Volume 3, Issue 13 - July 4, 2008

Our Contact Info:

David Butler
Executive Director

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


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In Queue circulation 66,562


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Sam Weatherby 214.414.9707

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.

In This Issue

How Do You Rate Their Reputations?
CIAC Launches Worldwide CSR Certification Pilot: Register Your Center To Participate
Rewarding Behaviors: Show them the Money… or a Trip to Hawaii: Part II-Motivating Call Center Staff – Best Practices for Implementing Rewards Programs
Metrics Not Up to Snuff? Try Calling Yourself Millions of Times
Call Center Comics

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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= $70.00

The NACC Investment Portfolio lost some value the past two weeks as the stock markets have shed many points. The portfolio is down $8.75 in the past two weeks.  The Portfolio has not been this low since April 23rd of this year. Since inception, the portfolio is down $20.00 from its original starting price of $90.00.

NACC Composite Index

The NACC Composite Index was down 10.20 points or 14.52 percent this week. This is a major fall in the index not seen since the large losses in March and January 2008. With the exceptions of Verint and APAC, all other stocks in the portfolio were down over the past two cycles.

The NACC Composite Index underperformed all of the other major indices the past two weeks. In the past several newsletters I was bragging how the NACC Composite has beaten the market gains, often in double digits. This cycle the composite lost nearly double to the other indices, a trend we hope to avoid as much as possible in the future.

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.


Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than on all other days of the year put together. This proves, by the numbers left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Picture of the Week

This is a photo of Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb from the top of the gallery in Les Invalides in Paris, France. Yep, underneath all of that really expensive red marble the little general lies. His life was amazing in how he came to power, his skills on the battlefield, his spectacular fall, escape from prison, and eventual second defeat.  

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




How Do You Rate Their Reputations?

Paul Stockford, Saddletree Research and NACC Advisory Board Member, pstockford@saddletreeresearch.com

In the last issue of “In Queue” (Vol 3, Issue 12) we reported more of the results from our last survey in which we gauged the attitude and opinions of NACC In Queue readers relative to economic decisions in 2008. Among the questions posed to survey respondents was one in which we asked them to choose the top two factors that influence their purchase decisions when it comes to buying contact center technology solutions. The top factor, to no one’s surprise, was “Price.” Regardless of economic circumstances it seems that price is always the primary driving factor behind the purchase of contact center software and equipment. The number two ranked factor on our survey, though, was definitely a surprise to us all.

Coming in second in the top two factors that influence a contact center technology purchase decision was the reputation of the company the buyer was doing business with. With company reputation having such great influence on the purchase process, we began to wonder which companies, in your collective opinion, had the best industry reputations. In order to answer that question, we are once again asking for your participation.

We have put together a one question survey regarding company reputations which you can answer if you follow this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=z5vyAZZPnyIUnwiYFwZMrw_3d_3d.

In order to keep the survey manageable we decided to include only companies with revenues of over $100M per year and companies with names that we felt would be familiar to the readers of this newsletter.

As always, the results of this survey will be reported in a future issue of “In Queue,” and if this exercise is something you find of value it can be repeated with different companies or market segments in the future. Most important now, though, is your participation in this survey. It won’t take more than a minute to complete and it will be interesting to see how you rate the reputation of the vendor companies. Just follow this link to participate: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=z5vyAZZPnyIUnwiYFwZMrw_3d_3d

CIAC Launches Worldwide CSR Certification Pilot:
Register Your Center To Participate

Fredia Barry, President, Call Center Industry Advisory Council (CIAC)

The Call Center Industry Advisory Council (CIAC) is pleased to announce the upcoming release of International Customer Representative Certification, marking the highly-anticipated culmination of a 2.5+ year work effort by CIAC to create the first global certification for call center representatives.

The only-of-its-kind, this new web-based program combines state-of-the art training and industry certification that equips representatives from new hire to senior level to deliver superior service to every customer, every time. Representatives engage in real-world, interactive learning that teaches them to recognize, understand and model standards of excellence, all the while guided by expert, one-on-one coaching. Built-in testing verifies learning at each job level and prepares representatives for the certification assessment, completed at the end of training to attain the prestigious CIAC-Certified Customer Representative credential.

The only accredited industry certification for front-line personnel, CIAC International Customer Representative Certification raises the bar for call centers worldwide. View a free trial demonstration to see how the program sets a new standard for service excellence.

In preparation for the upcoming release of this new industry certification program, CIAC is conducting a special pilot launch to collect user feedback and final validation results. The pilot will be conducted August through November with call centers from around the world invited to enroll a sample group of representatives. By promptly responding to this invitation your call center can be one of the first to experience this revolutionary, new certification program – and – upon successful completion, one of the first to have industry-certified representatives.

You will pay only US $199 per representative for the complete International Customer Representative Certification Program, a special discounted price available only for the pilot. You will also receive the Global Pilot Benchmarking Report, an exclusive, industry-first report that will tell you how the performance of your representatives compares against other pilot centers across the world by country, industry and call center type and size.

Participating in the pilot is simple and easy. Both training and testing are delivered on the Qcoach.com hosted platform so there is nothing to install, manage or maintain. You select a sample group of your representatives and CIAC takes care of the rest. Learning is self-paced and delivered in a format that accommodates a variety of training needs and time schedules. Additional information about the pilot and the new International Customer Representative Certification Program is available at CIACRepCertPilot.

This is a time-sensitive opportunity, so don't delay. To register your center, download and complete the Pilot Participant Form and promptly return it to CIAC.

Rewarding Behaviors: Show them the Money… or a Trip to Hawaii: Part II-Motivating Call Center Staff – Best Practices for Implementing Rewards Programs

Christopher Cabrera, President and CEO, Xactly Corporation, info@xactlycorp.com

Rewards have the potential to drive long-term strategic behaviors, increase call center productivity and combat personnel turnover. Non-cash rewards incentive programs in particular can be extremely compelling when wielded properly. They can be even cheaper than cash as a motivating tool (i.e., perceived vs. actual value). But it takes a consistent, programmatic approach to make non-cash rewards truly pay off on their full potential. And that takes the following best practices.

• Make it personal. You want the ability to personalize incentives by individual, skill level, staff type, job responsibility, etc. This is where non-cash rewards most clearly shine. A rewards point system on the front end, with points redeemable for a wide array of prizes (the wider the better) allow employees to self-personalize their program, honing in on the prizes that are most meaningful to them, whether it’s a riding lawn mower, designer purse, season tickets, or trip to Hawaii. Think outside traditional gift cards – they just fence you in.
• Make it obtainable. Many rewards programs fail because the people who need to be motivated the most often feel that attainment is out of their reach. Hence incremental attainment, with real-time visibility into where you stand, is the way to go. Dribbling out small cash payments can actually be de-motivating, but enabling employees to build up non-cash rewards points towards a goal or set of goals has just the opposite effect.
• Integrate with broader compensation programs/goals. Don’t let a rewards program exist in a vacuum – tie it to strategic objectives. If you are compensating variably for up-sell or cross-sell success, then use rewards to extend this strategy. It’s possible for a standalone rewards program to actually negate progress towards a strategic goal by drawing away agent efforts. So use rewards to reinforce, not dilute, your progress.
• Enable immediate selection and redemption of rewards. We live in a culture of immediate gratification, so why not leverage that to your advantage? Give employees visibility into the vast array of prizes they can win, and allow them the ability to redeem points whenever they wish. Let the Internet be your prize catalog and your redemption vehicle – it’s entirely possible.
• Make the process of winning rewards as important as the rewards themselves. You can come home with a raise in salary, but you’ll probably never hear the family say, “Great, now get out there and get another one tomorrow.” But you can come home with points towards non-cash rewards, and it’s a safe bet that someone in the family will encourage you to rack up more so they can “help” you redeem them. This is yet another aspect of the motivating power of non-cash prizes, and another reason to make the Internet your prize catalog.

A final and essential best practice for managing a successful rewards program is to automate the process. You can’t adequately apply any of the above best practices if you rely on spreadsheets and manual processes to track your program. Hence Part Three of this series focuses solely on how to automate while leveraging your company’s existing investment in CRM and performance management.


Metrics Not Up to Snuff? Try Calling Yourself Millions of Times

According to UK Daily Mail on 26 May 2008, British Telecom (BT) has paid a 1.7 million pound fine (~3.4 million US Dollars) for call center fraud. Apparently under a contract with the UK Ministry of Defense, BT was to meet certain call center metrics including a time-specific bonus for handling their call center work. It appears that the calls were taking longer than expected based on the contract metrics and so to improve their score, BT managers cooked up a scheme to call themselves and answer quickly in part using autodialers. 

Call Center Comics

 If you like this comic and would like to see more write Ozzie at  callcentercomics@yahoo.com 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.

If you would like to contribute to In Queue, please reply to this email with "Contribute" in the subject line.

Copyright 2008 National Association of Call Centers


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