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Security Health Plan achieves highest first call resolution in the health care industry

Security Health Plan’s customer service team is top-notch; but we already knew that. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel great to be recognized for World Class Customer Service by a leading research firm in benchmarking, tracking and improving customer experience in Customer Service.

image1Last week the Security Health Plan customer service department racked up three different Service Quality Awards of Excellence at the 2017 SQM Contact Center Industry Awards at the Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, British Columbia. The team was also a finalist in the best performing small- to mid-sized contact center award category.

Security Health Plan Director of Member Experience Ken Baur said this achievement was well-deserved, but came as a reward to a lot of hard work from not only his staff, but the Health Plan.

“We feel very honored, and at the same time humbled, by this recognition,” Baur said.
“Our leadership team and especially our call coaches really take to heart our customer feedback to not only review other avenues for resolution but continually improve our call center operations. I really believe we are fully committed to this survey program and it shows by our results. After all, we must impress and listen to our members so they know we will do everything in our control to ensure their experience feels right.”

Baur said while Security Health Plan was recognized for World Class Customer Service a year ago, this year is the first year for the other awards.

“This is the most we’ve been involved with SQM since we began working with them in 2015,” he said.

The awards included:

1. Contact Center World Class Customer Experience (CX) certification
2. Customer Experience Best Practice Award
3. Highest Customer Service by Industry Award

Highest Customer Service by Industry Award

This award is based on the industry’s top performance and in 2017 Security Health Plan was the best in health care for first call resolution (FCR) at 82 percent.

IMG_8971Baur said when Security Health Plan started working with SQM in the fourth quarter of 2015 the Health Plan achieved 78 percent FCR. At that time the best in health care was 85 percent. That is the goal Baur and his team are striving to hit.

“We started at a very high level so it is wonderful that we’ve made these incremental improvements,” Baur said, noting in 2016 the Health Plan achieved 80 percent FCR. “This is really rewarding in that SQM recognizes we made these incremental changes for the benefit of our members.”

Customer service agents achieving 90 percent FCR in 2017 for Security Health Plan were Wendi Anibas, Frank Baltus, Marie Berndt, Kathy Boushon, Whitney Davison, Mary Fehrenbach, Sherri Gartmann, Lyza Gonzalez, Amber Goss, Josh Henderson, Leigh-Ann Hlavac, Felicia Jacoby, Marie Knaack, Shelby Melton, Richard Merkel, Monica Morzinski, Kori Neider, Nicole Nyen, Jason O’Connell, John Phillippi, Jean Seubert and Kristine Zachman.

Contact Center World Class Customer Experience certification

To achieve world class customer experience certification, the team had to have a minimum of 80 percent of members have their call resolved on the first call (FCR) for three consecutive months or longer.

“This is the second year in a row Security Health Plan received this certification and it comes with a lot of work,” Baur said.
“It takes focus on making sure members have their calls resolved to their satisfaction and not necessarily by what our policy and procedures may dictate for resolution.”

Baur said to achieve this certification, the Health Plan, and more specifically the Customer Service team, had to rethink the criteria for call resolution.

“I think the key we implemented was asking the question at the end of the call: Have I resolved all of your questions today?” Baur said.

When asked if the shift in protocol within his department increased call length he said not significantly. Baur said it is better to have the member tell us if they have more questions than to find out in the survey that the issues were not resolved.

Customer Experience Best Practice Award

The team also took home the award for continuous improvement in Customer Experience Best Practice. This award recognizes organizations that have demonstrated improvement or helped maintain high FCR and CX performance.

Baur said Security Health Plan submitted a report on how the Customer Service Department has continually improved its internal processes.

“We looked at people, process and technology and provided a report, analysis and a list of things we’ve done to ensure continued improvement,” he said. “We used the concept of identify – develop – implement – check – act.”

Baur explained he and Workforce Analyst Alex Lang looked at the overall customer service experience.

“We were very methodical in rolling out changes since it is our awesome agents who have to keep up with our ever-changing improvements,” Baur said. “It is our System motto of Driving the Future that we continually refine our operation.”

Baur said they learned from customer feedback that the initial recorded greeting on the phones was nearly three minutes long. He said that was due to how it was programmed by the MCIS team.

“We looked at the interactive response and initial recorded greeting callers receive when calling us,” Baur said. “We were able to shave off more than half the length of the message by eliminating gaps within the message.”

He said without member feedback, the Health Plan wouldn’t have known the long gaps in messaging existed.

Best Performing Small- to Mid-Sized Contact Center Award

And finally, the Customer Service team at the Health Plan was a finalist in this award category, which recognize centers with 25-99 representatives. Security Health Plan currently has approximately 50 customer service agents and benefit specialists. This award is based on the highest customer experience and employee experience ratings and is based on FCR.

SQM benchmarks over 500 leading North American contact centers on an annual basis and has been conducting customer experience benchmarking studies since 1996. SQM annually conducts 1.5 million surveys with customers who have used a contact center, email, website, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or site contact channel service.

In addition, for each contact center that participated in the employee benchmarking study, SQM completed a minimum of 100 customer service representative (CSR) surveys, or if the contact center had less than 100 CSRs, 90 percent of the CSR workforce completed surveys. All employee surveys had 50 or more questions and were conducted online at the CSR and supervisor levels. This confidential employee online survey took approximately 30 minutes to complete. SQM uses an in-depth, online employee survey approach that consists of both rating questions and follow-up employee feedback questions.