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Ivy Meadors
Host and Producer
High Tech High Touch Solutions

Lisa Prendergast
VP, Conference Manager
High Tech High Touch Solutions

Mary Lou Blakely
Key Contributor

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Key Contributor

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Help Desk Xlence

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Lauderbaugh & Assoc.

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Driva Solutions

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Brad Worthley Intl.




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

In this Issue:

-- Exclusive offer to attend HDP 2006

-- Sharing - Is your team stressed? What is the impact?

-- Resources from Symon Communications

-- GCS 2006 Winner of Outstanding Customer Service Award - Utah.gov

-- Job Openings at High Tech High Touch Solutions

-- Subscription Information


Have you Ever Been to San Antonio?


 People have said it's the best they have seen to date.
Check out this awesome program now.

Please accept my exclusive offer to sign up for HDP 2006 and save $200!


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Stress and an undesirable working environment in help desks and call centers are primary reasons for adverse customer service, high turn-over, high absenteeism, and low motivation of staff members.  In my work as a consultant ,and previously as a manager of help desks, managing stress levels is an obvious need.  It becomes very apparent what stress is doing to the bottom line .  The first step to managing stress in the call center and he help desk is to understood where it is coming from (root cause analysis) and how it is affecting the team.  The second step is to deal with it appropriately as soon as possible.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The article titled "How to Control Call Center Stress" was written by the author of “Winning Under Fire: Turn Stress into Success the US Army Way,” takes strategies from the battlefield into the boardroom and beyond."    He says in the article:

"The US Army has plenty of experience with stress control as front line leaders strive to keep GIs on the job. Traditionally, the US Army has lost as many soldiers to stress as to enemy gunfire – a ratio of 1:1. The most elite units trim this loss to a ratio of 1:10 – one stress loss for every 10 wounded soldiers."

"Regardless of the ratio, every front line soldier is critical to winning the battle. Commanders know that controlling stress under fire is as critical as food, fuel, and ammunition. The same holds true for call centers. You can’t get high productivity with high absenteeism." 

The source of these statements and the rest of the article is posted at http://www.connectionsmagazine.com/articles/4/104.html.  It is worth the read.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The article "Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Hardiness Helps People: Turn Stressful Circumstances into Opportunities posted at  http://www.psychologymatters.org/hardiness.html is another good resource.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The next article title "Stress in the Call Center" that I want you to read was written in 2002.  I can't even imagine what the statistics shared in this article must look like today.  You have got to read this one.  At the bottom of the article the author lists some additional articles to review.

The following are the first two paragraphs from the study.

"One of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. is the call center. About 3% of the workforce now works in call centers, and many analysts predict the number to double in the next decade. Call centers are popular because they can provide a way to outsource whole swaths of labor-intensive work, such as customer service, reservations, sales and debt collection. By turning over this work to call centers, companies don't have to deal with recruitment, training and turnover issues. But there is a cost to call centers: a large cost, and one that is borne out by the employees."

"According to a recent survey of 784 call center employees who answer phones in public utilities across the U.S., the constant pressure to meet quotas, follow scripts, and deal with demanding customers has taken its toll. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest, one third (32 percent) report their stress level at ten. The overall average is 7.9. One third (30 percent) report that stress often affects them physically and emotionally, and forty percent report that stress "often" or "regularly" affects their work performance. Workers report a variety of physical manifestations of stress, including fatigue, irritability, inability to relax, headaches, backaches, and high blood pressure. Health problems are exacerbated because employees are limited in the number of times and minutes they can spend in the restroom. "

* * * * * * * * * * * *

There is good stress and bad stress. Bad stress is hard on everyone.  Whatever we can do to help reduce stress in our own environment and those around us will benefit everyone.  Increase productivity, improve customer service, and enhance the working environment by reducing stress in help desks and call centers.  What level of stress on a scale of 1 to 10 would your staff say they feel?  Ask them!!"

Until next week, may your days be free of unwelcome stress.



Ivy Meadors
High Tech High Touch Solutions


“Celebrate with the Legends of the Help Desk Industry and join the "Round-Up of Top Leaders in the Help Desk Profession"

Hundreds of Help Desk Professionals, including industry experts, legends, vendors and practitioners, will come together September 25-27, 2006, at the spectacular Hyatt Regency in San Antonio for the 8th Annual Conference for Help Desk Professionals. This is a gathering of peers from the user and vendor communities with a common interest in establishing advanced service and support environments, managing down costs, utilizing technology to its fullest and in doing so achieving increased customer satisfaction.

Each year our event brings updated conference formats, some of the most recognized names in our industry, and numerous well thought-out networking opportunities.  We are adding even more in-depth sessions, delivering loads of handouts and templates, and including comprehensive working sessions.

In three days you will learn:

  • Confidence in the way to turn your help desk into a service desk learning time-tested lessons you can put into practice to achieve the same results now.

  • Practical, actionable information on strategy, vision, and execution to establish advanced help desks

  • Business strategies for developing the collective skills of your team - exceeding your organization's standards for performance, productivity and efficiencies.

  • Top leadership techniques to lead and empower your people - Ways to advance the skills of the team members.

  • How to forge effective relationships with those above, below and alongside of you.

  • How to deliver results the right way - understand the proven best practices in service and support.

  • Ways to deliver exceptional, high quality customer service.

  • The 10 key considerations to developing young leaders - Understanding The Millennials, Gen X and Boomers.

  • Advanced uses of technology from small or no investment to more advanced options.

  • The key components of ITIL  - how to select and implement the best practices of ITIL in your own organization in practical, relevant terms.

  • How to implement VoIP in your organization or company and what considerations must be made to guarantee success.

  • Master techniques to create valued services in your support groups.

  • Hear success stories for effectively applying VoIP, identity management, knowledge management, change management, and security measures.

  • Learn techniques to reward and motivate your team on a shoestring budget.

  • Deliver extraordinary customer service and offer self-service options to your customers.

  • Hear how others successfully outsourced and/or consolidated their support centers.

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.


Symon Communications, www.symon.com

"Real Time Never Looked Better"

Would you like to know the exact number of people needed to handle the contacts into your call center at any given day and time? What if you could identify the most cost effective balance of activities performed by the team that would guarantee the highest level of customer satisfaction? And what if you could have this information in real-time delivered to you immediately from automated alerts feeding data from a variety of different applications? If you knew these numbers and more, could this data contribute to the bottom line in your organization, generate revenue, and increase the productivity of your staff?

Symon Communications, a worldwide market leader in real-time communication solutions, has just the solution for you. Symon creates hardware and software solutions to collect, analyze, and optimize real-time, mission-critical productivity information. The focus is on performance and all types of business communications, including employee, customer and crisis communication.

Using our real-time reporting engine for messaging and alerting systems, we offer a modular infrastructure for consolidating real-time data, delivering information to contact centers, and other enterprise applications. Other products include real-time and historical performance, browser-based executive dashboards, operational alerts that increase control over performance, and workforce management solutions for controlling contact center costs.

Thousands of customers, and more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100 can attest to Symon’s strength and innovation.

Visit www.symon.com for more information on their solutions.


  • Executive Dashboards:
    Symon enables you to align activity with strategic goals because you now have access to all the right data and a standard presentation platform called Vista for all users. The major benefit is that key decision makers now have complete vision into all operations across the enterprise and potentially even into suppliers and customers.

  • Workforce Management and Scorecards
    Workforce management (or WFM) is a key component in successfully managing a contact center. It directly addresses the largest cost component, approximately 70%, in a contact center. In addition, it indirectly impacts the second largest component, which is quality of service (e.g., queue times increase long distance charges). Community is a 100% browser-based product for WFM. Its power and ease of use merited more than 6 industry awards in its first year alone. In fact, Call Center Magazine called it “an A+ buy.”

Additional workforce management and dashboard information:

“Most of the information a manager will need to run a business will reside on a computer screen in a ‘digital cockpit’. It will contain every piece of real-time data, with automatic alerts spotlighting the trends requiring immediate attention.”

- Jack Welch, former CEO, General Electric; Straight from the Gut, 2001


Utah.gov Receives Outstanding Customer Service Award

By creating a portal, or doorway, around the labyrinth of government, Utah.gov has put a myriad of information and services at users' fingertips.

Presented at the 5th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo, by the Government Contact Center Community of Practice, the awards spotlight the very best in government customer service in four categories: Teamwork, Technical Excellence, Customer Focus, and Overall Excellence. The judge's panel consists of three to four representatives from government and one from industry, and the judges individually screen all the nominations and then convene first to select finalists and then winners.

This year, the Utah.gov Web site itself took home the top prize in the Technical Excellence Category.

"We are very pleased to receive this recognition," said Stephen Fletcher, Chief Information Officer for the state of Utah. "In the final judging, Utah.gov was the only state Web site to receive a Government Customer Service Excellence Award, and we are particularly honored by Utah's selection. We will continue our efforts to provide services that enable government to operate more efficiently."

"2006 marks our fifth annual awards," remarked Daryl L. Covey of the Government Contact Center Community of Practice. "This year, we felt no site demonstrated technical excellence more than Utah's. By creating a portal, or doorway, around the labyrinth of government, Utah.gov has put a myriad of information and services at users' fingertips."

The portal is a collaborative effort between the state of Utah and Utah Interactive, LLC. It was built and is marketed, operated, and maintained by Utah Interactive, a Salt Lake City-based wholly owned subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC.

Additional material may be available for this article online: http://www.govtech.net/news/news.php?id=99983


We have an opening for a commission-only sales person to sell sponsorships for our conferences.  This also includes selling attendee registrations.  The job is location independent and you can almost set your own hours.

We also have an attendee sales / office administration position available. This position requires the person to work onsite at our headquarters in Woodinville, WA.

Please ONLY apply if you have experience in sales, know our industry well, have excellent writing and oral skills, are an enthusiastic person and loves working with people.  If this description fits you, email solutions4u@hthts.com for more information.


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

To subscribe visit our website at www.hthts.com or reply to this copy with subscribe in the subject line. To unsubscribe click the link at the bottom of this email that says unsubscribe.

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 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo

September 25-27, 2006
Hyatt Riverwalk,
San Antonio TX


Certified Help Desk Manager Training

ITIL Foundations

HDP 2006
Event Partners

Association of Support Professionals

Brad Worthley Intl.

Call Center School


Northwest Call Center Professionals

Help Desk Northwest

Northwest Support Professionals

STI Knowledge


VoIP Institute

Visit our website for useful information www.hthts.com
sign up for our newsletters now! 

Get free information now!
Previous resource-loaded eSharings posted on our website.

Did you know attending a conference is still one of the best educational alternatives?

Meetings Media/MPI (corporate and association planners) report the following trends.

 - Budgets are increasing for meetings! This is due to increased attendance and number of meetings.

- Length of big events will be typically 1-3 days.

- Meeting attendance has increased 10-12%.

- HelmsBriscoe, one of the largest meeting/event planning companies in the world, report record attendance and recognition in the value of sending employees to events for continuing education.

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