Our interviewee is employed at a healthcare company working directly with insurance companies to provide services for their members. He is the manager of the Unified Communications team. The team is responsible for managing the phone system and the call center, amongst other things.
Q: How many call centers do you have and what are your call volumes?
We have 3 main call centers, then many ancillary centers with smaller volumes. Our main call centers have around 200-300 agents and our more specialised centers have between 10-50 agents. We average around 15,000 calls a week at our peak times.
Q: Who uses your contact centers and for what type of calls?
Members who have insurance plans call in for benefit or eligibility information. We offer a service and we have a network of providers who provide that service. So, it will either be members or providers who call into our system.
Q: What is the strategic significance of your call centers?
There are three ways that members and providers can contact us; via website, via chat or through our call centers. So at least a third of our contact is via our call centers and probably 70% of our employees are call center agents.
Q: Can you describe the implementation of CardEasy?
When I joined the company, the CardEasy implementation was already underway. It was pretty well designed and laid out, so my role was to put it in place. We were using the cloud-based version of CardEasy which required a very specific setup so we could tie the phone call in.
We did experience initial issues, for example we had timeout issues with people entering digits too slowly on their cell phone so we had to find a comfortable zone where we allowed enough time, but not too long.
Anytime we did have issues, we found that Syntec’s technical support team were very quick about getting back to us. It was a complex set up and I have high accolades for the support team.
Q: Has your CardEasy setup changed over time?
Due to our very specific requirements for the initial deployment, we experienced a number of challenges. The CardEasy account team suggested that we migrate to an on-premise set up as a result of which all our problems were solved and our call center team is extremely happy with it.
Q: Thinking for a minute about the pandemic, can you summarise the effect on the contact center and your industry?
One of the primary things for us is that we went from being a 98% in office company to a 98% remote working company. This meant it was much more difficult to get staff to come into the office which resulted in poor performance and poor success rates of them finishing training. We also struggled with staff not finishing the temporary or seasonal contracts so we ended up with more jobs available than we could fill.
That said, where we had previously had 3 call center locations which were staffed locally, a more remote way of working means that we have opened up our pool of applicants and potential employees.
We have also struggled with some of the member health plan options being unavailable. For example, we have a programme which offers gym membership at a low cost. But during Covid many of the gyms shut down, which really affected us as we had to find new partners and businesses to work with.
Q: What are the biggest challenges that you think could face contact centers in the future?
I think the future is going to be a lot more driven by AI. I think there will be a lot fewer jobs in the contact center world, which is a sad thing in terms of lost jobs but I do think AI will be more efficient. I’m not sure there will be any longer term complications or difficulties with this but I think the transition from a high human element to more AI elements might be a challenge in the short term.
Q: Would you recommend CardEasy to other organizations?
Yes, I absolutely would. It is a solid product and I would recommend it to others.
Specifically, I wanted to call out some of the team we have worked with. Throughout our various system changes and technical challenges, your technical team have been absolute troopers. They have been extremely patient with us and quick to respond. I have nothing but accolades and high praise for them and also the sales team from an account management perspective.