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Press Release Published in March, 2013 and prepared by Kathie Mazza and Steven McStay, Wakely Consulting Group
A Call Center (sometimes called a Customer Service Center) will play a major role in the overall success of a State-Based Exchange’s mission to connect as many people as possible with affordable—and understandable—health care coverage. As a multi-channel contact center, it will assist far more enrollees than navigators, brokers, and in-person assisters combined. The Call Center is a main face of the Exchange to the outside world, along with the Exchange website and portal and, to succeed, it must have a cohesive strategy for optimizing people, processes, and technology to support Exchange goals and objectives. This brief reviews each of these three components within the context of the Exchange environment and offer tips for strategy development. The brief concludes with an exploration of five Call Center best practices that are relevant to the Exchange environment. And since it is often said that “experience is the best teacher,” several of the best practices are partly drawn from conversations with people who are closest to some of the best-in-class Call Centers in the country, including L.L.Bean, Fidelity Investments, Nordstrom, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT).
A core set of customer encounters will need to be supported by the Call Center during the process of enrolling people and maintaining their coverage. To provide context for developing Call Center strategies and for the discussion of best practices which follows, a review of these core encounters includes:
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