When you want the best employee benefits, you call on the experts. In this Experts series, we’ll introduce you to some of the great people at ConnectYourCare making significant contributions so our end users, clients, and partners achieve their benefits administration goals.
In this post, you will hear from our very own, Alison Paxson, Director of Customer Care at ConnectYourCare, and learn how her expertise in various areas of Human Resources, Customer Care, and Operations continue to inform her work and benefit those that use CYC services.
5 Questions with Alison Paxson
Working in customer service is no easy task, and even experts find daily challenges that they use as tools to become even better. When it comes to managing a customer service team successfully, one must have the experience, patience, active-listening skills and an open mind.
Alison Paxson has brought all these assets to ConnectYourCare and demonstrates her credibility in her role as the Director of Customer Care, at our Customer Care Center.
Her experience encompasses over 20 years’ in many areas of customer care, including the financial and payroll arenas, with the strongest focus on Benefits with both Client/Brokers and Consumer.
Prior to joining CYC, Alison held several senior roles in operations and customer care throughout 11 years of service at Ceridian, the well-known human capital management (HCM) software company.
We wanted to get Alison’s perspective on what is required to deliver excellent customer care in the HR and benefits space – as well as where she sees consumer-directed health care (CDH) going in the future.
Can you please tell us about your experience and history in the customer care field? Why did you choose to go into that area?
My first role in the US was in Customer Care and I discovered a passion and aptitude for researching and resolving the issues and concerns from clients and consumers alike. After spending time working in both Customer Care and Operations I realized my true passion was in Customer Care, as well as being the face and standing at front lines of my company.
I pride myself on being a leader with a zeal for innovation and a willingness to challenge the status quo to enhance a customer service culture. I am also committed to developing, motivating and leading teams to provide excellence in service, while driving continual operational efficiency and productivity through strategic initiatives and employee engagement.
What do you think is the not-so-secret ingredient to finding success in customer care?
It all starts with the Customer Service Agents — continuously listening to them and gathering feedback on what is working and what needs to be fixed, which I believe is the key to moving forward and staying with the trends.
Can you describe a significant project you’ve taken on in your career and the impact it had on the organization?
At a prior company I was responsible for the management of over 35,000 COBRA, Health and Welfare and CDH clients. Within my first month, I identified inefficiencies in how the teams were structured. The teams were originally siloed and only handled calls regarding one product in addition to handling either Client or Consumer calls.
I quickly engaged our Learning and Development team and cross-trained everyone on all products and services. Once training was complete, we were able to handle the same amount of calls with a 50% reduction in FTE. At the same time, I partnered with our technology and telephony teams to develop a robust IVR that reduced the actual number of calls presenting to an agent.
Combined, this was an annual savings of over $5M for the company and a better experience for our clients and consumers as they no longer had to be transferred to a different agent if they had questions about their benefits and their CDH accounts.
What trends and/or capabilities do you think will determine the success and longevity of CDH companies moving forward? Where do you see ConnectYourCare going in the future?
I believe that social media will play a significant role in Customer Care. We need to make it easy for our consumers to work with us, either by text, mobile app, chat, Facebook, Twitter etc. and to enable the Contact Center to respond quickly to those questions and concerns.
In addition, we need to continue to enhance our innovative and user-friendly mobile capabilities.
At ConnectYourCare, for instance, our mobile app could be an industry game-changer. For example, allowing it to scan barcodes at the store to be able to determine if something is eligible before purchasing. By developing the tools now, we are putting the management of participants’ HSAs in their hands, and further redefining what consumer-directed health care really means.
As we look towards the next generation of consumers, we also need to be ready to move with the trends.
Millennials are demanding quick, easy service and look for a variety of contact methods beyond the traditional way of making a phone call. By building out these technologies now, they will be the game-changers soon. This will allow the same demographic to use our services and products more effectively, and it also gives us a way to connect more with a generation that could ultimately help with a viral trend of our products. #CYCHSAROCKS!
Why did you choose to bring your expertise to CYC?
I came to CYC to apply the knowledge and experience gained from two large companies to a company that is motivated and willing to make quick changes to be the best in industry. It was that attitude and the passion and involvement of all employees that drove me to make the leap, and I have not looked back once, I love it here.
CYC truly cares about its employees and consumers, and the culture is one in which all employee’s ideas are reviewed and considered. This is the kind of place where those ideas turn into solutions, and I wanted to here to help drive that forward.
Another reason for my coming to CYC, was the combination of not only exceptional service and products, but also the utilization of technology to its utmost. One of the biggest lessons I had learned from my previous employment was the delay in using all available options so that clients and consumers could really use multiple methods of self-service, instead of using the same steps and ideas from the past.
There truly is an Experience Revolution coming, and I see CYC leading the charge on getting that out to all areas of the CDH marketplace.