Telesolutions

March 1, 2008

TELESOLUTIONS 

Semperian Call Center has announced it is closing its doors on April 30th but some hope a new call center opening around the same time might ease some of the pain.

“We’re going to miss the people!” says Sandra Martin. She is just one of 237 local employees of the Semperiam call center and is soon to be a former employee. The company is a subsidiary of General Motors which closed many of its auto financing offices this past year. On Thursday, it was this North Eugene branch that got the ax. “Some of the supervisors and stuff were kind of teary eyed,” says Martin.

A spokesperson told us this decision was, “part of an effort to streamline their operations.” However, the company stresses they are offering a severance package and want to help their workers find new jobs. One of those options could be a new Enterprise call center moving into a downtown Eugene building this Spring. Plus, they’re currently looking to hire.

Jack Roberts, the Executive Director of the Lane Metro Partnership says, “I absolutely think some of them will apply. Now the timing isn’t perfect for them because they’ve been working on hiring the first group but they are growing and expanding.”

Linda Dagg with Enterprise says the company kicks off training next week and encourages all age and skill levels to sign up. “We have a wonderful work force and everyone I have met has been so qualified and so friendly,” she says. “I think customer service is really going to thrive here.”

So despite Semperiam’s closure, officials say call centers are thriving in Lane County and maybe for folks like Martin, when one door closes another will open. “They said, we can’t afford you.” says Martin. “They said It’s not that you’re not good workers. We will recommend you to anyone else to get a job.”

 Telesolutions 

Telesolutions Winnipeg

February 24, 2008

 TELESOLUTIONS

Second, hiring and recruiting practices
Before staffing a call center, it’s important to consider the profile of the type of representative you want to hire. In order to meet your customers’ service expectations, what traits are needed in a rep? While customer service skills such as empathy, questioning, listening, and confidence can be learned in training, the right recruiting practices help ensure that your call center’s reps have the core competency to deliver service and are more likely to “get” both the product and service skill cultural training.

Third, training
The key areas that training should cover are product knowledge, technology and soft skills. With the right tools and learning skills, most customer service reps can readily learn a company’s product.

Technology training is another consideration. Depending on your product and actual call center tools, your reps will need a certain level of comfort and proficiency with technology and software. Again, this is where call center location may play a factor, since some locales — especially India, other regions in Asia and Canada — are further along the technology curve than others.

Another crucial Telesolutions aspect of training is the focus on the customer service skills and culturalization. It examines how a country’s cultural differences and an individual’s cultural interpretation are crucial to your customer’s experience.

Sometimes, the individual customer service rep has the right knowledge but simply needs to work on delivery. At one international call center, there was a long-term rep who had the most extensive product knowledge in the department. However, he consistently received the worst customer service ratings. It turns out that his conversations were peppered with “ums” and “ers” and other phrases that made him sound un-confident and unknowledgeable. When he was trained on different, more positive ways to carry on a conversation, his customer ratings soared.

Barry gave another example. “The customers of a technology company were up-in-arms about the service provided by offshore agents, citing the agents’ lack of technical skills. Turns out, the agents were near experts in their technical capability, the real issue was that customers were frustrated by the agents’ relentless tendency to stick rigidly to scripted responses. We hear of incidents like this on a routine basis at CIAC.”

Last but not least, management
A key benefit of off-shoring Telesolutions Winnipeg is that an organization can significantly increase its staff- to manager-ratio because labor is dramatically less expensive overseas. Typically, domestic call centers will have a manager-to-staff ratio of 1:15 or 1:20. In off-shore call centers, a 1:5 or 1:10 ratio is readily affordable. With extra management on hand, customer service representatives can receive more feedback more quickly. Plus, if these managers are trained in coaching techniques, the reps will receive the ongoing mentoring they need to retain their training and improve their performance faster.

Experience shows that Telesolutions training the management is crucial. A highly regarded Fortune 100 company had a 1:5 manager/rep ratio in its international call center, but this call center’s performance was worse than the company’s call centers in the U.S. with a 1:20 ratio. It turns out that the international call center managers had no idea how to coach their staff on how to provide high-quality customer service. Instead, the management focused on their own job security by “reporting up” to the upper management. The company was able to turn the situation — and the call center’s effectiveness — around by training the call center managers on how to provide effective coaching to the reps and then holding them accountable for consistently delivering the coaching.

Telesolutions International 

Telesolutions Winnipeg

January 27, 2008

They stand like sentinels on sidewalks, providing a subtle sense of security and a touch of nostalgia. But fire alarm boxes – so common on our streets for more than a century – may not survive the high-tech age of enhanced 911, cellphones, and GPS devices.

In use

no more

Call-box systems

have been phased out in Cohasset, Hull, Foxborough, Mattapoisett, Scituate, Sharon, and Weymouth

Still going strong

Call boxes continue to be part of the landscape in

Boston, Braintree, Brockton, Dedham, Hingham, Milton, Plymouth,

Quincy,

and Wareham
more stories like this

* Health network to keep care close to home
* Fast-track permits used to lure builders
* Governor promotes his fiscal relief plan
* Boston stands by its fire alarm boxes
* Why do school officials fight choice?
*

The familiar red boxes are slowly disappearing, as cities and towns deem them obsolete. In doing so, those communities follow the lead of some of the nation’s major cities. Washington, D.C., for example, has commissioned local artists to decorate the now-defunct boxes.

Still, several south of Boston communities – including Braintree, Brockton, Dedham, Hingham, Milton, Plymouth, Quincy, Sharon, and Wareham – have held fast to these old-fashioned devices.

Local fire officials say the wireless world hasn’t negated their value. They point to the Sept. 11 attacks, when cellphone networks became overloaded. And in a blackout, they say, people can’t recharge their hand-held devices.

Brockton Fire Chief Ken Galligan describes his city’s street-corner boxes as “a security blanket for the community” that can overcome any language barrier. That’s especially helpful for a city like Brockton, where more than 30,000 residents speak a language other than English. “I call it our multi-linguistic call box system,” he said.

Mounted on black pedestals and telephone poles around the city are red boxes shaped like a miniature house, each with a white pull handle. Its purpose is spelled out plainly in capital letters: “FOR FIRE.” “OPEN THEN PULL DOWN HOOK.”

When the lever is pulled, a metal wheel inside the box turns, transmitting a signal via telegraph to the local fire department.

Although most emergency calls are made through 911 telephone lines, the old-fashioned system still earns its keep. One recent example was on Dec. 11, when the Brockton Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire on Hamilton Street. The first notification came through a Gamewell alarm box at the corner of Hamilton and Belmont streets, Galligan said.

The municipal fire alarm system got its start in Massachusetts. It was developed by Moses Farmer, an engineer, and Dr. William Channing, a Harvard-educated Bostonian who preferred tinkering with electronics to practicing medicine.

Their revolutionary creation was installed in Boston in 1851, more than two decades before Alexander Graham Bell gained his patent for the telephone, and consisted of 40 miles of wire and 45 boxes.

It quickly became a national model, and cities and towns across the country installed similar systems that were manufactured by the Gamewell Fire Alarm Telegraph Co. in Newton Upper Falls. By 1890, there were Gamewell systems in 500 cities and towns across the country.

The system’s independent operation makes it valuable in an age of uncertainty. Because it does not operate on electric or telephone lines, it isn’t affected by power outages, downed phone lines, bad cellphone reception, or radio interference.

If a major disaster knocked out power for days, and people couldn’t charge their cellphones, the boxes would be a public safety lifeline.

In use

no more

Call-box systems

have been phased out in Cohasset, Hull, Foxborough, Mattapoisett, Scituate, Sharon, and Weymouth

Still going strong

Call boxes continue to be part of the landscape in

Boston, Braintree, Brockton, Dedham, Hingham, Milton, Plymouth,

Quincy,

and Wareham
more stories like this

When a computer glitch caused New York City’s 911 system to crash for two hours in March 2004, the street boxes continued to work, and someone used one to report a serious fire in Brooklyn. And when an earthquake struck San Francisco in 1989, phone lines went down and power went out – but the municipal street telegraph boxes continued to work.

But for many communities, the added security is not worth the cost. Eliminating the system saves money on maintenance, they say. Sacramento officials estimate that the move to dismantle its system will save $500,000 annually in operational, maintenance, and support costs.

Some smaller municipalities in Massachusetts – including Cohasset, Hull, Foxborough, Scituate, Walpole, and Weymouth – have done the same.

Weymouth installed its first Gamewell fire alarm system in 1888. The town recently decided the old hard-wired telegraph system was too expensive to maintain, and opted to switch to a new alarm box system that transmits radio signals directly to the fire department.

Walpole started phasing out its deteriorating fire alarm boxes three years ago. “The New England weather does a number on these wires,” said Deputy Fire Chief Michael Laracy.

Laracy said he hasn’t heard any concerns about the transition.

“We’re just replacing old technology with new technology,” he said.

Hull scrapped its telegraph system over a decade ago, according to Acting Fire Chief Robert A. Hollingshead. The old boxes had been in town for a long time, and required constant maintenance, he said. “We’re right on the ocean, and the salt water was wreaking havoc on our system.”

More than 150 alarm boxes were removed from the streets of Hull and auctioned off as surplus property. The town now uses eight radio-controlled boxes that are placed at playgrounds, parks, and public areas by the beach. Businesses in town must use private fire alarm services in their buildings.

“The need for those master boxes is still there. . . . They certainly have a role,” Hollingshead said. “But it depends on the demographics of the community, and the maintenance costs. If cost-benefit ratio is there, they’re truly valuable. It’s up to each community to decide.”

Gamewell was acquired by Honeywell International Inc. in 2003, and is now known as Gamewell-FCI. The company no longer makes new telegraph alarm systems, but continues to manufacture replacement parts and refurbish existing ones at a Gamewell-FCI shop off Route 1 in Westwood, according to spokeswoman Beth Welch.

“There are many towns across the country, and the world, that still upkeep these systems,” she said. “We just help maintain them.”

Welch said the company does not know how many municipalities still use the system. In recent years, some cities and towns have auctioned off their remnants as antiques.

“They’ve become a hot collector’s item,” said Welch.

Boxes have sold for several hundred dollars on eBay, and history buffs have converted boxes into banks, lamps, and doorbells.

One enterprising Norwood resident recently posted an ad on South Shore’s Craigslist classifieds, offering a Gamewell fire alarm pull box for $400: “Amazing like new condition, never used. Circa 1974. Complete with paperwork. Great for a collector or perhaps put into use?”

Telesolutions Winnipeg

January 27, 2008

Telesolutions International Winnipeg and Telesolutions International located in Winnipeg Manitoba.

Welcome to Telesolutions International

Hello world!

January 27, 2008

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.