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Ivy Meadors

Referred to as the "Female Tom Peters"; internationally renowned, award winning, speaker consultant, Ivy Meadors, with over 28 years of experience, is a seasoned expert specializing in business, customer service and technical support. She is recognized as one of the industry's most respected leaders. Ivy is CEO and founder of High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc.™, a full-service, vendor neutral, consulting firm specializing in service and support of the enterprise from a comprehensive viewpoint.

Together with her team, she has provided innovative solutions with extraordinary results to hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies throughout the world. Her business focus is far-reaching from people considerations to best practice processes to technology solutions.

Would you like to have high-performing, fully committed team members, a technologically advanced support environment, and incredibly loyal customers? High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc.™ will develop your enterprise into one that offers exemplary customer services, realizes high returns on investments, has outstanding leaders and committed employees, with the primary focus always on business excellence and the customer’s experience.

High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc.™ ~~~ 425-398-9292 ~~~


Creating Indispensable Service and Support Organizations: Avoid becoming a commodity

Learn methods to make your organization become an indispensable corporate asset. The level of value provided to the organization is the distinguishing factor to determine if your Service Desk or Contact Center is indispensable.

This session uses the outsourcing argument as the basis for understanding the true potential value of your Service Desk or Contact Center. What are the qualities that will guarantee management believe your operations are mission critical? This presentation shows you where to focus your efforts to realize the greatest gains.

Make the most of every opportunity for improvement. Recognize and destroy the sacred cows. Learn proven methods to make your organization become an indispensable corporate asset.

get ahead of the curve in customer service

Get Ahead of the Curve inCustomer Service

Create an Indispensable Organization

And Avoid Becoming a Commodity

Presented By Ivy Meadors


Slides are posted at

  • Select the Link to Slides on Home Page

See end of slide deck for additional resources

  • Where it all started
  • Basis for outsourcing
  • Change in mindset
  • Where to focus your efforts using CRM
  • Blogging to create relationships and offer additional value


  • 1876: Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone
  • 1878: First operator and they were teenage boys. They wrestled instead of worked. They pulled pranks on callers, and even cursed at them. Were too rowdy. Switched to women.
  • Women had pleasant voices that customers -- most of whom were men -- would like. And because society did not treat women equally, they could be paid less and supervised more strictly than men.
  • Late 1800s. The first woman telephone operator was Emma Nutt. Late 1800s.
  • 1900: All women operators.
  • 600 calls per hour! Answer rate was 4 seconds.
  • 1950: First PBX by Bell Lab
  • 1978: First cellular telephone
  • 1960’s First Mainframes
  • Last Cord board: 1981


Late 1800s

history of help desk technology
History of Help Desk Technology

1981 First MF Problem Management Systems

IBM - InfoMan & Peregrine Systems – PMS

1985 First Client Service application for PCs

Windows 1.0

1989 Client Server Systems come to life

Peregrine, Magic, Heat and a few others

1989 First Client Server KM System

Symbologic – was Primus – now ATG

U S West Communications 1989: 93% 1st Call Resolution

the basis of outsourcing
The Basis of Outsourcing

“Just overhead”

“Not core to the business”

“Cheaper if someone else does it”

“Someone else can do it better”

“Organizations generally outsource a ‘Help Desk,’ not a ‘Service Desk’ (ITIL)”

“In top three jobs with highest attrition: Call Centers”

service desk
Service Desk

Commodity:Help Desk logs and escalates calls


Asset:Service Desks solve calls and are proactive in identifying issues and accurate solutions

change in mindset
Change in Mindset

Be core to the business, not overhead

Have a critical viewpoint

Focus on solving business problems

Goal Model: Best service is no service

“Be willing to surrender what you are, for what you could become.“



“I’ve never had to contact Amazon about any matter. I have had, in essence, no customer service from Amazon.

Put another way, I have had such perfect customer service, the service itself has been transparent.

That is exactly what Amazon wants:

“The goal is perfect customer service through no customer service.”

Source: Fast Company April 2001 article:

“Betrayed! The Biggest Lie in Business: The Customer is In Charge”

change in mindset1
Change in Mindset
  • Motivate using meaningful metrics
  • Increasesome ‘call’ durations
  • It’s not how many calls you take a day or how short they are, but the quality of the exchange
  • Only log things that are meaningful
  • Focus on contact deflection and elimination (e.g. “We have training available, you can sign up for free at…or I can do it for you right now.”)

Have a different viewpoint: “Concave Contacts”


“One Call Really Can Do it All”

  • Frontline should be the “nags”(ownership)
  • Push specific information to certain customers (e.g. new application user, new car owner)
  • Know and predict the customer’s needs
  • Define ‘practical’service levels
  • Deliver event driven notifications (e.g.
A "sacred cow“, an expression related to the Hindu belief that cows are sacred, is a belief in something, that it is above criticism.

There are many traditions that we uphold, many processes and methods that have become "sacred cows". They can be out dated, ineffective, even destructive, and yet we don’t see them and will never consider changing them.

But we must! We must seek out and destroy these destructive sacred cows.

“Follow the MAG Tape”



Kill the Sacred Cows

People who use yesterdays thinking in today’s game will be gone tomorrow

- Robert Kriegel

“Think Lean!”

defining crm and contact management
Defining CRM and Contact Management
  • Customer Relationship Management: A process or methodology used to:
    • Learn more about customers' needs and behaviors to develop stronger relationships with them.
    • Bring together many pieces of information about customers, sales, marketing effectiveness, responsiveness and market trends.
    • Help businesses use technology to gain insight into the behavior of customers and the value of those customers.
  • Contact management: Software to store, track and manage contacts

CRM = Sales, Marketing, & Service



Marketing, Campaigning


(Customer Relationship Management)

Existing Customers


(Sales Force Automation)

Leads / Prospects

Contact Management Database (CMS)

why use the technology
Why Use the Technology


Who’s buying / reading / downloading / accessing “stuff”

What “stuff” are they getting

Why are they buying / reading / downloading / accessing it

When was the last time they got the “stuff”

How long since they were last “touched”

why invest the time and effort
Why Invest the Time and Effort

Saves time later

Builds rapport quickly (e.g. Karaoke, pets)

Schedule follow-up activities and FUP!

Differentiates you from your competitors

Know your contact in real-time

“Every customer should be made to feel that the organization cares about them personally.”

  • Provide a superior customer experience
  • Offer superb value and innovations in service that others may not
  • Increase revenues
  • Cross-sell / up-sell products more effectively


  • Acquire new customers through data mining
  • Know which customers are worth investing in
  • Help staff close deals faster / solve issues accurately
  • Simplify marketing and sales processes

“360 view of contacts”

contributing success factors
Contributing Success Factors

Must Have

Strategy to contact your customers / end users

  • Frequency
  • Methods utilized
  • Quality of contact

Data capture process

  • Relative to their specific interests / needs
  • Real-time or within 24-48 hours
  • Take the time to review & update customer profiles
contributing success factors1










Contributing Success Factors

Integrated Systems

  • Email integration (affords event triggered emails too)
  • Auto generate invoices, contracts, quotes, etc.
  • No duplicated data and less room for error with a single database
telephony data integration
Telephony Data Integration


CMS (i.e. Heat, Goldmine)

Screen-pops profile

“Immediate access to customer details”

“Call directly from CMS system!”

free up critical resources
Free up Critical Resources
  • Seek out customer complaints
  • Stop manual data entry efforts (e.g. Form online, generates an email, call center types in each entry into system line by line. (3-5 minutes for data entry.)
  • Be sure there is value in making the effort
  • Does anyone really care about what is measured?

5. Monitor contacts, coach, reward, and take action (e.g. Didn’t know they weren’t making any effort to up-sell, voice tone, # times customer asked them to repeat, etc.)


Are they “Really” Satisfied?

A recent survey conducted jointly by Call Center Magazine and our sister publication, Managing Offshore, reflects this predicament.

The survey found that 65% of companies think that their customers go away "highly satisfied" after a call, while only 22% of customers actually reported walking away "highly satisfied.“

  • Utilize the telephone system more fully: emails, vmails, and calls all go into the ACD queue
  • Wrap-up / quick codes for call “logging”
  • Use queues to route calls to other support groups

Switching modes now…

what is it
What is it?
  • A blog (weblog) is…
    • …an online diary; a chronological log of thoughts and ideas published on a web page.
    • …a simple form of content management
    • Blog Examples:
    • Project collaboration (i.e. internal corporation, with your client’s team)
    • Personal diary, your opinions, thought for the day
    • News feeds
        • continued…
more blogging
More Blogging….
  • Form of Content and Collaboration Management
  • More Blog examples….
  • Favorite links, hints and tips
    • Example “Privacy Blog” of links:
  • Ongoing dialog with key contacts about issues important to them
  • Personal online accounts of 9/11 drew millions of readers
  • Turn all your blogging into your first eBook
blogging considerations
Blogging Considerations
  • Find people with similar interests and they find you – capture in your contact management system for future prospecting!
  • “Comment SPAM” - big issue (
  • AudioBlogger – call Blogger and lvm – posted as MP3 file
  • PhotoBlogger
  • Password secured!
  • Delete what you don’t want in your Blogs
  • Top Blogs are primarily technical in nature
sampling of blog software
Sampling of Blog Software
  • Top Blog Systems of 2004
    • (photo blogging)

“27% of U.S. adults who go online read blogs.”

- Anick Jesdanun, Associated Press

Hosted and installed versions available for some

blogging resources
Blogging Resources

Loads of Blog info

Blog Business Summit - Seattle

Article on Blogs applicable to those publishing books

Forum for Bloggers

interactive brochures
Interactive Brochures
  • Quick, easy way to personalize communications
  • Customizable content
  • Direct link leads contacts back to web site
  • Workflow approval process
  • Auto generate and send press releases


primary take aways
Primary Take-aways
  • Change in mindset – become indispensable
  • The best service is no service
  • Communicate the need for the “investment”
  • Demonstrate your value to the enterprise

Function as if it is Your Own Business

Manage costs: think of the entire company, not just your immediate group.

“Me, Inc.”

Tom Peters

Call Centers are the front door to your external customers.

Help Desks are the backbone that guarantees the success for your employees to serve those end most crucial customers.


Eliminate the unnecessary work, scale-back functions, change in mindset, and the right team together will result in establishing

“An indispensable Help Desk or Call Center that’s Ahead of the Curve and Indispensable!”



Loads of Content for the Service and Support Professionals

Northwest Support Professionals

Sign up at:

Northwest Call Center Professionals


Help Desk Northwest


Sign up now!!


Our Exclusive Newsletter “eSharings”

Call Center and Help Desk professional’s newsletter focused on creating indispensable service and support groups; comes loaded with resources, viewpoints, tips, books, and ideas that you can apply now.

Sign up at

I would love to hear from you anytime,

Speaker, Consultant

High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc.

(425) 398-9292


Resources in presentation

  • Do not in any way intend to show favoritism to any one product or vendor.
  • Information is offered to simply provide you resources for gathering information.
  • Lists are not intended to be all inclusive.
miscellaneous resources
Miscellaneous Resources




Success Principles by Jack Canfield

Trump: How to Get Rich

crm resources
CRM Resources

password resets provisioning
Password Resets & Provisioning
  • VoiceVault
  • Courion
  • M-Tech Mercury Information Technology Inc.
  • Anixis
  • RSA
  • Symark Software
  • Useful article that speaks to some of the different solutions available and many other links.
perform root cause analysis it s imperative
Perform Root Cause Analysis“It’s Imperative!”


“The Contact Center of the Future”

  • Multi-channel access: e-mail, Web chat, Web callback, voice-over net, voice-over IP, Web collaboration
  • Integrated knowledge management and contact management tools 
  • Personalization of every customer interaction 

“The Contact Center of the Future”

  • More powerful off-the-shelf telephony integration 
  • Genuine customer knowledge through superior business analytics and market intelligence 
  • Front line employees who deliver extraordinary service
  • Employees who are recognized for their outstanding value and worth!
  • Incredible Leaders!
Service Desk is often viewed as a commodity service by the lines of business in an enterprise. Is the Service Desk actually strategic?
  • If a company’s Service Desk is really a Help Desk, the perception is correct, but there are strategic uses of Service Desks as well. For example, if you take the wealth of data generated by a Service Desk and use it as a tool to better manage the IT organization and infrastructure, that’s strategic. For example, a company who learns from their service desk data that operating problems occur as a result of an existing process, can benefit from learning what in that process should be re-engineered in that process to eliminate those concerns. The Service Desk is helping the CIO make better choices. It’s strategic when you can take the data and use it to better manage the human resources in IT as well.
  • Ask the Expert
  • Service Desk Outsourcing
  • Michele Hudnall, Senior Research Analyst, META Group

The Ritz-Carlton Basics

1.The credo will be known, owned and energized by all employees.

2.We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.

3.The three steps of service shall be practiced by all employees.

4.Smile. We are on stage. Always maintain positive eye contact.

5.Use the proper vocabulary with guests. Eliminate hello, hi, okay, and folks.

6.Uncompromising levels of cleanliness are the responsibility of every employee.

7.Create a positive work environment. Practice teamwork and lateral service.

8.Be an ambassador of the hotel inside and outside of the workplace. Always talk positively, no negative comments.

9.Any employee who receives a complaint owns the complaint. (Resolve it).

10.Instant guest pacification will be insured by all. Respond to guest wishes within 10 minutes of the request. Follow-up with a phone call within 20 minutes of the request to ensure their satisfaction.

11.Use guest incident action forms to communicate guest problems to fellow employees and managers. This will help ensure that our guests are never forgotten.

12.Escort guests rather than pointing out directions to another area of the hotel.

13.Be knowledgeable of hotel information to answer guest inquiries

14.Use proper telephone etiquette. Answer within two rings and with a smile. Ask permission to put a caller on hold. Do not screen calls. Eliminate call transfers whenever possible.

15.Recommend the hotel's food and beverage outlets prior to outside facilities.

16.Uniforms are to be immaculate. Wear proper footwear clean and polished and your correct nametag.

17.Ensure all employees know their roles during emergency situations and are aware of procedures. Practice fire and safety procedures monthly.

18.Notify your supervisor immediately of hazards, injuries, equipment or assistance needs you have.

19.Practice energy conservation and proper maintenance and repair of hotel property and equipment.

20.Protecting the assets of the Ritz Carlton Hotel is the responsibility of all employees.


Focus on the Importance & Worth of the Workforce

  • Select Staff by their“Behavioral Communication Styles
  • Develop in-depth personal growth plans
  • Understand behavioral & interpersonal skills
  • How to communicate with different generations
  • Teach focus on the Customer Experience
  • Measure the right thing to motivate for the reasons you want them to be motivated

“Call monitoring to offer immediate training”

ask yourself
Ask Yourself

Am I a good listener?

Can I hear what isn’t being said?

What’s it like to know me?

What’s it like to work for me?

What’s it like to work with me?

How effectively do I communicate?

Do I have goals and aspirations?

Does my enthusiasm and direction in my life

Do I positively impact those around me? (i.e. dreams,

goals, etc.)

Do I try things that are out of the norm or considered a risk?

Would you work for you?

Do I really hear and listen to their spoken & unspoken words?

One of the sensitive measures of customer satisfaction and depicts the higher cost per incident is how many contacts are made per incident.

As many as 3 calls are made to get a status of an incident already called in.

Average cost per call at the conservative $20 each, now represents a $60 per incident cost and three calls excluding incalculable productivity loss.