gone with the Wind they do not think special effects, but given the technology of the time, the multiple images of the burning of Atlanta overlaid with people escaping was dramatic, effective and an amazing feat for 1939.

Two, Heaven and Hell. The use of colors and imagery, combined with the score, worked perfectly, moving the plot forward with a pitch between living in heaven with the barbeque at 12-Oaks, the family relationship of the Butler's (no relation) on the town, and the connection of people with the soil and people with their wealth, all heavenly. Hell was dark, dank, deep base sounds and elements of orange all around whether from the flames of the burning of Atlanta to the flicker of the candle in the dining room when Rhett and Scarlett get drunk and almost abusive. The director carries us along this epic movie though various levels of heaven and hell, toying with our emotions.

Three, the acting was superb throughout the movie. In each movie leading up to this that has won Oscars, each has had its share of excellent actors, with supporting actors being just so-so. The acting in this movie was superb throughout, whether it was Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, or Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen, everyone put their best acting forward producing a heck of a good movie.

If you are interested in renting this DVD, I have linked the image to the left to Netflix.com.

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Copyright 2007 National Association of Call Centers