At NTCA’s recent Telecom Executive Forum, we had Tiffani Bova, the growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce, come share some thoughts and wisdom from her book, Growth IQ. In the association world, we hear a lot of speakers – at our conference as well as at other industry meetings we attend. I’m usually good for about 15 minutes before I start to fidget but with Tiffani – I was 100 percent engaged and committed during her entire presentation and found myself stunned that an hour had flown by while listening to her share her cutting edge thoughts on ways to grow because as she would say “The one thing is – it’s never just one thing”.
One of the tips she threw out that really stuck with me was that if you have a call center – making it a point to spend time listening in on consumer calls on a regular basis because there was no better way to get a bead on what consumers are thinking, what roadblocks they are hitting, whether or not your team has the tools at their disposal to help your customers and generally giving you the ability to step into both pairs of shoes while you are strapped in with that headset on. Simple but brilliant – particularly for an industry (or trade association with benefits) that actually have a call center to tap into!
So on my recent trip to our Asheville service center, I actually did slip into a cubicle in our Benefits Resource Unit (affectionately known as BRU) to spend some time with Colleen Musslewhite, one of our specialists. It has been years since I have sat with our team who handle any amazing number of daily calls from members, providers, financial planners, clinics and telco HR team members and what a wonderfully eye-opening experience it was. The diversity of calls, the ability of our BRU specialists to navigate from one screen to another dependent on whether the call was GHP, savings plan, or pension plan related. The calm and helpful demeanor that are team had on the phone – regardless of whether the call was someone under duress in a doctor’s office or a simple inquiry was impressive and lead me to doubt whether I had the disposition to do their job on a daily basis and still go home at night and talk to anyone! To her immense credit, Colleen noted her satisfaction in helping others and being empathetic as a driving force behind being gracious to all. I was really proud of our team and the work they do and the way they serve our members and will be certain to find a way to add this critical time in on my future visits to our Asheville operation for sure.