21 August 2013

Is Your Service Center Prepared?

When your employees need help navigating through their health care or retirement plans, where do they turn for help? If your organization is like most, you either send your employees to your intranet or have them call the service center.

Chances are your intranet is up-to-date on your services (and if it isn’t, it should be), but when employees are looking for information, they typically want to talk to someone. And that someone is the customer service representative at your service center. Whether your service center is handled internally or you use an outside vendor, educating those people is the first step in helping your employees get the information and guidance they need when they need it.

Not only do your service center representatives need to understand the details of your plans, but they need to understand the culture of your organization so they can reflect that through their service.

To best prepare representatives to be successful, create talking points for your service center just like you would for any of your executives or people representing your company. Here are some thoughts on what to cover:

  • Be sure your representatives are up-to-speed on plan details. Pass along any changes before they are communicated to employees.
  • Provide information on Health Care Reform — how it will impact your plans and the choices employees will need to make. (Employee Benefit News reports the White House is enlisting the help of celebrities like Jennifer Hudson, Amy Poehler, Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys and Bon Jovi to promote the state exchanges that go live October 1, so don’t be surprised if your service center gets some calls.)
  • When your HR staff uncovers a specific issue impacting employees, address it head-on and create detailed responses for those manning the phones because they will get questions about it.
  • At the end of each phone call, give employees an opportunity to take a survey regarding the information or service they received. If there is something that needs improvement or the caller would like to compliment the representative, it’s the best time to let them do so.

You should be able to depend on the service center to provide representatives who are well skilled to talk with your employees. They should be polite, good listeners with a pleasant voice and resourceful in finding the answers your employees need. If that isn’t happening, make changes to be sure you have the right representatives in place. Your employees deserve accurate information and the best in customer service.

It is imperative that your call center be a positive reflection on your company and a trusted resource for your employees. You can help make that happen!