CONTACTMANAGEMENT.CA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER

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1 CONTACTMANAGEMENT.CA NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2008 Agents excel under + unified desktop glow 2009 Contact Centre Industry Directory Major CRM Report Strategies to survive tough times PM

2 STOP GIVING RESPONSES. START GIVING ANSWERS. As contact centres introduce new technology and applications to their existing infrastructure, the added complexity can adversely affect customer service. IBM has established efficient, integrated contact centres regardless of whether they have 20 agents or 6,000, designed to allow the retrieval of data and resolution of customer queries to be achieved with greater efficiency and accuracy. Start determining exactly what your customers want at ibm.com/contactcentre. STOP TALKING START DOING IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, are trade-marks of International Business Machines Corporation, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide and are used under licence by IBM Canada Ltd. A current list of IBM trade-marks is available on the Web at Copyright and trade-mark information at IBM Corporation All rights reserved.

3 table of contents NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2008 features 10 Showtime Winners of 10 th annual call centre awards at SQM Summit departments 4 From the editor How recession-proof is call centre industry? 5 20 Firms offer DNCL compliance programs By Ron Glen CRM Report 22 Assessing your readiness for enterprise CRM By Terry Pruner 23 Strategies to survive tough times By Colin Taylor 5 Readerboard The latest industry news 12 People Who is on the move? 15 Coming events Staffing Matters By Jeff Doran 26 Easing the agent squeeze By Darryl Wilson 27 Cover Story: Agents excel under unified desktop glow By John Munro 29 Out-of-the-box approaches By Dean La Riviere 29 Ask Affy By Winston Siegel 18 Company profile Sound business vision comes in hiring the blind 37 Regional profile-ontario Industry adapts in new have-not province 38 Association News Canadian Call Management Association (CAM-X) B.C. Contact Centre Association HDI Trillium Chapter Business Intelligence for call centres By Ron Dimon 32 Tech watch By Samantha Kane 41 Industry Directory 2009 Contact Centre Industry Directory 34 Product Focus CRM-related systems

4 from the editor How recession proof is the contact centre industry? if you re worried about how the Wall Street financial meltdown that has spread globally will affect the economy and your job, you re not alone. To borrow a famous phrase from Winston Churchill, never in the field of international finance have so few created so much harm to so many. In a recent letter to the editor in The Globe & Mail, a reader wrote that he used to say, if you transposed economists with meteorologists, would anybody even notice? He went on to say he no longer said that because it was insulting to meteorologists. So in what appears to be a looming economic downturn, just how recession-proof is the call centre industry? How safe is your job? You should take some solace from the observations of Paul Stockford, chief analyst with Saddletree Research, Scottsdale, AZ, a firm focused on the future of customer care, communications, and relationship management industries. Here are excerpts from a recent article he wrote in the U.S. National Association of Call Centres (NACC) newsletter, where he commented on a recession-proof jobs story that appeared on local Phoenix TV news. The number one recession-proof job in the Phoenix metropolitan area was nursing. The number two recessionproof job? Call centre customer service...the news story pointed out customer service continues to be in demand regardless of economic conditions. Jobfox (www.jobfox.com) is a company that actively tracks jobs that need to be fulfilled by employers and jobs that are considered desirable by job seekers. Jobfox recently completed a study that tracked these jobs from November of 2007 through July of this year. Their study found call centre customer support jobs to be number 15 on the list of top 20 recession busting jobs. Other than administrative assistant, which ranked number seven on the list, it was the only job that did not require a college degree or higher in order to qualify for employment. On the list of jobs considered to be desirable by job seekers during a recession, call centre customer service ranked fifth on the list of the top 25. The survey found call centre customer service jobs to be in the same salary category as jobs in fields such as nursing (the number one ranked desirable job), social work, administrative assistant and retail banking. The survey did not attempt to uncover the reasons behind each job s ranking but I suspect call centre customer service finished where it did due to favourable working conditions and the potential for upward mobility. For all but a few industries, such as utilities, the customer service function becomes profoundly important during an economic recession. The old adage about it costing seven times more to bring in a new customer as it does to keep an existing customer becomes the battle cry for companies in survival mode. Exemplary customer service becomes the lifeblood of a vital business in a recessionary economy and the contact centre is the heartbeat of that business. Another interesting perspective comes from NACC Executive Director David Butler. He believes the $700 billion U.S. government financial bailout has specific implications for the call centre industry. He notes many large financial firms have bundled mortgages on their books and it is unclear what percent are good, borderline or bad. Each mortgage will have to be examined independently, and there are millions of these things all bundled into various groups. Once unbundled, the good assets will be resold and the others will have to go through a process known as loan workout where the new owner (US federal government) will contact the mortgage holder and try to work out a deal. This deal may include refinancing the loan or changing the loan to new terms. These loan workouts will take one-on-one interaction with many of the mortgage holders. What would be the most efficient means to contacting millions of customers with these mortgages and working with them on their loans? Hmmm, let s see, maybe a centralized location with a bunch of agents who are trained and educated on these workout programs? Maybe a few large call centres around the country? In my opinion, few industries are genuinely recession proof. A more apt description for industries like contact centres might be recession resistant. Many companies, especially those that are floundering badly, will make cutbacks in their contact centres no matter how foolhardy that kind of move promises to be. For service bureaus that depend on an American clientele there is one ray of sunshine in the decline of the Canadian dollar to levels of the early 1990s. This restores their competitiveness in attracting American business. However, this may be offset by the fact President-elect Barack Obama appears intent on penalizing U.S. businesses that move jobs out of the country. For a further perspective, you should read the article in this edition on Strategies to survive tough times-part 1 by Colin Taylor on page 23. Part two will appear in our first issue next year. overwhelming response Initial response to the national Do-Not-Call List (DNCL) caught officials off guard. Both the phone lines and Web site enabling Canadians to sign up for the list failed on the first day of operations due to overwhelming demand. The list, which went live on September 30 at 12:01 am, boasted 200,000 registrants by 9 am. But that was apparently a fraction of those attempting to sign up. The list s Web site crashed early in the day, and people dialling in to a sign-up number reported getting busy signals. At one point, 18,000 people attempted to register at the same moment, reported news site CTV.com. November/December 2008 Volume 8 Number 6» Publisher Steve Lloyd Editor Ron Glen Marketing Information Coordinator Adam Lloyd Creative Director Vanessa Dhanbeer Advertising Sales Manager Mark Henry Senior Account Manager Peter O Desse For subscription, circulation and change of address information, contact Publications Mail Agreement No Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Department Main Street North Markham ON L3P 1Y2 t: f: Subscriptions available for $40.00 year or $60.00 two years Lloydmedia Inc. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the publisher. Printed in Canada Reprint permission requests to use materials published in Contact Management should be directed to the publisher. Next issue JANUARY/FEBRUARY The essential theme is Workforce recruiting, training, performing and retaining. Software solutions focus on workforce optimization & scheduling, training and hiring tools, and quality management software. 4 contact management.ca November / December 2008

5 readerboard Aspect Software acquires BlueNote Networks Aspect Software CEO Jim Foy says BlueNote Networks intellectual property lets Aspect further enhance the way customers implement their unified communications for the contact centre whether they do service, sales or collections. Aspect Software, Inc., Chelmsford, MA, a company solely focused on Unified Communications for the contact centre, has acquired substantially all assets of BlueNote Networks, Tewksbury, MA. Terms were not disclosed. The acquisition is said to further Aspect s recently announced unified communications for the contact centre strategy with the addition of IT-ready software-based products that communicationsenable business processes (CEBP). Leveraging the BlueNote Networks technology, Aspect Software customers can extend session initiation protocol (SIP)-based voice, video and other real-time interactive communication services to enterprise users as an integral part of a service oriented architecture (SOA). Gartner defines CEBP as the ability to enable communications functions to be directly and tightly integrated with the IT systems and applications that people may be working with at any time. In its earlier announcement, Aspect said that unified communications for the contact centre streamlines and enhances customer-facing business processes by providing organizations with complete visibility and control. In addition, it lets businesses seamlessly extend those processes beyond the traditional boundaries of the contact centre to reach knowledge workers or subject matter experts in the enterprise to enhance collaboration. The addition of BlueNote Networks intellectual property allows Aspect to further enhance the way our customers implement their unified communications for the contact centre strategies, whether they do service, sales or collections, says Jim Foy, CEO, Aspect Software. They will be able to seamlessly communicationsenable their processes and make these interactive, multi-channel capabilities easily available to contact centre agents and knowledge workers alike to help companies enhance the customer experience they deliver, increase their first call resolution rates and improve their overall productivity. Aspect is now able to deliver the features, services and tools necessary for building and deploying real-time interactive communications as Web services in enterprise applications architecture. By combining the features of SIP with Web services, organizations are said to be able to drive innovation in the contact centre and across the enterprise while radically lowering the cost and complexity of their voice, video and data services. Michael Regan, a co-founder and vice president of engineering of BlueNote Networks, has joined Aspect as vice-president of Unified IP development. He has 20 years of professional experience at leading communications companies and has delivered complex voice and data networking products to market for large enterprises and public service providers. Interactive Intelligence reports record first half 2008 results Global developer of unified IP business communications systems, Interactive Intelligence Inc., Indianapolis, IN, reported record results for the second quarter ending June 30, It posted revenues of US$30.6 million, a 13 percent increase from US$27.1 million in the same quarter last year. For the six months ended June 30, 2008, revenues were a record US$60.1 million, a 17 percent increase from US$51.4 million in the same period in Operating income for the 2008 second quarter was US$1.3 million, compared to US$2.2 million in the 2007 second quarter. Net income in the 2008 second quarter was US$845,000, with diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.04, compared to US$2.4 million and $0.12, respectively, in the 2007 second quarter. We received an increased number of orders in the second quarter and we were pleased with the number of new customers licensing our solutions, says Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO, Dr. Donald E. Brown. However, we did see a lower dollar amount of orders from existing customers, which we attribute to the current economic slowdown. While we see no change in our long-term market opportunity or in the competitive advantages our solutions offer, we are responding to this tougher sales environment by adjusting our previously planned operating expenses until general market conditions improve. Operating income for the first half of 2008 was US$2.7 million, compared to US$3.6 million for the first half of Net income for the six months was US$2.0 million, compared to US$4.1 million in the first half of Meanwhile, Fortune Small Business magazine ranked Interactive Intelligence 10th among its list of 100 fastest growing small public companies in the U.S. It came second among the magazine s fastest growing technology companies. BusinessWeek magazine recently named Interactive Intelligence among its 2008 top 50 hot growth companies. It ranked 33rd among the magazine s top 50, with a return on invested capital of 35.9 percent and three-year sales growth of 6.5 percent. Dr. Donald E. Brown says the company got increased orders in the second quarter with a number of new customers licensing its products, although it did see lower dollar amounts on orders from existing customers due to the economic slowdown. see readerboard page 7 November / December 2008 contact management.ca 5

6 readerboard It s the conversation that matters PC Series VOIP Headsets with a focus on quality sound CC Series The best choice for heavy users in a noisy environment SH Series Comfort combined with exceptional sound BW900 Wireless office headset with adaptive intelligence 100 meter range and mobile phone capabilities VMX 100 Featuring VoiceMax TM to ensure the only thing your caller is hearing is your voice 6 contact management.ca November / December 2008

7 readerboard from readerboard page 5 Royal Bank, The Shopping Channel cop top awards at ICCM Canada Three contact centres were honoured at the best centre awards handed out at the ICCM Canada Conference & Expo in Toronto recently. Royal Bank of Canada won in the large centre classification of more than 200 seats. The Shopping Channel won in the medium-size centre category of 51 to 200 seats. Federal Express Canada received a runner-up award in the 51 to 200 seat category. Presenter Jeff Doran, president of the Contact Centre Employer Of Choice Inc., (CCEOC) noted that Federal Express came a very close second. He also presented FedEx a special award from his organization for achieving a CCEOC designation for five years in a row. Patsy Bertoia of FedEx accepted both awards. There were no submissions this year for the ICCM Canada awards in the 50 or fewer seats call centre category. Judges for the ICCM Canada awards, which were reintroduced this year after a four-year hiatus, were Doran and Donna Miller, president and CEO of Contact Centre Canada, who was also on hand for the awards ceremony. Another judge was Terry Pruner, contact centre industry director at Seneca College and president of consulting firm CRM Connections. The criteria were pretty straight forward, said Doran. Applicants had to describe their operations in 200 words or less in six categories. They covered people, processes, technology, structure, culture, and above and beyond. In the above and beyond category, submissions had to describe what made the call centres stand out from others. The awards are distinctive to Canada. ICCM Canada is the first and only of the Questex-produced ICCM events to offer these kinds of awards. Next year s ICCM Canada event will run from October at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Graham Kingma (left), vice-president of customer experience for The Shopping Channel, holds plaque for winning best contact centre in medium size classification at ICCM Canada awards ceremony. The presenter was Jeff Doran, president of the Call Center Employer of Choice Inc. -Photo by Tracy Davies, manager of career placement, ContractXchange. November / December 2008 contact management.ca 7

8 readerboard from readerboard page 7 Producer is Questex Media Group, Inc., Newton, MA, a global, diversified business-to-business integrated media and information provider. Vancouver awards TELUS contract for city s new IP telephony system Vancouver has awarded TELUS a contract to provide the city s new IP telephony system and contact centre suite in a deal worth $7 million. TELUS will supply, install and support the city s new IP telephony system and contact centre suite, which will in turn support 200 city sites. They include City Hall, the 311 Contact Centre, the Vancouver Police Department, the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Department, the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the Vancouver Public Library. We are honored to have been selected as the city of Vancouver s telecommunications partner, says Peter Green, managing director British Columbia, TELUS Business Solutions. TELUS is a national leader in leveraging innovation whether through its people, business solutions or industry expertise to help organizations like the city of Vancouver use the power of technology to continue building best-in-class service delivery for the citizens of Vancouver. TELUS contact centre solutions will route calls for the city of Vancouver s new 311 contact centre, to be launched in mid With the convenient 311 system, the city will be better able to aid citizens with enquiries for non-emergency services through a single contact number. Vancouver has invested in leading edge technology to improve customer service and will also realize cost benefits through this new service capability. The new system is based on the Cisco Unified Contact Center solution and 6,500 Cisco Unified IP Phones. TELUS was awarded the contract after an extensive RFP review process that began in May The implementation is expected to be complete in Air Miles Reward centre gets silver CCEOC designation The Air Miles Reward Program customer care centre operation has achieved the silver level Contact Center Employer of Choice (CCEOC) designation. More than 600 employees from two sites located in Mississauga, ON and Toronto, ON participated in the certification assessment. Through the CCEOC certification program, Air Miles customer care centre will be able to address key areas for improvement that will have sustained impact on culture and morale. Being recognized as a certified CCEOC creates positive brand recognition and heightened awareness as a people focused organization. Specific areas of focus for Air Miles customer care included: Gain industry-wide recognition as a great place to work Improve ability to attract, retain and engage top talent Identify opportunities to improve employee satisfaction Build pride and engagement AIR MILES is a people-centric employer. says Jeff Doran, president, CCEOC Inc. They understand the importance of creating and maintaining a great work environment and are dedicated to providing great service to both their customers and employees. Achieving the silver level designation is a great start and something employees should feel very proud of. Being recognized as a Contact Center Employer of Choice identifies Air Miles as an industry leading organization and one of the best contact centres to work. The results of the assessment and survey have reportedly provided management with a new perspective on how to address key challenges that exist in the member care environment. Through the programs in-depth reporting and analysis, management has gained a deeper understanding of key employee motivation and satisfaction drivers. Being CCEOC certified identifies the Air Miles Reward Program as an Employer of Choice and one of the best organizations to work for in the country, says Dave Burns, senior vice-president and COO, Air Miles Reward Program. The Air Miles Reward Program was founded on a culture that values people, and it is our people who create and deliver a unique customer experience to more than 9.5 million collectors every day. This is truly an outstanding accomplishment for our customer care centre and something we can all be proud of. Air Miles is one of the premiere national coalition loyalty programs in Canada. Founded in 1992, it has more than 9.5 million active collector accounts, representing approximately two-thirds of all Canadian households. It offers collectors more than 800 different leisure, entertainment, merchandise, travel and other lifestyle rewards by shopping for products and services at one of more than 100 brand-name sponsors Meanwhile, the Hilti customer service contact centre has achieved the gold level CCEOC designation. More than 240 employees from two sites located in Tulsa, OK, and Mississauga, ON, participated in the assessment. Hilti s customer service group has a passion for people, says Doran. Hilti is very focused on being an employer of choice at all levels of the organization. Achieving the CCEOC designation in the North American customer service division shows a tremendous commitment to providing a great work experience for their employees and a great service experience for their customers. There are four levels to the designation: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Hilti has achieved the gold level designation on the first assessment, described as an outstanding accomplishment. The designation is valid for 12 months. Companies are evaluated annually to determine their CCEOC standing for that year. Being CCEOC certified identifies Hilti s Customer Service team as an employer of choice and one of the best organizations to work for in the country, says Amy Cole, vicepresident of customer service for Hilti. This is truly an outstanding accomplishment for customer service and something we can all be proud of. It is exciting to see how enthusiastic our team members are about the organization they work for. This designation provides the extra recognition the customer service team deserves. Designation levels are determined by employee opinion, not management perception. Contact centres of any size, type or geographic location can be assessed to determine their CCEOC standing. Certified centres include FedEx, CAA, The Shopping Channel, Scotiabank, Neteller, Rogers Communications, CIBA Vision and Roche Diagnostics ACCU-CHEK, and Davis & Henderson, among others. The Hilti Group develops, manufactures and markets added-value, top-quality products for professional customers in the construction and building maintenance industries. Hilti expertise covers the areas of gas and powder-actuated fastening, drilling and demolition, diamond coring and cutting, measuring, firestopping, screw fastening, adhesive and mechanical anchoring, and strut and hanger systems. Founded in 1941, Hilti has more than 20,000 employees and operates in more than 120 countries Study explores unified communications usage and benefits in contact centres In a comprehensive research study of Unified Communications (UC) in the Contact Centre, Aberdeen Group, Boston, MA, examines the business reasons for adoption of unified communications, the relationship between unified communications and customer satisfaction, customer retention and year-over-year change in customer satisfaction, and how best-in-class usage of unified communications have provided business, business process benefits and operational efficiencies. This report explains how best-inclass companies have implemented policies and procedures designed to manage expert agent interaction, business process workflow designed 8 contact management.ca November / December 2008

9 readerboard to optimize the business process, presence and other unified communications technologies to support the business process, and metrics designed to measure the performance, efficiency and effectiveness of contact centre performance. Data acquired from more than 190 enterprises reveal a number of impactful data points, according to David Boulanger, research director, customer management strategies at Aberdeen, one of the study s authors. Boulanger states, Unified communications is as much about the business, finding the right business process to UC-enable, and finding the right return on investment for the right departments. A small number, 23 percent, have some form of unified communications implemented, but an astounding 50 percent of customers surveyed are or will be evaluating unified communications in the next 18 months. The report demonstrates a direct correlation between implementation of unified communications by best-in-class customers and the performance in three critical customer-facing performance measures: customer satisfaction, customer retention and year-overyear change in customer satisfaction. End-user customer feedback has indicated that customers have already invested millions in existing telephony and VoIP technologies to support the contact centre, and intelligent unified communications investment needs to complement and extend this existing investment. These same customers also demonstrate the high level of confusion as to exactly what unified communications is and what each of the software vendors label their collection of technologies. Unified communications for the enterprise is not unified communications in the contact centre. Many customers today are confused between messaging or IM, for example, at a corporate level and specific unified communications technologies implemented in the contact centre. The required actions for companies seeking to gain the most benefit from their implementation of unified communications include a commitment to identify the right business processes to UC-enable, implement policies and procedures designed to maximize effectiveness and efficiency of these crossdepartmental business processes, establish a contact centre unified communications strategy and approach, and implement metrics to monitor and measure contact centre performance. A complimentary copy of this report is available at aberdeen.com/link/sponsor. asp?cid=5132. Bell invests in strategic 3G wireless network Bell Canada, Montreal, recently divulged a significant strategic investment in its Third Generation (3G) wireless network capabilities to ensure it offers a complete range of high-speed mobile data coverage, services and handset options. The investment also confirms the company s migration path to the global Fourth Generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. Investing in broadband networks and services and accelerating wireless are strategic imperatives for the Bell team, and they are key to achieving our goal to be recognized by customers as Canada s leading communications company, says George Cope, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. This investment initiative builds on our industry-leading wireless service which already offers access to the largest and fastest network across North America to deliver Canadians the broadest choice in high-speed wireless service, while confirming our path forward to LTE, the global 4G wireless broadband standard. As it continues to expand its national 3G CDMA/EVDO service, Bell will also overlay this network with HSPA technology, maximizing the latest-generation wireless options the company can offer customers across Canada. Bell wireless customers will be able to choose between EVDO already the dominant 3G standard in Canada and across North America and HSPA, which is rapidly becoming the main platform with carriers outside North America. At the same time, overlaying HSPA on its national network will offer Bell the most efficient upgrade path to the 4G LTE broadband standard in coming years. We fully anticipate that our expanded national 3G networks will continue to offer Canadian consumers and business clients the best and broadest coverage and now with an unbeatable range of highspeed handsets and service options, says Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility and chief brand officer for Bell. As the exclusive telecommunications partner to the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, we look forward to delivering these enhanced capabilities before Canada hosts the world in LTE is the 4G wireless broadband standard that will be rolled out globally post-2010, delivering extremely fast broadband mobile data speeds and a wide range of new mobile multimedia and personalized data services. Bell s transition to the global 4G LTE standard with a combined EVDO and HSPA network path aligns us with more than 30 major carriers worldwide planning a similar move to LTE, says Stephen Howe, senior vicepresident, wireless network and CTO for Bell Mobility. This broad global technology ecosystem will mean a fast, efficient and cost-effective network transition to 4G LTE, and access to the broadest possible range of next-generation phones and data services. Bell will greatly reduce time to market for its network overlay by leveraging its existing national network-sharing agreement with TELUS Corp. The agreement was originally established in 2001 to ensure the fast delivery of and increased competition in national mobile data services, especially in rural and remote areas. Following a comprehensive vendor evaluation process, Bell has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei as infrastructure providers for its national network overlay. George Cope, president and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada, says investing in broadband networks and services and accelerating wireless are strategic imperatives for Bell. Global Connect opens Toronto data facility Global Connect, Mays Landing, NJ, provider of phone voice broadcasting and notification services, has opened a Canadian data centre in Toronto. It provides a secure, all-canada storage and networking platform, enhancing the ability of Global Connect s customers to comply with Canadian data privacy laws. Customers of Global Connect use the Web-based system to reach lists of their own contacts with scheduled voice and notifications. The new data centre lets Global Connect s Canadian customers store their data entirely in Canada. An independent consultancy group has audited the Global Connect site and verified the company s policies, procedures and security. It has always been important to Global Connect to offer clients a system that is as secure as it is fast and cost-effective, says Craig Bird, founder and CEO of Global Connect. As we continue to grow and expand into Canada, we remain focused on the security of our system, and with our customers ability to comply with applicable privacy regulations. A number of clients in the Canadian market have taken advantage of our new data centre to ensure that their security and privacy needs are met. Global Connect helps various businesses throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico deliver personalized voice messages quickly and cost-effectively. Global see readerboard page 11 November / December 2008 contact management.ca 9

10 showtime SQM Summit 10 th Annual Call Centre Awards & Conference VSP Vision Care (West) took top honours at the Service Quality Measurement (SQM) Group, Vernon, BC, North American call centre service quality awards this year, earning the Call Centre of the Year Award. It also won awards in four other categories. These were the 10 th annual SQM North American call centre service awards. They were presented during the SQM annual conference in Toronto in November. SQM benchmarks more than 350 international call centres annually and has been conducting First Call Resolution (FCR)/ and customer/ satisfaction benchmarking studies for longer than 12 years. Every year SQM conducts in excess of 1 million surveys with customers who have used a call centre, , Web site or IVR contact channel service. SQM also conducts more than 25,000 surveys yearly with employees who work in call centres. Its customer and employee survey benchmarking databases are one of the largest in North America. SQM does business in nine countries-- Canada, U.S., Argentina, Australia, Puerto Rico, India, Philippines, Costa Rica and Mexico. From its benchmarking studies, SQM awards excellence in customer and employee satisfaction. Awards are based on customers who have used a centre and employees who work in one. SQM benchmarked 352 centres from October 1, 2007 to September 30, For each centre, SQM surveyed customers within one to three days of their call to understand their satisfaction with the service experience. In addition, for each centre that participated in the employee benchmarking study, SQM surveyed employees to gauge their satisfaction with working there. Following are its Service Quality Award of Excellence winners for Call Centre of the Year The criteria used for Call Centre of the Year are based on the centre that has the highest combined customer and employee overall very satisfied rating. The winner was VSP Vision Care (West). Call Centre World Class Call Certification Centres qualify for World Class Call certification when 50 percent or more of the calls are at the world class level for six months or longer in World class criteria encompass the resolution of the customer call, customers being very satisfied with their experience and very satisfied with five key customer service metrics. Recipients were Blue Cross & Blue Shield centres in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, CAA Insurance Company, Ontario, Marriott Systems Support Centre, Scotiabank, Halifax, VSP Vision Care (East & West). Customer Satisfaction/FCR Awards There were six winners of highest customer satisfaction awards. The criteria were based on the highest customer overall very satisfied rating. Winners were: LifeScan for highest customer satisfaction; LifeScan and The Schwan Food Company were tied for highest first call resolution; The Schwan Food Company for best selling customer satisfaction; the CIBC for highest IVR customer satisfaction self serve; and Kohl s for highest IVR customer satisfaction navigation. The highest customer satisfaction by specific industry awards were based on having the highest overall very satisfied rating for each industry. Recipients were: TD Canada Trust for banking; Jackson National Life Insurance for financial; VSP Vision Care for insurance; Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas and Massachusetts for health care; LifeScan for retail/ service; ATCO I-Tek/Accenture Utilities BPO Services (tied) for energy; Cogeco/Star Choice (tied) for telecommunications/tv; Insurance Ccrp. Of BC, claims division, for union; Marriott Systems Support Centre for helpdesk; and Region of Halton for government. FCR improvement awards were given out to organizations achieving a seven percent or greater FCR improvement. Winners were: Accenture Utilities BPO Services; ATCO I-Tek; Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida; BMO Mosaic MasterCard (Montreal & Toronto); CAA Insurance Company (Ontario); Capital One; Cogeco (Ontario); Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTRA); Insurance Corp. of BC, Claims Division; Region of Halton; Star Choice; The Schwan Food Company; TD Canada Trust; Xplornet. World Class Customer Satisfaction Awards were determined according to 80 percent or higher of customers rating their overall experience as very satisfied. Recipients were Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas and Massachusetts; Canadian Tire Financial Services (CTRA); Citi Retail Services, Credit Operations; Phoenix; CUETS, Regina; Discover Financial Services LLC; Insurance Corp. of BC, claims division; Jackson National Life Insurance; Kohl s; LifeScan; Marriott Systems Support Centre; Molson Coors Brewing Company; Region of Halton; Scotiabank, Halifax; Sun Life Group Retirement Services, Waterloo; TD Canada Trust; The Schwan Food Company; VSP Vision Care (East & West) Employee Satisfaction Awards The highest employee satisfaction award went to the centre having the highest number of employees rate their overall experience as very satisfied. The winner was VSP Vision Care (West). The highest employee satisfaction by specific industry awards were based on centres having the highest employee overall very satisfied rating in particular industries. Awards were presented to Scotiabank for banking, VSP Vision Care for insurance, and Arizona Public Service for energy. The world class employee satisfaction awards were given to organizations where 50 percent or higher of employees rated their overall experience working the call centre as very satisfied. Winners were Arizona Public Service, Canadian Tire Financial Services Corp and CTRA, Scotiabank, Halifax, and VSP Vision Care (West). SQM Conference Agenda Tuesday November 18 Three optional workshops were held this first day. Workshop A was devoted to SQM ReportCard Online Reporting Tool. For new users of SQM Report Card, this workshop was designed for people responsible for SQM s online ReportCard reporting and/or conducting analytical assessments. Workshop B covered customer surveying methods. It presented an overview of the different types of surveying methods: live, IVR (inbound and outbound) hybrid (combination of live interviewer and IVR tool), /web. Workshop C presented key findings from the Blue Cross Blue Shield FCR Benchmarking study. It detailed new and historical data from the study on measuring and managing FCR and call resolution. The SQM call centre industry awards and dinner got underway at 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel. New this year were Customer Representative (CR) of the Year and top 10 finalist awards. Seminar Sessions Wednesday November 19 8:00-8:15 a.m. Introduction Speaker: Sarah Kennedy, senior vice-president, SQM This consisted of SQM Summit opening remarks and SQM Award announcements. 8:15-10:15 a.m. State of the Call Centre Industry in 2008 Speaker: Mike Desmarais, president and founder of SQM This presentation covered SQM s new customer quality assurance service and benchmarking more than 350 leading North American call centres on FCR and customer satisfaction in see showtime page contact management.ca November / December 2008

11 readerboard from readerboard page 9 Connect s fully interactive system lets clients deliver pre-recorded voice messages to designated phone numbers. Clients can create messages and access all features of the system using a Web browser, with no technical expertise required. Call recipients can use the interactive keypad to connect to live agents, leave voice messages or select other keys for polling and surveys. service is becoming the major differentiator between competitors, and CTI capabilities help separate the leaders from the rest of the pack, says Leo Casey, president and CEO of Envox Worldwide. So this certainly represents a major improvement for MyCom and its product line. The selection of Envox CT Connect by MyCom is further proof that Envox CT Connect is the most efficient and economical choice for any organization that wants to add CTI to its call centre operations. To enable CTI functionality, MYKENE must be integrated with a client s PBX, which is traditionally a difficult and time consuming process. Instead of doing this, MyCom chose to write a single integration to the Envox CT Connect API, which provides the client with instant connectivity to a wide range of PBX and ACD infrastructures. MyCom picks Envox CT Connect to add CTI capabilities to system MyCom AG, provider of software and services for call centres, has selected Envox CT Connect from Envox Worldwide, Westborough, MA, to add computer-telephony integration (CTI) capabilities, such as screen pop, sophisticated routing and predictive dialling, to its MYKENE Communications Centre system. The new CTI capabilities are said to allow MYKENE users to increase agent productivity, reduce call handling costs and enhance the customer experience with more personalized service. A German company specializing in call centre systems, MyCom developed the MYKENE Communications Centre System, innovative software for better managing customer information and multi-channel communications. MYKENE is billed as a highly flexible solution which MyCom then integrates with a client s existing infrastructure and tailors to its service processes. MyCom selected Envox CT Connect, standards-based CTI software, because of its out-of-thebox compatibility with more than 20 PBXs/ACDs, including both IP and TDM versions from providers such as Avaya, Nortel, Cisco and Siemens. Envox CT Connect, therefore, eliminates the technical and integration issues traditionally associated with CTI solutions enabling MyCom to concentrate on creating better, more effective solutions for its customers. In many industries, customer WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT by IEX CORPORATION Improve Planning Enhance Performance Streamline Tasks Integrate Data For over 15 years, Xentrax has been a pioneer in offering innovative turn key Contact Centre Software solutions to the Canadian Marketplace. It is our singular focus and specialized expertise in Workforce Optimization that allows our customers to rapidly leverage the power hidden within their contact centres. As IEX s certified Canadian partner, Xentrax provides Systems Installation, Product Training and On-going Product Support of the TotalView Workforce Management Suite of Products. To learn how we have powered some of Canada s more customer focused contact centres, call 888-XENTRAX ( ) or us at Innovative Contact Centre Solutions November / December 2008 contact management.ca 11

12 people PeoPLe Cope leads streamlined Bell executive team George Cope has been appointed to the boards of directors and as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), Montreal, and Bell Canada. A proven senior executive who has served the Canadian telecommunications industry for longer than 20 years, Cope joined Bell in 2005 as president and chief operating officer of Bell Canada. Previously, he was president and CEO of Telus Mobility, a position he assumed following Telus acquisition of national wireless provider Clearnet Communications in t A proven senior executive who has served the Canadian elecommunications industry for longer than 20 years, George Cope joined Bell Canada in 2005 as president and chief operating officer. Cope had earlier served for 13 years as president and CEO of Clearnet. He began his telecom career with Bell Cellular Distribution Services Inc. He replaces Michael Sabia as CEO of BCE and Bell. Bell has formed a streamlined organizational structure and a new executive team made up of an experienced group of senior Bell leaders. The team has developed a strategic operating plan that promises to re-focus the organization on improving the customer experience, while rolling out competitive new service, network and marketing initiatives. The streamlined structure, led by Cope, reduces the total number of BCE and Bell executives from 17 to 12. Sidhu joins Trader Corporation as national contact centres director Amar Sidhu has joined Trader Corporation as director of national contact centres. He is responsible for all aspects of leading large scale national projects.his priory responsibility is to harmonize the contact centres with three main objectives. They are to achieve first-in-class customer experience, be the leader in market share and be deemed as the preferred employer of choice for contact centre representatives. Sidhu serves as chair of the contact centre council of the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA). He is also on the CMA board.he has been in people leadership roles for longer than 20 years. His career moves have taken him to five different provinces with a variety of leadership experiences. Prior to joining Trader, he held numerous senior level roles at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). They included regional management, head of national outbound contact centre, commercial banking. He was also part of the inaugural management team that built RBC s first contact centre from scratch. Metro One engages Canadian Metro One Telecommunications, Beaverton, OR, has appointed long-time Canadian contact services veteran Colin Taylor as vice-president, contact services. He will be responsible for building high-quality outsourced customer sales and service for companies and municipalities across North America. Metro One is an information services provider, offering inbound and outbound contact services, data and analytics, and related services. In the past two years, the company has processed more than 300 million data transactions. With Colin Taylor s expertise, we will be expanding our `boutique-style` contact services that harness both Metro One s 21 years of experience and its significant expertise in call centre operations, says James Hensel, CEO of Metro One Telecommunications. Hensel says Taylor and his team will concentrate energies initially in the telecommunications, entertainment, financial services, retail and high technology vertical segments. There is a growing recognition among companies, non-profits and agencies that a competitive advantage exists through outsource partners with high-tech infrastructure and high-touch staff and management, says Taylor. I believe the newly revitalized Metro One is well positioned to help these organizations with a highly personalized, highly customized approach. Many organizations have discovered the limitations of off-shore partners and are poised to re-engage domestic solutions like those Metro One offers. Taylor has 32 years experience in contact services, including directing Taylor Reach Group, Inc., Toronto, since 2003 where he helped redesign and improve performance of contact centres for organizations including Mercedes-Benz, Rodale, Kohls, TD Waterhouse, and Habitat for Humanity. He was president and CEO of the outsource firm Watts Communications, Toronto, from He has authored more than 1,000 articles surrounding contact centre best practices. Bacon to oversee call centres as Canada Post marketing chief Canada Post has appointed Stewart Bacon its first chief sales and marketing officer. The new role is a statement about the importance of customers and serving customers and was created to help ensure that customer relations are properly managed, according to Bacon. Bacon will oversee approximately 1,400 employees in the customer service department, billing and accounts receivable, sales department and call centres in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Fredericton. He will report to Canada Post president and CEO Moya Greene. Bacon worked in sales and marketing at IBM and Philips Electronics in Montreal, before joining Canada Post as regional vice-president in Curtin inducted into CAM-X Hall of Fame Bill Curtin was inducted into the 2008 CAM-X Hall of Fame at the gala banquet held in conjunction with CAM-X s annual convention and trade show held recently at the Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville, ON. The CAM-X Hall of Fame was established by the Canadian Call Management Association in 2001 to recognize see people page contact management.ca November / December 2008

13 November / December 2008 contact management.ca 13 showtime

14 Barbados Prime location for Call Centers Customer Service Financial Services Inbound/Outbound Sales Collections Travel Help Desk Technical Support Healthcare Insurance CALL US AT: Toronto: Barbados New York Miami London Fax: contact management.ca November / December 2008

15 showtime coming events Coming events 2008/2009 November 18-20: 10 th Annual Call Centre Summit Conference; by SQM Group; Marriott Toronto Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel, 525 Bay St, Toronto and Burlington Cogeco Call Centre Site; seminars plus SQM will present Service Quality Excellence Awards and Certificates; www. sqmgroup.com/2008summit December 2-4: Contact Centre World; Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, NV, networking and seminars. For more information, phone or visit www. contactcenterworld.com Jan 26-29: 4 th Annual Call Centre Summit; by IQPC North America; Orlando, FL; 13 workshops, two site tours; four keynote speakers; or visit www. callcenterevent.com. from showtime page 10 10:30-11:30 am Keynote address- SQM Client Success Stories: Customer Quality Assurance Speaker: Roland Pauksens, senior vice-president of Rogers National Customer Care This presentation was an exposé on the newest and most innovative method of coaching to improve the key customer metrics. 11:30-12:30 pm SQM Client Success Stories: World Class Service in the Blue Cross World Speaker: Gloria Pequrri, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts This presentation outlined how a unique model of concierge service delivered consistently high customer results. 1:30-2:30 p.m. SQM Client Success Stories: Improving Employee Satisfaction Speaker: Scotiabank, Halifax, (Call Centre of the Year in 2007) In this presentation Scotiabank outlined how it improved employee satisfaction by 30 percent slowly but surely over five years. 2:45-4:00 p.m. SQM Client Success Stories: Accountability to the Customer Speaker: Andrew Gillespie, Air Miles Reward Program In this presentation Air Miles Reward Program described its bold initiative to survey each representative at 10 surveys per month using a fully automated IVR. 4:00-5:00 p.m. Tactics for Leveraging the World Class Customer Representative Speaker: Sarah Kennedy, senior vice-president, SQM This session was specifically designed for the World Class customer representatives Call Centre Tour Thursday November 20 The day was devoted to a site tour of the 250-seat Cogeco Cable call centre in Burlington, ON. It was the 2007 winner of the highest customer satisfaction in the telecommunications industry. One problem at the Call Centre can mean more than losing the call. It can mean losing the customer. That s why so many companies rely on CTS for expert advice on choosing which headset is right for their needs. With outstanding customer service and support, lightningfast turnaround time and best-in-class Jabra headsets, CTS works with you to create solutions that make sense for your business. All backed by our exclusive warranty tracking system. November / December 2008 contact management.ca 15

16 feature Connecting with your customers anytime, anywhere. Backed by TELUS. A high-performance contact centre is not a do-it-yourself proposition. With TELUS as your partner, you leverage our experts to establish best practices that get the most out of people, processes and technology. Let's work together to turn your mission-critical contact centre into a vehicle for successful customer loyalty, growth and competitive dominance. For more information, please visit telus.com/mcc or phone the future is friendly 16 contact management.ca November / December 2008

17 people from people page 12 dynamic people whose leadership has contributed to the evolution of the telephone answering service (TAS) and call centre industry. Born and raised in Chicago, William J. Bill Curtin II moved to Madison, WI, with his wife Eleanor in 1944 where they started several businesses (TAS, Medical Answering Service, Curtin Call Communications, and Amtelco) and raised a family of seven children plus a niece and nephew who lost their parents. Mr. C as he was affectionately know as to his employees viewed his fellow workers as his extended family and frequently referred to them as his Amtelco Ducks - a tradition started when ducks nested outside the front door of Amtelco in it s early days and became the unofficial company mascot. A man of great curiosity and invention, he was the driving force behind a number of telecommunications patents. He was a highly respected member of the TAS industry and was inducted into its National Hall of Fame in 1991 at the national convention in San Antonio, TX. He died at the age of 81 in 2001 in Naples, FL. Kane wins Woman Exporter of Year award Samantha Kane, partner with Kane-Mackay, a people, process, technology, & culture management consulting practice, has won the Woman Exporter of the Year award from the Organization of Women in International Trade- Toronto (O-WIT). It is a non-profit professional organization designed to promote women doing business internationally by providing networking opportunities, export education and global business contacts. Members include women exporters and importers, service providers and government representatives involved in trade. OWIT-Toronto was the first Canadian chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT), a worldwide network of 30 countries promoting international trade and commerce. This award recognizes an outstanding woman entrepreneur, based in Ontario, who is a successful exporter to more than one international market and through their business is advancing women and/or the image of Canadian business women in the international business community. Nominees must have at least 50 percent ownership in a profitable business registered and operating in Ontario for more than three years. They must earn their primary income from the business and must be responsible for its daily operations. A significant portion of the company s business must come from exporting. Page leaves Pizza Pizza to join Toronto Hydro Evelyn Page has left Pizza Pizza Limited to join Toronto Hydro in the customer services division. She is directly responsible for billing, collections, large account management, high level escalations, and technology. Included in her indirect responsibilities will be the metered services division and the contact centre. She was director, customer contact centre, with Pizza Pizza. CyberTech adds Collins to boost efforts in public safety industry Global provider of voice and data recording technologies, CyberTech International has added Paul Collins to the new position of director, business development, for the public safety industry. The appointment is said to underscore CyberTech s t Paul Collins is responsible for global leadership in product development for public safety organizations and applications for CyberTech International. increasing competitiveness in the public safety market and the success of its model for organic growth. Collins is based at CyberTech headquarters in Amsterdam. In this new role, Collins is responsible for global leadership in product development for public safety organizations and applications. He will focus on optimizing opportunities and establishing partnerships with all major players in this market. With more than 20 years of experience in the voice recording industry, Collins has held a variety of senior-level positions in business development and product management for Racal Recorders, as well as for NICE CTI Systems, Mercom Systems and Verint Systems. His expertise spans products that include multi-track, reel-to-reel analog tape recorders and today s mission-critical digital voice recording systems. Aspect appoints senior vp, general counsel Aspect Software, Inc., Chelmsford, MA, a company focused on unified communications for the contact centre, has appointed David Reibel senior vice- president and general counsel. In this role, Reibel will be responsible for Aspect s worldwide legal activities, including advising senior management and the board of directors on legal transactions, overseeing corporate compliance and governance initiatives, managing mergers, acquisitions and other commercial transactions, as well as providing legal support and insight to the sales, services and partner organizations. Reibel brings extensive corporate and technology transaction experience in both the U.S. and overseas. Prior to joining Aspect, Reibel held general counsel positions at Esprit Telecom, First Telecom, Aprisma Management Technologies and WAY Systems. He has industry experience in telecommunications, software, hardware, financial services and electronic transactions. Earlier in his career, Reibel practiced law with two firms in Washington, DC, worked for a non-profit space institute, and was a legislative aide to a U.S. congressman. Spanlink names Scott Christian CEO Spanlink Communications, Minneapolis, MN, provider of unified communications and contact centre systems, has appointed Chief Financial Officer Scott Christian as president and chief executive officer. He replaces co-founder, president and CEO Brett Shockley, who resigned after accepting a position with Avaya. As a result of this transition, Christian has been elected to serve as a director on Spanlink s board and Shockley has stepped down from his board responsibilities. Christian joined Spanlink in 2007 and has been serving as CFO. In addition to serving as president and CEO of Spanlink, Christian will maintain his CFO responsibilities. He previously served as vicepresident and general manager for Black Box s Voice Services North Business Unit. In January 2005 Black Box acquired Norstan where Christian served as president and CEO. Additionally, Christian s positions at Norstan included executive vicepresident and chief financial officer. He has also held executive leadership positions at Ceridian, Automatic Data Processing (ADP) and Caterpillar Equipment. t In addition to serving as president and CEO of Spanlink, Scott Christian will maintain his CFO responsibilities. November / December 2008 contact management.ca 17

18 company profile Sound business vision comes in hiring the blind The management team at BPA Worldwide had an epiphany. Why not hire visually-impaired workers whose superior listening skills promised to make them ideal for call monitoring jobs? Here s what happened. In hiring visually impaired employees to fill positions at BPA Worldwide, you might say that company management saw the light. One day we were reviewing our hiring practices to determine the ideal candidates to perform call monitoring, which is the core of what we do, says Lisa Renda, vice- president of BPA Worldwide, one of the premiere specialists in the development of call and customer contact quality. Everyone agreed that the most crucial qualifications for the job are good listening skills not only being able to really hear the interaction between the customer and the call centre agent, but being able to pick up on nuances and tone. In the past, we looked at applicants based on their college degrees, but there seemed to be no correlation between their education and how well they could listen, she continues. Then we wondered if people who read a lot might be the key, but that didn t pan out either. You re listening for things that a sighted person doesn t. Grogan Ultimately, it came down to one question. What type of person makes the best listener? Then, it hit the team like a bolt out of the blue. What about people who, for one reason or another, have heightened listening skills? These are people who are particularly sensitive to sound or motion, and who use their sense of hearing as their primary source of sensory input. In a nutshell, these are people who are blind. It made perfect sense, explains Renda. Like so many others, we had heard that people who lose one of their senses often compensate by sharpening another. In the case of the blind or visually impaired, it s often their hearing that is enhanced. So we figured, let s see if there s anything to it. BPA contacted Helen Keller Services for the Blind, Brooklyn, NY, an organization that helps people of all ages who are blind or visually impaired to develop independence and to participate actively and fully in their communities. Sydelle Postman, an employment specialist at Helen Keller, says that while the BPA call was welcome, it was also a bit out of the ordinary. The unusual thing was that BPA contacted us, not the other way around, she says. Employers rarely initiate the connection; usually our organization is the one doing the outreach to see what employment opportunities are available for our clients. I have to give BPA credit. It was a very astute observation to identify the visually impaired as good candidates for a job that would require solid hearing and listening skills. Inspecting the workplace With the idea starting to take shape, it was decided that representatives from Helen Keller would visit BPA to ascertain how the company would accommodate visually impaired workers - not only from the perspective of actual job performance but whether the office had the tools and amenities to meet their needs. A three-person team from Helen Keller made the trek to BPA s Cedarhurst, NY, headquarters to assess the situation from every possible angle. Often, the technology piece is the most critical for the blind in any newjob scenario. Consequently, the first step involved determining whether BPA s computer system could be retrofitted with software packages designed to aid blind users (one program magnifies text significantly for users who are not totally sightless; a speech-based program is used by those with complete blindness). By her own admission, Renda was somewhat confused as this procedure got under way. One of the three people on the team was blind, she says. I wondered if there had been a miscommunication, since I hadn t yet scheduled interviews with any job candidates. It turned out that the blind person was actually the IT person. He opened up his laptop and used it as proficiently as a sighted person would, with the aid of auditory cues. That was a real wake-up call for me. The initial analysis of the computer system did uncover some problems, though none of them were insurmountable. There was some concern about the soundbased program, a more complicated program that, overall, would make the call monitoring job more difficult. However, it became clear that, with some adept tinkering by the IT person, both computer programs could be used. All that was left was to review the actual job description and be sure it contained no components that a visually impaired person could not execute. The heart of remote call monitoring job truly is listening - listening in on sales and customer service calls, scoring the agent s performance against pre-determined criteria, and providing feedback to help them improve. Both sides concurred that the visually impaired or completely sightless job applicant would have as great a chance of success if not greater than a sighted candidate. With everyone offering their enthusiastic approval to this initiative, the next step was the interview process. We sent them the first applicants in April 2006, maybe five or six in the first month, recalls Postman. They hired a few people, including one person who was totally blind. Making everyone comfortable With the initial software issues resolved, it became apparent that there was another aspect that needed to be quickly addressed--the issue of comfort. Certainly, it was important to make this new group of employees feel comfortable with their surroundings and co-workers. But because the overwhelming majority of BPA employees had never worked with the visually impaired, the reverse was just as critical. We wanted to make sure we Bobby Grogan has become a valuable member of the BPA International team. He has been almost 90 percent blind since birth. We We wanted to make sure we did and said the right things, says Renda. We watched videos on how to interact with visually-impaired people, how to ask them if they needed assistance, what not to say, things like that. Over time, as our entire corporate culture accepted this new direction, the video became unnecessary. As a social experiment, things seemed to be going smoothly. In fact, BPA received several awards for its work in advancing the recruitment of blind and visually impaired workers, including the 2008 Access Builder Award, presented by Metropolitan Placement Consortium and Baruch College; the New York State 2007 Employer Recognition Award, presented by the New York State Department of Labour; and the October 2007 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Award. But there was really only one bottom line for BPA, the same it was for every employee-- quality of performance. On that score, the experiment has been an unmitigated success. 18 contact management.ca

19 company profile We d have to say that our visuallyimpaired employees work as well as, or in many cases, even better than people with sight, says Renda, who notes that BPA employs about a dozen of these workers at any given time, including several from another agency called The Lighthouse. Obviously, you have to judge each person as an individual, but as a group, it s fair to say they re very dedicated and their performance is superior. They are also extremely adaptable and resourceful. One person memorized a list of functions that the computer does not pull up on a regular basis, just so he could use the system more effectively. several trains to get here, so he has to start out extremely early in the morning, but he s always on time. Based on their performance, we have promoted several of our visually-impaired employees. Many are now supervising sighted people; one is managing a team of workers, another is involved in quality control. We now use Helen Keller Services on a regular basis, as one of the many recruitment tools we turn to in the normal course of filling positions. Based on these results, it would appear that BPA management was correct in its assessment that many of the visually impaired are better listeners. Bobby Grogan, a BPA employee who has been almost 90 These are real jobs being performed by people who were recruited based solely on their abilities. Postman with a different listening skill. When you don t learn things visually, you have to learn to listen harder and fine tune your listening skills. You re listening for things that a sighted person doesn t. One thing I would say is that we can listen for a longer period of time than other people. It s sort of like an avid reader we can just stay with it much longer without losing focus. Certainly, the ability not to be visually distracted plays into that. Hearing a smile On one point Grogan agrees wholeheartedly with Renda. He can detect tone and nuance that others may not recognize immediately or at all, for that matter. There s no question that we can perceive emotion better and faster, friendliness, which are essential parts of the call monitoring process that sometimes go undetected. Grogan s rise through the ranks has not been an uncommon one for the BPA s visually impaired workers. And it s one that makes Renda and the entire management team feel good about the company s collective social conscience. But make no mistake. This was never a philanthropic crusade to hire the handicapped. This was a sound business decision that has reaped tangible rewards for all parties. It s true that some companies create lower-level jobs for people with visual impairment based on a desire to do the right thing, or because an organization like ours convinces them to do it, says Postman. In BPA s case, it was never about that. It was about finding the best possible person to fill a position that required a very specific, very specialized skill set. These are real jobs being performed by people who were recruited based solely on their abilities. I have no doubt that BPA feels good about providing a chance to people who often can t find one. But I also know that they won t hesitate to let go of any employees who aren t pulling their weight, which is exactly how it should be. As for Grogan, he is happy to be in a position where his strengths are maximized and his weaknesses minimized. I ve never worked at a place like Grogan s dedication and superb work ethic have landed him a role as team manager at BPA International. His rise through the ranks has not been an uncommon one for the BPA s visuallyimpaired workers. We have promoted several of our visually-impaired employees. Renda Perseverance is a trait that the visually impaired seem to have in great supply, Renda adds. Their dependability is remarkable. They are well-trained in how to get around in bad weather. We have one person who has to take percent blind since birth, offered a more succinct explanation. I ve heard that all my life, that the blind make better listeners, says Grogan. I m not sure that s the best way to describe it. Maybe it s just that we re a different type of listener says Grogan, who has been promoted twice in the two years he s been with BPA and is currently a team leader. We might recognize those things the way sighted people recognize a visual cue like a smile or a frown. We definitely listen for tone and this before, he says. I ve always felt I had a great deal to offer a company, but I just hadn t been able to find the right one. Here, my so-called weakness is actually a strength. I m given the opportunity to pursue a professional career, and at the end of the day, I go home just like everyone else. We hear you, Bobby. Loud and clear. November / December 2008 contact management.ca 19

20 Firms offer programs for DNCL compliance There are automated and/or outsourced ways of managing compliance with the new national do-not-call list. Here s a look at three that have recently appeared on the market and what they offer. BY RON GLEN A few Canadian companies claim to have systems in place to help telemarketers comply with the new national do-not-call list (DNCL) that came into existence on September 30. One is Interact Direct, London, ON. Another is MarkeTel Systems, Regina, SK. A third is Datatel Inc. DNC Scrub Canada Interact Direct says it is the first company in Canada to launch a managed compliance approach for the DNCL. Called DNC Scrub Canada, it allows businesses to outsource their DNCL compliance administration and list-processing work to Interact Direct, making it easier to keep call lists up-to-date with consumer optout requests. Interact Direct s offering has been fully automated to work with the Canadian Radio-tv Telecommunications Commission s (CRTC) control and distribution process. Even organizations with hundreds of locations can have their DNCL suppressions batch processed by Interact Direct. Optionally, businesses can have other list scrubbing services like Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) do-not-call do-not-mail Interact Direct suppression, President Jeff Bisset data parsing, says DNC Scrub Canada address has been well received correction, by clients who are mover update anxious to ensure they (NCOA), and comply with the new duplicate legislation. elimination processed at the same time. All processing is performed in real time at Interact Direct s secure data centre. As one of Canada s leading database marketing organizations, it was necessary for us to understand this important legislation and to respond to our clients with innovative and efficient solutions to help them comply, says Jeff Bisset, president of Interact Direct. DNC Scrub Canada has been well received by our clients who are anxious to ensure they comply with this new and important legislation. With hundreds of clients across North America, including many Fortune 500 firms, Interact Direct is a large provider of data cleansing for marketers. Its flagship solution enables businesses to leverage customer data to improve sales and marketing ROI through the outsourced management of an end-to-end data-driven marketing program including data collection, hygiene, hosting, management, communications, and campaign analysis. For more information, visit www. interactdirect.com. MarkeTel and TeleBlock A predictive dialler manufacturer, MarkeTel Systems says it currently offers its clients everything they need to be compliant with the legislation. Our customers are confident they have everything required to be in complete compliance with the new law, so they re all going about their business as usual, claims MarkeTel CEO Ngee Cau. The system we offer ensures all calls are properly screened and blocked when appropriate, providing all the businesses we serve with total confidence regarding today s DNC law. The reason for this confidence is MarkeTel Systems partnership with Compliance Systems Corporation (COPI.BB), also known as Call Compliance, Inc., Long Island, NY. It is a developer of technologybased compliance systems for the teleservices industry, most notably a patented flagship product known as TeleBlock. Quite simply, TeleBlock eliminates any chance of non-dnc compliance, states Cau. The system automatically checks the DNC lists, then blocks any appropriate calls from going out. It takes the responsibility out of salespeople s hands, delivering complete peace-ofmind to our subscribing customers. It s both simple and foolproof at the same time, providing third party verification and historical tracking for any regulators inquiry. According to Cau, MarkeTel has been integrated with TeleBlock for years, providing its U.S. customers with unparalleled DNC protection. We are pleased to announce the same level of protection for our Canadian customers as well. Over six billion calls without a single error makes it easy to understand why we re so happy to be working with Call Compliance Inc., and offering their TeleBlock service to our customers across Canada, he adds. We are one of the only dialler companies in the country providing this service, and it gives MarkeTel a big, unmatched advantage in delivering flawless DNC compliance. For more information visit www. marketelsystems.com MarkeTel CEO Ngee Cau says the system his firm offers ensures all calls are properly screened and blocked when appropriate, providing businesses with total confidence of DNC law compliance. Compliance s Canadian users Compliance Systems reports it has many Canadian customers selling into the U.S. that use TeleBlock to keep them in compliance with state and federal regulations. It had indicated it would incorporate the Canadian database into the TeleBlock systems once it became available. The company s patented TeleBlock system automatically screens and blocks outbound calls against federal, state, and in-house DNC lists. If a company employee--an executive in a branch office, a freelancer working from home, or a salesperson in the field--tries calling an individual on one of these lists, the number will be screened against the TeleBlock database. The call will be blocked by an intercept message alerting the caller as to why the call has been blocked. TeleBlock users also have the ability to call consumers who may be on the DNC list based upon permission or existing business relationships. TeleBlock uses both Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology and traditional phone service (wireline). It requires no office installation, additional equipment, or set-up fees. The company says TeleBlock transforms DNC compliance from being a moving target--which companies have to regularly scrub, vet, and de-dupe--to a real-time methodology. The company says consumers in the U.S. in 2006 purchased US$900 billion worth of goods and services through telemarketers, noting this number was up 50 percent from US$600 billion in telemarketing sales the year before the federal DNC legislation was passed in Compliance Systems reasons these figures suggest that, if anything, regulatory compliance has a resoundingly positive impact on telemarketing sales. Datatel outbound IVR suite Provider of hosted and managed IVR services, Datatel Inc., Toronto, has launched a new portfolio of outbound IVR hosted services, tailored to comply with the Canadian DNCL. The use of IVR outbound callings to consumers is restricted to specific types of calls under the new law. Datatel furnishes services that help businesses automate a wide range of telephone interactions with customers and employees. It has released what is described as an extensive suite of services, which are designed to keep an open channel of communication with customers and employees, and be fully compliant with the DNCL. This new suite of IVR services is said to let organizations initiate automated calls to consumers and always remain DNC compliant. They include: surveys and polls; appointment reminder calls; appointment rescheduling calls; calls related to payments or collections; public service announcements and product recalls. We want to help business stay connected with their customers and stakeholders while ensuring they are following the DNC guidelines, says Datatel CEO Bernard Crespi. The best way we can do this is by offering only IVR services that are DNC friendly. Datatel can service clients anywhere in Canada, and provides IVR systems tailored to regional needs. As a hosted offering, the new suite avoids the risk and expense of large capital investments in custom development and software. By avoiding the time commitment of dedicating development resources, hardware purchases and configuration, customers are said to get rapid system deployment and lower costs. 20 contact management.ca November / December 2008

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