2018 Top CSR CX Improvement Stories
Commitment Towards Excellence
“Hard work and determination provided to members.”
Syreeta Branch is a great Customer Service Professional who I am proud to have on my team. Syreeta joined Blue Cross in 2015. The trait that attracted us to Syreeta was her commitment towards excellence and her strong team work skills. Syreeta also showcased her “Member First” mentality which further enhanced and confirmed our decision.
Syreeta constantly gives our members the best service that can be delivered. I have received several comments and kudos from our members based off the level of great service provided by Syreeta. Syreeta never hesitates to reach out to me or her peers after doing all the legwork or research.
Syreeta should be recognized by SQM because of the hard work and dedication that she has provided to our members. Syreeta is tied with another employee for the second highest improvement within SQM while transitioning over to a different market skill set from 2017 to 2018. Syreeta initially was only trained in a single line of business but recently gained knowledge in 5 additional lines of business. In 2018, Syreeta learned yet another entirely different line of business. Syreeta was tasked with learning this additional line of business and ultimately ended up becoming the expert in it. Within this new line of business, she must comply with many strict regulations while still giving expert service. Even with all these changes, Syreeta managed to make the incredible leap from 76% to 91% in a single year. This jump was due to Syreeta recognizing her members’ issues and resolving them on the first call. This 15% increase is a demonstration of how Syreeta assists our members expertly and the great attitude she shows.
Syreeta Branch – BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina
An Exceptional Experience
“You always start over with the next customer.”
Customer Service Expert Shep Hyken says, “No matter how good your feedback is, you always start over with the next customer.” This reminds me of one of our mission statements, “An exceptional experience for every customer, at every interaction, from every employee, every time.” The calls may be the same at times, but that doesn’t stop Deb Knight from “delivering the every” with her customers.
With an extensive customer service background, Deb joined our Consumer Energy family 13 years ago. As her Team Leader, I have seen her grow professionally throughout the years. To quote Deb, customer service is “enjoying the customers and the opportunity to serve them while treating each customer as if they are my friend or neighbor and build rapport. I’ve learned that empathy means a lot to them.”
In our lives, we wear different hats, both personally and professionally. To her peers, Deb is a leader. Deb is the most senior member of our team and is the ‘go to’ for her peers when they need support. With a smile on her face, Deb is always willing to help her team whether it is by offering a tip on a difficult call or making them feel welcomed in their new role. To her customers, Deb is a helper. Deb is a natural. She knows how to put herself in their shoes and find a solution for their concern. Life has its ups and downs.
Deb recalls one of her many customers whom she felt a connection. One day, a call came in from a young single lady was trying to make it on her own. She was working hard and doing her best, but she was getting discouraged trying to keep up with everything. I empathized with her situation, but also related to it. I told her she was doing a great job by calling us and asking for help with payment plans. I also urged her not to give up and told her things will get better. I explained I was once in her place, living on macaroni and cheese and popcorn. We both laughed. I love it when I can make my customer laugh. I was very touched and proud of the SQM survey results and feedback she gave me. In her feedback she said I cared, and I was like a mom to her.
Deb has really utilized our growth and development approach to continue her journey toward World Class Performance. During our monthly touch points, Deb is always engaged and positive. She accepts feedback and puts it to use because she knows when she is better, our customers are better. Over the past year, Deb has improved 12% putting her at 89% World Class for 2018. Consistency and her desire to improve make Deb a successful and valuable team member. I am extremely proud of Deb’s accomplishments. She is dedicated to continuous improvement and customer satisfaction and that is why I am nominating her for the Most Improved Customer Service Representative for 2018.
Debra Knight – Consumers Energy
Going the Extra Mile
“Pat goes above and beyond no matter the task.”
Pat is an exemplary Senior Customer Service Representative who embodies all the qualities needed to assist our customers every day. In 2017, Pat finished the year with 81% World Class Calls and was committed to being World Class Certified in 2018. She increased her score from 81% in 2017 to 94% in 2018. For the year, Pat ramped up her game and focused on continuous improvement which resulted in her 13% increase. In addition to being WCC, Pat has excellent all-around SQM scores. In 2018, she had 95% Csat and 98% calls resolved ratings.
Through positive reinforcement, Pat was able to make multiple changes last year. One change included updating her workspace so that resources and reference materials were readily available as needed. This was a pivotal change for Pat as she is a remote associate and can’t rely on her neighbors for information. By making the information available at her fingertips it allowed her to make every customer interaction better. Pat is a perfect example of self-improvement through continuous education. In between calls, Pat is reviewing her team chat and other resources to broaden her product knowledge. Pat is trained on all Genworth Life products and processes, and she is always looking for ways to deepen her knowledge. Her extensive product and process knowledge has enabled her to exceed customer expectations. Her professional approach and interaction on every call is apparent and has played a huge part in her success.
Pat does a fantastic job creating a connection with her customers. She is patient, consistently exhibits active listening skills, and seeks solutions to help resolve the customer’s needs. These attributes are evident in her interactions with customers.
Customers have mentioned on multiple occasions that Pat is personable, compassionate and professional. Pat’s positive attitude and passion for people doesn’t stop with her customers. Pat is a full-time remote associate and acts as the team cheerleader who continually encourages her teammates, whether in the chat or reaching out to a peer individually to show support. Pat always jumps in to help wherever needed, whether it’s to take care of an outbound call or handling a complex situation. Every day, Pat does a tremendous job taking care of our customers and incorporating SQM best practices into her calls.
Patricia Newman – Genworth
It Takes Patience and Understanding
“I needed to gain confidence in myself.”
When I joined the Customer Service team, I lacked confidence in my conversations with my members. I would sometimes stumble over words. I wasn’t patient with my callers or myself. Sometimes it would take me a bit too long to find answers to members’ question, and as a result my members would start to lose patience with me. I wanted to give my members a World Class experience, but I needed to gain more knowledge with our processes and confidence in myself throughout the calls. In 2018, I was trained to also take calls from our providers. These provider calls are fast-paced and allow a more behind-the-scenes look into our processes. These types of callers know exactly what they want and if you can’t get it to them will ask for someone else. Learning all the processes for speaking with providers allowed me to understand better how to relay messages to members that would make previously tough, complex situations easier to explain. The time I spent in the provider world also helped my confidence level grow and provided me with more knowledge of benefits, processes, and tools. I now have the experience and resources to allow me to help any caller efficiently. Because of the extra knowledge and skills I have obtained, I learned how I can be efficient with our members without negatively impacting the member experience. The easier it is for our members to understand our processes and why things happen, the happier and less confused they will be. I feel the more I can help members fully understand their benefits and processes, the more beneficial it is to the customer’s confidence in us!
A couple examples of where patience, understanding, and a little bit of efficiency made a big impact:
- A member was calling to terminate her policy. This should not have been a complex situation, but the member had several questions on what to expect with the process. There were a couple of times when I had to answer the same question more than once. I showed them patience, I slowed down, and answered the questions in different ways to help them understand. The member left a kudos for me stating that I was kind, professional, and that I answered all their questions. They also thought I deserved a raise!
- A member was calling because they had a surgery scheduled for the next day and wanted to ensure they would be good to go. I utilized the resources and knowledge from my provider times to confirm that they did not require any pre-authorization and had benefits available. It was a quick call, but it made an impact. The member shared that their conversation with me was an easy one and added that I was friendly, quick, and put them at ease before their surgery.
Steven Weber – Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans
Creating Members for Life
“Be Kind. Be Diligent. Be Considerate.”
Recently I have experienced a lot in my personal life. Through it all, I always find joy in my daily conversations with our members. I have learned to always smile through the phone and laugh with my members. My philosophy is to be kind, diligent, and considerate, just the way I would like someone to treat me. Making someone smile goes a long way, and any positive impact I have encourages and drives me to keep going.
I value and appreciate the partnership and coaching provided to me from my supervisor. I have always applied constructive feedback and recognized it as an opportunity to improve my future interactions, as well as for personal growth in my career. The more I develop my call management skills, the better the experience is for my members. A key area for development that was identified was my ability to positively position information. Focusing on customer feedback opened my perspective to introducing phrasing and other techniques that focused on instilling confidence and delivering information in a manner that was easily received.
Being the members’ advocate and support system is my main concern. I enjoy discussing members’ benefits with them as well as handling their vision concerns. Being a resource for our clients, members, and providers is very important and my main priority. My goal is to continue to put the member first and continue to strive for a positive attitude. Incorporating these practices into my calls has improved the customer’s experience, and as a result my SQM performance was positively impacted too. In 2018, I achieved 100% World Class calls. I could not be happier with the experience I was able to provide to my callers, and the relationship I was able to shape between the member and VSP thus creating members for life!
Christina Billue – VSP Vision Care