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Improve Customer and Employee Experience - One Individual at a Time
Turning a Negative Situation into a Positive Customer Experience
“She helped me understand this significance from resolving the call to the customer’s satisfaction.“
My name is Kimberly Kennedy and I’ve been on Kimi Miller’s team since May of 2012. I have been in the work force since I was 16 years old, from fast food, to call centers and different administrative/customer service positions including California State service. My experience at VSP has been a very positive and unique experience of which, in my over 20 years of work experience, I have never encountered at any other company.
Kimi has made it a pleasure to work at VSP. She has a unique and positive approach to each team member and to her team as a whole. Kimi is very approachable and open to providing additional training and coaching as needed. I joined her team after I finished training, asking for additional assistance and a better understanding of my job functions and how our whole Customer Service department works. She set up side-by-sides for me right away with many of our support teams and other more tenured team members so that I would be more successful in my job performance. As a result of this training and continual coaching and encouragement, I’ve been able to improve my overall SQM scores.
There were a couple of situations when I needed coaching. It was truly a learning experience. Kimi is very diligent in reviewing my SQM scores with me and explaining how the voice of the customer response affects my results as a whole. She helped me understand this significance from resolving the call to the customer’s satisfaction to positioning negative situations in a way that the customer is more satisfied with their experience. I did not start having SQM audits until June of 2012 when I completed my training, so I am confident with her advice and coaching and continual encouragement and feedback I will certainly reach the goal of World Class CSR in the next qualification period.
I am now a team coach for new employees during different stages of their training. That is one step towards reaching my goals here at VSP. It is truly an honor and pleasure to give back and provide the same feedback as I was given during my training here at VSP: to help others succeed in their goals at VSP. Kimi is an encouraging team leader. She is very talented and skilled at drawing out the talents and strengths of each individual on our team. She makes every one of us feel appreciated and valued for our efforts and hard work on a daily basis. Kimi is fair, kind hearted and also handles private information with the utmost dignity and respect and professional manner. She is supportive and fair to the whole team. She is a clear example of our VSP core values.
Kimi Miller – VSP Vision Care
Brainstorm Ideas for an Action Plan to Improve World Class Scores
“Using more inflection to her voice and adding a ‘smile’ to her tone made a world of difference.“
As a supervisor, Chantal exudes confidence, encourages her staff, is empathetic, an excellent problem solver and a daily role model for her staff. The performance of her team is a reflection of Chantal’s dedication. Chantal is a positive presence in the call center and is always approachable and receptive. During her day, Chantal can be found answering both staff and customer questions, taking calls during times of high volume, working to resolve departmental and customer inquiries, all on top of her usual supervisor duties.
In early 2011, Chantal and her team leads began to notice a slow but steady drop in one of the team member’s SQM scores. There was no immediate concern as scores can fluctuate month to month. This representative, Liza, maintains excellent internally measured quality and is a dedicated member of the team. Despite the best efforts Liza’s world class score was not showing sustained improvement. As a team, we met to discuss her performance, brainstorm ideas of why there was a slow but steady decline and try to come up with an action plan. Chantal approached the situation with a strong desire to help Liza improve her performance; increase her SQM world class scores. Chantal was open to feedback and was willing to work closely with Liza and her team leads to identify the heart of the issue and make the necessary adjustments to her workflow.
Chantal encouraged and supported that Liza and her team leads begin to meet on a weekly basis to evaluate what was happening with her scores, to identify areas of possible improvement, find where immediate changes could be made and build a long-term plan. During the weekly meetings, we listened to her previous calls to identify areas of improvement. We focused on quality over quantity, taking a member-centered approach, having Liza own each issue a member presented and strive to resolve that issue in one interaction. Controlling her call flow and taking her time during the call ensured that callers felt heard, cared for, and helped. Chantal identified that in addition to Liza’s overall call flow and member-centered approach, there was an area of potential improvement with Liza’s vocal tone during her calls. Using more inflection to her voice and adding a ‘smile’ to her tone made a world of difference. Chantal also worked with Liza on techniques that would improve her rapport with her callers. Chantal made this a team effort utilizing her team leads for extra resources. These efforts combined with a strong desire on Liza’s part to be successful and to service her customers to the highest level, resulted in a highly engaged team focused on making the improvements necessary to increase Liza’s world class scores.
With Chantal’s encouragement, excellent problem solving and by being a top notch role model, Liza felt comfortable and was open to feedback. She was not afraid to reflect on herself and accept the areas that she needed to change. Chantal’s hard work paid off; Liza is now in the first quartile for world class and is a Certified World Class Representative based on SQM’s criteria. This recognition is a reflection of Chantal’s dedication to supporting her staff and commitment to ‘Always Putting the Member Experience First’.
Chantal Parent – BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont
Leads by Example – ‘Walks the Walk and Talks the Talk’
“Sits on the floor among her team and handles all call types right alongside the agents.“
Diana deserves the Supervisor of the Year Award because she ‘walks the walk’ and ‘talks the talk’ of First Call Resolution (FCR). Diana sits on the floor among her team and handles all call types right alongside the agents. She holds her team to a high standard and helps them understand how to resolve their calls. In October, Diana took an escalated call from a very irate member. She went above and beyond and fixed the problem.
Beyond that, however, this member asked to speak with Diana’s boss to give feedback. The member stated that Diana was “one in a million and showed true character. She was honest, reliable and trustworthy and did an excellent job. She always called back as she promised and represented the company beautifully. She gave exceptional service!” For one of our members to speak this highly of Diana only confirms what we already know – she truly is one in a million and motivates us every day to go the extra mile.
Diana is consistently reviewing SQM surveys and quality scorecards for her team. She gives feedback constantly of opportunities for improvement and jobs well done. I’ve seen her multiple times at an agent’s desk with training materials out, stepping the agent through the workflows and teaching them how to really take ownership of their calls. She is a joy to be around and the call center always feels happier when she walks in. Diana is an exceptional supervisor.
Diana Bechtel – Allegra Direct Communications
Enhanced Coaching Strategy Provides Outstanding Member Experiences
“The member wants to be heard and understood. It is very important to build a good rapport with your caller.“
‘We are committed to the health of Vermonters, outstanding member experiences and responsible cost management for all of the people whose lives we touch.’
When I first started at BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont a couple of years ago, I never thought this would be our mission statement. Today, we could not be more proud of servicing our members while resolving their call and providing the best member experience we can. Our customer service team has come a long way. We strive to provide the best member experience possible and have spent countless hours running reports, comparing and contrasting world class calls with calls that were not resolved, providing feedback, completing individual coaching sessions and team staff meetings, and implementing several enhancements to process within our company to achieve resolution and member satisfaction. We realized that coaching was the most important part of this process.
Being fairly new to the role of Team Lead, I had a lot of learning to do myself. It was through trial and error that I found out which coaching strategies work best for different representatives. I took coaching and mentoring classes to improve my skills, which in turn helped my representatives increase FCR and member satisfaction. It can be very difficult to change a habit or a way of doing something. Starting with the more seasoned representatives, I worked with them daily to change their mind set from what they were used to (numbers, such as how many calls you can take in a day), to focusing on the member experience. I consistently sent the message that it no longer matters how long you spend on the phone with that one member as long as they walk away with a very positive member experience and their call is resolved.
But how do we get our representatives to understand this and act upon it? I provide coaching, mentoring and feedback on a daily basis. We also enhanced our coaching strategy. We meet monthly with our representatives on a one-on-one basis. This is a structured meeting focusing on member satisfaction and how we can ensure resolution. We focus strictly on that one representative’s personal statistics. Before we meet, I listen to and transcribe all calls that were surveyed, noting what the representative did well and if there were any opportunities for improvement. In our meeting, we review all surveys in depth. If there was a coaching opportunity, we reviewed what the representative could have done to enhance the member experience and ensure resolution. We review different techniques, phrasing, and options that they can try to achieve a more favorable result in the future, such as their peers’ best practices. I then document the opportunities that were identified so we can see if they continue to struggle or have seen improvement. I also document what the representative did well and encourage them to continue as it is having a positive impact.
The member wants to be heard and understood. It is very important to build a good rapport with your caller. I coach my team to take ownership of the call, don’t lay blame; apologize, empathize and congratulate the member when appropriate. Give responses such as ‘I can’ and ‘I will’ so the member is confident we resolved their issue; we are here to help, and ensure understanding by asking clarifying questions and reiterating what the member said. I have found that consistent feedback and mentoring are key to achieving member satisfaction and call resolution. By enhancing my monthly coaching meeting, focusing on call flow and the member’s feedback, we are able to ensure member satisfaction and first call resolution.
Jessica Pinkans – BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont
Building a World Class Team
“I attribute these honours to her guidance and leadership.“
I began working with Carla Principato in the fall of 2010. When I joined the Customer Service Centre I had only been working in a CSR role for just 9 months. Of the two years I have reported to Carla, I earned World Class Certification both years. I attribute these honours to her guidance and leadership. In 2011, I was awarded Top 10 Most Improved CSR by SQM and continued to remain at the top of our World Class Ranking list within our company. The coaching Carla has provided me has given me the confidence, knowledge and tools to become a World Class employee. Carla is a very intelligent, patient, and approachable manager. She is well liked not only by those who report to her, but companywide. The biggest compliment I can give to Carla is that she had 5 World Class employees on her team in 2011 and 9 World Class Certified employees in 2012. This speaks volumes of Carla’s ability, passion, professionalism, and capability as a supervisor. She is the best and I know I speak for everyone on her team when I say she truly deserves this honour.
Carla Principato – 407 ETR
Charismatic Leadership Empowers Team to Achieve World Class Certification
“She always encouraged us to leverage each other’s strengths and to share best practices so together as one team we are all winners.“
I am proud to be a part of the team that achieved organization World Class Certification. I would like to attribute our success to our Manager, Samantha’s charismatic leadership. It’s an honor to vouch for her to be the Supervisor of the Year.
It’s her dedication and commitment to lead us for certification that reaped us this reward. It’s an outstanding achievement given that Samantha and our whole team were in Business Service Delivery for Small Business and became a Commercial team at the end of January 2012. She is a role model for service orientation and ‘can do’ demeanor for internal and external customers. Members from her previous teams and Business support teams would always approach Samantha because she is known to care and do her best to help resolve customer issues.
She is passionate about every aspect of customer service and is a very empathetic person. She set goals for us and gave us regular updates on our achievement of world class calls and she always stressed the importance of FCR. She regularly listened to our calls and provided positive and constructive feedback on coaching opportunities. In our weekly team meetings, she always shared our results as a team, saw opportunities for improvement and recognized and rewarded the achievements of our peers. This motivated everyone to do their best. She would always empower us and give us the necessary time and support. She was always there and always acted on our feedback to review processes to ensure they were working well and challenged and made recommendations to change those that did not, in order to improve her team’s FCR and Csat scores. She always encouraged us to leverage each other’s strengths and to share best practices so together as one team we are all winners.
Samantha Mahabir – Rogers Commercial Service Delivery