JJ's Tips in this issue:

1. Leader of Choice
2. Welcome To ACCE Call Center Conference Attendees
3. JJ's Favorite Quotes
4. New Orleans (HDP) Help Desk Conference, October 6-8
5. Tele-Coaching & Tele-Mentoring


Use the following tips as training tools.

Present this situation to your group and brainstorm solutions together, or submit your own situation question to be answered in an upcoming newsletter.


One of the attendees at the (ACCE) Annual Call Center Exhibition last week in Seattle, Washington, asked me at breakfast, "How can a call center manager truly become the MANAGER OF CHOICE, reduce turnover, and create exceptional customer service too." I invited her to the program I was giving
the next morning, titled, "Treat Me Right: What Every Manager Needs to Know NOW about Customer Service."

(I want to welcome the standing-room-only ACCE crowd that attended my session. This newsletter is a reinforcement of some of the key points that were made in my session.)


Managers and supervisors need to develop the the courage to think differently now. It will be their competitive advantage to becoming the Manager/Leader of Choice. Expectations have changed and the bar has been raised!

Are you meeting customer expectations? Exceeding customer expectations? Are you accomplishing this with both internal and external customers? Most are not.

Treat internal customers the way you want them to treat your external customers. Partner with them; create a human connection built on integrity and honesty.

Things have changed around us. We have flattened organizations, reduced budgets, higher operational costs, smaller staffs, 24-7 operations, tighter metrics (length of calls, etc.), sluggish economy, outsourcing competition and the fears that go along with with these changes.

If you manage even one other person, you have an umbrella over that person or persons. How you create your service culture under your umbrella will make the difference of whether you become the Manager/Employer of Choice or not. When you do become it, your people will love working for and with you, even if they are not making the highest pay or the environment is not the greatest. They will like how they feel when they go home at the end of the day, because they know they are making a difference with customers. You help them build their self esteem, which affects all areas of their lives.

Pay attention to your soft skills and the soft skills of those in your department. Even the quietest, introverted managers need to push themselves to develop habits of reinforcing the caring culture.

A simple process of putting 5 pennies in your right side pocket each morning will help. Each time you interact positively with one of your agents, slip a penny to your left side pocket. Strive to have all your
pennies in the left pocket before the end of the day. Eventually, your soft skills will naturally take over, and you can eliminate the pennies in the pocket. It is a crutch for as long as it is needed.

If you are a more extroverted and seasoned manager, you may need to step back and get a new perspective to compete in today's changing environment. You may need to get out of your own way! In other words, get your ego out of the way and become a true SERVANT LEADER.

Discover what is lacking in yourself first, and then your agents, and find ways to turn them around soon. Look for a lack of integrity, honesty, trust, commitment, flexibility, communication, etc.

Recording your own conversations with others can be helpful too, just as monitoring your agents will help to improve their soft skills. Monitoring, with good feedback, is one of the fastest ways to improve your operation.

Three exceptional Managers of Choice I have worked with come to mind. They had no or low turnover, and great customer service and customer loyalty. All their agents and reps had a strong emotional commitment to their manager, team, and to the mission and vision of their company. The managers
were excellent role models for their teams, and they communicated the mission and vision well.

Have you shared and discussed how your department fits into that mission and vision? Have your reps or agents stated what their mission (daily accomplishment) and vision (future picture) are. Is their purpose in
working there just to make a paycheck?

If you don't know the answers to these questions about your people, this is the first place to start to develop a caring customer-service team. When everyone is striving to accomplish their mission and working toward their vision daily, you now have a team thinking and acting as management would,
and accomplishing bottom-line results with customers.

Link your quality support and service to future business. Become a profit center by delivering what is expected, and creating a desire to buy more products and services from your company.

Things will go wrong, and when complaints do come in, this is a second chance to right the wrong. Statistically, only 4% of our unhappy customers complain. If they have a choice to do business elsewhere, they vote with their feet and never complain. They just go someplace else. Don't you? So, if you are not getting complaints, it does not mean there are no complaints.

Get timely feedback from your customers. Listen to their comments and dig deeper for unspoken complaints! If you do not have confidence in your agents that they would do the right thing, in line with your mission and vision for the company, you need to do some FEEDING and WEEDING NOW!

Feed them all the training and tools they need, company strategy included, and enough time to implement what they have learned. Then weed out those who can not or choose not to meet your standard. Have the courage to clean house! And do not just transfer them to another department where they will
be unsuccessful again. That could be how they have ended up in your call center.

Now that your staff is trained and committed to you, your team, and company, work hard to discover what motivates them, individually and collectively. The different age groups motivate differently and individual circumstances will cause motivations to shift too. Stay on top of what is going on with
your people, and adjust.

Remember, training should not be treated as an event, but instead, an ongoing process. Look for ways to make it fun, exciting and rewarding. A speaker or trainer from outside your company can also bring a spark to your team. They act as a catalyst to renew the team's commitment and vitality, and sometimes a much-needed fresh approach. And the customers always notice the difference.


"I used to say, 'I sure hope things will change.' Then I learned that the only way things are going to change for me is when I change." - Jim Rohn

"Achievement - seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit." - Conrad Hilton


October 6, JJ Will be presenting, "Turning Managers Into Leaders" at this very special help desk conference. She is the hostess of the Leadership track, and will be honored in the "Legends of the Industry" awards ceremony.Come join us for a great time in New Orleans. http://www.dci.com



Customer service or sales?
Inbound or outbound call center sales and service?
Dealing with irate internal or external customers?
Motivation and growth of your people?
Leading and Coaching your staff?

TRY our one-on-one Tele-Mentoring (phone coaching service) that is available to business owners, executives, managers, supervisors and staff members.

Call for your FREE CONSULTATION now! 800 500-9656 or 408 445-1590



Have you had an Evaluation of Your Environment lately so you could receive suggestions on improving it? (It's like the doctor's check up, you often don't know you need it, until after you've had it.)



JJ Lauderbaugh, CPCM
408 445-1590 or 800 500-9656, 1716 Husted Ave., San Jose, CA 95124.

JJ works with companies that want to give exceptional customer service to increase sales, and with Directors and Call Center/Help Desk Managers who want to improve human performance.

She's an international speaker, trainer, facilitator and certified management consultant (CPCM) on customer service management, specializing in performance improvement, call centers, up/cross selling and outbound calling.

For training resources, free articles, tips and streaming video, go to our web site at


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JJ Lauderbaugh, CPCM, Lauderbaugh & Associates, Inc., 2004. Reprinted with permission from JJ's Tips, a monthly internet newsletter. For your own personal subscription, email jj@jjlauderbaugh.com.

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