2009 CSR of the Year Great Customer Service Story
Preserving Popular Cable Channel
“The true test of customer service skills is delivering a message that is not necessarily perceived as positive.”
Working in technical support is not always an easy job however, in our center we are blessed enough to have some very tenured and talented people working for us. Day in and day out these agents are talking to customers that are frustrated in one way or another because something is not working. It takes a very special type of individual to have lasting tenure in this position. All the training and tenure could not have prepared us for a recent situation that impacted not just one of our customers, but many. A corporate decision was made to drop a channel from our cable line up that we would later discover was very popular and had a very strong and vocal support group that would eventually push us to keep their favorite channel.
As soon as the news was heard of the potential change, Valerie Gervais, one of our most senior reps (been with the company 17 years and in tech support for 10), sprung into action knowing that this decision would be difficult for some of our customers. She took it upon herself to first research the difference in programming between the channel we were dropping and the one that was replacing it. She started following the support group Blogs and Facebook and advised and updated local leadership of the issues. She ensured that her co-workers had positioning statements and understood the facts. In recognition for her outstanding commitment to our customers, she was selected by the Regional President to personally handle all call-backs for customers that had contacted her by voicemail or email. The true test of customer service skills is delivering a message that is not necessarily perceived as positive in the customer’s mind. In the end, the customer demand and the cooperation of the channel that was going to be dropped managed to reach an agreement wherein we could keep the channel… these call-backs were very satisfying!
Throughout the entire process which did go on for a couple of weeks, Valerie remained positive and focused on delivering an otherwise difficult message and in the end, had the joy of delivering very good news! She is an inspiration to work with and our customers regularly call to comment on the level of service she provides. During the time when the popular cable show was taken off the air, Valerie handled the calls in a calm, sympathetic manner and diffused customer anger.
Valerie Gervais – Rogers
2009 Top Ten CSR Finalists Great Customer Service Stories
Restoring Power to Elderly Woman
“The customer was hoping power would be restored before dark.”
As a customer service representative my job is to ensure that the customers of Scotiabank are satisfied and are able to trust the bank. Here is a story in which I was very pleased with myself and realized that as a customer representative, I can make a difference in the customer’s life. Here is how the story goes…
An elderly customer had called in very upset, she had forgotten to pay her hydro bill by the due date and therefore had just had her power cut off. She had mentioned that she lives alone and that she needs the power for medical reasons as well. This customer was very distraught and not satisfied because she did make the payment that was requested by her hydro company but when she contacted them they had mentioned they had not yet received the payment she made. I had advised her then that it does take a minimum of three business days for the merchant to receive the payment. The customer had just made the payment recently. The customer at that point was asking if there was anything that I can do to assist her to get her power back. I had advised her that the only thing I can do is contact her hydro company for her. So she gave me the phone number to the representative that she was speaking to at the hydro company, so that I can call them on behalf of the customer to explain the situation. Once the problem was brought out to the representative at the hydro company I was told that the only way they can assist the customer is if they were to receive a proof of payment from Scotiabank by fax. I also had limited time to send the fax as the representative was leaving for the day. At the end, I had faxed a proof of payment to the hydro company, after doing so I had contacted the representative at the hydro company to make sure she had received the fax and also contacted the customer to advise her of what was being done. The customer was hoping that her power would be restored before it was dark outside. The customer did not have much time before it turned dark as this was already taking place in the evening. I contacted the merchant to ensure that the customer will have her power restored the same day and was told by the representative that the power will be restored shortly. After some time I had contacted the customer to ensure her power was restored and it was.
That night I had realized how much of a difference that we as a customer service representative can make for a customer. Also, at the end of the night I was very proud of not only myself but of the title of my job. Just like many other jobs out there in this world, as customer service representatives, we too can make a difference for a customer simply over the phone.
Shalini Sivananthan – Scotiabank
Fixing Internet Disconnects
“I didn’t want to just refer him to the router manufacturer.”
If I could think of one call over the last little while that stood out, I had a customer call from Ottawa region, I would say around the spring season. I remembered this customer and the time frame because snowboarding season was coming to an end. Also because I was able to help and resolve an issue that has become more and more common with more wireless networks in the household.
The customer was uncertain why his Internet kept disconnecting while browsing and most often during YouTube streaming on his wireless laptop. As a TSC, we normally get these calls each and every day. The customer was able to follow troubleshooting very easily, so I immediately figured he had been through it all on numerous occasions and countless reps had tried to assist. I didn’t want to just refer him to the router manufacturer for further help. He had the modem replaced as suggested by another TSC. He had also updated the channel for the wireless router which still didn’t stop the Internet from disconnecting constantly. The customer had even gone to the length of reformatting and re-installing his operating system, but disconnection issues still persisted. I found out with a bit of troubleshooting and asking fact finding questions that the customer was using an external D-link wireless card which came with the D-link wireless connection software. The customer was not using the D-link software to connect wireless instead, he used the Windows XP wireless connection software. I know from my past experience, that third-party connection software sometimes enables or overrides Windows built-in software. To try to further assist the customer once and for all, I asked him to try to uninstall the D-link software just to test and see. Low and behold, it actually worked. We tried browsing to several sites for the first minute or 2 and then off to YouTube, as the customer was finding the PC was disconnecting and reconnecting more often with video streaming and on MSN.
I can honestly say, I did not do anything out of the ordinary with troubleshooting and really just wanted to figure things out for my own knowledge and experience. I also used my personal experiences as a wireless laptop user as well and just shared a bit of my experiences and frustration with wireless disconnections from home. The praise I received from this customer was very rewarding and one of those calls that you wish was surveyed. I understand as a TSC we do often get praise when issues are resolved. This customer stood out to me because he understood our policies with third-party networks and hardware. And it was just nice to receive sincere thanks from a customer who, in all of his years of being a Rogers’ customer, told me I was by far the most helpful, easy to talk to and technically inclined rep he had spoken to. The call also stood out because the customer was very calm, cooperative and technical himself. He really appreciated just a little extra time and effort in helping him resolve an issue that he was not able to resolve himself.
Ron Boranprasit – Rogers
Leading Bereaved Lady Through Health Maze
“I could hear tears in her voice.”
I received a call from an elderly woman. From the start I could tell she was flustered and stressed. She explained her husband had passed away and he had always taken care of money matters and insurance. She was not sure if she had vision, dental or even health insurance. She had been on the phone a couple of hours and was not getting anywhere. Everyone she reached gave another number to call. When she called numbers on the ID cards they told her she did not have coverage and said they could not enroll her. I could hear tears in her voice.
I let her know how sorry I was for her loss and I understood how difficult it can be. I assured her I would help her. She thanked me for listening when no one else would. Once I located her husband’s information I understood why she was having such a hard time. I explained that her husband’s employer offered many different types of coverage from different companies. Once again I assured her; together we would make sure she had the coverage her husband intended. First we went to her vision coverage and offered to enroll her. Once we got her re-enrolled, I offered to call the other insurances and conference her in on the phone line once I reached the enrollment area. I assured her I was going to stay on the phone with her as long as it took to make sure she had coverage. We started calling enrollment departments. About one hour later, she was enrolled for vision, dental (both had been canceled) and we were able to confirm who she had for health insurance. I confirmed she would be sent new cards, benefit information and doctor listings. When we had completed all the calls, I asked her if she had a clean piece of paper. I reviewed the name of each company, phone number and if enrolled, the confirmation numbers. She thanked me over and over and said “I don’t know if you believe in God. I do and I know He sent you to help me. I wish there was something I could do for you.” I said, “There is something you can do for me – have a good rest of the day.”
Lisa Meredith – VSP Vision Care
Retrieving, Returning Lost Phone
“He said his phone contained important information useful only to him.”
What comes around goes around. I received a call from a gentleman who had lost his phone. He had already reported it lost or stolen weeks prior. Upon reviewing the notes on his account, I could see that this gentleman was very concerned for the phone he had lost as he had called us multiple times to see if there was any news on its whereabouts. He said his phone contained important information that would only be useful to him; however, he was beginning to accept the fact that he was not getting his device back. It had been obvious that he had been trying really hard to get it back.
At the beginning of the call, the gentleman told me that he was from another province and that he lost his phone during a trip to Moncton. I immediately showed empathy by explaining to my customer that I truly could understand how he was feeling and that something very similar had happened to me in the past. I could relate and he could sense my wanting to help from the start.
I had not yet revealed to my customer that I was in Moncton, the same city where he lost his phone.
He knew the make, model number and serial number of his phone. He informed me that he contacted the Moncton Police Department to see if anyone had turned in his device. To his surprise and mine, he informed me that based on the phone’s make, model number, and serial number he provided, someone had in fact turned his phone in to the Moncton Police Department.
I expressed my excitement for him as I could only imagine what a relief it must have been to learn that someone was honest enough to have turned it in. However, the customer informed me that there was still no way for him to get his phone. I was puzzled.
The police department informed him that if he wanted his phone, he had to come and get it in person. There was no way that they would send him the phone through the mail as he had requested them to do. This was becoming more frustrating for him as he felt so close, yet so far away.
The customer told me that he had no money, no vehicle and no way to get back to Moncton to pick up his device, reminding me that he lived in another province. I advised him that I completely understood the situation he was in, and that I would do all that I can. I knew there had to be something more I could do. After all, I am in Moncton and work close to our local police station. This was a perfect opportunity to show him how much we care; it was my opportunity to do the right thing at right time for my customer.
With my customer’s permission, I contacted the Moncton Police Department on his behalf. I identified myself as a Rogers’ employee; I verified the make and model number of the phone and also provided the phone’s serial number. The police officer did confirm that they had my customer’s phone in their possession but even with my confirmation, they would still not send it to him by mail. Disappointed, I called my customer back and explained that the phone had to be claimed in person as a signature and identification was required.
I didn’t give up! I knew that there had to be something that I could do for him. If there was anything at all that I could do to help, I wanted to do it. I wanted this to be a defining moment and show my customer that at Rogers we will go above and beyond for our customer because we care. I contacted the police department once again regarding my customer’s phone.
This time, with their approval, and with the approval of my customer, I made arrangements with the Moncton Police to personally drop by their location that afternoon once my shift was completed. I drove to the police station, provided my personal identification, my Rogers’ security badge, I signed for the phone and the device was released to me. I kept it in safe keeping until the following day. I brought his phone with me to work and prepared the device for shipping. I shipped to the address on file through our internal mail at the Moncton office, at no charge to our customer.
I called my Customer the next morning and advised him that his phone was in the mail. He was ecstatic! He could not believe that after so many attempts someone was finally willing to go as far as I did to help. The Customer said he could not wait to tell all of his friends and family what Rogers did for him to get his phone back. He said it was the best Customer Service he had ever received, not only from Rogers, but from anywhere.
To me, this was an easy fix. I strive to provide the best customer service possible, and in this situation I could do something huge for someone else. It took as little as ten minutes out of my day to help someone who had no money, and no transportation of his own to travel the distance to obtain his device.
I called my Customer later in the week to make certain his phone had arrived safely. It had. He told me we had a Customer for LIFE.
I took complete ownership, made a keen business decision, and fulfilled our service promise.
I think it’s true what they say, what comes around goes around.
Wayne Carter – Rogers
Saving First Home Purchase
“I felt like it was my house that I was almost about to lose!”
I would like to share with you an opportunity I had to help a member purchase his first home. It was late Friday morning when I received the call. The gentleman on the phone sounded distraught as he inquired about the status of his withdrawal request for the purchase of a principle residence. This was his first time buying a home and unfortunately, he had been late submitting his withdrawal request.
I advised him that the withdrawal had been processed and a cheque had been sent out via Canada Post. Canada Post has a 7 to 10 days delivery standard. To add to the problem, for this specific group plan, all cheques are first sent to the employer and they in turn send the cheques to the bank. The gentleman burst into tears as he advised me that he was going to lose his offer on the home if the bank did not receive this money today. He told me how embarrassed he felt and was worried about how disappointed his wife would be. He was really hoping that getting his money out would be the least of his worries when it came to the process of buying a new house.
I was willing to do everything and anything in my power to help this member and make this man’s moment of buying a first-time home a positive and memorable experience. At this point I realized that we had exhausted most of our options. It was too late to request the money to be direct deposited to his bank account, too late to have the cheque sent by courier, since the cheque was already sent and no way to guarantee that the bank would receive the cheque today. I asked if I could place the member on hold and then ideas started running through my head. I thought to myself: “What if the bank would accept a letter that I formulated explaining the situation and all the details of the withdrawal?” This seemed like it might be our last hope, so I took the member off hold and explained to him what my idea was. The member suddenly got excited, and so did I in thinking that this plan might work and we both figured it was at least worth a shot. I explained to the member that I would need to give him a call back after I consulted with my Supervisor to ensure that this was possible. The member was very grateful and assured me that he was very appreciative of my time and effort to assist him.
Immediately after that call I suggested the idea to my Supervisor. My suggestion was approved! During my lunch break I typed and re-typed the letter ensuring it was sufficient and professional enough to send. I called the member and as the phone was ringing, my heart was racing. I felt so involved and caught up in the situation that I felt like it was my house that I was almost about to lose! The member answered the phone and sounded just as excited to hear the news that my idea had been approved. I asked him if he had a fax machine and he told me that he didn’t, but that I could fax it to the Human Resources Department where he worked because they were aware of the situation. I let the member go once again; faxed off the letter to the number he provided me and then attempted to call the member back, three times. I wasn’t able to get a hold of him. I was starting to get a little worried as we were really pressed for time, so I thought to myself, “what if I try calling the Human Resources representative who I had faxed the letter to?” Luckily, the member had given me his business number, so I called it and asked to speak to the H.R. contact. Success! She assured me that she had received the letter and had already faxed it to the bank.
It was soon approaching the end of my work day and I still hadn’t heard from the gentleman I had been dealing with. On my last break of the day I quickly gave him another call back and got his voicemail and just explained that everything had been transmitted to the H.R. contact successfully and wished him the best of luck. I left for the day and literally wondered all weekend whether or not my attempt to assist this member had actually paid off.
When I arrived at work the following Monday morning, I had a voicemail. It was from the member. He sounded so excited as he asked me to give him a call back as soon as I could. Without hesitation, I called him back right away. He went on to thank me graciously. It turns out that the bank gave him an extension on his closing date until the end of the service standard quoted in my letter. He wasn’t going to lose the offer! He was so impressed and so grateful that I had been willing to go above and beyond to help a complete stranger. He started to get emotional again, except this time they were tears of relief and happiness rather than tears of despair. Being able to change this stressful situation into a positive experience for a Sun Life plan member makes me proud to be a Customer Service Representative.
Ashley Hanlon – Sun Life Financial
Making the Lingo Understandable
“While I was going through her claims history she started to weep.”
Have you ever asked your doctor to explain his diagnosis and he starts using 26 letter words that have six syllables? You’re trying to listen to his recommendation however, that 26 letter six syllable word can’t make you think straight. Your hearing has turned off and your mind starts making its own interpretation of “Chickamasitis” and how it’s going to affect your life.
As a Sun Life CCR, my job description lists several duties but making sense of my industry and the service we offer to our clients is my top priority. When the average person thinks about insurance, the usual reaction is confusion, despair and often a sinking sense of dread. This reaction however, is quite understandable considering only a select few such as financial advisors, brokers and insurance specialists actually understand the contract lingo. These people account for maybe 10% of the population.
What I do is simple; I make a not so easy topic understandable and manageable to everyday people like you and me. I remember taking this call as though it was yesterday…
“Good afternoon, may I have your policy and member ID number?”
“Ummm, I’m not sure what that is and my English is not that good”
“That’s okay, I can understand you, you are doing a good job. Do you have a card that you show the drug store when you pick up your prescriptions?”
“Yes, the numbers are… I got a letter in the mail about my claim and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do…”
This lady just came from the Philippines and didn’t speak very much English. She had been submitting massage claims for four months consecutively with no reimbursements being made. In order to have her expenses reimbursed, she needed to submit a doctor’s referral to substantiate her claim. While I was going through her claims history she started to weep. I asked her why she was weeping. She told me for four months she couldn’t even get past giving the representative her contract information. She would get discouraged and would hang up midway through the conversation because she didn’t know how to communicate what it was she was looking for. I took my time and used simple words that she would understand and could make sense of. If she didn’t understand what I was saying, I would give an example or speak a little more slowly until the member was confident and grasped what I was explaining to her. I provided the member with the option to fax the missing doctor’s note to speed up the process of having the claims re-processed. I assured her once I received the faxed information, I would handle her adjustment with my prompt attention.
After 20 minutes of clarifying, educating and casual conversing, my task was completed. The member now knew why four months’ worth of claims were not reimbursed, that a doctor referral is required every 12 months, and most of all she was given confidence within herself and her ability to effectively communicate with language barriers and all.
The conversation ended by the member expressing her deepest gratitude to me for taking my time and being patient with her. In return, I expressed the following, “that’s what I’m here to do; make it simple and easy. It’s been my pleasure assisting you today, and just to let you know your English is better then you think it is!” We both chuckled and wished each other a great day.
You can provide the best service ever. I mean, have the most pleasant conversation, be the nicest person around and say all the right things but, if the person you are trying to help doesn’t understand what you’re are doing for them or recommending, did you really help the person out?
My mission in performing World Class Service is making it simple and understandable. It is what it is, it isn’t what it isn’t and don’t make it what it’s not, which is hard.
Lauren Brown – Sun Life Financial
Recovering Card, Cash from ABM
“I could feel the tension and sense of urgency through the phone.”
Providing outstanding customer service to Scotiabank clients is something I do on each and every call. Being from the East Coast, going above and beyond is in my blood. Discussing finances can be a stressful situation for many people and with my friendly and empathic service style I try to make customers feel comfortable to really discuss their banking needs. It is their money after all, and I know they work hard for it! I offer products that would be suited for each customer and I happily discuss all of the benefits to show how they can be financially better off.
I have sent emergency Visa cards to customers in different countries around the world and have ensured customers’ calls are resolved by staying on the line with them to direct them to the nearest branch in unfamiliar cities.
Sometimes though, a call comes through that makes me feel extremely proud to be a Customer Service Officer. A couple of months ago, I received a call from a gentleman who was trying to use a Scotiabank ABM in a parkade in downtown Toronto. Before he even spoke, I could feel the tension and the sense of urgency through the phone. I knew right away that this was a customer I needed to help, no matter what the situation.
The customer was on his way to a very important business meeting and had used his Visa to complete a cash advance at our ABM. The ABM had pulled his card into the machine and did not dispense any cash. Typically, there are only a few reasons as to why a card would be pulled into a machine. Unfortunately, the customer’s Visa card was from another bank so I was not privy to that information. I was unable to check to see if the card could have been reported lost or stolen, if it had any blocks, or if there could be some other reason for this to happen.
Some representatives might have ended their call right here explaining to the customer that he would have to call his own bank. However, hearing the sense of panic in his voice, I just couldn’t do that with this gentleman. To him, I was Scotiabank and that ABM was mine and I should be able to fix the problem. He did not care which bank his card was from. He needed a solution and he expected that solution to come from me. To eliminate the possibility that there could have been a problem with his account we called his bank together to check on the status of his Visa. There was nothing wrong with the Visa and to make matters worse, the customer had no other form of payment with him.
At this point, the customer was understandably frustrated and upset and was very resistant to my questioning; he just wanted the situation fixed. He was so upset that he couldn’t even tell me which ABM he was using. I told him that I completely understood why he was upset but I was going to help him no matter what. By showing him my understanding of the situation and by assuring him I could help, he began to calm down enough that I could ask questions to determine his location. While talking to him, I was frantically searching through our ABM locator to find out where he was. There are hundreds of ABMs in Toronto, so I knew that finding this location would be a challenge! After only a couple of tries, I found the right ABM! The customer was impressed that I was able to track it down so quickly!
I had to help this customer! As there was nothing wrong with his Visa account, my next step was to call our ABM support. I called and gave them the address of the ABM and they advised me it was currently showing as offline. I explained the situation and they advised they could send a technician to open the ABM to retrieve his card. Finally we had a solution! I couldn’t thank the person from ABM support enough and went back to my customer with the good news. As I was explaining that there would be a technician arriving to retrieve his card and to fix the ABM, the gentleman interrupted me to tell me someone had just arrived! I stayed with him on the line to make sure he had his card and was able to get the money he needed to pay for parking and get to his meeting on time!
The gentleman was extremely grateful and was very impressed that I remained so calm, recognized the urgency of the situation, and got it fixed quickly. He said that he had never gotten such service from his own bank and was going to bring all of his business over to us, all because of the experience he had with me! I told him it was my pleasure to help him and to please call anytime! He then went off to his meeting. I know this gentleman will now be a Scotiabank customer for life.
Carlee Portolesi – Scotiabank
Arranging Flight for Dying Man’s Family
“This simple confirmation call turned into a tearful exchange.”
In the thousands of connections I have made over the past six months, there is a special one that stands out because it so closely mirrors my own life.
It began as an irate email regarding a missing E-ticket for a flight that was to leave the next day. Putting on my detective cap, I could understand the root of the confusion. There had been multiple schedule changes with the reservation and the Collector still had the original itinerary.
Now, I don’t work in the Reservation Change Group and I haven’t been trained on how to read the ‘algebra’ that internal booking systems call language but I didn’t feel that this was the time to use the pre-written form letter that we have for schedule change situations. When it comes to emotional escalations, sometimes a personal touch is just what the doctor ordered.
Instead, I went to the airline’s website, used their confirmation code to view the reservation and then composed an email explaining the instructions for the Collector. Understanding that this reservation was for who I’ll call, ‘mama bear and her three cubs’, I followed this email up with a phone call. After all, the flight was the following day and I’m a ‘mama bear’ myself.
As it turns out, this simple confirmation call turned into a tearful exchange. I discovered that the Collector and her children were traveling across the country to say goodbye to her terminally ill father. Having lost my own father recently, I could completely understand where she was coming from. We formed an immediate bond. Like old friends, I was able to offer some consolation and kind words to help her along her journey – both literally and figuratively. I told her that she may never be able to get over it but that she would get through it. The conversation was empowering for me as well as it helped me move closer towards acceptance of my own situation.
To my surprise, a few days later I got a reply of thanks from the Collector. She let me know that thanks to me, her family was able to say their goodbyes.
I treasure this memory greatly. It’s immensely gratifying to know that I made a difference to this individual and her family. We spend so much time at our workplaces that I’ve long used the approach that my colleagues and our Collectors are extended family and this was no exception.
To provide added value to our Collectors going forward, I promptly shared with the team how easy it is to look up reservations on the websites of our various airline suppliers. It has now become a best practice in my group to give our Collectors the option to contact our Reservation Change Group or view their itinerary on-line directly.
Christina Hall – LoyaltyOne – The Airmiles Group
Resolving Claim Creates ‘WOW’ Factor
“At this moment I began to hear relief in his voice.”
Delivering the ‘WOW’ factor is an element that I strive to achieve each day as a CSP. One recent call on 10/6/09 made that a reality.
A member was very upset because his claim was denied because of the pre-existing waiting period. He informed me that he had previous coverage, did not have the Certificate of Coverage letters and did not want to jump through hoops to get the letters. He stated he was advised earlier that he needed to get these letters himself or he could appeal our ruling of the denial of the claim. I looked at this being a moment that could change this member’s perspective of BCBSNC and turn a service failure into a positive, memorable experience. He stated that we did not care about him as a member! This statement immediately allowed me to view this conversation from the member’s perspective. No one wants to think they are not cared about.
Now was my moment to produce the ‘WOW’ factor. I assured him that he was a valued member and in addition to caring about his concerns, I would do everything possible to resolve his issue. I acknowledged the facility claim paid and the professional claim denied. I also advised this occurred due to the diagnosis codes being different. Then, I asked him questions regarding his previous coverage and told him I would contact the carriers directly to obtain the information that was needed in order to process his claims. At this moment I began to hear relief in his voice. He was not sure about the previous carriers he had. He gave me a few names of other previous carriers. At that point, he could have given 10 carriers and I would have called each and every one in order to have a satisfied member.
While on the line with the member, he asked about payment for claims with a date of service of 6/19/09 in the amounts of $300.00 and $160.00. These claims were not in our Siebel, ITFI or Blue Squared systems. I advised if he could obtain additional information from the provider, I could assist further. He contacted the provider on a second line and I gave him questions to ask the provider, such as when were the claims filed, did they file to their local plan, did they receive rejection or acknowledgment? The provider stated she had filed claims on 6/22/09 and 7/1/09 and had not received a rejection notice. The provider had not received any acknowledgement from her local BCBS and she was going to submit the claims again. The member verified his current insurance information with the provider and an error was discovered. He was most appreciative that I took the additional time to allow him to call his provider to resolve the issue of the two claims.
In order to prevent the member from remaining on the line while I contacted the other carriers, I advised him I would follow-up once I had received his prior coverage information. I called and received information from his previous carriers via their automated systems and requested fax confirmations of the member’s coverage. I called the member on 10/8/09 and advised the pre-existing waiting period had been removed and the claim was being sent for processing and to allow 30 days for a resolution and I would follow-up with another call. Thanks to our claims department, this claim actually posted on 10/19/09 and the member was called. He was advised his claim had been re-processed and his member responsibility was a $40 copay. Again, the member was advised the pre-existing waiting period had been removed from his policy. At this point, the member was elated. He was so thankful that his claim had been processed and in such a timely fashion. He was not expecting my call for 30 days and BCBSNC exceeded his expectations and called within 9 business days. This situation turned from a very dissatisfied to very satisfied member just by dialing a few numbers. Sometimes, the little things a CSP can do means a lot to our member.
Freda Lockhart – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina
Pointing New Widow to Savings
“Sometimes, it is just a matter of taking that extra moment and listening.”
To me, Customer Care is more than money and sales. To me, it is where your relationship as a company begins with its most important commodity, MY CUSTOMER!
One day I received a call from a wonderful lady from Toronto. She has been a Rogers’ customer since Rogers Cable first started providing television services in the early 70’s. Her husband had recently passed away and she was calling in very upset that she needed to cancel her cable service. She could no longer afford her cable on her single retirement income or pension. Well, being a Torontonian myself, I know that in that city, there are certain things you just don’t do. Many times, you look for someone to accompany you when you are out after dark. For example, her television is more than just something to flick on and see what is happening in the world before going to bed. To MY CUSTOMER, her television is her company, her friend, the break in the silence. I took a look at my customer’s account and saw that she had never had a promotion on the account since as far back as I could see. I asked her to please be patient with me and that I was going to see if there was something I could do instead of disconnecting her cable. I asked her to hold and I made a quick call to one of my peers to see what we could do for her. They were able to place a remarkable campaign on her account based on her loyalty, tenure with Rogers and great payment record.
I went back on the line with my customer and advised her on what I was able to do so she could keep her entertainment, her bit of company and she was delighted. She had not asked me to look at her account, just that she could not afford cable any longer. She appreciated the fact that I went outside the box. I can only imagine losing your life partner and everything you know has to change because your financial situation too has changed. At this point, I could feel that the customer really trusted me and knew that she was in good hands.
Since my customer appreciated that I went above and beyond for her. I asked her if she would not mind discussing her phone bill with me. She now placed me on hold and went to get her phone bill. We went over what she was being charged in detail. I pointed out to her that I could switch her phone. Where she was paying approximately $75.00 (because she made a few calls to the 905 area code which is long distance from where she was), I could set her up on a much better plan for less money a month, free installation and her number would still be in the book. She would also have 500 minutes of free long distance every month which would cover the calls that she was making that she was currently being charged per minute for.
With the savings to her cable and by switching her phone over, she was now basically getting her phone and cable for just slightly more than she was paying for cable. My customer decided to have a home phone installed and I promised her that I would follow-up with her after the installation to make sure everything was okay.
A week later I called her and she was so thankful. Thankful I had taken the time to listen, thankful to have cable and home phone and being able to afford both, thankful that I had taken the time.
Sometimes, it is very easy to get lost in the sea of calls that we take each day. Sometimes, it is just a matter of taking that extra moment, taking a look and listening. Sure it helped that I could talk to her about living in Toronto, and that the cooler weather was approaching and I wanted her to be able to keep her TV, for comfort. At the end of the day, she thought that nice lady from Rogers was so nice and helpful and kept her word by calling back. That is probably why she will remain a loyal Rogers’ customer.
Laura Antle – Rogers