"We constantly tease that we don't hire people who won't do windows," says Tara Kelly, Health Advocate's senior vice president of operations. "The nature of the job is that people will call with all kinds of crazy questions, and if an agent anticipates that he is going to be able to bring up a script that tells him just how he needs to respond, that is not really the type of employee we need."
In fact, she says, "We need people who can remember a lot of information, and are also system savvy enough to find the information they need. They also need to be open and self-confident enough to go to a nurse or a medical director or somebody else to say, 'Do you have any ideas I can use in this situation?' And we need a flexible person who can answer all sorts of off-the cuff questions. That's probably our most prominent hiring guideline."
As a result, filling frontline positions can take a while. "No one gets hired without several interviews,"
Details on Health Advocate's hiring and training process appear in the November issue of "Customer Service Newsletter."
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About the Customer Service Group
For more than 20 years, the Customer Service Group has helped customer service, call center and help desk managers increase productivity, improve service quality and boost customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. The Customer Service Group publishes "Customer Service Newsletter" and "The Customer Communicator."