Give and It Shall Be Given Unto You

There was a great post by Adam Steen over at the, in which he addresses the idea of giving of your knowledge and expertise – having faith that it will return. For those who know the concept, it’s like tithing your heart, brain and time. I’ve been on the receiving end of Adam’s "tithe" and it has helped me make profitable connections. It’s also inspired me to "pay it forward."

Blogs are a good example of Adam’s principle. Provide people with quality content that helps them in their business. Most people appreciate what you give them, and when they need more of what you provide – they will remember. Give, and it comes back to you in a myriad of ways.

Another great example of a blog providing great content for Call Centers is Connie Smith over at Envision blog. Connie pulls in ideas and thoughts of others and spreads it out so that we all profit from it.

Are you hoarding your heart and brain? Do you have faith to tithe a portion of what you know to the benefit of all?

Call Center Blog Has New Writer at the Helm

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. I’ve been on the road for work and trying to squeeze in a few days of vacation with my family. As I’ve been catching up on my feeds I noticed that Michael Moser has taken over the helm at Know More Media’s Call Center Script. CCS has been a staple among call center related blogs and after reading some of Michael’s posts I can tell that the blog is in good hands.

Michael mentioned that Jam Mayer, who has been a faithful friend to QAQnA will continue to contribute on occasion, which is great for all of us. Best wishes to Jam, Michael and KMM on the changes!

Mike’s “Heart”-Felt Thanks

Ever since I posted about Mike Sansone’s mysterious kidney failure, I’ve had several bloggers asking me how he’s doing. While I refer them directly to Converstations for an update straight from the coach’s keyboard, I thought I would let everyone know that Mike is back home and doing well. He recently posted his "heart"-felt thanks to everyone (see below). Everyone who knows Mike knows he has a big heart, but Mike’s gives us a great lesson – that blogs and bloggers help grow our hearts because they help grow our relationships.

Drew Suzym Specialk Space_3 Coachingwizardry Dwebware Mktidea
Mpdf Kammi Cam Coop Space_2 Kyle PaneraU Zeppelin Brooke
Stevefarber Successfromnest Demop Ck Viralgarden Space Annmichael Carpefactum Mary Businessblogangel Esskeystrokes
Mmg2 Confidentwriting Brandingmarketing Dougkarr Monk Databasemktg Thanks Allthingsworkplace Whiterabbit Bib Buzzoodle
Iowahealth Dmdm Qaqna Kent Devhut Cbwhittemore Insight Productivity Gitrwow Logicemotion Brett
Beny Makeitgreat Swingstation Claire Techbrew Madena Doyouq Rel Starbucker Valeria Ganb
Realoasis Tcm Diva Drkirk Jannfreed_2 Angelamaiers Artdinkin Runnerslounge Rosasay Everydot
Engaging Freetraffictip Nedra Trout Brainbasedweber Compass Crailhuntly Viaspire Egs
Porkcheckoff Bizci Andydrish Giftidea Vlherring Variety Susancergol ArbitrageurScottok
Psis IowadentalPurplewrenLiz Dsmbuzz Brainbasedrobyn
Ryank SolutionsRush Servant
Bocksoffice Makemostofu Andybeard Lehmer
Knowhr IdeasellersDawud
Snap Spenser

Follow the Experiences of an Outsource CSR

There’s been some lively discussion around here about outsourcing, both positive and negative. In a moment of synchronicity, I came across a new blog, Call Center Hijinks written anonymously by a CSR who is starting a job at a 3rd party call center that takes customer service calls for 6 different companies. Readers in the call center industry might find it interesting following his posts. I hope he keeps posting and begins to allow comments from those of us outside of Blogger.

So far:

  • The call center provided 6 weeks training
  • Training consisted of phone and classroom
  • Everyone passed the test, no matter the score and results were destroyed
  • There was a week "nesting" with trainer, taking about 4 calls a day and coaching on each one
  • "Quality" scores are completely driven by metrics

Prayers for Mike Sansone

Many in the blogosphere know Mike Sansone of Converstations. Mike was foundational to QAQnA, is the first member of the QAQnA Mug Club and a dear friend. Mike is also very sick and doctors are stumped. He is in the hospital and on very strong meds.

Mike has requested no visitors and no calls so that he can focus on getting better. Our best wishes go out to Mike and I invite everyone to join me in praying for Mike’s healing!

QAQnA Mug Club Winner: C.B. Whittemore

The first time I read C.B. Whittemore’s blog, I knew:

  • she is a warm, intelligent person
  • she is a great writer
  • she is a passionate service provider
  • she is a creative spirit
  • she needs a coffee mug.

So, C.B. has been awarded the newest member of the QAQnA Mug Club! If you haven’t read Christine’s blog, run – don’t walk – to your feed reader and subscribe.

C.B. joins the ranks with others Mug Clubbers like:
Terry Starbucker
Phil Gerbyshak
Liz Strauss
Maria Palma
Mike Sansone

Five Things I Learned in May

Starbucker recently
encouraged us to list five things we learned in May. Before we get
half-way through June, I figured I’d better list my five!

  1. I was reminded of the joy and value of minor league baseball. Small park, small price, big-time baseball experience.
  2. Carpe Diem – I was reminded that sometimes you have to “seize the day” when a business trip was rescheduled at the last moment, I had almost an entire week open up. I could have easily filled it with work – but with no vacations planned for the year it was time to “seize the day”! My wife and I extended our weekend getaway with friends into a week’s adventure in St. Louis
  3. I was reminded of my belief in “good companions for the journey”. A weekend with our friends Kevin and Becky was just what the doctor ordered. We’ve shared enough of the journey with these precious friends that we can enjoy a lot of laughter, a lot of conversation and generally refresh one-another’s soul.
  4. It’s taken over two years to get birds in our neighborhood to find the bird-feeders in our back yard. We’ve been enjoying a small variety of feathered friends as we sit on the parch.
         Grabbing my Audubon field-guide, I learned that all the common house sparrows in North America (the boring little brown birds that are everywhere) are descended from a single pair introduced to Central Park in 1850.
  5. The mad-genius of Miles Davis. I can’t remember where I first picked up the LP of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue when I was a kid, but my love for his musical genius has only grown deeper over
         the years. His son’s memoirs were a great early-summer read. Like many artistic geniuses, Miles was a troubled soul – and the book gave me a greater – if sadder – appreciation for the man and his music.

Is Your Glass Half-Full?

Mug Clubber, Terry Starbucker, tagged me from the virtual offices of his "Ramblings From a Glass Half-Full" blog asking several of us the following questions

  1. How full is your glass? Overflowing
  2. What kind of glass is it? A thick, ceramic "diner mug"
  3. What’s in the glass? Luna Tango roast from Grounds for Celebration (Yes, Terry – it’s better than Starbucks)
  4. Reasons for #1, #2, & #3? I try to live life to the fullest. I want to be alert and awake for each day’s journey – not wanting to miss out on any good thing that God has for me.

Who’s next? C.B.? Maria? Doug? Doug? Mitch?

Iowa Biz Blog Launched

I have often blogged about the amazing group of bloggers from Iowa. Recently, I was priviledged to be asked to contribute to a new blog – Iowa Biz – which represents some of the best writers and bloggers anywhere.

Topics (Authors) on the site include:

Marketing/Branding (Drew McLellan)
Project Management (Tim Johnson)
Blogging (Mike Sansone)
Accounting/Finance (Joe Kristan)
Company Culture (Victor Aspengren)
Networking/Collaboration (Adam Steen)
Life-Work Balance (Mitch Matthews)
Business Law (Rush Nigut)
Intellectual Property (Brett Trout)
Insurance (Brian Honnold)
Leadership/HR (Shirley Poertner)

I encourage you to drop by the site or subscribe to the feed!

This Blogger is Trying Not to Be Too Whiny

Craig Ferguson has become one of my favorite late night indulgences. His stand up never ceases to provide me with a good belly laugh at the end of the day (if I make it that late – otherwise it’s the next day on  DVR as I eat my lunch). The other night during his monologue, Craig made a comment about Bloggers being whiny and critical, and I’ve though long and hard about that.

I will admit that I have called out more than one business for a shoddy service experience, but in doing so I have always tried to make it a learning experience for any of us in the service industry. I always attempt to explain what went wrong and what we can all learn from it. I’ve also shared some positive experiences. Once again, I’ve tried to share what we can learn from what has been done well.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the road lately. Business travel can make for long, stressful days and short, anxious nights. The stress and anxiety are compounded by the reality that it only takes one person behind a hotel, airline, or rental car counter to completely make or break your day.

So, from my recent trips, here are a few kudos and critiques:

  • Kudos to Courtyard Inn by Marriott in San Antonio, TX and Laredo, TX. Your staff are pleasant, efficient, and went the extra mile to get me into a room early so I could work and allowed me to work until a late check-out. You’ve earned my loyalty.
  • Kudos to Springhill Suites in Billings, MT. It was my second stay and the experience was flawless and friendly both times. (I haven’t been a loyal customer to Marriott, but these recent experiences have them earning my loyalty)
  • Kudos to Hertz in San Antonio. My last handful of experiences with Hertz weren’t the best, but everything worked like a charm last week. What did they do? They simply delivered on their  #1 Gold Service promise.
  • Critique to Mad Dog’s Pub on the Riverwalk. I returned after previous experiences of eating out on their patio were so positive. There was no host to welcome me, I had to switch tables just to get a server to notice me, and it took almost twenty minutes from the time I ordered to get my drink. When my burger was served (after another long wait) I ordered second drink and it wasn’t delivered until after I’d finished my meal. I might have been understanding if it was crazy-busy – but there were plenty of open tables and the wait staff were spending plenty of time standing around.
  • Kudos to Chef Jimmy’s in the Denver Airport. I’ve become a regular due to the quality food, reasonable price (for an airport), and pleasant wait staff. Your Italian sandwich is a favorite.

So there, Craig Ferguson. My Kudo to Critique ratio is 4:1. Have a nice day!