I recently had a conversation with a benefits consultant that evaluates various private exchanges for employers. When he told me that his client required their partner to own the contact center and agents rather than outsource, I probed further on a couple points from the conversation.
“They want control. They care about the quality of the service, security and training,” he said.
Given that the employer is a mission-driven business with an emphasis on employee well being, I asked if it mattered that the agents who supported the employees would all be terminated shortly after the open enrollment period. You can imagine the look of concern and realization.
ConnectedHealth has chosen a hybrid customer-support model where we have some agents as direct employees, but we rely heavily on a Florida-based team of agents that we contract with through a call center company. Here are 10 reasons why this is the right solution for us and our clients:
- Significantly enhanced ability to scale. The HR, training, licensing and infrastructure in a call center operation give us the ability to more quickly meet the demands of our clients, especially during peak times.
- Security is their #1 priority. The center has controlled access, no paper, pens or cell phones allowed. It’s HIPAA compliant and also has the most rigorous IT security measures I have ever seen.
- They allow us to control and direct training and quality. Each agent is trained by our staff and continues to be quality scored on our robust testing process. We have ultimate say over who is answering the phone for our clients.
- All calls are recorded and can be accessed or downloaded within minutes.
- We have licensed and non-licensed agents. Calls are routed based on those skills, appropriate language and caller location automatically.
- We integrate our own click-to-chat and co-browse support from the call center to our sites where appropriate.
- Our custom CRM is used in the call center by each agent to track and take notes on every call. This not only allows accurate tracking and reporting, but control over call scripting, instant messaging and immediate support for our agents.
- Most agents that we employ during open enrollment periods can be found in the call center today. They may be supporting a financial services or retail client, but they are not on the unemployment line. The diversity of clients in our call center allows them to roll our team members onto other teams during non-peak insurance enrollment times.
- The monitoring, coaching and other operational outsourcing technology is core to our call-center’s business. While we invest in shopping platforms and integration with carriers, our call center partner continues to invest, maintain and improve their call center technology, helping us stay competitive for our clients.
- Our call center partner has redundancy built into its operation, giving us the opportunity for overflow centers, back-up in case of natural disasters and additional peace of mind.
For us, this solution gives us much more flexibility. We evaluated bringing the entire call center in-house a couple years ago and we decided that we had to focus on ecommerce benefits technology, integration work with various partners and processes to deliver the best products and service to our clients. Augmenting our internal staff with an outsourced call center fits perfectly into our service model.