Through Stone Hill, agents can employ a part-time customer service rep (CSR) for their Medicare clients. A CSR works for agents on an hourly basis for as many hours a week as they would like or can afford. The price is $18.75/hour (this covers their days off, their holidays, our training of them, as well as their wage). They can help you during AEP or during Lock-in. CSR’s when properly trained in Fraud, Waste, and Abuse and other Medicare topics can help you serve your clients better. CSR’s can help you reach out to your book of business, set appointments, investigate drug formularies and provider networks. If you are interested in such a service, give the Senior Department at Stone Hill a call.
By the way, we have discovered that CSR’s are good at supporting agents but should not be treated as agents. In other words, we have discovered that the first contact between a lead and an agent should be done by the agent and not by the CSR. This first contact is what sets a good agent apart from other agents and CSR’s. It is an agent’s competitive advantage. If it is outsourced to a CSR, it usually leaves a bitter aftertaste. If it were not so, the CSR could easily become a competitor.
Here is the story in the agent’s words—mostly, with client names and town names changed:
Doug [A Stone-Hill employee],
I want to make you aware of the excellent customer service Terri [a Stone-Hill employee] has provided to John [XXX] in 2016, thus saving me his account for 2017.
I met w/ John and his ex, Jane, today. On Feb 15 of this year , he called me to get out of his Medicare Advantage plan and back onto original Medicare. The issue was [his] difficulty getting into doctors he wanted to see in Tucson. You may recall he lives just north of Tucson … in southern Pinal County. Tucson is in Pima County. UnitedHealthcare used to let [their clients] go back and forth on their HMO networks. In 2016, they made Pima one network and Pinal another; so, you have to use their passport program to go back and forth now. John had major issues doing this initially. Terri spent many hours helping him figure it out and get the needed MRI, which was delayed by months due to the difficulty. Since then, Terri has continued to help him and keep him happy.
Today he asked if he could still cancel and go back to original Medicare. I said yes. He thought about it and decided to stay where he is primarily because of Terri’s excellent customer service.
Mind you, Terri didn’t just save John as a client. He lives in … a small town. His ex, Jane, her friends Dave and Sally Smith, her friend Susan, and Susan’s brother and mother all also live in [the same small town] and are clients. They are all aware of the mess and are all staying on their plan for next yr. I also have Susan’s sister and brother-in-law in [another town] and Susan’s sister and brother-in-law in Tucson as clients. So, a negative outcome could have impacted me not just for John, but for all 11 of them.