Week 2 at an HMO Contact Center

Every once in a while, I take work contracts outside my main careers to push me a little outside my comfort zone or fill in the gaps between larger assignments.

So a few weeks ago, genius that I am, I took such a role. It sounded enticing. Fully remote, field a few calls, direct folks to the appropriate resources. Yes Yes Yes. Pretty easy right?


Two weeks later. the sparse training was over and it was sink or swim. Is two weeks sufficient for me to have an opinion? Maybe not a fully formed one, that is for sure. But here are my takeaways and tips for the next time you have to call a customer service line or appointment setter or healthcare facility or whatever it may be.

  • Be patient with the person on the other end of the line. The number of calls they are handling is unbelievable.
  • They have tons of manuals to refer to finding the right information is not as easily accessible as you would think.
  • The agent does their best to set the time of the call but you as the caller is actually the one who more or less determines it’s outcome. Will it end on a good note or will both you and the agent end up frustrated?
  • As with most places, training is shallow to non existent with a lot of focus on scripts and buzz phrases like support your needs, you are our priority blah blah blah. We’ve all been on the other end of the line, we’ve heard the words and phrases.
  • Turnover and burnout is high.
  • If you’ve been waiting a long time or have called several times, do let them know. That will be noted in your notes and may speed up a callback if you are leaving a message.
  • Calls are indeed recorded from start to finish. And used for monitoring the agent mostly and for training new agents.
  • Don’t hang up, you go back to the end of the queue, just gently ask to be put back into the Queue if you feel that your questions are not being fully answered
  • Create a rapport with your agent. Use their name. It makes a difference.
  • Mostly just be nice, be patient, relax..oh that goes both ways too.
  • Call early in the morning or during extended evening hours. Queues are shorter then.

You are welcome ☺️ Thank you for attending my TED talk. Lol

One Comment Add yours

  1. Chella says:

    Wow, that is a lot to learn and definitely something that we as Americans can sometime take for granted, especially when calling a health care provider, internet provider or heaven forbids the IRS! I always see my self as the customer getting frustrated, but the actual worker is the one who has to deal with costumers like me all day long, Especially if we already angry or upset before we even call customer service!
    I’m sore that make the worker job that much harder, so I will try to be a little bit more patient the next time I have to call customer service thanks to your great explanation and feedback!! As usual I always like reading your posts so much!!! Thanks again.


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