April 6, 2010, Wilkes-Barre, PA — For the second consecutive year, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has honored Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania with one of the Association’s highest customer service awards.
BCBSA, which licenses health plans insuring one in three Americans, recently recognized BCNEPA for streamlining the company’s Inquiry Resolution process and using performance management coaches to strengthen Customer Service Representatives’ skills.
BCNEPA won first prize in the “Inquiry Resolution” category of the Association’s Member Touchpoint Measures (MTM) Best Practice Awards. The competition judged entries from 40 independent and locally operated Blue plans across the United States.
Overall, BCNEPA’s award-winning Inquiry Resolution initiatives helped Customer Service Representatives satisfactorily resolve nearly nine of 10 member calls in September 2009, up from eight of 10 two years earlier. All together, the company’s Customer Service Representatives receive approximately 800,000 calls per year, and they serve nearly 600,000 members in 13 local counties.
Last year, BCNEPA won honorable mention — the equivalent of second prize — in the same MTM Best Practice Awards category for implementing the Virtual Hold Concierge calling system by Virtual Hold Technology, LLC. The technology has helped BCNEPA manage its call volume and improved members’ customer service experience. Rather than waiting on hold, members can hang up, retain their place in line and receive a call back from a Customer Service Representative.
For this year’s Inquiry Resolution award, BCNEPA used recordings of Customer Service Representatives to identify process improvement opportunities. Based on their reviews, the coaches were able to provide targeted instruction to staff to help them resolve members’ inquiries more quickly.
This revamped approach to quality assurance has allowed BCNEPA to answer more members’ inquiries during the first phone call, and helped identify employee training opportunities. Plus, BCNEPA has made the quality assurance process more efficient by using performance management coaches.
“BCNEPA’s ability to win these highly competitive awards reflects our commitment to finding innovative ways to improve the customer experience,” said Ed Fennell, BCNEPA’s Vice President of Member Advocacy. “Whether we’re reducing customer wait-time on the phone or solving more members’ inquiries on the first call, BCNEPA is always trying to make members’ interactions with us easier. “
About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association headquartered in Wilkes-Barre. It offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to approximately 600,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide innovative solutions that support more affordable health care, promote personal accountability for health and wellness, and offer superior service and partnerships to employers, members, and providers.