Step Sideways

Since my PCP gave me a referral to a head doctor, I have been calling providers across the state and playing phone tag. My call log says I have called 61 providers. Of those I am still waiting on 11 call backs. Of the 51 I have spoke with, none have met the three prerequisites:

  • Seeing new patients
  • Takes my insurance
  • Does diagnostic testing / evaluations for adults with autism

Yesterday, while speaking with one of the offices I called, it was suggested to me to contact my insurance. They can tell me exactly who they pay and compile a list of places to contact. It makes sense to me. I’ld rather be asking two questions, knowing the office would get paid.

With this lead I phoned my insurance, not knowing how to ask, who to ask or what to ask. A young lady by the name “Hallee” answered my call (Holly, Holley, Hollie, Hallie… ?). She had no idea who I was, what I’ve done and is not a doctor.

I’m not going to give all the boring details of our phone call, but it has literally been 16 years since I have received customer service like she gave me. I gave her what I felt was an appropriate complement at the end of our call.

In 1997 I started working for a tech company that would become a business worth over a billion dollars. By 2001 I was the assistant call center manager, in Bellevue, WA, with 8 departments containing about 400 agents. At one point I was the customer service and tech support trainer, after I rewrote both manuals. My compliment to Halleewas:

When I used to hire new customer service agents, I used to cross my fingers that I would get at least one agent with Hallee’s vision. You demonstrated empathy, patients, a sense to want a resolution instead of conflict and left me with a positive solution.

Thank You !

Hallee had access to UHC’s list of current providers that I didn’t have. On my behalf, knowing more about the insurance stuff, Hallee reached out to a place on her list. They met the trifecta and conferences them into our phone call. The young lady from this new office had a few questions for that I answered. Before I was done with the call I pretty much had an appointment if I get her some paperwork.

I won’t call this good news, because it hasn’t happened yet. I will say that yesterday, instead of taking a step forward and 2 backwards I took a step forward and a step sideways.

To her boss: when you find an agent that wants to help instead of argue with customers, give them a raise and keep them. Telling some all the things that you can’t do for them is not a solution to their issue. I might know a thing or two of this, being on a team that has won several JD Powers awards for best customer service and tech support.

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