New Year's resolutions for the teleservices industry

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The teleservices channel is full of planners. Everyone knows that every hour,

every shift and every day, week or month have to have a

plan. We plan for the work force and the budget, and we even plan for

contingencies. Sometimes we are so busy updating and changing these

plans that we often forget the initial purpose of the plan.

The new year is a great time to get back to the principles that

underpin our plans. Below are some principals (or resolutions) that

the channel needs to undertake for 2007:

Stop pretending we don't know our consumers are angry. Often, we

pretend that we don't know certain things. We pretend we don't know

that we are too fat, our hair is falling out or myriad other age-

based maladies that everyone knows are afflicting us, but we so

conveniently ignore.

Teleservices is similar. We pretend that we have made conscious

business decisions in the long-term interests of consumers. However,

our actions ultimately involve a calculus that leaves them on hold,

misunderstood and dissatisfied.

This year, resolve to be honest about what is frustrating consumers

and ensure you collect the data necessary to begin a dialogue of change.

Stop blaming the government for our problems. I have been guilty of

misplaced blame for the past few years, and I am resolved to change.

The government - politicians, in particular - are only reacting to

consumer frustration when they create new rules.

Granted, many of their attempts to remedy the problems demonstrated

that the problems were bigger than anticipated and caused more

problems for the teleservices channel. But the necessity to solve

these problems is fair. However, if we stop assigning blame and start

building plans, we just may remove the need for government to try to

solve our issues for us.

Start acting as big as we are. The teleservices channel is mind-

blowing in size. The American Teleservices Association's own

membership accounts for about one-third of the employment base, or

1.7 million contact center employees.

However, we sometimes act like we are a small voice with insufficient

power to make a difference. Nothing could be further from the truth.

With contact centers in every congressional district, we are a mighty

force that must be marshaled in coordinated action.

The teleservices channel is big and growing. In 2007, it is

appropriate for the channel to accept its responsibility to protect

the interests of the consumer. To safeguard these interests, we must

communicate with each other, acknowledge our role and involve the

constituents who pay our bills: our customers. This promises to be a

great year, and I am resolved to have fun with all of you as we make

a difference.

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