Three Lessons Learned from an Obamacare Call Center

Call center solutions are employed in a variety of capacities, and the state-based health insurance system is no exception. Given the recent government changes in policies and coverage, there is no doubt that the customers of these services (the hundreds of thousands of them) are going to have great questions and necessitate more interaction with service providers.

So when we discovered that National Journal recently discussed managing call centers that are employed to assist health services coverage, we were of course intrigued. The piece speaks with Brice Caswell, president and general manager of these services for Maximus, a contracting provider and customer service operations for six of the state-based health insurance exchanges.

Specifically, three important lessons are revealed in Caswell’s chat that can be taken to heart by call center managers everywhere: 

1.       Ramp up operations throughout the beginning of the week to decrease client wait times

When asked about the volume of calls received, Caswell noted that the majority of calls came during the beginning of the work week, dropped off by the end of the week, and then maintained a lighter load throughout the weekend.

2.       Ensure that call center agents are knowledgeable and hyperaware of their website and all services being offered

Caswell noted that the main concerns addressed by agents were fielding questions about actually utilizing the website and navigating through its glitches. By empowering agents with a strong knowledge of the website that customers interact with, they will be able to assist and reassure customers, successfully helping them to solve their own problems. Of course, this empowers the customer base and helps streamline future interactions.

3.       Be sure that agents are empathetic with clients

Caswell stated that because of the complex nature of his business, one of the biggest benefits has been the agents’ ability to successfully interact with consumers and assist them in navigating through the process. As an agent effectively works as the face of an organization, being able to relate to and work with customers is paramount in cultivating successful relationships.


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