Monday, December 27, 2010

My 10 most favorite free iPhone apps of 2010

I had this post buried into my blogger draft, it's impending to be posted. Looking back, tt's more than past 10 months now since i've got the iPhone but it never occurred to me a hint of diminishing adoration for this gadget, it's like, i get even more attached to it each and everyday that passes by, (sounds pathetic hehehe) but allow me to vent my addiction to this heaven-sent Apple Gadget. In lieu with this, i came up with my top 10 favorite apps of 2010. These apps have inadvertently changed my perception and behavior in the smartphone computing: with the downsides and upsides, nonetheless.

1. iBooks

Have i been obvious lately that im really into books? This will probably the last app i'm gonna delete given the choice between FB app and iBooks.  I feel like i have my own digital library with the ease of tap and swoosh of the finger in selecting from a vast range of books. I don't highly recommend it for you to get, it's actually a "must-have".  

One last, i mentioned in my post before that you could incorporate a built-in dictionary to this app, without having to jump to another dictionary app. Check it here.

2. Newser

I stumbled this app courtesy of, yeah, Scott Adams' website and blog introduced me to Newser, if i want to digest the headlines from all the pipes of newscast, i'd strike this icon to launch the  concise current events. Their blurb: "Read Less, Know More", certainly holds true.

3. FaceBook for the iPhone
Hell yes! i confess, there's no hour in a day that i didn't launch this app. I experienced how this app has evolved into a strong and stable program. Facebooking is so dominant now that i am more into it than checking my Gmail. The temptation is irresistible, Indeed!!!

4. Do it Tomorrow
I'm a fan of productivity app, i love this due to its simplicity and direct-to-the-point usability. Tap and write your entries of TODOs of the day and it will automate itself to move to the next day incase it was undone. 

You can also customize the level of importance of the TODO list. Somewhat minimalist, that's my overall impression why other TODO apps couldn't  match it.

5. Inception the App
I was amazed and still is, when i discovered this free app. I was also a sleep addict, and this program is exactly what i've been looking for, so my body could induced to dreamland. Remember i used the word "induced", suffice to say that this will make you really enter slumber whether you like it or not. 
Don't forget to plug-in your authentic iPhone earphone. (lol!!!)

6. 3D Wallpapers
In the realms of 3-dimensional backgrounds, you better grab this app. I'm tired with the built-in wallpapers, so if you're the OC when it comes to how your phone looks like, lest you're proud and high with your self-portrait of somebody else's faces, it's high-time you choose your background and screen-lock images using this application. 

7. RMaker
I think i graduated with the customizing of ringtones activity back in my Nokias and Samsung, however, it still feels good to pick the ringtone of your choosing; say you want to use one of the songs in your iPod list, then this app will certainly help. It's a bit tricky though, you have to use your iTunes SW to synch and make the processed ringtone appear later under the Settings -> Sounds. Then aiwa, you can set it as your desired ringer.

8. Wordweb
A dictionary,  lexicon, a reference. I think this is more comprehensive than those paid dictionary apps. I just so love this, it complements esp whenever im stuck with serious mental block or simply grasping for the right adjective to fire up.

9. USB Disk
One of the pitfalls of iPhone is the challenge when it comes to data transfers (as in usb plug and play with any sort of file, you could drop and drag anything you like eh, so long the capacity is not over it). 

This app has lessen the burden, promise! As long as your iTunes is up, with your data cable connected to your iPhone, you can drag and drop files. There might be easier ways out there to transfer files, but these apps are paid. Unless you don't wanna settle for less, then go ahead and swipe ur card. 

10. Chikka

I do am a Filipino, and if you're familiar with the Chikka Messenger program, this is the mirror program for the iPhone. If you're abroad and wanna text your loved ones for free. Go ahead and DL this. If ur in the Philippines and just want to make tipid of your load cuz ur not postpaid, then go and grab this still. He he he.

Sorry folks, i don't do games a lot, taz why i didn't enter such likes. But just in case u wanna know how do i fare with games on the iPhone, i love playing before,  NFS (need for speed), that was in iOS ver 4.1 where i had it jailbroken. Now, i'm settled with Ninjump, Endless Race and making my eyelids bored to death by playin Sudoku2. Angry Birds? - the infamous top grosser?, it has always irritated me since day 1.

My ultimate dream app, for the next year 2011, or should we say, my dream iPhone feat that hopefully t'wil  turn to reality is the personalized finger swiping - where you can register your fingerprints so that your iPhone could only respond to it whenever you do the swooshing or tapping or pinching with your fingers. Call it illustrious, but ain't it secured?

Finally, i'd like to say my thanks to Bernard for inching me to buy the iPhone3GS, for cautiously warning me that it's so temptingly delicious and addictive. I have no regrets letting my wad go to this revolutionary gizmo.

PS: it's in my head: "i wish Santa could drop me an iPad" or the 13-incherMacbook Air.... lol!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. 

delving feet on the earth
the soft murmur of a sudden reawakening
like how it feels to touch a solid ice
laid bare on a drying arm
the gentle caress of the windblow
assorting the coldness of an empty night
taming the fire within
quenching the glory of the unseen

thoughts deviated from afar
engulfing like a distant star
where rain has sipped to depth
unsinking, unfailing the enormous left

'tis season a-joined a merciful
the laughs seem all so bountiful
yet strangers may all be unchallenged
trust, don't give, don't surrender
for at the footsteps, may soon be a revenge
unknowing, uncertain, unpredicting
lest the consequence, devastating
so long, again to come

yet, hope will never vanish
for 'tis side it'll be cherished
from truce - attained be nowhere
exclude among forever


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. 

As i was in solitude on a late night walk, where the coldness is sumptuously penetrating to the bones, i barely noticed how many times i've rounded the park where i was strolling, for my thoughts are actively meddling with the past.

Literally, i was reminiscing the days when 2010 began last January 1st. So much have happened in a course of a year. We would always say, time flies!, and here we go again, another year to come to an end - bursting with so much energey that the days are counting swiftly to mark the end of the year, two thousand and ten.

My age is almost beaten out from the days of the Gregorian calendar. Two more years to go and i'm off (to where? hehehe).

This year is another year to cherish, while it's true that no same days are alike to each other, all the more that i could say with conviction that this year is no ordinary at all.

Personally, i'm satisfied that i was able to maintain consistency in posting to this blog despite the rush and hecticity of working overseas. I could say with relish that it squelched some of the the hunger for _ _ _ . (hahahah). Honestly, it helped a lot in diverting my thoughts from the "bayang sinilangan" whenever i felt the urge to go home. I have a lot more to tell about my experience in blogging but i'll dedicate a sole post intuit sometime soon.

What else?, spiritually and emotionally, i'm feeling deprived but not to the maximum levelacious (quoting Nicolehiyala), i stood firm on my ground based on my assessment of myself; at times i go beyond the mark but this makes me more humane, bound to beg love and forgiveness from the Creator.

Family wise? i've always wanted peace and harmony, cares and devotion of hope for my mom and dad, for my bro and sister, and to my close-at-heart (can be counted on the fingers) relatives. All these were rocky at times, but hell may come loose, it's the reality of life. I thank Him for keeping them in their sacred duty. But my heart went to pieces as i recall that one of 'em got casted out. I founded a d.p, but i failed, it was never realized. (i would soon like to reconstitue it- would be included in my top priorities next year). Overall, my heart pours with gladness for everyone of us are still intact.

Work related, so much so good, i'm seeing the brighter side of it, this year offered two main opportunities for me to experience new things. I'm thankful for all the times my superiors have given consideration for the errors and shortcomings i've ran into. Although deep inside, some passions were never quenched, some flames were never truly realized to its full potential, that is, i would still want to pursue my goal to be part of the teaching profession. I left the call center industry last year, and this year opened me to the realms of being a skilled worker - laborious and hands-down with so much experience, it was totally a blast, nevertheless.

I'm really thankful for i got seldom being sick where none could attend to my needs (in comparison last 2009 where i had a major surgery). It's a profound blessing, one the most cherished gifts. I happen to ran into a car accident one time but it's no dice, we came out unbruised and alive. 

If you're going to ask about loveaffair, i pass (for the meantime). I guess i'm never really recovered.

The tears and pain including the happiness and wins i've passed through on this year's journey, they all flutter, they were all temporary, like a passer-by in a late afternoon walk on a beach overlooking a sunset. But the essence of these all, is my gratefulness, my glee of thanks and adoration to Him, for clinging unto me in the worst of times, and for accepting me in my supplications and for extending without reservation His mercy and love.

There's a lot to be thankful for. It might be a hard year for others, it could be the most painful year for some, but in the end, the human spirit soars. Life we possess and the sanity we still have, are just mere ingredients for the great love He's providing unto us.

Top 12 BrainyQuotes of 2010 (Overdose)

As the old saw says well: every end does not appear together with its beginning.

The year-end is fast approaching, it's also the time of the year where best of the best of 2010 are listed and compiled. It's the time where reflections are at hand, to summarize the whole year that's about to pass, once again to be buried in the history of time. 

If you're a follower on my blog, you've noticed that in every post filed under overdose, was pre-headed with a quote and the source, in reverie with the site where i lifted those quotable quotes, i'm posting the 12 most powerful quote of 2010 used in this blog. never abated to deliver those words of wisdom.

1. "All truly great thoughts are conceived through walking"
- Friedrich Nietzsche

2. "Criticism like rain should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots"
- Frank Clark

3. "A first impulse was never a crime"
- Pierre Corneille

4.  "Greatness is to be unknown, inwardly and outwardly to be as nothing; and that requires great penetration, great understanding, great affection"
- Krishnamurti

5. "Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it's just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it"
- David Sedaris

6.  "Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love."
- Lao Tzu

7. "Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable"
- H.L. Mencken

8. "Heroism exist not only on the the battlefield, or in public but also inside the head, in the ability to face unpleasant thoughts"
- NY Times

9. "Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
- William Shakespeare

10. "Between two evils, i always pick the one i never tried before"
- Mae West

11. "Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise."
- Sigmund Freud

12. "The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread"
- Mother Theresa

It is so imperative of me to like #8, it just so apply in this everyday life - that each of us are heroes in our own ways, where the uniqueness of what we are encountering each day, may it be sorrows or joy; pain or laughter; failures or victories; thankfulness or uncomfortability; love or hate; chaos or peacefulness - these are thoughts evolved, felt, seeped into the human mind and heart. These are all had made us of what we are right now, one way or another, those have contributed to how we are going to deal and fight again in the next year to come.

Another journey, another chapter of recompense.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas lights

"Tried to right a wrong 

Just walk away, those windows say 
But I can't believe she's gone "

I don't celebrate Christmas or even believe in it. But i felt compelled to post this vid from my super top grossing favorite band of all time -  Coldplay.  It has nothing to do with my belief and faith about this celebrated season, but has something to do with my fanaticism on this band. Well, i just missed them prolly, cuz this is the latest single they've released after quite sometime.

The band's trademark is oozing with attractiveness and lyrical poetry as soon as the intro of this song pops in ... i'd say the video is exceedingly amazing, and to make it complete, the melancholic raspy voice of the vocals. I really love it!!!! (hahaha)

Check 2:20. Believe it!!! This is so convincingly powerful, you could almost hum to the song even if it's the first time for you to listen to it. There's this magical effect it brings, like a soothing effect to the mind and feelings...

Christmas night 

Another fight 
Tears we cried, a flood 
Got all kinds of poison in 
Of poison in my blood 
I took my feet to Oxford Street 
Tried to right a wrong 
Just walk away, those windows say 
But I can't believe she's gone 

When you're still waiting for the snow to fall 
It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all 

Cup of candles, oh they flicker 
Oh, they flicker and they flow 
And I'm up here holding onto all those chandeliers of hope 
Lots of drunken Elvises 
I go singing out of tune 
Saying how I always loved you, darling 
And I always will 

But when you're still waiting for the snow to fall 
Doesn't really feel like Christmas at all 

When you're still waiting for the snow to fall 
It doesn't really feel like Christmas at all 

Those Christmas lights 
Light up the street 
Down where the sea and city meet 
May all your troubles soon be gone 
Oh, Christmas lights, keep shining on 

Those Christmas lights 
Light up the street 
Maybe they'll bring her back to me 
Then all my troubles will soon be gone 
Oh, Christmas lights, keep shining on 

Those Christmas lights 
Light up the street 
Light up the fireworks in me 
May all your troubles soon be gone 

Those Christmas lights, keep shining on

Somewhere along the message of this song, strikes something amongst those people who are away from their loved ones. I mean, literally, like an ocean's apart from each other. That so called "pangungulila" sa mga naiwan sa Pilipinas, esp when December creeps in from the calendar, that the breeze and scents and meaning of it all as it slowly unfolds before the New Year, seem to envelope the human need with kept silence of joy and pain, yeah! a mixed up. I guess i need not explain any further. I'll just replay this video again. ;)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Attachment size limits for common eMail providers

It is hard to check five email inboxes, three voice mail systems, or five blogs that you are tracking.

Late one night, i was perplexed whether i should zip the large files i was about to email or just send those files as is, knowing that Gmail offers this 25MB max attachment limit. I've compiled some of the well-known free email services together with their maximum attachment limit size.

Gmail / Google
- 25mb

YahooMail / Yahoo
- 20mb

Hotmail, Windows Live / Microsoft
- 50mb

Blackberry/ RIM
- 3mb

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and 2007
 - can be customized; depends on the delimiter set by your admin. Find out more here

- 25mb

- 20mb

If you want a comprehensive list, visit wiki.

Just my two cents though, i think file attachments are soon to be obsolete, with the birth of Dropbox and other cloud-based storage services like skydrive from Microsoft, less and less usage for attaching files and the likes are being at trend.

I no longer attach files if my recipient has a dropbox account, i immediately drop those files that i wanna share.

I'm looking forward to Google's free cloud storage service.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

3 Things to muster when it comes to writing and blogging

Believe it or not, blogging will not cease as long as the internet is alive, count 10 decades from now and i'm sure, blogging will still be there, que sera sera.

Despite the trend and the many converts moving daily into the circle of the blogosphere, the obstacles that are basic in realizing this hobby are somewhat intimidating esp to those who have zero experience in writing and for those who are so called wannabes.

I, infact salute those peeps who are finding time to create, nurture and maintain consistency in posting to their blogs (whatever it is : fotoblog, diary blog, technoblog, foodblog and movie review blogs among others).

I wont consider myself an expert on this field but allow me to share my thoughts and insights about the factors to muster when it comes to writing and blogging.

1. Grammar
- whenever someone has committed the mistake (honest mistake or due to ignorance) of using a bad grammar, it's as if a crime is done. Lo! and Behold! you are not alone in that dilemma. To fix the anxiety and lacking of confidence due to grammar complexities, start befriending books and be a reader addict. It's never too late to acquire knowledge. (i have my own grammar lapses and i proactively it)
To make you feel comfy, some famous authors  such as Jane Austen violated some of the grammar rules, i don't imply that we should all fall to the sin of committing errors in the language we are using, i'm trying to say that mistakes can happen and we should learn from it, a non-stop learning process, to improve and be consistent of error free composition.

2. Eloquence
- the smoothness in conveying your thoughts through a written prose is one hell of a challenge, i feel irritated whenever someone asks me to repeat what i've just said, it's like i blurted out the wrong words. What more, when it comes to writing? If you think back, most of us are allergic to technical books and literature, why? primarily because it's boring and monotonous.
One of the great traits of those lovable writers makes you indulge into their stories, it compels you to flip open the dictionary and look for the meaning of their chosen words in their literature and prose.
Eloquence is synonymous to fluency. To be fluent means to use the language in an effective manner with crystal clearness to the receiver.

3. Time and Patience
- Success cannot happen overnight, if you're looking for an immediate traffic in your blog, then change your thoughts. Readership and audience in a blog ripens over time based on the quality of what you write. Dreaming your blog to be on the top search results of Google can be realized. it's a matter of time and patience. Always inject the passion of thinking the benefits of being consistent in writing. There are surefire ways to get your blog to be successful and gain wide readership but the most effective one is having it founded by the virtue of patience and consistency.

For those who are always on the go in enhancing their verbal and linguistic intelligence, it's best to navigate through these waters, the constant practice and application of these 3 factors discussed above must be memorized by heart. Mustering these qualities will bring you to a level that you won't regret. 

How about you? What do you have in mind?


Thursday, December 02, 2010

5 Best practices in dealing with an irate customer

Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential. 

When i was a newbie in this world of night shifts and graveyard shifts, i almost got a nervous breakdown with the so called irate customers (btw, Wordweb's definition of irate is - "feeling or showing extreme anger"). These customers are exceedingly suckers of composure and mental peace, dislocating your concentration and goodvibes for the day.

Yet, i realized that it's only a matter of time, dealing with these callers, could actually be turned into a gratifying experience while on a call. Providing a sincere service mixed with love  is kind of a challenge, a would-never-happen kind of thought, but actually, it could happen. These 5 best practices which i've learned through the years have their magical effects. Which, in the end, i get to have a great, if not, a personalized rapport with them throughout the end of the call.

1. Let them vent out
- the easiest way to get their attention is to listen earnestly. Match it with your verbal nods and echoing agreements like "Okay, yeah, Aha,". Soon enough they will get conscious with their blabbering and their discourses of complaints.

2. 'wag mong sabayan (Don't ride on with the heat of their anger)
- it's almost always tempting to bitch back with sarcastic and sardonic mockery and remarks, most esp if the customers are saying below the belt words and saying out loud with profanities already.  Bear in mind though, that it's their way of letting out their frustration and madness. View it as nothing personal, focus on the reasons of their complaints. If you took the bait, you'll end up as a loser.

3.  Acknowledge and restate their issue/s
- Feel the right time and pacing when to voice out  your winning delivery of speech. This is so critical that i normally take the cue when i feel that they've vented out almost over, where almost all the beans has been spilt... Intro your conversation by restating their issues based from their choice of words and don't forget to acknowledge their complaints. Nothing's more peaceful if it's crystal clear than to see a muddled water.

4. State your plan and the solution to their problem
- Saying no for them is definitely the worse! I mean it literally and figuratively. There are times that, what they want can't really be delivered due to company policies and all. But hey, Options.. options... options are the best weapon for these circumstances. Give options to them if you can't solve the problem. They'd end up grateful to you even more.

5. Proactively escalate to your next level of support
- We have to accept the realness of what it can bring by extreme anger, if you really feel with a 99.9% sureness that you can no longer control or handle the call. (cuz you're having a bad day and your accent has been insulted 5 times)... Better pass the phone to your supervisor. Trust me, it's not a cowardly act.

In my tenure, i take pride whenever i have de-escalated an irate customer. The sense of fulfillment is lovely, to look back at the end of the shift that you ended up laughing with a customer whose opening answer is "can i speak to your supervisor?" or someone who blurted "what the f*ck!!!" while on a call. These customers who were turned from dissats to satisfied callers are considered laurels added to your hat; if you've done once before, i'm certain that you can do more.

Share your best practices too in dealing a ballistic one...


Sunday, November 28, 2010


allow me to write and be lost in Your embrace
to kiss away my dreary soul, my fears and cares
where this tired heart has braved enough tears
where the only consolation now is Your saving grace

lift me and blow away the gusts of grey
that to sing would vanquish the tiniest speckle of doubt
and those marred heartaches that may seem endless
would be Yours to take away with clout

when i get to stumble and seem helpless
and  the crows of vain and darkness would seep
i beg You to come... quick and with mercy
to feel your compassion and love for me

servant as lowly as i have been
humbled, with nothing but my faith and hope
i offer you my thanks and praises of exultation
for Your moving guidance and eloquence in things

when the time will come for me to part
i beg, that may i be in my faith steadfast
when death shall be on my footsteps
allow me to fullfill my duty as i surrender to You
my borrowed life...


Friday, November 26, 2010

Red Sand cum Hidden Valley (2009)

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well. 

(going back in the year 2009....)
Red Sand and Hidden Valley are just neighbors as once told by my friend Alfred. I took these photos via my lost N6500s and a Sony Cam from Bernard (i forgot the model) which left me awestruck as i've come face to face with Riyadh's most famous spot amongst Filipinos during Eid Holidays and cold seasons.

The sun was glaring at us but the breeze is one hell of an icy coldness. It's not what you think like the sands are doing a free float swooshing to the left and right; the sands were like tamed barrenness of the lost composition of epic war stories, leaving the eyes free of jagged particles of sand making the experience a delight.

This place vastly composes of an oceanic view of sands, that when you set off your both feet on its waves dissolves your footprints in an emulation of nothingness.

On top of the highest peak of the sand dunes shows off this innate magnificency of the arabian desert: arid land with no vegetation yet full of speaking character of nature.

Off we go to Hidden Valley...

It was a lifeless stature of rocks, with spattered cactus and desert shrubs, desolate and bleak on its visual aspect but magnanimous in imparting the astounding profoundness.

I have always been indulging with the sensation brought by being unto great heights. Awfully inlove esp when it comes to nature and earth trekking and mountain climbing and all. Yes! the pic above has appeased my hunger for true wide-eyed view of rocks, made me gasping to reach further for the peak, wanting more, climbing steeply to advance for a higher level; but in the end, this experience bequeathed me the courage to stay calm and focus as i descended slowly to the ground. I felt horrible,   filled with fear and apprehension in going down for i was alone (none of my friends dared to follow) when i went up, but for goodness sake, there are strangers and adventurers of my same page whom i clinged onto support and collective belongingness as i've moved downward on the slope.

This view is overlooking the exit of the Hidden Valley. It's time to go home and leave the footprints of time as the winds smoothly vanish them.


7 Facts about Multi-tasking in a Call Center

Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one. 

One of the most wanted qualities of a call center agent is the ability to multi-task. I once heard a conversation from a seat opposite me in a jeepney going to Quiapo Manila, a couple in their mid - twenties as i perceived from their faces.

girl: swerte naman ni Florie, natanggap siya sa callcenter, alam mo kung magkano basic nia?

boy: magkano? 

girl: 24 thousand! tapos, meron pa daw mga allowances, at kung wala daw silang absent, may non taxable na 3 thou sa sweldo monthly.

boy: hah!!! anlaki ah, basic palang.. eh ang ginagawa lang naman nila yata eh mag nga-nga-ngawa sa telepono at mag inglis....

girl: oo nga eh, kung sana fluent lang ako mag english, mag-aaply din ako! Sabi nila madali lang daw mag call center.... an laki na ng sahod, madali pa ang hanap-buhay.. san kapa?

I was suddenly alerted by their flow of conversation. My nearly falling drool due to sleepiness from my shift that time was regained back in control. I nearly want to blurt out my opinion but i held back. 

For those who have never experienced having a friend, or with a family member who is a call center guy or girl, they mostly believe and imagine that belonging to that industry is a chickenfeed - an easy job that seems convenient, taskless and boring; if i may add, low-kind-of-level job.

Little did they know that this is no easy job at all. The little things we do like answering the phone, talking to the customer while doing the documentation, keeping the call with no dead- air while searching for tools, executing empathy despite a bad day and all, learning to digest what the customer is blabbering while your boss/sup is trying to chat with you because of an urgent matter; if you sum all these, it requires special skills, wisdom and virtues to execute it. All these are just mere ingredients of the multi-task brouhaha of a call boy/girl.

These are the  Facts that you must know about multi-tasking in the call center world:

1. Multi-tasking is a pain in the ass
- first times are really the hardest. So better get your feet wet during the calls labs or transition stage. You can't beat getting a sup call + teardown issue + and a return escalation from your sup esp on your first live call on the floor.

2. . Multi-tasking is not a birthright attitude, it takes practice to enhance and ultimately be good at it.
- i knew someone who can do Facebooking, blogging and talking to the customer and seldom he gets an escalation call, yet he has the lowest Average Handle Time (AHT) in their team.  Figure it out! he never dropped a call though. 

3. Multi-tasking can affect the quality of the call
- if you badly multi-task, your QA results are awful, if you do the reverse, you'll get high CE and high-rated QA scores.

4 . Multi-tasking increases productivity
- it's the main reason why AHT was never lost among the Need to Meet Metrics of all time. I dare say, it's always included in the top five to watch out for SLAs.

5. Multi-tasking can lower down Average Handle Time (AHT)
- if your boss has an impending failed Performance Planning for you due to high AHT, concentrate on how to multi-task the superb and high-quality way. Maybe you have to unload some of your unnecessary chats, every 5 minute refresh on facebook and twitter, or you might be playing Farnville and Mafia Wars and all, then you're doomed!

6. Multi-tasking can sharpen your memory
- it does possibly connect to short term memory, that sometimes, you get to be an Obsessive Compulsive (OC), on how you handle the call, you tend to be so suave in every detail.

7. . Multi-tasking can be a habit
- imagining the route and path you're gonna take while driving and conversing with your wife who's asking your opinion what could be the best arrangement to place the new tv in your freshly furnished house is somewhat distracting. But the mere fact that you can drive while listening to a Harry Potter Audio book and planning for a dinner date is wayyy easy - that is because, the habit of driving has been so innate with you that you act it out so automatically.

Multi-tasking therefore is a complex process that you have to acquire, it doesn't happen overnight, constant and consistent practice would lead to enormous benefits on your stats and grades as an individual.

In the long run, you may even be able to go to the restroom while on call (lol), or could even have a laugh with your seat mate while checking out some Youtube vid as you talk to the customer. It's a matter of how far you've gone to in perfecting and mastering the art of multi-tasking, without sacrificing the quality and sustaining the excellent degree of your call.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

iOS 4.2.1

All the buzz about this latest, boldest software update from Apple re iOS comes in for quite sometime after all the delays and pending availability of download. 

Fortunately, it was officially downloadable last November 22nd 10amPST. 

- iPhone (3G, 3GS, 4)
- iPod Touch (2nd, 3rd, 4th gen)
- iPad

If you haven't done so, go ahead and update your iTunes first to ver.10.1. Then connect your device with iTunes open and click check for update.

After finishing my update, i was dissat because it's as if nothing has changed on my 3GS, no kidding, there isn't a significant change that i can obviously notice. Worse, all my music were unsyncED. So i have to reconnect to iTunes and sync my music library.

Good thing my iBooks portfolio left unscathed and all my apps were kicking alive. Another injury to the damage is, when i learnt that Find my Iphone is only available for the iPhone 4.

Yep! no need for a paid subscription of MobileMe to avail this service - Find My Iphone. So, for all those who are using an Iphone 4 and the latest 4th gen iPod, you can DL the app from the APP STORE and configure your MobileMe account.

The most beneficial part for this iOS update is simply the Ipad. 
- multi tasking
- folders
- wifi enhancement
- over-all aestethic

Those feats have all been inherited by the iPhone and iPod touch back in the release of iOS 4.1 so i was a bit disappointed, nevertheless i found it useful (but not enough) to have the Airprint and AirPlay capabilities on my device. Yet, i don't have printers that are airprint capable or appleTv to use the airPlay streaming. (but according to lifehacker, you can tweak those features if you are really into it - such as enabling AirPrint for Windows)

I'm happy to say that this sw update will enhance the speed issue (as per TUAW)  from the iPhone 3G, which was apparent in the iOS 4.1.

One more thing to add, you can now customize your SMS ringer alert (impressively, it's only available for the iPhone 4).

Seems like Apple has gotten into so much obsessiveness re marketing strategy for consumers to inevitably leave their old devices and buy the latest ones on the counter.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The 3 Legged Stool (call center 101)

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming. 

What is the proper adjective to say when you suddenly felt the urge to do what has long gone forgotten? - long gone habit that even in your most solemn state of dreamless sleep makes you wanna say "Thank you for calling tech support, how may i help you?".

That chase-of-the-breath kind of feel has made way for this category on my blog - Call Center 101. I'd say that this Business Process Outsourcing Industry came a long way indeed, yet it has more to offer, slowly unraveling those untapped customer service related ingenuity amongst distant shores, most especially The Philippines.

I'm here to share what i've learnt during the 5-6 year journey into this realm of exciting, ever dynamic environment. Change - that is, is the only permanent catalyst to get challenged into the rat race over and over again.

This concept i'm going to impart was lifted when i was on training in handling a technical team of 15-16 persons, readying me to better my judgment in dealing with the degree of importance of who to serve with satisfaction the most.  (Makito, dude, if you're reading this, thanks for the inputs wayback).

There are three main protagonist at stake once a call comes in. They are likened to a three legged stool, that once a single leg is removed, the stool itself will collapse.

1. The Customer
2. The Company
3. You - tech support representative

(for the purpose of specifity, i chose tech support rep, although there could be variations such as customer service representative, helpdesk agent, outbound agent, etc)

These three entities are so intricately related to each other that you cannot singled out each. They must be satisfied at all times to achieve the best customer experience - i'm talking about customer satisfaction in perception of each of those three.
1. The Customer being served must be satisfied at all times. Despite having to break him the bad news (for example, his issue is not covered under warranty) without making him feel degraded or "unserved" properly. (it depends on how you convey it, thru your emphatetic skills and sincere approach of communication). Did i say, "customer is always right?". 

2. The Company (you are representing) must not suffer. Esp from any kind of bad feedback from the customer. The output of how "well",  you (the tech support rep) served the customer is so critical it defines you and the company itself. This leg aims to deliver customer satisfaction by all means. A mission and goal in which, is the common denominator in all the call center companies sprouted everywhere. 

3. The final one which is the Tech Support Rep plays a strong role on the three legged stool, from the opening spiel to the closing spiel, the call is being rated and Q.Ayed; which in turn will be the grade of the agent. However, it doesn't stop there, most of the time, a survey is sent to the customer - the so-called- Customer Satisfaction Survey.  It is imperative therefore to make a lasting excellent impression to the customer, to negate whatever bad experience he was previously in. 

Somehow, there's no way just to maintain or balance the three in all calls. At times, there are instances where equilibrium is unstable. Given the fact that C.E. (customer experience) is at stake, always remember to try saving the customer first. Give your best shot as a tech support rep to reverse a bad experience into a glorious satisfying one. It could hurt your metrics as you do some favor for the customer (ie) staying longer on a call just to make sure in the end that the issue is completely resolve but it will cost your AHT (average handle time); On the other hand, you may bend the rules of your company just to satisfy the customer. Remember that you will bend it, there's a significant difference between bending and breaking the rules. (hope you got my point here).

In recap, what you are aiming here is to attain or surpass the bar of customer satisfaction, never fail to forget that objective, just in case you want to sacrifice one leg of the stool. But of course, there is an instance where the customer is sacrificed as well. It boils down to your own judgement, that if you feel and heartfully believe that this certain customer won't get snapped in side the the circle of satisfaction (despite of you having given your best and despite of you having let your supervisor made a heatcheck and all) then it's time to let go of him and let the C.E. suffer.

Take a deep breath, focus and press "auto-in". The next call comes in, take control and aim for  a high C.E.


PS: (4th Thursday for the month of November is approaching so fast, well, I just hope the trend is still the same, low call volumes during Thanksgiving Day, have a great one! Û )