How can you clear your head at a call center?

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When you read the personal accounts of call center workers, the text always reads about how they are chained to a desk or leashed to their work-station. How horrible and slave-like. The truth is that call center workers feel they need to clear their head. A walk down the hall works miracles. A trip to the bathroom can be the break from heaven. Taking a walk in nature works well too. These long days tied to a desk may be the reason for high attrition rates. Perhaps more worker freedom to take breaks whenever and for as long as ever would solve the problem.

But, then what happens when you work overtime and your boss doesn’t change your break time? Then you might really lose your mind.

Having a wireless headset allows you to walk around the room a bit between calls — how liberating.

Some agents clear their head by visiting places they’ve always wanted to go — but, online. Dubai, Stone Henge, Las Vegas, Paris, etc. Basically anywhere other than Manila!

I think that there should be professional clients who are pleasant to talk to. Every hour, each agent should get to talk to a really pleasant client. Maybe a female with a soothing voice, or perhaps somebody very caring, or sexy.

Personally, I have been doing calls for decades and realize how important it is to talk a nap, have a meal or take a walk in the middle of a work day. I am not advocating the Spanish siesta system. But, I do something similar with three or four hours off in the middle of the day. But, then I work all night!

Looking for outsourcing processes? A list of companies to call…

Categories: Outsource Marketing | Leave a comment

Here is a long list of companies that outsource work. If you look up the company names, you can see where they are headquartered and how to contact them. You will need to SCROLL after you click the link below to see the long list. There are many companies you know of on the list such as Accenture, Google, AOL, Quaker Oats, etc.

http://companiesthatoutsource.org/
Good luck!

Do you start clients out with your worst employees?

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It is a common problem at outsourcing companies that your best employees are busy on another project. When a new client calls, you spend a long time trying to pass off your worst employee off as a viable resource. Unfortunately, companies do this to me all day long. When I hire outsourcing companies, I want to get to know the employee a little bit as so many are so bad. If I interview twenty companies, I might only be satisfied with the employees at one or two of the companies. The result is that the others have wasted their time with me. They wasted my time too because they tried to offer me substandard employees who have poor communication skills, poor thinking skills and assumably poor work skills.

Many companies hire a fancy salesperson, and you get a wonderful impression of the company talking to the salesman. I want to get rid of the salesman as fast as possible as they are not going to be around when your work gets screwed up. The purpose of the company wanting you to spend most of your assessment time talking to the salesman is purely for the purpose of impression, and not for the purpose of transmitting reliable information. It is in a sense a con job where you hire the company under false pretenses.

When I talk to the company bosses about how they screwed up my project and lost me as a client before I even was a client by screwing up my test job. The answer is always the same. Their star employee Rahul was busy on another project and didn’t have time to work on mine. The result is that they lose me as a client forever because the boss couldn’t have Rahul sacrifice three hours of his time. Putting aside the fact that the other employee screwed up the job, the other problem is that the boss promised me Rahul and delivered someone else because of a last minute scheduling issue.

When I hire programmers, I like to work with the same person and know them. If you change who my programmer is each week, you make my code into a free-for-all with 100 different coding styles and I never get to know anyone. Indians need to realize that there needs to be loyalty to one’s job and that having employees who you treat as disposable parts doesn’t cut it with me.

So, the result is that most companies lose my work because they offer me their worst employees, don’t keep commitments, and rarely make sure things get done on time. It is like going to a dance wearing your worst clothes, unshowered, and with your hair a mess. If you show up at a dance looking like you just got out of bed, do you expect others to dance with you?

An outsourcing vision about the Lakota people

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Watching the news about Standing Rock has depressed me. Watching uranium companies devastate the land in South Dakota in the 1970’s and now watching oil companies do even worse things is really hard to take. Why can’t we just go solar and respect our land? But, I digress.

The Lakota people are spiritual descendants of the buffalos and used to live in harmony with this magnificent animal. The minute the buffalos were wiped out, so were the Lakota people. Their whole culture revolved around buffalos and nature. Due to generations of children being sent to boarding schools, few of the Lakota people know how to be natives any more or speak their language.

Reverse Boarding Schools.
The solution seems to be reverse boarding schools. For the Lakota nations to create their own language schools for children 3-7 to live and speak only the Lakota language and learn only the Lakota culture. They could even invite white kids to come to school with them which would be a reversal of “Nazi nuns” forcing their sterile white Christian culture on Indian kids. After that, there needs to be an economic structure where people could have jobs where they could speak the language. The problem is that there are hardly any jobs in the reservations these days regardless of language. But, I had a positive vision.

Planting Seeds
If the Lakota people want to get together and quit complaining about the past, and start doing something about the future, good things could happen. The buffalos can be revived if there is a seed population. Buffalos can be bred. The linguistic loss can also be rebred. There are about 2000 speakers of Lakota, so if those people were used exclusively to spread the language to children, then the language could grow from that seed. However, if the seed is lost, then the language will become extinct forever! Maybe it is God’s plan to unify the human species by reducing the number of languages spoken and having many or most of us know English. Maybe it is God’s plan to unify the races by having us all live together in big cities througout the world. It certainly looks like this. But, if the Lakota want to preserve their cultural heritage which matters to me (not convinced it matters to them), then they will have to start planting seeds.

My Vision
The vision I saw was a huge expanse of land going for miles filled with buffalos roaming freely. There were clusters of teepees with people doing tasks. Then, there was an underground tunnel that went to an undergound compound. A guy was there watching surveylance cameras. The buffalos were mostly killed off in the 1800’s by white people who didn’t live in harmony with nature. The lesson learned is that what is not protected will be lost or stolen. So, fences around this vast expanse of grassy land were built with cameras to keep poachers out. Next, I saw a building near the edge of this huge field with a call center. The agents were mostly Lakota, but they were speaking Ethiopian, Hebrew and Chinese. Apparently, after World War 3, most of the cultures of the world were wiped off the globe permanently. Most Africans died, but through a miracle of God, the Ethiopians survived and became a thriving spiritual culture. Israel suffered a devastating invasion and lost most of its population too, but rebuilt and populated to become a thriving spiritual nation as well. China also suffered terrible population losses, but got their act together and decided to live without polluting their rivers and air anymore. All of these cultures thrived and needed additional labor to help them deal with their businesses. So, they hired Lakota Call Centers in South Dakota which was now an independent country.

The Lakota people decided there was safety in numbers, so they decided to have at least six children per family. They also decided not only to make sure all of their children were fluent speakers of their language, but they also decided to have cultural tests once a year to make sure that all of their tribal members were experts at the culture.

0% unemployment
In traditional Native American societies there was zero percent unemployment. Everyone had a job. The women picked berries, gathered wood, and did handicrafts while the men were hunters and warriors. After the buffalo were wiped out and people were run off their traditional lands, the people no longer knew how to make a living. Having their children sent to boarding schools did not help the unemployment problem either. The problem was that they needed to adapt to find new ways of employment and the chiefs were not helping.

Paying Tax on the Land
The biggest issue here is that in real life in America, if you own land, you have to pay tax. Native folks don’t see why they should pay tax on land that belongs to them. There is always a price you pay for land. In tribal times, people paid with the lives of their male children to protect the land. Many boys would die in tribal wars to maintain control of hunting grounds and territory. In the modern world, people pay for land and pay taxes on land. American Indians never liked this idea because they figured the land inherently belonged to them just because their ancestors had lived there. Under a nation, if you own a parcel of land and pay taxes on it, you can maintain ownership. But, for nations, there is no intrinsic ownership other than your ability and willingness to defend the land. So, after the U.S. took over, native people no longer “owned” or controlled the land. But, in my vision, the Native Americans got over their hang ups about resisting playing by the new rules and decided that paying taxes on land and paying for land was better than being wiped out — so they did.

A gradual expansion
The Lakotas in my vision decided that they needed industries. Their traditional industry was handicrafts and buffalo hunting. So, they decided to continue this tradition by saving money, and buying land in South Dakota. They used the land to raise buffalos. The more money they made, the more land they bought. Land was not that expensive out there, so they quickly acquired miles and miles of land. After a few generations, they got back all of the land they had lost many generations previously. Since in my vision South Dakota becomes an independent nation, and the Lakota population grew to be huge, the Lakota population controlled the whole country. However, the Lakota people decided to become more hospitable to outsiders and let them stay in their land providing they would play by Lakota rules which meant living in harmony with nature, knowing some of the Lakota language, and passing a cultural test. The joke is that if there were such a cultural test given in 2016, not only would the whites all fail it, but most of the native kids would fail miserably as well.

A relationship with God
I don’t claim to know what the spiritual conditions are in Native Reservations throughout America. However, without God’s graces, evil forces like Uranium mining, buffalo genocides, heroin, child abuse, and many others will creep in. In my opinion, the entire tribe should have regular prayers to have God protect the land from abusers and have God heal the land that has been abused through natural forces. Without God, no positive growth is possible. The tribe also needs to understand that gifts from God come with Tything. Without giving to charity, not many blessings will come your way.

The Solution
The solution to the problem of cultural iradication of the Lakota people is:

1. Language incubation projects
2. An economic culture with industries that thrive in the Dakotas involving buffalo harvesting, handicrafts, and remote outsourcing businesses. An economic structure where the tribe makes sure that all are employed no matter what.
3. Repopulating the tribe
4. Cultural education for tribal members as well as guests from other communities
5. A willingness to pay tax on land and purchase land for environmentally sustainable use
6. A relationship with God is necessary otherwise all else will crumble.

China is outsourcing it’s pollution to Bosnia

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China has had a terrible pollution problem for years now. Due to economic constraints, China felt they had to use coal as one of their major energy sources and polluted their rivers, and land. The Chinese are now having a change of heart and are deciding that green mountains and clean water are like gold which is true. So, the solution is to outsource some of their filthier businesses to other countries. China is considering roughly 80 overseas coal projects currently. China’s coal power industry is being used at less than 50% of capacity.

One of the issues is that global agencies are not happy with the amount of pollution that will be created by these plants which would contribute to carbon emissions that would contibute to global climate change. China is not solving an ecological nightmare — they are just moving it a few thousand miles away. China also outsources dirty industries to parts of Africa. Perhaps moving dirty industries to places where population density is lighter makes sense. But, why not be clean and green?

The major issue here is that certain energy industries are essential for economic growth, and certain regions of China depend on coal as their main source of revenue. But, what good is growth if you can’t breathe or drink the water? What good is growth if everyone is getting cancer? My personal philosophy is that growth is an illusion. What we really need is to live in balance and grow at the speed of nature. All of this pollution is a result of humans being in too much of a rush and trying to achieve what should be done more slowly and cleanly. Does the entire planet need to be destroyed before humans get it?

Having a robot boss would eliminate biases (and a whole lot more!)

Categories: Of Interest | Leave a comment

I recently read on Harvard Business Review that robots are now becoming managers. All I can say, is that I hope they get paid well. After work, the robots hang out at a bar that specializes in “oil tasting.” No, not olive oil either. Just kidding about the oil tasting. The robots only use a highly refined type of synthetic “designer oil.”

Robot managers are better than humans in various ways.
1. You can’t have a personality conflict with a robot, unless you program it to have a difficult personality (which would be interesting.)
2. Robots can analyze large amounts of data to come up with good decisions that would be too vast for a human to compile.
3. Robots don’t mind working overtime just as long as they get their union mandated 15 minute oil break.
4. Robots don’t quit their job or have maternity leave so long as you hire a guy robot with a solid work ethic (and solid circuits.)
5. Robots don’t make intuitive decisions based on biases. Decision making would be more fair.
6. Many human managers are mediocre and fail to inspire their workers which leads to disengaged workers.

In my opinion, disengaged workers are the biggest problem that management has to deal with. The biggest part of the problem is that workers don’t feel appreciated or part of the team. Personality clashes or lack of compatibility are part of that. Having a robot doesn’t seem to solve this problem as a robot cannot stimulate that joy of working on a team with other humans.

I personally feel that robots should be used to assist managers at managing, but should not replace them completely. With more robot managers to help out, you might need less human managers. But, the main theme that I have seen in management is the ability to choose the right people, train them and bring out their best. A lot of bringing out someone’s best has to do with how often and how well you interact with them. A robot cannot interact with a human in a meaningful way unless you can program a personality into it (which might be a reality sooner than you think.)

It seems clear that a robot manager could decide purely based on numbers what to do, when to do it, and the most efficient way to do it. But, human concerns require a more intuitive touch that a robot would only be able to handle the numerical side of. So, yes, let’s use robots, but use them in proportion and use them the right way!

By the way, this blog entry was not written by a robot!

My letter to Trump about the environment

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Donald Trump is a very thoughtful guy who has everything in common with mother nature. Let me elaborate.

Donald Trump has impeccable taste and can build beautiful buildings in two or three years;
Mother Nature also has equally good taste and can build beautiful mountains in two or three hundred million years;

Donald Trump can create complicated organizations that serve humanity such as large business with intricate internal structures;
Mother Nature also creates complicated organizations, but in the form of organisms and ecosystems;

Donald Trump knows how to harness the right resources to get very large and complicated business jobs done;
Mother Nature also knows how to harness forces of nature to get ocean waves to wave, winds to blow, and landscapes to form;

Donald Trump gives people a few chances over six or seven weeks and then says, “YOU’RE FIRED.” if the worker continues to screw up or talk back. In such a case, the worker can just find another job;

Mother Nature gives humans a chance over six or seven decades to trash the planet, drill holes in her skin, and pollute her air and then says, “YOU’RE FIRED.” In such a case, the human population can just find another planet;

Donald Trump needs to realize that global climate change is not something that people merely talk about, but there is meterological data to support the idea that temperatures are not what they used to be on the poles, or in Scotland, Denmark, etc. Additionally, hurricanes are more frequent, earthquakes are being reported more often, and other natural disasters are happening at a greater pace. Basically, Mother Nature is in the process of warning us that we are going to get fired. The problem is, that once we come to our senses it will be too late.

My guru says that another planet has been assigned to us earthlings for after we destroy it. But, the only way to get there is to die and get reincarnated in the planet. Donald Trump needs to realize that the price we pay for our fracking, offshore drilling and general environmental wrecklessness is simply not worth the price to humanity. We are all affected and there is nowhere to run or hide, even for the rich. It is easier to “go solar” and find clean ways of living. It will not kill us or our businesses to stay clean and grean. And besides, for those of us who brag about being “conservative,” what could be more critical to conserve but the sanctity of our planet? As a species, we need to find a global organization to monitor our environmental activities otherwise we’re all fired!

Hiring algorithms vs. understanding human nature

Categories: Hiring & Firing | Leave a comment

Big companies are using hiring algorithms and with great success to find the best employees for the job. There are so many factors involved in hiring, that an algorithm is the only way to sort through the stack of resumes. I use algorithms in every stage of my business, but my algorithms are simpler and can be created by simple computer programs or on paper. I use algorithms to buy stocks, hire companies, and sort search results on my directories. Some of my algorithms have 14 factors, while others have only 3 that can be calculated in my head. I think that three factors is not enough and over time I will try to complicate my overly simplistic algorithm for one of my search results with some new factors.

Today’s management seems to be obsessed with computers, labor saving technology, and algorithms. These are all good things. But, there is no substitute for good old fashioned skills. Similarly, with all of the new social mediums coming up whose names I don’t even know who are the successers to Facebook, Twitter, the telephone, telegrams, hand written letters, medieval scribes and messengers — good old fashioned writing skills are still paramount and “some things ain’t never gonna change!”

Putting algorithmic considerations aside, there are basic personality considerations.

1. Does the new employee feel like someone the boss and team wants to work with? Would you want to be stuck in a car for three hours with this person? Would you want your kids to hang out with them?

2. Have the employee do some test work for the company for a while and evaluate the work. Also evaluate the interaction between the worker and the boss.

3. The biggest test in an employee is seeing how their attitude is roughly four to five months after being hired. This is when people’s good attitude starts to fade. No matter how good your algorithm is, it cannot predict a person’s future attitude. You can see how fast they quit their previous jobs which is some sort of indication.

4. You can learn a lot by looking at someone’s personal life. It is not appropriate at a job interview to ask personal questions, but knowing a person’s private life can tell you a lot about how they will work. I hired a lady who kept boyfriends for exactly eighteen months and then went on to another boyfriend. She did this again and again over the course of decades. Guess how long she lasted at her job with me? Exactly eighteen months!

My final point is to incorporate personality into algorithms. But, how can this be done? You can enter your assessment of someone’s personality or compatibility with your company into the algorithm to give them more points or less points. The problem is that the biggest factor in the personality algorithm encompasses whether or not you will lose interest, quit, or become a personality problem for the company. Maybe hiring agents should hire a psychic and put their input into the algorithm — now we’re talking!

Was your business decision wrong, or was it just a bad quarter?

Categories: Management | Leave a comment

Making business decisions is hard. Sometimes I think about a business decision and rethink it for years. I often come out with completely different solutions as time goes on. The problem is that assessing a business decision after the fact is not so easy.

Let’s say you decide to add more workers to your company, but then profits went down in the 3rd quarter. Did profits go down because you added new workers, or was it just a bad quarter? You have to take a closer view at what really happened with the new workers, and where the loss of profits was incurred.

I made a stupid decision last month. I tested my analytics after I removed many of our older reviews and added mobile pages at the same time. Since I did two changes at the same time, I cannot know if the decline in my stats was because my reviews were removed, or because Google didn’t like my mobile pages. Hmm. When you make changes to your business, if you want to get a clear analysis of the results of your change, you have to make one change at a time and measure the change over a reasonable period of time — and what is reasonable may vary based on what type of change you made.

Large companies like Samuel Adams experience huge ups and downs purely based on quarterly income. My stock plummetted two days after I purchased it. I lose 15% in a day. Then, I had to wait six months and they had a good quarter and the stock went up to 1.5% above where I purchased it at. So, I sold it because I decided that I didn’t like the volatility.

Another mistake is to base business decisions on short-term results. Sometimes business decisions might help you five to ten years down the road and you can’t measure what happens the following quarter when assessing long term plans. It is common for Asian auto manufacturers to sell cars at below cost to get the market moving overseas. They will wait for a decade and then start selling cars at cost, and twenty years before they make a profit. I might be exaggerating here, but long term business practices require patience, and if you have no patience, perhaps being a business man is not the right career for you!

Should Native Americans lead the solar energy industry?

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I am seeing so much news about the protests at Standing Rock these days. It seems that modern society has an endless thirst for fossil fuels, but has no understanding about the permanent damage we are doing to our planet. The Native Americans in the Dakotas do understand the damage and that is why they are protesting. But, to end our dependence on fossil fuels, there need to be affordable alternatives. Solar and wind are easy alternatives that could become a lot more widespread if people would spread them.

Since Native Americans have a philosophy of loving the earth and animals, it seems only reasonable that they dominate the solar energy field. They would believe in it the most strongly, and also serve as a good example to others. If the world seems people using solar energy and wind power in America, the rest of the world will gradually follow, even if it is more expensive.

If solar becomes mainstream, there will be more research into more efficient ways of building solar infrastructure and the price of the solar equipment will go down making it affordable. Another factor to consider is that solar energy is much more cost effective if the energy is used when and where it is produced.

Solar energy is much more easily produced in the American Southwest where it is sunny 95% of the time. However, the Germans have been successfully using solar energy for 30% of their winter energy needs when it is snowing, raining, or cloudy. If Germans can use solar in the winter, then anyone can use it successfully.

The other thing to remember is that there is terrible unemployment in Native American parts of the country. Having a solar industry where they live would give much needed jobs. So far the only successful industries in native areas have been casinos and jewelry. It would be nice to see people making money at doing something wholesome like alternative energy instead of gambling which is detremental to the human race.

A client of 123outsource.net’s divulges it’s marketing secrets!

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“To be precise our only avenue to clients has been simply our standards and practices that we adhere to on a daily basis. It is critical from a client’s point of view, that he/she does not worry about his non-core activity and spend too much time and resources in grooming a outsourcing services provider because that is the sole purpose in the first place when it comes to choosing an outsourcing services provider. Binfex is meticulous while approaching a client for an engagement, we believe without the right research and knowledge about the customer’s core business one cannot deliver customer delight and enable the customer to be free of worries with his non-core activity.

There are key ingredients which as a team we always believed that would separate us from the lower quality service providers.
Our unwavered focus and commitment to service delivery, strategic knowledge about customer’s core business function and most importantly a strong and effective campaign management strategy for quality driven performance.

A list of methods that we apply while working approaching.

1. A Strong corporate brochure explaining why we are a value addition to the customer

2. A service portfolio that give absolute clarity on service delivery standards

3. Our quality culture, performance management, employee development practices, data security practices

4. Strong Core Team with in depth knowledge and experience

5. Effective and secure technology infrastructure with high availability.

6. Constant interaction with probable clients who need our service.

These are some of the methods follow and have inculcated as a culture at Binfex and we feel these standards and methods are critical for any service provider’s success.

BPO Directory — find BPO companies with us!

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Do you need to find a BPO company to outsource some back office tasks to? You’ve come to the right place. 123outsource.net has 800 highly qualified BPO companies all around the world. We used to have over 4000 companies, but we filtered out the lower quality companies and kept only the absolute best companies. We have BPO, KPO, and LPO companies in India, The Philippines, Central America, Eastern Europe, and many other places.

We update the information in our BPO directory every month, so you are assured to find highly accurate and useful information whenever you do a search! 123outsource.net gets abgout 30,000 visitors per month. Your company is welcomed to join us and create a profile. Just visit our sign up page! The link to sign up is on the left of the home page in red!