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One in every 7 people entering a hospital needs blood whether they’ve been in a car accident, have been diagnosed with cancer, or are a premature infant. Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion, so the need for blood is constant. There are many different reasons as to why someone may need a blood transfusion and also as to why donating blood is so important. Some people think it’s nice to help the community but aren’t fully aware of the effect they’re putting forth. Others just do it because it’s what they’ve grown up with. Their parents may have been regular blood donors and just passed the tradition down to their children.

The biggest reason donating blood is important is because with every donation you can help save up to three patients’ lives. Now when you think about that, you’re spending about an hour of your time and giving so much more to others. One blood donation alone could give someone the chance to survive and live for a very long time.

For example, a pregnant woman could be arriving at a hospital to give birth but walk out having received a number of units of blood because of complications or even just a simple blood-type mismatch between her and the baby. Your blood donation could have been one that helped save that woman’s life and let her spend the rest of her time with her child.

Another reason donating blood is important is because about 38% of the population is eligible to donate yet only 8% do. The reason for this gap in numbers could be a multitude of things: busy schedules, vacations, and most importantly being misinformed about the need for blood. I know firsthand that having a busy schedule is very hard to work with when trying to schedule a blood donation. I couldn’t imagine finding the time to go, which is why I appreciate the drives held here at Incept.

Until I started working here, I had never donated before and never really thought about it. I’m a classic example because I’ve been eligible to donate and just never found the time to do it. The amount of information I learned within my two weeks of training was tremendous! And when I think back to how misinformed I was, I can’t help but share that information with the donors I speak to.

Sometimes you speak to a donor who hasn’t donated in over 6 years, and they wonder why you’re calling. As a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME), I take that opportunity to tell them the need for blood and bring back into their minds why they started donating in the first place. Donating blood is about compassion and helping others and I, myself, will definitely continue to do it for as long as I can.

Why do you donate blood?

Photo Credit: http://www.castanet.net/news/Kelowna/51637/Blood-recipient-makes-holiday-plea

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Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Great workplaces are built through day-to-day relationships that employees experience. To make Incept a great workplace, we follow 6 important values:

  1. Integrity – Integrity involves moral judgment, character, honesty, and leadership values. Individuals who show integrity in a workplace not only understand right from wrong, but they practice it in everything they do. This is beneficial in a business environment where trustworthy actions set the foundation for successful business relationships.
  2. Never satisfied – This means that we can always make improvements. We proactively identify new areas where improvements can be made regardless of current performance, which sets a great attitude! This also helps employees learn something new each day.
  3. Compassion – Compassion is having a positive impact on others. We want to view all of our actions through the eyes of others first. We also encourage and reward our employees for volunteering their time to help others. Compassion helps strengthen the relationship with clients, as well as teammates, which in return helps us to create better results as a company.
  4. Everyone’s a customer – This means creating a “wow” experience for our teammates and all of our clients. We ask customers what is required to make them our advocates, listen to their answers, and then deliver. At Incept, we anticipate customer needs and provide suggested improvements to address them. We make sure to work as a team to define success and achieve it.
  5. Present This means balancing work and home life and being present in both. Being present is having understanding and encouraging the fact that a strong personal life is the key to achieving a strong professional work life. We like to encourage the discussion of, and assist each other in achieving, our life goals. When working, it is important to avoid distractions (such as personal issues), and when home, it’s crucial to avoid stresses that come with your job.
  6. Tenacious – Last but not least, being tenacious is all about being passionate and determined. Showing enthusiasm helps accomplish any goal. As a team, we persist until we make improvements in efforts to be successful achieving every goal we set.

At Incept, we are relentless in supporting our values, goals, and teammates. Furthermore, we use all six of our values to help us achieve our goals as a company, as well as perform great results and continue to grow stronger as a team. This is why Incept is such a great workplace!

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This blog post comes to us from Incept’s Erica Heath.

Some of the most important aspects of influencing company atmosphere are how well you build trust, communication, and rapport with the employees. In an atmosphere such as Incept, it is important to take these things into consideration when building a team. Strong teams are comprised of a strong leader and employees who have excellent communication skills with one another.

A good team should run like a well-oiled machine—the members should take accountability for their actions and the actions of one another, as well as build each other up in times of need. Having a strong team can decrease company turnover while also increasing the quality of production. In order to build strong teams it may be necessary to do team-building exercises.

3 Great Team-Building Exercises

The following are some exercises that can be used to create better rapport among your team members:

  • Two Truths and a Lie – Go around the room and have each CME state two things that are true about themselves and one thing that is a lie. Then have the team members guess which one of the items isn’t true. This game helps everyone get to know each other better.
  • Common/Uncommon Interests – Break the CMEs into pairs by having them count off in numbers. Tell the CMEs that (with their partners) they should come up with a list of three things they both have in common and two things that they do not have in common. The answers should exclude work, body parts, clothing, and the like, to encourage learning more in-depth things about each other. Tell the CMEs that one person should take notes, and the other person should be prepared to present the items to the group. This helps the CMEs make connections with people they wouldn’t normally get to talk to.
  • Four Squares - Give each of the CMEs a sheet of paper and have them fold the paper into four squares. Come up with a topic for each square and have them draw pictures that describes themselves for each topic. For example, here are some sample topics: favorite sport, dream job, if you were an animal what would you be, etc. The drawings don’t have to be detailed; they can be as simple as stick figures. Give the CMEs a few minutes to draw their pictures and then have them show their drawings and explain how they pertain to their interests.

These team-building exercises normally work better with CMEs who don’t know each other that well. However, these exercises can also work with a team that needs to reconnect. Remember, there are a lot of team-building exercises that can be used to create a strong team, and strong teams produce better results—meaning more lives saved!

What are you doing to build up your team?

Photo Credit: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMM_52.htm

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This blog post comes to us from Incept’s Erica Heath.

Here at Incept, our management team strives to live by the values of the company. It is also very important to instill these same values into the Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) on the floor. The best way to ensure that our CMEs live the Incept Values at work is leading by example.

Setting Expectations Through Leadership

Leading by example means doing things that you would expect a CME to do without expecting recognition for it. As a manager, every day that you come into work you have employees watching you and looking to you for advice and guidance. It is important to try your best to do what is right, because you are a role model for so many people.

The following items are ways that you can improve on leading by example:

  1. Stick to your commitments. There will be days when you have unexpected things come up that may cause your schedule to fluctuate, and that is understandable. However, showing the CMEs that you always follow through with your commitments helps to build rapport, because they’ll know they can always count on you.
  2. Keep a level head. As humans we are all prone to having tempers and occasionally getting upset, but it is important to remain stable and to keep a calm attitude when things get tough. Try your best to show that CMEs can trust you when the going gets tough. If it helps, try to find a quiet place for a few minutes to take a breather and regain control over your emotions.
  3. Be fair. Make sure you treat everyone as equally as possible, and don’t show favoritism. If one person gets punished for something, make sure that if someone else on your team does the same thing you give them the same consequence. This excludes people who earn their rewards and work hard to get them, because they should be recognized (just like anyone else who accomplishes the same).
  4. Be present. The CMEs need to know that their leader is there for them and part of showing that you are is by staying in the rows and building strong working relationships with your teams.
  5. Follow company rules. Companies put rules in place for a reason. If you expect the CMEs to follow the rules, then you should follow them as well. This means if you expect a CME to wear their lanyard at all times, then you should wear yours at all times. If you expect them to be on time after their breaks, then you should be on time after yours. The list goes on…

These aren’t the only ways that you are able to lead by example, but they are definitely a good place to start. As a growing company, it is important that we lead by example to ensure that we maintain a great work environment and ensure Incept continues to be a safe and fun place for everyone.

How are you leading by example?

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Numbers alone are not effective. They need to be applied to affect change. When supervisors share conversational quality audit reports with tele-recruiters in brief meetings (no more than 10 minutes), they have opportunities to congratulate tele-recruiters for things they did well, teach them to improve areas where they missed quality standards, and keep them motivated to continually grow. These measures ensure that conversational quality remains as important to tele-recruiters as it is to you.

A Step-By-Step Quality Audit Discussion

Let’s assume supervisor Demetrius is holding a Quality Audit discussion with tele-recruiter Janice, who received an audit score of 90%. The Quality Audit discussion might flow like this:

  1. Demetrius allows Janice to make herself unavailable for calls.
  2. Demetrius sits down with Janice, preferably in a neutral location away from the phones, to review her quality scores with her in detail.
  3. After presenting Janice’s Quality Audit Report to her, they review the specific things that caused her to receive 90 points. He congratulates her and reinforces her positive actions.
  4. Demetrius and Janice review the specific things that kept her from receiving the other 10 points. He clearly explains exactly how particular parts of conversations affected her score.
  5. After discussing these violations, Demetrius explains how Janice should handle similar situations to avoid future deductions.
  6. Janice and Demetrius engage in exploratory conversation, question/answer dialogue, and perhaps role playing.
  7. Janice is now clear on how to improve, so she sets performance and quality goals for her next Quality Audit.
  8. Janice signs and dates a copy of her audit.
  9. Demetrius photocopies the signed Quality Audit, and gives a copy to Janice so she can continue to refer to it as a reminder of the areas in which she must improve.
  10. Finally, Demetrius files the completed Quality Audit and notes in Janice’s personnel file.

How are you using audit reports to have meaningful conversations with your tele-recruiters?

Photo Credit: http://www.careeranalysts.co.nz/for_business/coaching.htm

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This blog post comes to us from Team Captain Cesar Vanderpool.

Saturday, June 14th, was World Blood Donor Day. Thanks go out to everyone who donates and helps support life!

The theme of this year’s day was “safe blood for saving mothers”. Blood transfusions can be crucial to expecting mothers not only during pregnancy but also during the period right after giving birth. The blood type of both the mother and the father play a key role in deciding whether a mother could need a transfusion or not.

The Rhesus Factor: Either You Have It or You Don’t

The Rhesus Factor is when you have the D antigen or protein that surround your red blood cells. You can be either Rh+ or Rh-. Women that are Rh- are more likely to get pregnant by males who are Rh+, and this is where the problem is caused. In these cases, the babies also become Rh+. This causes risks for the mother, as well as future pregnancies, because she is exposed to blood that does not match her body type.

Her body then starts to form antibodies to fight off the foreign blood from the baby, which it does not know. In most cases, the first baby comes out fine; however, future pregnancies are effected, because the antibodies are still in the mother’s system waiting to attack the foreign blood. This can cause medical issues for the mother, such as miscarriages, birth defects, and even death for future babies.

With her antibodies fighting off the baby’s blood, it can also cause the baby to have a low amount of red blood cells, which can result in the unborn child having severe anemia. At that point, a blood transfusion is administered to the baby in ordered to keep it healthy. It only takes a teaspoon of blood to help saves a baby’s life. Of course, when giving birth, mothers tend to lose a lot of blood. Transfusions help the mother restore her blood levels to help recover the blood she lost.

This is why Incept Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs) believe in what we do and is just one of few reasons why we actually do take immense pride in our jobs. We help people, plain and simple. We help car accident victims, folks needing emergency surgeries, and, of course, pregnant moms and their newborns.

What’s stopping you from doing your part to help by being a blood donor?

Image Credit: http://cdn-media.bethenny.com/

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Nate Bauman gives us some insight into the costs associated with providing blood to patients.

When making blood recruitment phone calls, I’ve personally encountered quite a few donors who asked a particular question that raised quite a few eyebrows in the blood donation world: “How much do you sell the blood for?”

This is a common misconception among blood donors and blood transfusion recipients that carries quite a bit of weight when the issue arises. As some of you may know, and as some of you may not, when receiving a blood transfusion in the hospital, it unfortunately does cost a pretty penny. What you’re paying for, however, actually isn’t a trade-off for the blood; it’s a tradeoff for the services that make sure the blood is transported, transfused, and tested safely and responsibly.

Donors ask about the costs associated with blood all too often. Just to make things clear, the blood itself  is 100% free. All of the costs are associated with testing, transport, and transfusion. For example, when someone needs a blood transfusion in a hospital, the recipient is charged an amount of money for the blood transfusion, but the blood is free.

The True Costs Behind Blood

When donating blood, it requires a number of services to make sure that the donation that was just made is fit to be transfused to another patient. These services can include anything and everything below:

  • Testing
  • Transporting
  • Registering
  • Notating

…and most importantly,

  • Making sure there are no faults in the donation that could potentially harm the recipient of your blood donation

Why It Matters

Donating blood is a vital action that is needed on a day-to-day basis to help save hundreds of lives across the nation per day. Without blood donors, there is a chance that a critical situation could occur at any given time. The generous volunteers that come out to donate blood to help save lives are true heroes throughout the country, and I would imagine that patients who have received blood in the past and present may be fairly stumped by why they are being charged a bill for a transfusion. To be completely honest, though, there is a method to this madness.

The blood that is donated by those generous volunteers has to go through a number of processes to ensure that it is safe, will get to the patient on time, etc. The first step in that process is transporting the blood to a testing facility to run tests to make sure there are no harmful traits that could potentially put someone at risk. The people who are transporting the blood, testing the blood, and actually administering transfusions the blood are the sole reason why transfusions are possible in the safest manner imaginable.

According to the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the cost to have a blood transfusion can range from $1,800 to $3,000, which is quite expensive. Like I mentioned earlier, though, the cost that you are paying is not directly for the blood itself. To elaborate, that $1,800-3,000 that a patient pays is to accommodate the expenses of all of the procedures and processes mentioned earlier, such as the testing of the blood and the transportation needed to deliver the blood to the hospitals.

More often than not, when donating blood, you’re donating to a nonprofit organization that does not have the ability to pay the employees within the occupations that make all of this possible. This results in the patient paying for the numerous expenses it takes to make the transfusion possible. Like most pieces of equipment in the medical field, the cost is very high. Similarly, the cost to pay the employees running those particular pieces of equipment is also high, which results in a fairly large payment that needs to come from somewhere. Unfortunately, the payment will come from the recipient.

Informing donors, recipients, and others who just have general questions about this subject is paramount to ensuring that there is no confusion. There is no monetary payment exchanged for blood; the payment is exchanged for the services that are necessary to arrange the safest transfusion possible. This is such a controversial topic among recipients and donors, and I personally wanted to clear up any misconceptions among anyone who has ever questioned the topic.

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The trick to making every call your best call is treating each call with the same amount of enthusiasm. Listen to your donor, and fully take the opportunity to address any and all concerns, as well as truly hear what they are saying. Have you ever received a call and felt like the person on the other end wasn’t listening to you? Most people will answer yes to this question. We don’t want our donors to feel that way about us.

Relating to the donors you speak with

We want to truly take the time to make the person on the other end of the line feel special and important. We can do this by fully listening to the donor and using our acknowledgement skills to let the donor know we heard them and we understand where they are coming from. After all, we ourselves have lives – whether you have young kids at home, a club you belong to, a full-time job, a few part-time jobs, classes to attend – anyone can relate to a busy schedule. It will help your call to let the donor know you understand their situation.

Relating to the donor will help you strengthen the relationship between the donor and yourself; it allows the donor to see you as a person too, not just someone calling asking them for something. Relating to someone allows you to develop a bond and create that one-of-a-kind situation for the person on the other end of the call. Truly treat them as if they are the only person you will call today.

In a world as busy as ours where the hustle and bustle of everyday life often overcomes the simple things like communication. However, we have the opportunity to take time and have a conversation with a donor, someone who has so generously given a part of themselves to help save the life of another. The person you are talking to is someone who helped save another person’s parent, or sibling, or friend. By truly taking the time and thanking the donor, as well as listening to the donor’s concerns and helping answer any questions they have, you will create a great call. If you treat them with respect and truly do your best to help them and help strengthen the relationship with their blood center, you will be able to make that call one of your best calls.

When working at a contact center, it’s hard to remember that each call is just as important as the last call you made. It hard to separate each call and take the time to listen and understand what each individual person is asking or saying. It’s our job to do just that; to take each call as though it is the only call you will make today; as if this is the most important conversation you will have. Then and only then will you be able to make each call your best call.

Image Credit: http://content.artofmanliness.com/

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This blog post comes to us from Team Captain Cesar Vanderpool. Cesar is a master at being able to level with donors and retain them by using active listening skills and showing empathy in his calls. Here are some tips from him on the importance of showing empathy to donors who might have not had the best experience donating.

“I can’t donate blood. Last time I did, they missed my vein, and I got a black-and-blue spot.”

This is a common response that Conversational Marketing™ Experts (CMEs) face when trying to recruit a blood donor. At this point, it is up to the CME to change the donor’s perspective on donating blood. Donors who have a bad experience are the ones who need the most conversational care. It is very important to be apologetic and empathetic toward these donors. Being apologetic lets the donor know that we actually do care about their experience beyond scheduling an appointment to donate with us. If someone has a bad experience and it goes unnoticed it basically shows the donor that we only care about their blood and not their well-being.

Being empathetic lets the donor know that you care. The first way to show these things is not only apologize, but also to listen and engage yourself with that donor. You should always ask questions and listen to the donor’s full experience. You almost want to ask enough questions so that the donor paints a picture of the experience for you to visualize in your head. This makes you more conversational, and it makes it easier to relate to the donor. Simply having the conversation lets the donor know that their opinions do matter to us. Relating to them makes them feel more comfortable that maybe they aren’t the only one who has ever had a bad experience. By being apologetic and empathetic, it makes the final stage fall right into place. This is the step of actually retaining the donor.

The importance of showing empathy: retaining the donor

If you don’t properly do these things, it could cause the donor to not want to donate with us again. During the retaining process it’s important to let the donor know that we do have trained professionals on our staff, and mistakes like this do happen, but it is not typically a recurring issue. No one would want to donate if they felt that they would have a bad experience every time. One way to help lighten the mood for a donor is to tell them they should have this same conversation with the phlebotomist who is taking their blood during their next donation. Explaining these types of things with the phlebotomist will let them know that they have to take extra care of you, because they know that you are worried about a recurrence.

Once you’ve gotten the donor comfortable with the notion that we do care, their opinions are valued, and we want to make things as comfortable for them as possible, go into the importance of donating. Throwing facts at the donor (such as each donation can save up to 3 lives or that their platelets only have a shelf life of five days) makes the donor feel important. Show the donor that despite them having a bad experience the good outshines the bad. There are lives being saved. Even throwing in fun facts (like the blood is going to your local hospital so you actually are helping in your community) makes them think that they are doing more than donating; they are saving lives.

All in all, these are the more difficult donors to retain. By showing them (or in our case, telling them) the significant value and the importance of what they do, blood donors will feel better about the experience and, ultimately, keep them donating.

Saving lives is the name of the game!

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