At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a major healthcare organization recognized a significant need for community resources. Together with a nonprofit organization, a program was quickly built to support the health of members and their communities by connecting callers with social assistance programs and community resources. The program needed experienced contact center agents to provide critical inbound and outbound support.
As a longtime partner of the healthcare organization, TTEC jumped into action. We recruited, trained, and ramped a team of nearly 20 care associates who worked remotely to assess the members’ social assistance needs and locate a service provider for permanent and temporary housing, food delivery for positive COVID-19 members, utility bill payment assistance, transportation to medical appointments, and many other services.
Once an agency or resource was identified, the agent delivered the information to the member via text, email, or over the phone. The agents also advocated on the member’s behalf. If a first call resolution wasn’t possible, the agents followed up with a second call in addition to locating new applicable resources and providing assistance until the resolution was made.
When the agents struggled to handle highly stressful conversations, we quickly assessed the situation and developed new training to give agents and the leadership team a different perspective in handling and managing difficult conversations. We found that trauma-related training intended for medical professionals would be helpful for agents, team leaders, and management personnel.
Providing the agents and leadership with a better framework for understanding the callers’ state of mind enabled them to reshape their responses and manage calls more efficiently. They become trauma-informed advocates, and this helped them manage their mental health as well.
The team was highly successful in providing members in need with access to crucial services. Our expertise in quickly mobilizing virtual contact center agents with the right training and tools was key to our success. The latest results show that more than 3,600 social assistance resources were provided to members in need and there has been a 110% increase in call volume since the program launched in Spring 2020. First call resolution was at 45% with a 96% quality performance, based on member experience.