High Tech High Touch Solutions
Creating High Performance Service and Support Organizations

DRIVE:  Dream it.  Realize it.  Invest in it.  Visualize it.  Experience it.

Free hints, tips and resources  (click to see sample newsletters)  


Our Services

  About Us

  Contact Us

  Consulting Services

  System Integrations

Our Events

  HDP Conference

  GCS Conference

  All Events

The Free Stuff





 Ivy's Bio

 Ivy's Slides


 Animal Advocate

Northwest User Groups




Customer Testimonials

  Our Customers Share

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


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

Greg Charles
Key Contributor

Daryl Covey

Ernie Hayden
Key Contributor
Port of Seattle

Judy Hogan
Key Contributor

Donna Holt
Help Desk Xlence

JJ Lauderbaugh
Key Contributor
Lauderbaugh & Assoc.

Rick Nichols
Key Contributor
Western Washington University

Bill Price
Key Contributor
Driva Solutions

Seanna Sams
Audio Visual
Dept. of Social and Health Services

Dave Stockwell
Audio Visual

Brad Worthley
Key Contributor
Brad Worthley Intl.


our motto: "whatever it takes!"



Insights, hints, tips, and resources for service and support professionals, given in the spirit of sharing information in a quick-read, content-rich newsletter.

In this Issue:

-- Exclusive offer to attend HDP 2006

-- Sharing - Fun in the Help Desk and the serious side of being "Green" at work

-- Resources - Why we get poor service and what we can do to reduce instances

-- Subscription Information

Here's what you get when you attend The 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo in San Antonio, Sept. 25-27.

  1. Handouts including templates and resource sheets from individual speakers, distributed only at the conference.

  2. Flash drive loaded with all of the presentations from HDP 2006.

  3. Breakfast, lunch, and attendance at the wine and cheese reception on Monday night.

  4. Option to purchase autographed books from our keynote speakers.

  5. Chance to win free passes to future events, give-aways, and more.

  6. Attendance to our exclusive Mastermind sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.

  7. Intimate discussions and innumerable networking opportunities with peers, speakers, and industry experts.

  8. A mix of longer session workshops and shorter breakout sessions packed with content.

  9. Sessions delivered by top industry experts and professional speakers.

  10. A unique focus on leadership skills to develop you personally as well as for developing others.

Additionally, for a small investment, you can attend:

  • ITIL Foundations Certification

  • Certified Help Desk Managers training

  • All day Government Symposium

  • All day VoIP workshop

  • Choice of two pre-conference sessions

Program details are posted at www.helpdeskconference.com.


Please register your seat today and receive all these great benefits and more.

"Sign up by September 1st and save $200 now by accepting our exclusive offer to attend 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo.


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Having a good laugh can put an unexpected spin on the rest of your day.  We need to take some things in life very serious and other times we need to lighten up.  Readers send me fun weblinks about help desks and call centers.   After that really disruptive call sometimes we need something to lighten things up so we don't lambaste the next caller.

The short video clip, sent to me last year, is about help desk support in India that delivers support to NBC.  It was shown on an NBC Conan O'Brian show.  (You will need to copy and paste this link into your browser to view the video clip:  www.badmash.org/videos/conan.php?v=conan.wmv&t=Conan%20O%20Brien%20outsourcing%20bit).

For a variety of funny help desk and call center cartoons and clips visit The Phone Phunnies.

If these are "real" calls to an actual help desk, they are funny, but even if they made them up or embellished them, they still seem realistic.  Funny2.com shares their "Actual Computer Help Desk Calls.

In The Humor Archives website you will find "Help Desk Nightmares", call exchanges with end users.

And now on a more serious topic....


"Green Ivy": Environmental conservation and animal activism is one of my personal passions and has been for over most of my life.  My personal goal is to do whatever I can do to protect our natural resources including plant and animal species as well as their habitat for the future.

Many of you who know me, understand how important it is to me to save endangered species. One of the primary areas of focus has been to save the tigers and other big cats but I don't limit my interests to just the big cats.  Polar bears, wild horses, domestic pet cruelty, and environmental considerations are some of the many other areas that I take part in as a conservationist. 

Scott Kelly, from Symon Communications, a very good friend for over eight years, attended the Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo we held in New Orleans two years ago.  This was Scott's first time to attend our event.  I'll never forget when he said, "You can tell this is an event you produce, it's "earthy".

At our conferences we ask the hotels to only put out an adequate amount of food so little goes to waste  We ask that what is left over, and can appropriately be shared, is given to a shelter or others who can benefit.  We request recycle cans be put out, though we are not always obliged to our disappointment.  Some hotels tell us it costs them too much to collect recyclables.  This is outrageous with the waste so exponential.

According to NYCWasteLe$$, an estimated 50 million pounds of food is thrown away each year by NYC restaurants, businesses, and other food establishments. Encourage your work cafeteria or food vendor to donate edible food. The donation may also be tax deductible.

What you can do in your Service Desk and Contact Centers to be more "green":

  1. Put out many recycle bins for paper, cans and bottles in easy access locations.  Label them clearly so they don't get contaminated.  An incorrect piece of trash put into a recycle bin can destroy the entire lot from being recycled.

  2. Most people already use their own coffee cups to reduce paper product waste.  Now many corporate cafeterias are encouraging people to being their own dish or plate for salads and hot meals plus their own utensils.

  3. Eliminate any hard copy magazines by subscribing to get only online published copies.  If you do receive hard copies of trade journals, personal magazines and catalogs bring them to work. Put them in the cafeteria, lounge, or other areas where people often congregate. Put up a sign that says, "free and please recycle or pass along when done."  Since we don't have a lot of traffic in our office we share ours with local business for their waiting rooms.  Some libraries will let you put them out for the taking as well.

  4. Use both sides of the paper before recycling it. Set printers and copiers to default to double sided-printing or copying. Fill an extra paper tray with paper that has already been printed on one side to use in printing draft documents. Use scrap paper for taking messages or writing notes before recycling it.

  5. Avoid "Junk Mail" by notifying companies that send you unwanted mail, particularly magazines.


  • Waste Management tips from the University of Michigan - http://www.recycle.umich.edu/grounds/recycle/waste_prevention.html

  • Taking Waste Prevention to Work - New York City Waste reduction ideas - http://ci.nyc.ny.us/html/nycwasteless//////html/in_business/waste_prevention.shtml

  • Intel helps consumers reduce waste. "Until recently, many consumers disposed of their old computers in the household trash. Today, Intel makes it easier to choose better options. Many Intel sites around the world offer Computer Recycle Days, which provide a convenient way for people to recycle used technology responsibly. In 2005, Intel hosted 16 events (including the first-ever e-waste collection event in Costa Rica), and at those events collected 1.3 million pounds of used electronics—900,000 more pounds than in 2004."

"Through our long-standing efforts with Students Recycling Used Technology (StRUT), Intel is helping to teach students how to refurbish used computers for donation to local schools. Besides keeping electronic equipment out of landfills, StRUT provides exciting educational opportunities for students while promoting responsible handling at the product’s end of life." http://www.intel.com/intel/finance/gcr05/resource_conservation.htm

For a chuckle: This picture from the Humor Archives is not exactly what this help desk had in mind for a recycling program in the Help Desk but it's a start.


Until the next issue of eSharings, may you find ways you too can reduce your carbon footprint on our planet by being more conservation aware and taking actions.


Ivy Meadors
High Tech High Touch Solutions

www.ivymeadors.com / www.hthts.com



P.S. As with all of our events, we offer a full repayment of your conference investment after you attend all three days of the event if you are not satisfied, excluding pre-conference sessions and certification courses.

Can we sign you up now?  We would love to have you as one of the exclusive people at this once a year event, the Help Desk event unlike others in the industry.



 People are saying it's the best they have ever seen.

Check out the program at: www.helpdeskconference.com

Save $200 now!

We invite event partners (sponsors) to join us and make a contribution to the exclusive community of practice at the 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo

Email HDP@hthts.com now.


Why We Might Get Poor Service and Five Ideas to Improve it

We made a recent purchase of a DVD Recorder from a Radio Shack store that was closing.  They were consolidating stores.  Everything was substantially marked down.  Signs were posted everywhere saying " No Returns."

There was one DVD Recorder on the shelf, a demo model.  After an in-depth discussion with the sales person, who convinced us the machine was in full working order, we made the purchase.  He assured us if it didn't work another store would accept the return.

When we got the recorder home we found it didn't work.  Off we went to a different Radio Shack to return the device.  The answer to our attempt to return the recorder was NO!  We went back to the store that was closing and shared our dissatisfaction with the service we were getting.  We were unhappy that they misrepresented the machine worked and that we could return it to any store.  We also had to make multiple visits to multiple stores to resolve the problem.

Finally, we spoke to an individual who was adamant we couldn't return this broken device.  In a very gentle but assertive manner we explained our unhappiness and how we suspected Radio Shack would not like to be known for delivering such bad service.  After much to do, the gentleman helping us said he fully understood the situation and the reason they couldn't take back the device was because they were told by Corporate's Senior Management not to accept any returns once they left the store. 

He finally agreed to take back the device and said it was more important to him personally to give good service than to leave us with a defective product.  Furthermore, he shared that he would be getting into trouble from the District Manager but would accept this treatment knowing he did what was right for the customer. 

We appreciated the effort this individual made to resolve our issue, but also his willingness to take the risk of getting into trouble with senior management.  A frontline employee should not be put into this sort of situation when the product sold was damaged.

Why do we get poor service?

For one reason, directives are made to the frontline without allowing them to effectively resolve customer issues.  I'm sure you can't count how many times someone has told you no to a request to resolve an issue and had someone repeat the same mantra over and over, "I'm sorry, but that is against our policy" or "We are not allowed to do that." There are legitimate times when these responses are reasonable but not often.  Employees need to be empowered to make the best decision for the company and for the customer.

Six other reasons include:

  1. Personal behaviors and bad attitudes like having a defensive posturing, the high need to be right, or a controlling communication style.

  2. The person is wrong for the position and was a bad hire.

  3. They have a short-timer attitude and don't really care about the customer because they know they'll be leaving soon anyway.

  4. They didn't receive adequate customer service training.

  5. They don't buy-in to or believe in the products or services being sold or delivered.

  6. Ineffective leaders - this is a huge issue and very real!  Steve Miller of Royal Dutch/Shell offers a powerful model of what leadership means -- a recognition that commitment and creativity come from all parts and all levels of an organization.  Read article on Grassroots Leadership.

Five things that can be done

  1. Training the frontline how to make good decisions and to know what they can offer to resolve the issue is crucial. (i.e. At Taco Bell, when they mess up your order, they replace your order plus give you a free desert. They also apologize for the inconvenience, which is key.  They accept the blame that someone made a mistake on their end, even if they may not have.)  A couple useful training resources include the Customer Service Group and The Call Center School.

  2. Empower the frontline to make good decisions and take necessary risks.  Have clear rules.  It makes it easier for the employee to make decisions.  Rule #1: "Never Say No." Rule #2: Do Whatever it Takes", our motto at High Tech High Touch Solutions.  Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, says, "You can't guarantee you'll never make mistakes  You can guarantee you will fix them."

  3. Teach the frontline to be honest with the customers.  The frontline has been known to embellish or exaggerate on the value of the product or service, or blatantly lie to a customer to get them off the phone. (Read article: www.customer-service.com/newsletter/153E.aspx)

  4. Remind people daily about the need to deliver good customer service.  Visit www.ccdq.com, click Tools and select Customer Service Graffiti for a list of quotes to stimulate ideas how to improve service.  There are many other useful resources on this website as well.

  5. Teach people the value of viral marketing.  The right information shared with the right people at the right time will increase customer satisfaction levels and contribute to having more customers.  Read how Amazon.com grew their business exponentially using this method.  Get the word out about your products and services by offering an added value, sharing information that is applicable to their specific needs.  I hope you will help us share our insights, information, and news about our events using this technique. 

Did you sign up yet for The 8th Annual Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo

Our attendees say, "this is one of the most in-depth, highest quality Help Desk conferences that delivers unprecedented educational and networking opportunities."

Will you help us spread the word? Will you help us grow our database by forwarding your copy to others and encouraging them to join our highly secure, never sold or shared email database?  It would mean a lot to us to have your help to build our community of practice in the interest of sharing insights and 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


Customer Service Group

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.

Free Newsletters  |  Free Stuff  |  Services  |  Speaking  |  Contact Us  |  Home

HDP 2007  |  GCS 2007

Reach us at solutions4U@hthts.com or call 425-398-9292.

© Copyright 1999-2008,  High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc.