Pros: decent health/life insurance benefits, retirement benefits/investment. decent hourly wage, employee support during calls, friendly/supportive management, work station equipment/environment was "user friendly" to learn/use for the most part
Cons: cell phone use restrictions, short breaks/lunch, initial evaluation period had very strict abscence policy
A typical day at work? Arrive, on time if not a bit earlier, according to your assigned schedule :) Early bird gets the worm not to mention that early beats late any day of the week especially when your job is riding on it. :) Trust me on this one. DO NOT BE LATE for anything! Whatever you do, do not forget your security badge! Keep it secured in your – more... vehicle or a place you will not forget to search at before you head out to work. If you do forget, don't panic...too much. ::) You must report that you do not have it on you to the assigned Humana representative and they will assign you a temporary one. Just don;t make it a habit. You have to scan your security badge before you enter the main lobby and again before reaching the main call center floor.Do not be the good Samaritan that opens the door for someone without a badge or without them scanning it if they do have it on them or you and your new friend will get into some hot water for a security violation. This next step is where coming in early helps. Log in/set up your PC with the appropriate source documents/e-mail. Review any/all alert information/e-mails on Humana products/member information updates. As with most inbound call centers, you will talk to people from all walks of life/demeanor to include from several states including Virginia, Illinois, and our sunshine state, Florida. You will also be dealing with medical providers within Humana's network. You will have two small 15 minute breaks, nice/comfortable break rooms, one 1/2 hour lunch break. You will have to balance the old "nature call" or break room phone chat become time does not stand still in an inbound call center.Had to do that a couple of times and mother nature won each and every time. :) Bathrooms do close for cleaning and unless you have a special relationship with the cleaning crew don't count on slipping in. Calls are constantly coming in with only a few minutes of reprieve before the next caller hits. You have to be a multitasker times 2. You must learn to speak/listen to a member and at the same time quickly jot down notes in your PC system on who the caller was, what they wanted, what they expected out of the call and what you dd to facilitate that mbr's request. HIPPA POLICY(privacy/release of personal information etc..). You must learn it, live it and abide by it during every call that comes in. Every call is different and you will be provided guidance on how to handle each type of caller whether it be a member or provider. Night time I hear is a bit more quite. Each employee will have the opportunity toward the end of training to select a schedule they wish to have. Keep in mind while your request will be considered it will be assigned according to the needs of the call center. You will be tested after every subject is covered for the most part and pass with a 85% or better on certain exams. You will be informed of which ones they are at eh start of the class.
What I learned/enhanced? Be mindful of your time on breaks/lunch. Again, time goes quickly in a inbound call center. To talk and type at the same time. And most importantly, LISTEN to what the member/provider is asking for. While it may come to a surprise to some, not everyone is a skilled multitask er. Its an acquired skill developed after much frustration/practice and very much expected if you intend to be successful at this job. Be a team player and not to take anything personally. People will have bad days. That said, however, technology at the most inopportune times was a root cause in mbrs/providers getting impatient with us. Flawless internet and technology we know will never be perfect no matter who you work for and should be anticipated with contingencies on work around/alternate solutions/sites to provide the member with a efficient/happy experience with Humana. Know this, you will get Irate callers no matter how good a service you strive to provide. Some people will yell at you and ask why "you", and they really mean Humana, have denied their claim, changed their primary care provider to one they never asked for etc.. Best thing to do, and some may find this very difficult to do, is to provide a heart felt apology. Nothing soothes a savage beast more, in this case a irate caller, than a you accepting blame for their life's ills even though they may already know it was not you directly who caused their problem. If you are "thin skinned"/offended easily and feel you have the right to defend yourself against every perceived offense/attack then this job is not for you. Please do not waste your/companies time by applying because your time at Humana will be cut short. All calls, as some of you with call center experience know, are screened by a Quality Assurance department out of state/results sent to your lead. You will be rated down for speaking unprofessionally to a member no matter how abusive they may have been. There is a set protocol in handling these type of callers so if you find yourself in this job with a caller that can make a sailor blush, keep your emotions in check/stay cooll, apologize to the mbr and handle the call according to the given instruction whether that be passing on to a supervisor or just simply offering a heart felt apology. Most callers that start loud back down fairly quickly after they hear a heartfelt apology. Most times, that's all they want to hear. :) Worked for me.
Management: Good/seasoned people. They always treated me with professionalism even when I was in trouble. Never a raised voice or angry demeanor. However, I feel from my personal perspective that they need to work on their personal employee/management relationships. I feel they fraternized a bit too much with new employees which led to difficulty in keeping some folks in check during class.This issue gave way to perceptions of favoritism, as unfounded they may have been, from other students. As we all know, perception is 9/10ths reality...right?.Something along those lines. :) Overall, I feel management did their best with what they had/skill set wise and support from their higher management and did a good job in keeping us informed for the most part with the occasional miscommunication. :) The class training portion needs work in the sense that they need to insure that the information that is being put out is as accurate as possible. Very awkward moments at times when the student appeared to know more about a given subject being lectured on than the instructor. It is the insurance world after all and things change on a dime. Case in point, the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Co-Workers? Don't get me started! :) lol! Seriously though, we had folks from different walks of life/soft skills ranged from high to almost non-existent. Some folks had the maturity level of grade school children but then again who am I to judge. I am a bit of a class clown myself but in my defense I knew where to draw the line. Some folks it seemed never fully left grade school and behaved accordingly. We are human after all, so one must learn to accept peoples shortcomings as we ask others do for us while we aim to adjust them and better ourselves as adults in the process.
Hardest part of the job? Dealing with irate customers, getting ones call handling "flow" down when handling calls. It's too easy to carried away with the conversation and neglect to get good notes during the process. Notes are vital in providing good customer service should a member need to follow up on a call/request. Another bit that made life difficult at Humana was dealing with colorful personalities within the work place. Some folks would come in to work acting as if someone had died and made them CEO of the place ridiculing your every move/comment. Humana does not hold sole stock on these personality types I am sure you folks out there reading my thesis can attest to. These folks I took with a grain of salt. Ok, with a pound of salt!! And when that tactic didn't work, like the Marines, I improvised, adapted and overcame. Simply put, I just plain out ignored them :) lol! Maybe that is why my blood pressure is so high now. lol!! Again, not one to judge, just commenting on difficulties experienced.
Lastly, technology.technical issues that were common place during day to day operations.Again, some of you "chairborne rangers" out there know what I am talking about. Some problems were a "no brainier to solve. Others, Bill Gates/Steven Hawking together could not figure out. These machines, I mentioned, where possessed by evil and needed an old priest and a young priest to clean them from the glitches that plagued these poor, brand X machines. "THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!! No offense to the hard core brothers/sisters of the faith. My sincerer apologies if I have offended anyone with my quote from the 1973 Horror flick, "THE EXORCIST."
Most enjoyable part of my job? Goodness, that would have to be the satisfaction I felt after having helped out a provider with a claim or a member requesting a provider change because their children had been scene by their old provider, "Dr. Smith," since they were born and they just couldn't fathom having to see another pediatrician.
I do apologize for the "lengthy" report but when you work, even for a short time period as I did, at a place like a call center, the experiences/lessons learned are many to say the least. Again, I sincerely apologize to any/all parties if they felt offended by my remarks/constructive criticism here and hope that at minimum they can make a more educated decision on working for Humana as a Customer Service Specialist. Best of luck to you all who decide to pursue this career with Humana. It is very fulfilling if you can find the right company to work for that will value you for what you bring to the table. – less