By Gary Barton
“I want to speak to a supervisor!” “Can you give me a call back?” “Hey, I’m driving; can you e-mail me the reference number?” These are just a few requests and questions that employees and I heard from customers almost every day and it’s to the point that these responses would convert me back to my problems of drinking…coffee (that is). In a year where change is as rapid as the government, my job decided to conceive an idea that will forever change the game of my current role, let alone career (which is a health insurance service advocate).
The “Customer First” experience, also known as the “Might As Well Take Me Now, Jesus!” experience, was a challenge to test the employee’s skills…and patience…on how to obtain customer satisfaction from every call. I’ll admit, I wasn’t all gung-ho with this experience once I created my avatar…which was colored blue by the way (Thank you, James Cameron). You see, my job wanted us to create a paper avatar to be like customers on our phone. I thought it was a lucrative idea for my job to put all of us on our heels to not only interact with our avatars (in a non-delusional way), but also have it where we treat them like we would treat customers (go figure).
Coming from a written team to now being back on the phones, I knew I had to hustle my way out of this one. Within every break of calls I would ask myself …what would (Denzel Washington, Rami Malek or Andrew Garfield) do if they were in my shoes? And then it hit me. I looked at my blue avatar (no joke) and it reminded me of a time that I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad experience with my old insurance. They wouldn’t help me on my issues and they didn’t even put any effort into finding a solution.
So when it comes to the age old question: How are you, in your specific role, helping my job transform the customer experience? I simply reply “Just give out your best Oscar-worthy performance and give it your all to the customer.” But in reality, I used the “fake-it-to-make-it” tactic to first get involved with the experience. Once I did more and more calls, that tactic exuded into a desire where I can’t help but to give out 110%. I vowed that when it comes to bad experiences that I had from calls from my old insurance, I will never have it happen to the customers on my calls. It’s never easy, but I can say that if you can try, you can fly (but please, do it if you have wings or on an airplane).
So yeah, that’s my so-called life at my current position and I hope it motivates others to be the change that they want to be. Who knows, this would take others to places that would never dream of…for the better.