Any time a family member goes into the hospital for a medical condition it’s tough and concerning on the family to process all that is needed to take into account. Add to that, the one in the hospital develops complications like pneumonia and has to be placed on a respirator.
Initial thoughts are how and what is covered under their insurance, how much is all this going to cost? If you're lucky, health insurance takes care of it.
Now, what if that family member has four legs?
How is that covered? How much is it going to cost? The owners are really frantic about saving their beloved friend’s life. They need an answer and need it quickly.
"I think (our Education Team members) are in a special position to really be able to provide our team the level of detail that they need to be successful," Burke said.
Healthy Paws is able to provide answers to virtually every kind of scenario life can throw at an owner — or as Healthy Paws calls them, pet parents.
They use a database of references through their system of process documentation.
Process documentation are documents that everyone in the company has access to. They lay out all the steps for particular tasks that need to be undertaken and repeated consistently.
It’s a virtual playbook of the best way for their claims adjusters to handle a situation that, at times, can get extremely complex.
“Sometimes those conditions get extremely complex,” Burke said. “Especially with neurological disorders if the veterinarian doesn't quite understand what's going on and I’m figuring out how to interpret it on our part. But we lean on their expertise, we don't draw our own conclusions whatsoever.”
On the other hand, in the pet insurance business, just about anything can happen and that includes the wild and the wacky. There is process documentation for that too, especially that.
“We have documents on foreign body ingestion and basically it’s how to process those claims and knowing that they're an acute accident,” Burke said. “I reviewed a claim ages ago for a cat who ingested, I think it was 15 feed of yarn or something. And so they were worried about having to have removal surgery.”
According to Burke, an agent has a search engine at their desk where they merely type in keywords related to the pet owner’s case and they could have several options to choose from.
“They might have to look through a few documents. But other than that, they're readily available for them,” she said.
Setting Up Process Documentation
At Healthy Paws, they used the expertise of the head claims trainer, who also happened to be a veterinary technician, to set up an online manual of more than 100 pages of information for agents to use.
Burke and her team built out additional documents with other cases and the claims trainer expanded on those from a veterinary view and incorporated the addition of graphical flow charts.
In the end, agents have a step-by-step process they follow for any pet parent that contacts them.
“An agent should be able to pick up a process document and follow it, even if they've never once done it before, or, you know, maybe they weren't trained on it,” Burke said.
And as insurance regulations change, whether it be on a state or national level, the documentation can be updated with the new information.
The reason Healthy Paws became masters of process documentation was to help those claims personnel handle pet parents’ questions and be able to do it with all the knowledge they have.
“There were two huge contributing factors,” Burke said. “One was to ensure that all information about state regulatory updates or any policy and pertinent information was always readily accessible to our team. The second was to ensure team members who didn't have a veterinary background, who were either assisting pet parents over the phone, or processing claims could access any resources they would need in order to do their job successfully.”
“It's a lot of veterinary information to be able to do your job while you're processing claims and asking people to memorize all of that when they don't work in the field,” she added.
Healthy Paws agents must have agents licensed in insurance just as they would for life or auto insurance, and they must follow state and national guidelines. Then there is training through Healthy Paws, which they conduct through Playvox’s Learning Product.
Burke recommends that any company with a contact center should definitely create and use process documentation.
“Everyone should have a database like this of some sort,” Burke said. “You know, it doesn't necessarily have to be as complex as ours but having that information at your fingertips while you're on the phone, especially if it's a difficult phone call, makes such a huge difference for the agent experience.”
Process Documentation Increases CSAT
Having accessibility to a wealth of information and being able to answer pet parents’ questions quickly is not only a benefit to the agent but a major asset to the overall customer satisfaction score.
Healthy Paws uses Playvox’s Agent Optimization Suite and the quality of scores show in the high 80s. Reducing Average Handle Time plays a big factor in that.
“All of our quality scorecards are based on our process documentation and agents lean heavily on them so they really go hand-in-hand,” Burke said.
When an agent sets a pet parent’s mind at ease in the time of a crisis, it leads to better overall customer experience and that leads to great reviews for Healthy Paws.
“Those conversations are the most rewarding of my entire career,” Burke said. “It's just that moment of thank you and often those people will typically ask us if they can write reviews. If they are interested, we do have our marketing team reach out to them and provide them some links.
“But those heartfelt messages. I have a folder I’ve saved,” she said.
One of those heartfelt messages, or several actually, came from the pet parent whose dog went in the hospital and developed pneumonia which would have cost the family more than $80,000 if not for Healthy Paws.
“There's only so much a little body can handle. But the kid ended up making it which was amazing,” Burke said “And I was talking to his mom probably every four or five days because I was just taking care of her account and making sure she was set up for success.”
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