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Ivy and her team did an outstanding job of bringing together a roster of speakers with innovation, experience, and energy.

The Conference was large enough to make it interesting, exciting, and entertaining, while providing great opportunities for networking and gathering volumes of information.

At the same time the size promoted opportunities for one-on-one discussions with speakers, authors, and attendees from all over the country in every industry without getting lost in the masses.

The speakers not only provided their experience and insight at the conference, they continue to do so even today. To my surprise, I'm not receiving the typical marketing messages you receive after attending a conference, I am receiving valuable information and insights that began with their presentation and expand like a net to support us in our daily endeavors in the support industry.

"This is the Conference that meets all your needs!"

Carol Koziol
(ACS Government Services)

GCS 2006

Host: Ivy Meadors

Chair: Daryl Covey

Director: Lisa Prendergast

Learn how we can work with you to turn your organization into a world-class service and support center.   Visit our website for useful information www.hthts.com
sign up for our newsletters now! 


The U S Coast Guard shares their experience in the Katrina Disaster at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference

Captain Geoff Abbott from the U S Coast Guard, a leader in the Katrina, 911 and Rita disasters Keynotes at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference teaches key aspects of leadership during a disaster . Experience it from someone who was there and deeply involved.

Sign up now and save $200!
Early Discount ends at the end of April.

P.S. We only have a few rooms left for the government room rate of $145.00. 
Make your reservations now.

eSharings - march #2 - 2006

Insights, hints, tips, and resources for service and support professionals, given in the spirit of sharing information.

In this Issue:

-- Sharing - Mentoring Can Be Life Changing, and it Might Not  Be the Life Expected

-- Government Customer Support Conference and Expo (GCS 2006)

-- Tips from this week's featured GCS 2006 Speaker - Pete McGarahan

-- Resources from our featured event partner - Customer Service Group

-- Subscription Information


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Letting an employee go is hard.  When they leave on their own accord sometimes it can be even harder.  Eight months ago a very special person came into our lives at High Tech High Touch Solutions.  Annie had to be one of the most enthusiastic people I've known.  She had ambition flowing from her like a rushing river after a storm.  She was unstoppable.  Annie was nineteen and hungry, ready to learn anything, and do whatever it took to succeed.  Then unexpectedly, she met someone and fell in love. She is leaving for Japan now with her new husband.

During these past eight months, Annie gave me the opportunity to be her mentor.  The greatest gift any leader can be given is to have a protégé that wants to learn all that you have to teach.  It's amazing when you redirect an effort, offer constructive criticism, or correct a behavior, and you are asked, "how can I do it better next time?" without a defensive posturing in their body.  Annie is Gen Y, The Millennial Generation, and part of the generation that is professed to change corporate America as we know it today. She represents our future generation. 

Letting Annie go was like watching a child grow-up and leave for college.  You put loads of work into them and prepare them for their next stage in life, but you're not ready to let them go emotionally or professionally. This young woman became a very important part of my life. There is still more work to be done, mentoring and teaching her new skills to prepare her for the next part of her career. After forming this close bond with Annie, I am having a very hard time letting her go.  I wanted to be one of the people who continued contributing to her education.

I hope you get even one time in your life to have such a rewarding and unforgettable experience with someone you mentor.  Annie told me I have changed her life forever - she doesn't realize, she changed mine too.

Mentor a young person, our future, known by many names: the Millennials, Gen Y, the Now Generation, and the Great Generation. They are counting on us to lead them into future success.  With all their energy, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn, we owe this to them.  You'll never forget nor will they, for the rest of your lives.

"Annie, our 'Rising Star,' thank you for the time we had together. You touched many lives and we will miss you. We will remain your virtual inspiration no matter where you are in this great big world. Good-bye Annie and good luck. We'll be watching you grow as you become a future leader." 

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" (unknown)

"Become a mentor, then let them go and watch them soar." (Ivy)


Ivy Meadors
High Tech High Touch Solutions


What does the IRS, the National Reconnaissance Office, FAA, and U.S. Census Bureau, and Utah.gov have in Common?

They are all presenting case studies, sharing proven ideas to use in your own work groups, at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support (GCS) Conference and Expo 2006!

June 14-15, 2006
Sheraton Crystal City in Arlington, VA


If you work in the public sector, please join us at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference in Arlington, VA June 14-15, 2006.  Our speakers have prepared very advanced and educational sessions to share with you. 

  • You will get pertinent information, proven techniques, including resources that will apply to your immediate needs.

  • If you work in the Help Desk field, you are likely moving to a Service Desk model using ITIL combined with improved use of technologies, and building a culture that will embrace the changes.  We have you covered with ITIL Essential certification and sessions to help you move it on to the next level.

  • Those of you in the Contact Center and Service Portals must handle increased contact volumes, addressing consumer's increased needs and provide information in real-time from hundreds of different resources.  311, 7/24, self-service, VoIP, mobilization, knowledge provided for easy access, automation to reduce contact management, consolidation, and outsourcing are some of the many solution options you will learn at GCS.

  • Over 70% of our speakers will be providing a handout template, white paper, or resource document that will provide you a resource or tool relative to their specific topic. 

  • GCS 2006 will offer you insights into the future of service and support - "no more of the same old thing."  Education, relationship building, networking, and exposure to solutions will help you move to the next stage for advancing your Help Desks and Contact Centers. 

  • We focus our conferences on leadership and management objectives.  We bring the tools to you to establish advanced Help Desks, Contact Centers, and Service Portals in your organizations.

  • We've got it here for you in an intimate setting where everyone is available to hold pertinent discussions.  No standing in lines and no long walks to get to sessions.  Everything is close and intimate. We have created the best environment for in-depth learning experiences possible and premium networking opportunities.


Our focus has always been, and always will be on you and your professional and personal needs.

-->> Speakers, Vendors, Board Members, Volunteers <<--
We are accepting requests for event partners, speaker proposals, and board member applications for the 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo.  Email HDP@hthts.com now.


Pete McGarahan, President, McGarahan and Associates, http://www.mcgarahan.com

Don’t miss  Pete’s Pre-Conference Seminar at GCS 2006 - Creating Valued Services.
Register now!

Pete McGarahan is an accomplished, widely recognized expert in delivering service and support value to a wide variety of clients for more than 20 years. He blends his extensive knowledge of support industry trends and directions, proven best practices, and business alignment strategies to serve as both a thought leader and mentor for the support community.  He has spoken at all 4 GCS conferences and scores a perfect 10 every year for his delivery and content rich presentations.

White Paper Excerpt: A Strategic Guide to Self-Service for the IT Help Desk Inch by Inch, Step by Step: Building a solution with cement, not quicksand.

It is never easy to wake up one morning and decide to implement a self-service solution.  The complexity, demands, and mile-a-minute business changes already make the life of an IT leader stressful and taxed.  It’s likely that over the past few years, you have consolidated help desks into a single-point-of-contact service desk; continued to handle the entire customer base’s problems, requests, and training needs; and begun to support an ever-growing portfolio of Business Critical applications.

The challenge is clear: Continue to increase contact volume and problem complexity which results in increasing demand against “stay-the-course” service desk staffing levels or develop and implement a self-service strategy to manage demand, deflecting non-value-add requests, issues, and training to self-service while freeing up the phone queue to respond to and resolve issues of greater urgency and impact.

If you choose the self-service option, how do you build your solution with cement rather than quicksand?  Inch by inch, step by step.

1. Build a business case
The business case process, the single most compelling influence on senior management, ensures that your plan is thoroughly researched, and the business needs and value of your investment is well justified. The process forces you to ask the right questions:

  • How will customers benefit from this?
  • How will this enable them to work more efficiently and effectively?
  • How will self-service benefit the business in the short term and long term?
  • What are the value drivers that make up the cost/benefit analysis and financial metrics?

2. Create a vision and strategy
There are many compelling reasons why successful companies create a vision and strategy for initiatives such as self-service, but one rises above all. If you don’t define what success looks like, how will you get there, and how will you recognize it?

Envision the end-result first.  What does it look like?  Does it have both functional and emotional appeal? Is it clear and compelling?  Does it define the service desk’s value-added business impact?

An aligned strategy, comprised of business goals, success metrics and performance incentives, brings the vision to life.  The strategy fleshes out and strengthens your pitch, gathering support and momentum for your plan.  Ensure that your pitch passes the senior executive sniff test - brief, direct, and articulates the three most persuasive reasons why self-service is a business imperative. Ask yourself the right questions to build your strategy:

  • Does your self-service strategy clearly articulate which activities, roles, and responsibilities are necessary to achieve success?
  • Does it set proper expectations in the short- and long-term regarding requirements (resources, processes, tools, training, etc.)?
  • How will you change behavior?  How do you get people to visit, use it, and come back time and again?
  • What will be the measure of success?

Remember, in the world of business, your vision and strategy remain the undisputed anchor point for any necessary change or action. Don’t make it good, make it great.  It will guide you through all phases of your self-service initiative.

3. Create a change management plan
The change management plan provides the necessary framework and sequence for identified tasks and communications to occur. Your plan should include operational and business metrics, training (customers and service desk professionals alike), and your marketing communications strategy. It should also include activities such as ongoing maintenance, support, and knowledge management.

Above all, do not try to change everything at once. If you have the luxury of time, buy it! Set the right pace to introduce this cultural change. Your change management plan should:

  • Recognize where you are.
  • Prepare for fear of, and resistance to, change.
  • Anticipate criticism and appropriate responses.
  • Drive change down to the grass-roots level.
  • Get to the heart of the resistance.
  • Recognize that you cannot please everyone.
  • Celebrate measured success.

4. Engage your customers
The best way to increase your success rate in the short-term of the rollout of self-service is to involve your customers in the functionality requirements and design stages.  Bringing them into the process creates a sense of ownership - now they have skin in the game and become your best partners and advocates. Engage them in all phases.

5. Walk the walk, talk the talk
Business leaders must become influencers, demonstrating the benefits of self-service by consistently and publicly role-modeling the right behaviors. Leaders need to show people how to leverage self-service to get what they need and better contribute to the organization’s bottom-line: “Let me show you how I use self-service to get my job done better and faster.”

6. Communicate creatively, consistently, constantly
Identify the key messages you want stakeholders to communicate.  These core messages should be delivered from and to all levels of the organization. The messages should:

  • Address the reasons for change
  • Describe how the change will positively impact their day-to-day productivity
  • Guide them in using the self-service solution
  • Direct them to training and support resources
  • Champion the front line
  • Address barriers, objections, and outliers
  • Create a two-way communication channel
  • Capture customer feedback

Remember, you can never over-communicate around an initiative that involves driving cultural change.  Leverage all existing communication channels, be creative in developing new vehicles and ways to deliver them, be consistent in your messaging, and never stop communicating. However, under no circumstance should you over-promise or over-commit.

7. Create a training plan
Make training the lynchpin of your plan. Remember the airline example?  They failed at first because they ignored customer training.

Allocate the proper resources and budget necessary for training. Get traction by identifying training needs, targets, and opportunities. First train leaders, influencers, customer advocates, front-line professionals, and the local experts.  Create a train-the-trainer approach to cascade training to everyone in the company.  During rollout, make sure to use customer feedback and self-service tracking logs to continually improve training and communications.

8. Identify performance metrics
If you are changing the rules of the game for the players, make sure you change the metrics by which their performance is measured.  It’s common sense and good business practice to align job descriptions, key performance indicators, and incentives of service desk professionals who must sell the self-service solution to customers.  Recognition is the best enabler and motivator!  Use incentives, contests, rewards, and celebrations for customers who regularly use the self-service solution, and for team members who drive acceptance of self-service.  Make your recognition plan flexible - both methodical and opportunistic in the way you celebrate customer and team-member wins. Create performance metrics and embed them in your training and communication plans.

My promise to you because I am so sure you will find your investment well spent at our event is this:

Give us just two days and we'll deliver to you comprehensive, educational information in key areas of service and support, with an emphasis on leadership and service delivery best practices for help desks, contact centers and service portals.

If you are not 100% satisfied after experiencing the full two day program, we will refund the money you paid us for the conference fee.  It's risk free so why not give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to win.  You have my word! 

-- Ivy Meadors, CEO, High Tech High Touch Solutions


Government customer support conference and expo (top)

Program details: Posted at www.governmentconference.com.

Sponsors: Interested sponsors can email us directly at GCS@hthts.com.  There are a limited number of these exclusive sponsorship opportunities available.

Be part of the experience: If you want to be part of the GCS 2006 team, email us at solutions4u@hthts.com right away.


Customer Service Group provides a wide range of management and training materials designed to improve service levels, productivity and performance in the customer contact center. Visit us online for information on our books, print newsletters, Customer Service Week support materials, benchmarking studies, and free email newsletter, Service Starters.

You’ll find us at www.CustomerServiceGroup.com or phone (212) 228-0246 for additional information.

Below are a few of the resources you can find at the Customer Service Group website. Visit them now for complete articles!


We hope you enjoyed this edition of eSharings. Feel free to reprint this newsletter in its entirety with our copyright information intact.

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Note:  eSharings will contain links to sites on the Internet, which are owned and operated by third parties.  High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc. is not responsible for the content of any such third-party site.

The 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo

June 14-15, 2006
Sheraton Crystal City, Arlington, VA

The GCS program includes:

SUPER DISCOUNTED! Cert. courses offer unique low Gov Rates

Certified Help Desk Manager Training

ITIL Foundations Training

Leadership Training

Excellence Awards program for Customer Support organizations in the public sector

Exclusive Mastermind Sessions with over 30 topics to choose from for Help Desks and Contact Centers.

“A live from the front-line” perspective and  much more.

GCS Event Partners

Association of Support Professionals


Brad Worthley Intl.

Call Center School




Customer Service Group

Diamond Municipal Solutions


HDI Capital Area Local Chapter

Northwest Call Center Professionals

Help Desk Northwest


Northwest Support Professionals



STI Knowledge


Stay informed and do what you can to save our world.  www.worldwildlife.org


Win King Kong!

Be the 1st person to call and place an order for a conference pass and we will give you a King Kong DVD.

You must say "you saw Kong in eSharings."

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