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Customer Inter@ction Solutions
February 2007 - Volume 25 / Number 9
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On Contact Centers, CRM And Teleservices Leadership...
Award Winning Companies Continue To Grow When They Conduct Award Marketing

Contact centers, CRM and technology providers and teleservices companies reach for the ultimate in quality and performance by winning MVP Quality Awards and 2006 Product of the Year Awards.

By: Nadji Tehrani
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Editor-in-Chief

As the industries’ preeminent and pioneering publication since 1982, it has always been the responsibility of this publication to recognize outstanding performances by the valued vendors of technology, solutions and teleservices for the contact center, CRM and the business community.

Customer Inter@ction Solutions® magazine, which began as Telemarketing® magazine in June of 1982, laid the foundation for our industry some 25 years ago. Now, the time has come for us to recognize those vendors that have earned TMC’s 
(News - Alert) coveted and prestigious MVP Quality Awards as well as the 2006 Product of the Year Awards.

Henry Ford Had The Right Idea
Henry Ford once said that a great design sells the cars but excellent quality brings the customers back. It is too bad that Detroit car makers have actually ignored this phenomenally powerful and wise statement by the inventor of the automobile, while the Japanese, Koreans, Europeans and other car manufacturers have made the most of these wise statements.
It is unfortunate but indeed true that foreign carsA great design sells the cars but excellent quality brings the customers back. are better designed: they look better and have higher quality! This unfortunate event hurts me very much considering that all of those countries learned from American technology and then improved upon it regularly while Detroit manufacturers had their heads in sand and did nothing to regain market share by improving their cars! There is a great proverb that perhaps sums it all up best when it says, “The grandfather built the company, the children maintained it and the grandchildren destroyed it.” How true that is.

Award Winners Differentiate Themselves In A Powerful Way But...
As I have stated in many of these editorials in the last few years, awards without marketing are practically worthless. In many of my past editorials I have also stated that quality and marketing are not part-time jobs. Indeed, I am aware of several companies that are award winners and that they have extremely high quality. By doing practically everything right, including award marketing, these companies are industry leaders and are growing and becoming more profitable each and every year. I think there is a good lesson to be learned from such companies.

Indeed there is no other powerful differentiation tool than winning a coveted award from a prestigious and highly respected publication of the industry.Quality and marketing are not part-time jobs. Indeed, we are humble and very proud of the quality of our flagship publication, Customer Inter@ction Solutions, which THE WALL STREET JOURNAL referred to as “the bible of the industry.”

So, the bottom line: award winning companies continue to grow when they maintain quality and when they conduct award marketing.

Now The Most Important Question:

In my opinion, it is great to congratulate them, which I do sincerely. It is great for them to market themselves and make the most of their awards and differentiate themselves from competition. But, in my opinion, the underlying question is, how do they do it? Because I’m sure every CEO and every savvy manager would like to know how some of these companies are winning awards every single year. For example, InfoCision Management Corp. has won 14 consecutive MVP Quality Awards since the inception of the award. To Awards without marketing are practically worthless.me, they are a model company and exemplary in every way. Frankly, I have been studying this company for several years and I speak from experience. Not only do they have relentless and demanding quality standards, but they also conduct award marketing better than anyone. When you do both of the above well, there is no way to avoid prosperity.

I have always felt that teleservices (call center outsourcing companies) are the most knowledgeable people in the contact center industry. The reason: they only do inbound, outbound and CRM work for Corporate America and as such, their experience far exceeds that of anyone else, bar none.

For the above reason and for the purpose of this editorial, I have decided to study the philosophies of some of the teleservices companies that have won MVP Quality Awards. My objective was to find out what they do differently and what we can all learn from these companies. In search of the answer to the above questions, I have found the following statements that were made by senior management of these teleservices companies extremely helpful. The underlying philosophies that make them so successful are presented here. And now I would like to share some of them with you.

“We believe that every customer contact must meet or exceed the standard we establish for quality performance. Our motto is, ‘We are only as good as our weakest link...so even our weakest link must be strong.’ We don’t look at group averages as indicators of success. Instead we measure our success by the success of each individual.”

“Our motto is to ‘treat each customer as if it was your parent, spouse, or child stuck on the side of the road’ and ‘treat each call as if it is the only call you will take today.’ We teach our associates to be excessive about delighting the customer.”

“Our standard quality requirements include a 130-point review on each call monitored. Our stringent quality standards ensure our ability to outperform the competition.”

“To be truly effective, an outsourcer’s quality assurance program must do more than simply ensure that calls are processed correctly. It must be a total commitment to quality that encompasses all aspects of the business, including recruitment and hiring, contact processing, workforce management, performance reporting and administrative support.”

“One of the most unique aspects of our company is its entrepreneurial spirit. We promote contact center employment as a career and not as a temporary job. We focus on recruiting from within.”

“Our philosophy is simple: Selling is customer service and the only good sale is a quality sale. Outsourced clients are offered the best opportunity to exceed sales projections and achieve the highest quality sales possible, while they solidify relationships with the customers entrusted to us.”

Congratulations To This Year’s MVP (Marketing Via Phone) Quality Award

I’d like to take this opportunity to extend heartfelt congratulations to all the honorees of the 14th annual MVP (Marketing Via Phone) Quality Awards. This year’s winners exemplify the search for excellence. They have demonstrated to the editors of Customer Inter@ction Solutions their ability to build a feeling of community within their companies, while providing the best they can give to their clients.

These contact centers exist to get the job done while respecting the wishes and serving the needs of both the business world and the consumer world, providing both the technical and human sides of customer care. I know how difficult it is to win this coveted award, given the amount of competition, both domestic and overseas. We recognize and appreciate your major contributions to the growth and prosperity of our industry.

In my judgment, you are the cream of the crop and it is always a great pleasure to work with you. I thank you for your support.
Nadji Tehrani

Congratulations To The Winners Of Customer Inter@ction Solutions’ 2006 Product Of The Year Awards

In this issue and the previous one (January
2007), we highlighted the winners of the 2006 Product of the Year Awards. Each year, Customer Inter@ction Solutions magazine recognizes companies that have demonstrated excellence in technological advancement and application refinements, and this year has been no exception. These companies have proven they are committed to quality and excellence in solutions that benefit the customer experience as well as ROI for the companies that use them. We are pleased to honor their hard work and accomplishments and look forward to more innovative solutions from them in the future. I offer my sincerest congratulations to all Product Of The Year recipients.

— Nadji Tehrani

“Early on, we concluded that growth alone, including new call centers, expensive technology, numerous workstations and thousands of employees, is not the key to teleservices success and long-term client relationships. Quality is.”

“As consumers have become more accustomed to contact centers and more demanding of the service and support they receive, it has become less important to focus on call mechanics and metrics, and more important to focus on customer satisfaction and the overall customer experience.”

“Today, our definition of quality has evolved more fully: quality is an ever-evolving perception carried by the people involved with and impacted by the services delivered by our company.”

“Our home agent model lends itself to lower costs. In the past, many companies selected offshore companies to reduce costs. Unfortunately, the tradeoff was that many customers lacked a language and cultural affinity with the representatives of these companies.”

“We believe the most solid outsourcing relationships are those in which the client allows us to truly embrace their culture, and in turn, treat us (as an outsourcer) as an extension of their company. We strongly encourage this and recommend active day-to-day involvement in the operation of the program.” CIS

As always, I welcome your comments. Please e-mail them to me at [email protected].

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