Founded in Grand Junction, Colo. in 1974 as a locally owned, not-for-profit organization, Rocky Mountain Health Plans provides access to affordable, quality health care enabling its more than 229,000 members across the Western Slope to live longer, healthier lives.
“We have improved retention 70%. We have great numbers: going from hiring a class of 10 and keeping one to hiring a class of 10 and keeping seven.”
Director, Customer Service, Rocky Mountain Health
- Call center errors, especially misquotes
- Accuracy of information provided
- Information overload
- Aligning documentation and process needs
- Training new call center representatives
- Staff retention and onboarding of new staff members
- Improved speed and accuracy of information handling
- Faster onboarding and training of new staff
- Solving complex customer questions faster
- Significant increases in staff proficiency and productivity
- Higher staff retention
Rocky Mountain, like many organizations in the health care industry, was feeling the pressure of the momentous changes that have occurred across the industry in the last few years. For Marci O’Gara, director of customer service, the impact was a one-two punch: staff training and retention was down and call center errors, particularly misquotes on services, were rising.
“I’d only been here a short time and I quickly realized that training was a major pain point for us. We were growing and we were having trouble keeping people. We were having trouble adequately training them and onboarding them to proficiency in less than six months,” O’Gara said.
Something had to change. That something was SupportPoint from Panviva. Changes at Rocky Mountain Health began with the discovery and scoping process that is a standard part of a SupportPoint installation.
The process enabled the team at Rocky Mountain Health to rethink their entire business operation to find a better way. “The biggest challenge for us was going from a documentation-rich environment to a process-driven environment. It forced us to think about things that we had not thought of before and (to create) a way of thinking about things that we had not had before,” O’Gara explained.
One of the immediate benefits was eliminating the need to rely on memorization to provide callers with answers to their concerns. Because the old knowledge base was so difficult to use, experienced call center reps would memorize answers and use unreliable manual tools like sticky notes and other memory cues. That created the potential for errors and misquotes which impacted speed and quality of customer service.
“I didn’t have it conscious in my brain how much we were requiring people to memorize data because we didn’t provide it to them,” O’Gara said.
With Panviva, Rocky Mountain Health is able to put new people in the call center in two weeks and they are up to speed on day one.
“We have improved retention 70%. We have great numbers: going from hiring a class of 10 and keeping one to hiring a class of 10 and keeping seven,” O’Gara said.
For those on the floor, the difference in the training experience has been remarkable.
“It has helped train me in my job. I use SupportPoint on just about every call. It has helped me through some very complicated processes on the pharmacy help desk,” explained Maria Loffreda, Pharmacy Helpdesk, Universal Representative III.
Rocky Mountain has also shifted the way new reps are trained. “How we train is more situational rather than just content. We used to give new reps the information and say this is the information, apply it anyway that you can. Now we give them the information and (we can say) this is how you apply it. Our reps rely on SupportPoint,” said Nicole Johnson, Customer Service Process Analyst.
“Our reps are very engaged. SupportPoint is so easy for them to use. The more that we get them involved with SupportPoint, the more they love it,” she added.
With staff proficiency has come a significant reduction in misquotes that use to plague the department with poor quality responses, customer experience and staff morale.
“Accuracy is more consistent. We are more precise. We have fewer misquotes because the information is there. We don’t have to look for it,” commented Sally Montano, a customer service representative.
“From a cost standpoint we have reduced our misquotes by 50 percent and that is a substantial improvement in the member experience,” said O’Gara.
For organizations dealing with similar training, staffing and proficiency issues, O’Gara has a few words of advice: “There are no silver bullets. If you want your folks to have those tools early on in their careers that help them endure, survive, ideally thrive, in the careers that they pick, SupportPoint is a great tool to give back to the people and, ultimately, to the members.”