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2021 Supervisor – Great Customer Service Coaching Stories

All Supervisors have been certified as World-Class CX coaching performers

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Top 6 Supervisor Success Stories

SQM Customer Experience Award

Supervisor of the Year Award-Winning Story

Coaching Resiliency Through Change

When there is trust on both sides, and you have your employee's buy-in, people will give their all.

Alia Bawazer is a supervisor that leads with encouragement and making time for each person on her team. Alia understands that coaching is most effective when given at the soonest availability, and she is there on the spot when her team needs her. She wants to build trust with each member on her team. Alia loves to recognize her CSR’s by sharing the team’s success stories with Leadership.

Agents from Alia’s team have shared the following:

“Alia has helped me develop consistently since day one on her team. She continues to encourage me and support me by continuing to provide feedback. Alia makes it a point to thank me for the work I do. I always feel like a valued employee on the team which helps me stay focused and drives me to look for areas to excel in my career with the company.”

“I was struggling with calls, and Alia provided me with tips. She went over how to use soft skills, listened to my concerns, gave full explanations of procedures, and helped me create a plan to improve. Alia made me feel not afraid of asking for help and to reach out for one-on-one support. She has compassion and cares. Each day, I feel more confident because she is always there for me. I couldn't have asked for a kinder supervisor. She understands mistakes can be made and there is a way to improve. With her amazing coaching, my Call Resolved has improved.”

“Alia Bawazer is the true definition of phenomenal. Alia has played such an enormous role in my growth with VSP. I honestly don’t think I would be as knowledgeable, skillful, or as resilient as I currently am within the company, if it weren’t for her remarkable leadership capabilities. Alia is always available for any assistance needed to make sure her team has all the guidance necessary for a productive workday. Consistently going above and beyond is perceived as nothing more than effortless from this gem! Her flexibility, intelligence, and selfless acts are just some of the many attributes Alia possesses, which dramatically aid in the success of not just her team, but VSP as a whole. I adore the abundance of encouragement she constantly provides, and I love the relationship we have built over the years. I truly do believe VSP is extremely blessed and lucky to have her as a part of leadership. I’m able to maintain a high performance on my VoC results due to Alia’s continuous coaching.”

Feedback shared from Alia’s Manager:

"Alia is a World Class Supervisor every day when she comes to work. Her positive energy is infectious! Her engagement with her team, her peers, and the organization are like no other supervisor I have encountered. She gives her all with the Eyes on Engagement Committee and is dedicated to the Black Heritage Business Resource Group committee as a Professional Development Leader. Alia displays a passion for developing her CSRs. She coaches everyone with positive reinforcement and uses different tactics that resonates with everyone. Her Csat score in Q1 started at 85.5% and ended the year at 95%. Her consistent improvement was due to coaching her CSRs to show the same energy with our members as she shows with them every day. In Q4, Alia and her team were given the assignment of being placed on a Skill Development Opportunity (SDO) in support of our Eyeconic business. Naturally, she was met with resistance by her team. There were so many unknowns, many new things to learn, schedule changes, and again when hours of operations changed, more schedule changes. Alia didn’t let these things stop her or her team. She coached them through change management and showed them how to be resilient. Especially as this team consistently changed their hats from Vision Benefits (VB) to Eyeconic, through peak season Alia was right with them to change her hat as well. Alia reminded her team this was a learning experience, and she too was learning right beside them. She reinforced that it was okay to make mistakes; this is a part of growth and development.”

Here is what one of her CSRs had to say about Alia:

“I just want to share how much we appreciate Alia. She is very supportive and understanding of any situation I have brought to her. I not only know and understand my job duties as VB and EYECONIC trained, but also the encouragement for the Career Development and Growth with the company has never been initiated from a Supervisor and worked to make it possible. She deserves a ‘well done’ pat on the back from all of us on TAT5.”

As you can see, Alia deserves the pat on the back for a job well done. She has the ability to lead her team with compassion, creating a collaborating team to work towards the one mission of World Class Service.

Feedback shared from Alia:

"In October, I asked my team to not only follow me, but to be open and positive about following me to become SDO’s supporting our Eyeconic business. I knew we could do this and be successful. I met with each employee, reinforcing that we are a team, and that they each are an important part of this team. I let them know that this is a great opportunity to learn new skills and help our business. I met with each person, and at the end of the conversation asked them, how do you feel? They said, “sure I want to help. I trust you, and I’ll do whatever the team and VSP needs me to do.” This response was unanimous, across the board. Of course, it wasn’t easy. There were challenges that we would need to overcome, but they supported each other and me every step of the way. During the SDO, I went back to them and said, “I need you to change your schedule”. Next, “I need you to support both VB and Eyeconic calls”. And finally, “I need you to learn how to process emails”. They did all of this with grace, dedication, resilience, and enormous flexibility, with their focus always on the most important part, our member experience. I could never have asked my team to follow me without trust. It turned out to be one of the most successful peak seasons in Eyeconic. My team had a positive impact on these results and on our customer and member experience."

"What made me World Class in 2021 is my team. I could have never asked them to take that leap of faith with me without trust. I believe to be a successful leader you must gain your employee’s buy-in, and that in turn, creates a more positive experience for the employee and therefore, for the members they serve. I work to build trust by leading through engagement, stressing the importance of team; that when one of us wins all of us win, displaying my commitment to their development in both their current and future skills, and continuing to reinforce the message that what you do as an individual matters. As a leader, I reflect on ways I could have done things differently and how to adjust for the future."

"To me, trust is the seed you need for success to grow. Does my employee trust me and where I am leading them? All the coaching, support, and encouragement doesn’t matter if there is no trust. When there is trust on both sides, and you have your employee’s buy-in, people will give their all. That is how I lead to achieve World Class experiences for our members, providers, and customers."

Alia Bawazer  – VSP Vision Care

Finalist Stories

She is the epitome of World Class.

I have concluded that Amy Munger was born with the “CX” blood type. It’s evident in the service she provides every day to our members and her team. That’s why I’m nominating Amy for World Class Supervisor of the Year. 

Amy started her journey with Blue KC as a Customer Service Representative, and within a couple of years on the phones, she became a Lead. Amy excelled in this role and consistently demonstrated her support and dedication to the team. When the team’s Supervisor moved on to a different role at Blue KC, Amy was selected to fill the vacant Supervisor position. Through all these roles, Amy has been World Class. She was certified as a World Class Customer Service Representative, World Class Lead, and now a World Class Supervisor.

It's been very humbling to watch Amy grow, during her eight years with Blue KC, as she has become the leader she is today. Through her different roles, she has gained the respect and confidence of her peers and team. Here are some of their words:

“I started with Amy nine years ago and have been privileged to be on her team as a co-worker, with her as my Lead, and now as my Supervisor. Amy is one of the people I can count on to do absolutely everything she can to help a member. She will use all of her resources, go to everyone she knows or thinks might be able to help, and push for people to work harder and do more. She really cares about members and her team. She is positive, motivational, caring, and hard-working. I know that, if there is anything at all that can be done to help a member, Amy will find it. She doesn’t do any of this to be praised, she just does it behind the scenes and doesn’t expect any accolades. It’s just what she does. It’s who she is. She is the epitome of World Class.

“As far as being a Supervisor, she isn’t just that; she’s a leader. I have seen her, time and time again, go above and beyond to help her team members. Picking them up when they need a ride to get to work, even bringing them food, sometimes. She is understanding and patient. She truly has a servant’s heart, which is rare for a Supervisor.”

“Amy has been with me throughout my entire career at Blue KC. She has always been someone I have looked up to. Amy has been very patient in helping me, so I can successfully help our members. If you ever need to know who to contact for a situation, Amy always has the answer, in just a few seconds. She is an excellent resource and a wonderful and caring co-worker. I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with her.”

“I’ve known Amy since my second or third year at Blue KC, when Amy was the Lead on my team. She was extremely helpful and so kind to me. After moving on to other roles at Blue KC, I am now on Amy’s liaison team, and I could not be happier. She is an amazing boss, very understanding, and still extremely helpful.”

‘For any issue I have or any questions I need answered, Amy is always willing to jump in and help me. She wants all of us to succeed. She’s had my back since day one.”

“Amy is the most patient person I know. She helped me so much when she was my Supervisor. She would always check in to make sure I was doing okay. She is so full of knowledge and was always very encouraging when I needed it the most. I loved being a part of her team. She has continued to check on me to make sure I am doing well.”

“Amy is one of the most honest and compassionate people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She has never been too busy to help. She is always willing to do whatever she can to help her team, both professionally and personally. When I had surgery in 2020, I was no longer on her team, but she checked on me. She was a listening ear and provided me with feedback and advice that helped me a lot; I don’t think she understands just how much that meant to me. Working for Blue KC, I have had the honor of meeting, and working under, a lot of great leaders, and she is one of my favorites. I am lucky to have her.”

“In the short time Amy has been my Supervisor, she has been amazing. She has a lot of knowledge about Blue KC, and I’m excited to learn all I can from her. She does everything she can for you to help you, both professionally and personally. She wants to see everyone succeed! She has a heart of gold, and Blue KC is lucky to have her as a Supervisor. She wants to see me succeed with my career at Blue KC, so she has given me some opportunities to further my career, and I am so thankful for her.”

“Working with Amy has been amazing. Amy is always willing to help and teach me new things. Amy assisted me with a very angry member. The member was not satisfied with the answer being given and requested Amy. Amy was able to talk to the member and help her understand what was needed to resolve the issue. Amy followed up with me to assure me that I had assisted in every way I could, and that there was nothing further I could do. I appreciate Amy for her positivity and follow-through.”

“I had a domestic situation, and Amy went above and beyond to help me get the time off I needed, although I had only been on the phones for about a month. Since then, she has done a lot to help me personally and professionally, to make sure I was able to continue to give my customers great support, and learn. Even though I lost a lot of time, having to be off for issues with my situation, Amy is always there to listen and help with any needs. She wants you to be successful, and she really deserves Supervisor of the Year. As this team's leader, she makes us who we are. She knows how to explain, where someone went wrong, and how to fix it without making them feel some type of way. She's amazing, and I'm glad to call her my Supervisor.”

These accolades are a great testament to the person Amy is every day, at work and even when she’s not working. As mentioned above, “CX” runs through her veins, and this is a well-deserved nomination for Supervisor of the Year!

Amy Munger  – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City

The character qualities of kindness, strength, availability, generosity, and humbleness became my team pillars.

Last year, more than any before, it was a struggle for my team to reach World Class status in SQM performance.

In the first quarter of the year, several of my more tenured representatives left my unit as they moved forward with their careers. With the resulting vacancies, I received seven brand new representatives who were only trained in their initial line between April and October. In previous years, new representatives were assigned to specific units, where they usually spent several months learning their first line of business, and fine-tuning basic skills and knowledge. Once proficient, they would return to training before moving on to their final phone unit with their permeant supervisor. This is where they would finish any remaining training and would remain for the duration of their career as a phone Customer Experience Representative (CXR).

In 2021, not only did we lessen the time between a new hire’s initial two pieces of training, but the representatives also moved directly to their new/permanent unit after their first training. With half my team fresh out of training, my job shifted, and I needed to return to the basics to assist my new representatives while still supporting those in my unit with more experience. To do so, I leaned into the pillars of my unit.

When I first became a supervisor, I thought a lot about what kind of leader I wanted to be, what qualities I find important in leadership, and what atmosphere I wanted to cultivate throughout my team. The character qualities of kindness, strength, availability, generosity, and humbleness became my team pillars. They guide my coaching and interactions and have been instrumental in creating a foundation that encourages compassion, emotional security, and most importantly, growth.

The breakdown of my pillars is simple. To be kind, I say and do things as kindly as possible, look for the good, and make every effort to not cause harm or stress. To be a strong leader, I make clear, conscientious, and sometimes difficult decisions. I have the hard conversations. I have to be aware of my influence and the effects my words and actions have on those reporting to me. To be available to my team, I must stop what I am doing to pay attention to them, have an open-door policy, pick up the phone when it rings, and acknowledge my team’s presence. To be generous, I am willing to give of myself, to reward hard work, and to give the benefit of the doubt. To be humble, I acknowledge I am not all-knowing and am willing to admit when I am wrong, and acknowledge that knowledge comes in many forms.

With the solidly founded pillars to support my and my team’s growth, we faced the challenges of becoming truly unified and expanding our skills while supporting each other and our members. Coachings were frequent, proactive, and positive. I focused on what the representatives were doing right and what was important to our members from their positive feedback. Education from errors and negative feedback was taken into consideration and reviewed, but our focus was on what was going well. Equally as important to how I led, was the opportunity I gave my representatives to coach and lead each other. A standing agenda item was added to our unit meetings, where representatives could share calls that went well or situations they struggled with. This, along with SQMs specifically focused, CXR-led meetings, allowed the representatives to share tips and work together on calls and topics important to them.

2021 was a year full of challenges. My team and I struggled with sickness, death, and personal tragedies. Having these pillars taped to my computer screen helped to keep me focused on what I value, and on what is important to me, my team, and our members.

Emily Serrano Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

She helps people see beyond what they are doing today to understand what they are truly capable of.

Mallory leads through inspiration. She creates an environment where her team feels free to learn and grow, to make mistakes, and to learn from them. Development has always come naturally to Mallory – it’s really one of her gifts. She helps people see beyond what they are doing today to understand what they are truly capable of.  

Mallory helps her team to identify their strengths and passions. She empowers them to use those traits to inspire and develop the rest of her team and department. For example, Mallory’s partnership with her Team Lead, Laura, has helped Laura to work toward her goal of developing into a leadership role. Laura enjoys coaching and developing people, and Mallory has empowered Laura to further develop those skills. First Call Resolution (FCR) was a great place for Laura to really grow. Laura has taken the lead in reviewing FCR surveys and determining the best approach for both coaching and recognition to drive performance and engagement on her team. Mallory is included in all of the communication, which allows her the opportunity to provide Laura with valuable feedback. An important part of leadership is thoughtful delegation, and this is such a great example of just that. This partnership has allowed her Team Lead to grow in her role and has created an even more robust support system for her team. Mallory recognizes that to fully support her team and help them be their best takes more than just her, and she enjoys sharing parts of her role with others who have a positive impact.

Mallory has also broadened the scope of FCR for her team. Although she and her support staff review and coach the FCR surveys, they don’t stop there. She talks to her Lead and her two Specialists about FCR on a regular basis. No matter what the reason for reviewing a call is, they are encouraged to look at every call and customer situation through that FCR lens. This has had a large impact on her team's performance, helping them to consistently deliver on FCR, month after month. Another example of this broader view can be seen in her approach to failed FCR surveys. Her team calls back the member on all failed FCR surveys, rather than reserving that for Customer at Risk or Action Alerts. This follow-up provides many opportunities for her team to complete service recovery, and it reinforces the coaching they receive to help get it right the next time.

The final thing that I will outline is the overall supportive feeling that Mallory creates within her team. Mallory understands that constructive feedback and recognition must live in balance. She understands that her team needs to hear not only what they can do to improve but what is going right. She ensures that feedback is provided on both World Class FCR surveys and failed surveys because a lot can be learned from both.

Overall, I am proud of Mallory and the environment she has created for her team. Here are some testimonials provided by her team about the type of Supervisor Mallory is and the amount of support she provides:

“I have to say that Mallory is one of the best supervisors that I have had in all of my working career. She is very responsive and always shows an attitude that shows I mean something, and my issues mean something, and if she can do anything to help with that issue, she takes the ball and makes it happen.”

“I love Mallory’s style of management. It never feels like she is just ‘watching over our shoulder’. I feel like I can do my job without being micro-managed. However, if there is ever something to be addressed, she does it in such a way that it doesn’t make you feel attacked or bad about it, and at the same time, if there is anything we ever need, she makes sure to take care of it and do whatever needs to be done to help.”

“Mallory always provides support for self-improvement. She does a good job of praising what I do well. If there is something I can improve on, she doesn’t simply inform me to improve, but gives me constructive advice I can actually use to better myself.”

“You can tell that she is really invested in us as her team. You never have to be scared to talk to her about anything, and she is just super awesome with her words and how she comes across. She is always so open, and it really shows.”

“Our job is stressful – life right now in general is stressful – and this job is not always easy. But with a leader like Mallory and a company like Blue Cross, it makes me love my job.”

Over the past 2 years, Mallory has inspired greatness in others, helping her team achieve incredible results. In 2019, her team achieved 65% World Class calls. In 2020, she was able to help her team achieve a huge increase in their FCR performance, achieving World Class at 80%. I am excited that her team was able to achieve World Class again in 2021, and I think this speaks to the leader that Mallory is. This is why I believe that Mallory should be awarded Supervisor of the Year.

Mallory Johnson Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

She leads with a growth mindset, always looking for feedback so she can be the best leader.

Teneshia has demonstrated excellent customer service and coaching skills with her team, business partners, and external customers. I have received several “PROPS Recognition” notifications from her peers, business partners, and team about how professional and helpful she is. Her commitment to excellence is demonstrated in everything she does.

“Thank you for all you do. You rock!” – Lelia S., team member

“Teneshia is a wealth of knowledge, a real sleuth for figuring out complicated things. She is a great resource and always responds in a timely manner. I appreciate her assistance.” – David J., business partner

“I want to say thank you for being a great supervisor. You are always willing to go above and beyond to help our team. I appreciate the constructive feedback you give. Don't change a thing; keep being the good person you are.” Laticia M., team member

Teneshia has finely tuned her coaching skills to bring out the best in her team. Her commitment to bringing out the best in her team is evident in the SQM World Class Certification of 85% for her team. Teneshia’s effectiveness as a coach was also seen in a 58% reduction in her team needing to contact the help desk for assistance. She has effectively coached her team on how to engage with customers and utilize the resources provided to ensure accuracy in their responses.

Teneshia is a team player and a great advocate for her team, her peers, and BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.

Teneshia Harris impacts and informally leads not only her immediate team, but also the entire Senior Market, as well as positively influencing all Customer Service through her leadership, coaching, and FCR results.

Teneshia consistently is the top coach in the department, making time to meet with her team to deliver feedback both congratulating on results and positive behaviors, as well as redirecting and encouraging improvement when needed. Teneshia has a wonderful blend of coaching her team by leaning on the trust the team has in her to provide kudos, as well as direction when needed.

One behavior that Teneshia exhibits repeatedly is the drive for constant improvement.  She leads with a growth mindset, always looking for feedback so she can be the best leader and give the best experience to BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina members and employees.

Teneshia proactively reaches out to look for feedback on her coaching sessions. Teneshia often contacts the Master Coach Team looking for feedback and direction.

Teneshia successfully coaches her team directly to SQM Survey feedback when it is an Action Alert or Unresolved Issue.

Finally, another example of what makes Teneshia Harris the best of her kind, is how she goes above and beyond multiple times a week to send daily emails, organizing top issues that could impact member satisfaction and resolution, so all Senior Market CSPs can effectively do their job.

Almost every workday during 2021, Customer Service Professional agents started their days with an update from Teneshia Harris – motivation, encouragement, and details that she brings to the front of all CSPs’ minds as they start their day. With all the constant changes and updates, receiving this email is well-received and often referenced as communication the staff look forward to and use to resolve member issues the first time.

It is challenging to put down in writing the essence and true influence of Teneshia Harris at BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina. She is a difference maker, and we are proud to say she works here.

Teneshia Harris BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

She is an instrumental part of evolving a culture focused on people and service.

In 2021, Becca was nominated for SQM Supervisor of the Year for her contributions in 2020. I’ll start the story with the past nomination written by her peer.

In 2020, we witnessed the development of a supervisor. It was a textbook situation in which the newly inducted learned at a steady, upward trajectory, without any outstanding learning mishaps one would expect of someone new to a position.

Even more intriguing, though, was how Becca Spencer quickly prioritized her new team. Although the supervisor role requires a great deal of time mastering administrative tasks, attending decision-making meetings, and fielding in-the-moment questions, she put her people first.

Becca’s team was a group of mostly long-term employees who have years of customer expertise – they know what they’re doing. They also have double, triple, and even quadruple the tenure of their new leader. However, Becca gained their respect with her knowledge of tools, efficiencies, and collaborative attitude. They appreciated her genuine interest in their abilities, her belief that they could still learn, as well as her encouragement to see their job with fresh eyes through the lens of experience.

Although Becca was an interim supervisor in 2020, she took on all aspects of the role. She was aware her term could end at the beginning of 2021, yet she immersed herself in the team to help them find their success. The outcome? Every one of her eligible team members achieved World Class Certification for their 2020 service, and all of them held steady or improved from the previous year. In fact, one of her team members has been nominated for Most Improved CSR in 2021. The same employee was promoted at the end of the year to an Appeal and Grievance specialist, which is a testament to Becca’s investment and competency to coach up and inspire the development of her employees.

Fast forward to 2021, she is grounded in the reality that different people have different strengths and preferences. She knows that getting the best work out of different types of people and helping those individuals get the most fulfillment out of their work requires leading them differently. You could say, she leads by the Platinum Rule: “Lead others the way they want to be led”. She has continued to develop in her position and stay connected with the people she leads. She is an instrumental part of evolving a culture focused on people and service.

Two years in a row, Becca is amongst those ranked as #1 with SQM Supervisor World Class Certification (SWCC). In 2020, her SWCC was 90%, and in 2021, was 91%.

She has a primary role in our FEP Customer Satisfaction and First Call Resolution (FCR) improvement workgroup. Her leadership, combined with two other leaders, has increased our attributable FCR by 4% from 2020 to 2021.

She pioneered a new supervisor onboarding playbook development for new leaders this past year. One may believe a mentor would be a more tenured leader, but when you have a leader like Becca that is invested in the people she leads, it was an easy decision for her to pioneer the new onboarding approach. She has successfully mentored two new supervisors who are following in her footsteps of understanding that putting people first is the highest priority.

Traditionally, Customer Service Professionals (CSP) on Becca’s team primarily take incoming calls. This past year, Becca has led a member outreach team. This member outreach team supports various campaigns throughout the year. She was instrumental in setting up this program, as we had not done it before. She developed talent within her team to support these campaigns, created educational material, created scripts, and cheered these CSPs on as they were embarking on a new method of connecting with our members. The campaigns she led ranged from “COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach” to “Thank You for Choosing Blue”. Most recently, the campaigns evolved into quality campaigns where the CSP will help members navigate through their care gaps. During one of these outreach activities, her employee created a member experience that some could say was lifesaving. This same employee won a Service Hero award and was also nominated for an SQM CSP of the Year award.

It can be difficult to summarize the influence she has on those she leads, her peers, and our customers. So, we asked her team members to share a few comments about Becca:

“Becca is a very caring and helpful supervisor! Not only is she always available to help or jump in when needed, but she is fun and full of life. She is awesome!” – Baylee

“I am really honored to be a part of Becca's team. I admire her positive spirit and all the support she provides to our team. 2020 was a very challenging year. She handled being our interim Supervisor gracefully and transitioned into the permanent supervisor role seamlessly. She is always open to answering questions. I feel that she is invested in our team and department's success.” – Sylvia

“Having Rebecca as a supervisor is like a breath of fresh air! She is so hands-on with our team and always keeps the lines of communication open. I like that she is a no-nonsense type of supervisor; she is real and down-to-earth, and our team is lucky to have her. She is the perfect fit!” – Deleesa

“What a blessing to have Rebecca as my supervisor! She communicates well with her team, utilizes problem-solving skills, certainty, and critical thinking. Rebecca is able to develop her employees based on their individual strengths. Rebecca goes above and beyond her duties for her team and for me. As I said, what a blessing to have Rebecca on the team at my side as a supervisor. I cannot say enough about Rebecca.” – Karen

“Thank you for being an outstanding supervisor, and huge support in hard times. Thank you for everything you do.” – CSP Team 2

Becca is the kind of leader anyone would be lucky to have on their team. She certainly has been instrumental in evolving a people-focused culture and improved customer experience here at Regence in the FEP. She makes a wonderful, measurable difference in the lives of our team members, and in turn, the lives of our customers. She has inspired confidence in those she mentors through the adoption of new programs to drive our initiatives. Her actions and results shout out that she truly fits the title of SQM Supervisor of the Year.

Rebecca Spencer  Regence BlueCross BlueShield Plans (Federal Employee Program)