Here is a brief excerpt from my interview of Krayer. The complete interview is also available.
Morris: Of all the business books you have taught and discussed thus far, which one do you most enjoy re-reading because, each time, you continue to find something of value that you missed before?
Krayer: I believe that history will place Good to Great as the best business book ever written, perhaps as much for its rigorous methodology and its insightful discoveries. Readers need to remember that this book does not predict success, but rather, report what led certain businesses to success, based upon historical data. I really enjoy the enthusiasm that Jim Collins shared in writing the unexpected findings from his team’s research. I like to re-read those sections so that I can paraphrase them accurately to my audiences.
Morris: Given the recent proliferation of electronic reading devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s PRS, has the bound volume become an endangered species?
Krayer: Not in my view. I believe books are also symbols, and people enjoy displaying them in their homes and offices as well as carrying them around to show people what they are reading, as much as they do actually reading them. You can’t do that with these devices. I think that customers who value autographed copies and who travel to book signings to meet the author and receive a signed copy will not tolerate digital signatures sent through e-mail. I think that retail outlets that sell books have more than met the challenge, and have created experiences for customers who will continue to frequent these stores. I have posted detailed explanations of these reasons on our blog at http://ffbsccn.wordpress.comKrayer. Go to Karl’s categories. I welcome your comments if you think I am wrong. Let’s talk about it!
If you wish to read the complete interview, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Spiegelman co-founded The Beryl Companies with his two brothers in 1985. As CEO, he oversees strategic planning and business development for the nation’s thought-leading company in health care customer interactions and relationship management, and is the leading provider of outsourced telephone and Web-based communications in the health care field. Beryl was ranked #2 among the best medium-sized companies to work for in the USA by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Spiegelman earned a B.A. degree in history from UCLA and a law degree from Southwestern University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and mentors MBA students at Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University. He is the author of Why Is Everyone Smiling? The Secret Behind Passion, Productivity, and Profit, published in 2007.
Here is a brief excerpt from my interview of Spiegelman.
Morris: Do those who call a Beryl client think that they are speaking with someone employed by the client? If so, doesn’t this create pressure on Beryl employees to be a worthy representative of each client?
Spiegelman: Yes, every caller believes they are calling into a hospital, so it is imperative that we create a seamless, positive experience for them. Our call advisors understand that the bar for customer service has been set extremely high. They have to appear local, knowledgeable and empathetic. That pressure is what drives the systems and processes we put in place to give our call advisors everything they need to succeed. The additional challenge is that a call advisor’s next call could be one of any of the 450 hospitals we work for across the country, so they have to change hats very quickly. The key is preparing them through a combination of information in the database and ongoing training in partnership with our clients.
Morris: Please explain how you train new hires for what they are expected to do when processing inbound calls.
Spiegelman: It all starts with the recruiting process. We learned long ago that our call advisors were at the top of our organizational chart, and we needed to apply great discipline and patience to make sure we had the right people representing our customers. We like to say that we are “hiring the heart and not the head.” In other words, we are looking for people with the innate compassion and desire to help others. We can teach them the system and the computer skills, but they’ve got to bring the goods when it comes to their attitude – you can’t teach that. We hire less than 5% of our applicants and put them through a rigorous recruiting and interview process. Once they make the cut, they go through a 5-week, interactive training program that is a combination of classroom training and on-the-job training where they are mentored and coached by their peers. They must pass multiple tests along the way, but they understand that we are preparing them for the job ahead. We also immediately bring them into our culture, and build a fun and engaging environment around them to support what is otherwise a very challenging job.
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To read the complete interview, please click here.
Paul invites you to visit Beryl’s website. To do so, please click here.