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Event Information

The 9th Annual Signature Customer Service and Support Professionals Conference
(a.k.a. Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo)

Mark Your Calendar for 2008 GCSC

The 7th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo

April 28-30, 2008
Alexandria, VA

Call 425-398-9292
now to SAVE $400

Taking speaker and partner submissions now.

2007 CSSPC

Association of Support Professionals

Call Center School





Customer Service Group

DEMA Education

Driva Solutions

Government Customer Support Community of Practice


Neighborhood and Worldwide Contact Center Professionals


Pathworks Software

Help Desk Northwest


Telework Coalition

Third Sky, Inc.



VoIP Institute

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“There's Always a Better Way”  -Thomas Alva Edison

Two mottos our company embraces that are fundamental to the spirit of our business are; 1) “There is always a better way”, and 2) “Do whatever it takes”.  This issue of eSharings will address finding a better way to do things.  The next issue will talk about doing whatever it takes.

After working for two of the world’s largest companies (the Bell system and IBM) and delivering professional services to hundreds of companies and government agencies world wide, one thing consistently rings true: “People generally get comfortable doing a job or task a particular way and don’t stop to look for a better way.”  There are always exceptions, but following the 80:20 rule, the majority of people take the easy road for good and poor reasons.

Robert Kriegel, PH.D, New York Times best selling author, had the greatest influence on me to look for better ways.  I was attending one of his speeches and he told the story about a consulting job he did for Goodyear.

Interpreted in my own words:

He asked why they wrap the tires with paper. They said because we always have.  He asked why they did it. They said because it protects the white walls.  He said what white walls - they are painted with blue paint to be washed off by the purchaser?  They took a look at the situation and determined that they did not need to wrap the tires any longer.  It saved millions of dollars by eliminating the paper.

Two of Robert’s many books that I love:

1. If it ain’t broke...BREAK IT!

2. Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers

I try to make it a habit to challenge myself and others by asking them if there is a better way.  When they say I don’t think so, I ask again.  I push until I get another way.  Rarely will you find a case when there’s something that can’t be done differently, even slightly, that won’t improve the process.

I overheard my staff talking to one another the other day saying “Ivy always says there is a better way. How could we do this [task stated] differently?  I was so excited to hear them thinking along these lines on their own.  We all need to say this to one another to make it become ingrained in our thoughts.  

What if you asked “Is there a better way?” after every 5th call received in the service desk or contact center?  What if changing one thing saved you hundreds, thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars a year?  Let me ask you this – do you really need to log every call?  The answer is NO and you should not be.  Email me if you want some ideas for better ways. (

What if you changed something you do at home and it gave you more time with your family or made it possible to spend more time doing a hobby you love?  It doesn’t take a lot to stop for a few minutes and ask this of yourself or others. Do you really have to watch Seinfeld reruns or catch up on the Soaps you missed.  If you found a way to get one more hour per day by eliminating something that is a time waster, you would gain 15 days a year to do things you enjoy. Hmmm?  What could you do with 15 days more?

An obvious change to someone, like why you wrap the tires, is not so obvious if you are buried in the day to day hubbub of getting your job done.  My challenge to you is to take a hard critical look at tasks you do at work and at home and ask yourself, “Is there a better way?”  I promise you – you will find there is.  Are you still wrapping your tires?

Here are a few resources to challenge you to think of better ways and to do whatever it takes to make things better.

I hope you found this issue of eSharings enjoyable and useful.  The next time you do something, ask yourself, "Am I still wrapping the tires or is there a better way?"


Ivy Meadors
High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc. or

Office: 425-398-9292

“I haven't failed, I've found 10,000 ways that don't work”     -Thomas Alva Edison

The 9th Annual Signature Customer Service and Support Professionals Conference a.k.a. Help Desk Professionals Conference and Expo

October 22-24, 2007 in Phoenix Arizona at the incredible Pointe South Mountain Resort

September 26th is the last day to make reservations at the Resort

Tired of reading the advertisements to join us in Phoenix? I'll just keep this short  - You should sign up now because it is only 37 days away until we all get together for this very educational, networking and memorable experience with some of the best of the best from our industry.  I only have 30 rooms left at the resort held in our name, so if you are coming please hurry and get your reservation made.

Next Thursday, September 20th, is the last day to save $100 off the registration investment in your personal and professional development that you will get at the CSSPC.

I don't want you to miss out on this exclusive event - besides this may be the only time you EVER get to see a no-cost service desk being built in two hours from start to finish.  Dave Stockwell from REI is going to demonstrate the entire process.  This you have to see.

Only 30 rooms left at the resort - hurry and reserve yours right away!

Note: If you are having budgeting issues, email me personally at  We are finding ways to make it possible for people to attend.

The Ultimate testimonial to the value of any event: One of our attendees is taking vacation time to attend because their company won't support them in the travel.  They found a friend who is letting them stay at their house and they are using their own money for the entire investment.  They said this event is worth it to make this sort of time and money investment.

Resources For Our Readers Who Participate in Trade Shows and Write Press Releases  (top)

Are you in our client list? Become part of the exclusive list of people who benefit from the expertise of the speakers at our events and want to keep receiving many different resources.

"Brand New" Mentoring and Coaching Resources page released to the
High Tech High Touch Solutions' website

"Transforming Lives Forever Through Mentoring"



SEPTEMBER 21ST - Seattle, WA
This is the first time in 16 years that Brad Worthley has offered "open enrollment" leadership seminars. This is a full day (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) leadership development seminar at the Redmond Marriott Town Center in Redmond, Washington. This means you can send one person or as many as you like and pay a fraction of the regular cost.

The morning seminar (8:00 a.m. to noon) titled "Turning Managers into Leaders" is incredibly powerful and eye opening. There are very few great "leaders" in this world because we train people to be "managers". Managing is about process and leading is about people, so this session will help you make the transition to a leader. Brad believes that it is impossible to have a service culture unless you have leaders who are trained on how to lead people in that culture. Brad offers his expertise on how we can change our behavior just slightly, in order to greatly impact the people we lead.

The afternoon seminar (1:00 to 5:00 p.m.) is titled "How to Coach Your Employees, Peers & Supervisor". There is a huge difference between training and coaching, so this session will teach you the technical process of personal coaching. Coaching is a gentler form of communication that will get employees to do the things you have been asking them to do (especially generation "Y") and help them gain respect for you in the process. Coaching is about self discovery and allowing employees to come up with their own answers to questions and solutions to problems. A great leader does not have all the answers, instead, they have great questions and that is what coaching is all about. Coaching can increase employee productivity by as much as 300%, so the coaching process is very powerful and needs to be learned.

Both half day sessions are targeted to anyone, from any industry, who supervises people from the CEO to the front line. This is an $8,000 full day seminar available for only $495 per person. You can also choose to attend either the morning or afternoon session individually for only $295 per person.

You can register at Brad's web site. Space is limited so act now! If you are flying in for this event (this might be a great excuse to visit gorgeous Seattle and maybe spend the weekend) Redmond is about a 30 minute cab ride from Sea-Tac airport in Seattle. Contact the Redmond Marriott Town Center direct for room reservations: (425) 498-4000.

~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~   ~~~

Survey Design & Data Analysis Workshops

Dr. Frederick C. Van Bennekom, principal of Great Brook Consulting, delivers Survey Design & Data Analysis Workshops:

  • September 18-20, Golden, CO (near Denver)

  • October 29-31, Cambridge, MA (very near Boston)

  • December 10-12, Menlo Park, CA (near San Jose)

These workshops include the ever-popular group critique of attendees' questionnaires, delivering immediate value to a survey program.

To see a description of the workshop venues and get event details, go to

Previous attendees stressed that data analysis deserved its own day - and that questionnaire design deserved more attention. So, the workshops now cover 3 days, but you're welcome to attend any combination of days. For example, if your program is just starting, consider coming for Days 1 & 2 on Questionnaire Design and Survey Administration. Then perhaps come to a later workshop for Day 3 on Data Analysis with your new data set.

Also note that the "Customer Surveying Guidebook" now has revised pricing. If you want a flavor of Fred's workshop, consider getting the book now, and he'll apply it to any future workshop registration. Click to for more information.

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