The Buzz of Success
Employees at Healthplex have implemented a customer service culture that buzzes with success: a culture that cross-pollinates across the organization as it focuses on delivering exceptional customer service to internal and external customers. Headquartered in Uniondale, New York, Healthplex is the largest dental insurance provider in the state of New York.
Cultivating Teamwork and a Customer-focused Culture
Susan Buckley, Healthplex provider relations manager, explains, “In 2010, Healthplex sought to add structure, discipline, consistency and flexibility to our customer service quality program. We selected MAGIC from Communico Ltd. (M.A.G.I.C. stands for Make A Great Impression on the Customer™). At that time, MAGIC surveys completed by the front line staff and managers indicated that Healthplex needed training and coaching to develop and sustain service-focused leadership.
“Since 2010, we have created a culture of MAGIC and trained hundreds of employees to embrace the MAGIC vision and values. This mindset incorporates Communico’s 33 Points that have helped hone our communication skills and build trust, strengthen relationships and increase loyalty. Using a common language, employees learn to talk the talk.”
Investment in Training Yields a Measurable Difference
Therese Bach, Healthplex senior corporate trainer leads the implementation of the MAGIC training program. She comments, “Healthplex’s investment in training has made a phenomenal difference in how customers are treated. Processing an average of 70 calls daily, our customer service professionals have successfully incorporated a customer-focused service model. We have all learned that certain words, tone of voice and body language help make measurable differences in the quality of calls to our members and providers.
“Although customers do not see us during phone calls, factors like sitting up instead of slouching, help reinforce positive interactions. We have also learned how to increase efficiency, and significantly reduce the length of cues, number of transfers and overall call times.”
It’s About the Customer, Not the Talk Time
We make it about the customer, not about the talk-time. We’ve seen talk-time reduce when skills are enhanced. Things that reduce talk-time include:
- Listening skills – that are about interaction not transaction
- Value added influence – saying the right thing early in the call
- Empathy responsiveness – Understanding leads the emotional connection
Making MAGIC Visible
Healthplex has implemented a number of initiatives to illustrate and reinforce the MAGIC culture. For example, a MAGIC laminated card is displayed in the interview room. The message on the card communicates that Healthplex knows how to speak to and treat customers. There are MAGIC top hats decorating the office, MAGIC-themed bulletin boards, articles in the employee newsletter and a customer service link acknowledging the superior work of customer service representatives.
Therese adds, “We calibrate calls to help measure success. Through ongoing training and constructive feedback, many of our employees master The 33 Points of MAGIC. A number of successful employees move to other positions within Healthplex.”
Modeling MAGIC Makes a Measurable Difference
So, how does Healthplex keep up the exceptional service and MAGIC behaviors on a consistent basis? It’s because the employees not only believe in them, but they’ve also seen and felt their impact.
As Therese noted, “As soon as I enter our building, I am MAGIC and have a smile on my face. I know that I am the face of the organization. It’s a wow factor, and I love it.” She also encourages others to “make the next call your best call,” and reinforces that the MAGIC is in each and every one of them. Her fellow associates feel the same way. They come up to her and say, “Thank you! It has made a difference on my calls and in my personal life.”
Susan is 100% confident in this model and trusts Healthplex’s customer service representatives to consistently provide the highest quality of calls. Coaching has made a significant impact too. They listen to 10 calls/month/representative and help them not only calibrate to ensure consistency, but also shine in each and every call.
Communicating Confidence to All Types of Customers
In addition to insurance customers and providers, Healthplex’s customers include Managed Care Organizations that subcontract their customer service functions to Healthplex. To demonstrate the successful service journey to these customers, Susan often meets with them in their facilities to thoroughly review the MAGIC program. Using a MAGIC behavioral checklist, they listen to recorded calls between their members and the Healthplex staff.
Some of their customers have actually adapted MAGIC training into their organizations. Their Management heard the measurable difference in quality interactions and engaged Communico in an initiative of their own. An organization based in Albany earned the distinction of being “one of the best large companies to work for in New York,” and attributed it to MAGIC.
Vice President, Sharon Zelkind noted that: “As business partners, it was a win/win for both organizations. Creating a seamless service experience is more critical than ever before.
“On a daily basis, we are demonstrating how exceptional customer service produces measurable results. We have successfully evolved into a customer-service focused organization that clearly communicates that we respect and care for all of our customers.”