Volume 3, Issue 14 - July 18, 2008

Our Contact Info:

David Butler
Executive Director

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


Reduce Turnover.
Qualify candidates before you hire with FurstPerson.


In Queue circulation 66,551


Fortune 500 Site Selection Company
Call Center Practice Group
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.

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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= $67.00

The NACC Investment Portfolio lost some value the past two weeks as the stock market went haywire not knowing what to invest and when. The NACC Investment Portfolio lost $3.00. All stocks were on the losing side except for Sykes which has been on a winning trend of late. We are happy with Sykes in our portfolio.

NACC Composite Index


The NACC Composite Index was down 4.15 points or 6.28 percent the past two weeks. This was not as dramatic a drop as the past two weeks, but clearly a downward trend. This means that since inception, the NACC Composite Index has been down 9 reporting periods and up 9 reporting periods. We will see if the next two weeks shows a buying trend or a selling trend for our selected stocks.

The NACC Composite Index underperformed all of the other major indices the past two weeks...again. This bothers me. We were outperforming all other indices for a good period of time and now the trend has turned against us. I am not sure if the portfolio investors have started to sell or whether there is just general malaise with the whole equity market. I am interested in being on the upward winning side again.

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.


It's a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do.
Walter Winchell (1897 - 1972)

Picture of the Week


This is a photo taken near the Eiffel Tower of an apartment that is for sale. The ad reads:

"7th floor in Passy, elevator, panoramic view of Eiffel Tower and Seine River. 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom, kitchen and one cave. Price, 1.2 million Euros."

In US dollars that would be $1,901,448 for an apartment in Paris with a good view.  Yikes!

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




Speed of Light Survey-Like its Not Even There

In the last issue of In Queue (Vol 3, Issue 13) we introduced another one of our fantastic-everyone-loves-them surveys. One small problem, many of you were out of town last week on business or personal travel and did not see our request for you to rate your experiences with select companies. So let me tell you again what we are doing.

In our last survey, y'all mentioned that the reputation of companies was a deciding factor for your buying the good or not. In other words, if you had a bad opinion of a company, you would avoid them like the plague, and if you heard good things about a company, you just might buy their product for your call center if the price was right. Makes sense to me. So we want to know, which companies are on your good list and which ones are in the dog house. You don't have to tell us a long story of how a vendor treated you poorly in 1983 and since then you will not give them a dime. You can share that story with us, but you don't have to.

The survey is very short, so short almost to be invisible. It is like eating just one M&M from a bag (the green one of course), it is like it did not even happen, it is that easy and painless. I completed it in just under a few seconds, a Guinness World Record I think (looking into it). And on top of that, we share the results from the survey with you in future issues of the In Queue newsletter. Unlike other organizations that take data from you through a survey and then don't share anything in return, we believe if you take your few seconds out to complete the survey with us, we should at least let you know what the results are, right? Seems like the correct and honorable thing to do. Here is the list of companies were are asking about

-Alcatel (Including Genesys)
-Aspect Software Aspect Software
-NICE Systems (Including IEX)
-Verint (Including Witness Actionable Solutions)

So please click on the link below and share a few seconds with us. After all, it is just one M&M, and it is so fast that you will probably forget that you even completed the survey by the time the results come out in a few weeks, it is that easy and simple.

We thank you for participating.


Rewarding Behaviors: Show them the Money… or a Trip to Hawaii: Part III-Automate Rewards to Further Drive Call Center Performance

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

The main reason why non-cash rewards are underutilized and undervalued in call centers is that managing an effective rewards program is a complex task – from creation to fulfillment to accounting and compliance. To simplify the process, organizations dumb-down their rewards programs, leading to less than optimal results. But there is another and better way to simplify the process and that is to automate it, end to end. That way the program can be as sophisticated and flexible as it needs to be. However, automation of rewards incentive programs hasn’t been an option until very recently.

As odd as it seems, there are still pockets in some companies that resist automation, relying instead on error-prone spreadsheets and time-consuming manual processes. Call centers, on the other hand, are enabled by automation, and the automation required for effectively implementing and managing rewards dovetails with the automation already in place for strategic CRM and performance management processes. Today, rewards program automation can bring to call centers the ability to:

• Tailor rewards programs to individuals, groups and teams. Freed from manual processes, non-cash rewards programs can be precisely tailored to any number of call center employees across any number of functions from outbound sales to customer service to full account management. Personalization is no longer an issue, and complexity is no longer a stumbling block.
• Align rewards to the success of multiple concurrent call center initiatives. Automation enables non-cash rewards programs to be easily designed and implemented for enhancing customer service (tied to call handling metrics), technical support (tied to case/issue resolution rate), teleprospecting (tied to qualified prospects), and general customer satisfaction, to cite a few examples.
• Offer the largest selection of value-oriented, tangible rewards. Automation enables you to create and maintain immense catalogs of rewards online – from millions of leading brand-merchandise items to tickets to entertainment and sporting events to travel, adventure and hotel packages and adventure options throughout the world.
• Integrate with CRM applications to streamline administration, provide visibility into attainment, drive recognition, and accelerate fulfillment. This benefit is huge. Just envision a call center agent’s action (an up-sell, cross-sell, etc.) being registered in the CRM system, and having that action automatically rewarded with the assigning of reward points. Then imagine that agent being able to view an online compensation statement to check how many points have been awarded (and/or redeemed) to date, all within the familiar CRM application. And then imagine the agent being able to check an online catalog of prizes to see what can be had in exchange for their accumulated points – again, all within the CRM application.
• Ensure compliance. Non-cash rewards incentive programs are considered compensation based on their cash value. The headaches this can cause in accounting have been a drag on the use of non-cash rewards in the past. Once the rewards management process is automated and not reliant on spreadsheets, the complete and accurate information required for withholding and reporting for income tax purposes is easily available to accounting departments, making non-cash rewards easy to track and audit as part of the overall compensation process.

Cash may be king, but its reign isn’t all encompassing when it comes to motivating behaviors in the call center, or anywhere else in business. When automated, aligned to strategic initiatives and integrated with CRM applications and your total compensation plan, non-cash rewards incentive programs can be just the thing to motivate and sustain exceptional behaviors.

Fortunately, the gloves are now off in regards to non-cash rewards—meaning you don’t have to rely on management-by-spreadsheets anymore. Parallel trends in enterprise mash-up technology, Web 2.0 standards, web services and on-demand software functionality have come together to enable all the automation, personalization, visibility and integration you need to create, deploy and track sophisticated and effective non-cash reward incentive programs. In doing so, and thus making room on the kingly throne for non-cash rewards, you greatly extend your mix of potential incentive options for optimizing call center performance and employee morale and loyalty.

What I am Watching, Reading and Listening To

Because all of the wonderful people writing essays for In Queue of late, I have not had a chance to write my essay reviewing what I have been watching (movies), reading (books) and listening to (music).  To play catch up,  I will list the movies, books and music I have recently seen, bought and/or listening to and give you a brief review of each.

-Eastern Promises-Great movie from one of my all time favorite directors, David Cronenberg. It is smart, dark, uncomfortable, and unpredictable. Excellent acting.
-Ben Hur-A classic and part of our list of Oscar winning movies we are watching. I had seen pieces, but never the whole movie, throughout. It is epic for sure, but also a bit dated and overacted.
-The Apartment-Another Oscar movie, Jack Lemmon and Shirley McClaine, and a host of supporting actors you would know from 1960s television. Great acting, excellent storyline, not predictable and just solid. The story carried the movie and Lemmon's acting, mostly solo, carried the audience through the story.
-The Sound of Music-Well, we saw this for the first time before we left for Europe. Thought we must since we were going to Salzburg, Austria and all. Well, it was OK, but I did not grow up on the story but heard the songs all my life. The geopolitical pieces were good as the Austrian's struggle to keep identity under Nazi rule, but, well, it was just O.K.

-Nova Swing by M John Harrison-Great writer. Makes the reader feel fully displaced. Any attempts to grapple with commonality, find metaphor, feel solid is pulled out from under you.
-Babylon 5 Script Books J Michael Straczynski-My favorite television writer who has now jumped to the big screen. His back of the set view of how scripts are created, shows produced, politics faced and averted and capital raised to run a TV show is quite insightful. Great resource if you enjoyed the show or have any desire to be affiliated with television whether in front of or behind the camera.
-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain-I never read this as a child, so it is part of the re-visitation of classic 20th century literature I am reading for the first time. I firmly believe the Mark Twain, as a humorist, was one of the best we had for a long time. He is not only funny, and can tell a good story, but his wit is often so sharp that he also makes social critiques making us both think and laugh at the same time.
-Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon-A sub-story to the Outlander series by the same author. It appears that Gabaldon does not know how to write anything but a 1000 page novel, so her research into characters take on novella and novel length exploration which she is now sharing with her readership.
-Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon-Ditto see above.

-Chant: Music For The Soul-The Christian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz-I love Gregorian chant music. I write much of my research to this type of sound. It makes me feel balanced and free to write. Quite spiritual. It is great to crank up, too.
-Kid Rock: Rock and Roll Jesus-Kid Rock I enjoy, as does my wife, who does not like chants. This is an excellent album drawing from and giving tribute to many classic rock songs and sounds.
-Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis: Two Men With The Blues-hey, you can't get better than this. Willie Nelson, an icon, and Wynton Marsalis, part of the uber talented Marsalis family of jazz teachers and players, together. Shoot, look out peanut butter and chocolate, this may be my new favorite.
-Harry Connick, Jr.: Harry On Broadway Act 1-Speaking of a Marsalis student, Harry Connick, Jr., has done Broadway. I heard an National Public Radio interview with Kelli O'Hara who sings/acts with Harry Connick, Jr., in a remake of the play The Pajama Game. Her voice sounded great, and together they were wonderful, so I bought the album and loaded onto my iPod and am listening to the songs as I go.


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.

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Copyright 2008 National Association of Call Centers


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