Empathy Is Key
During our training classes, I like to remind agents about the times they felt like a number instead of a person on the other end of the phone and how it made them feel.
Michael Boudreau of Lilly USA, LLC, oversees the command desk, which has agent oversight for scheduling and workflow, and is responsible for the reporting that comes from the company’s CRM and workforce management tools. In addition, he’s responsible for all IT related items in the contact center, including vendor oversight.
What are the most important job skills that customer care professionals need today?
They need to be able to listen to what the customer is saying and be able to provide an answer in a quick and timely manner. They have to have empathy and be able to put themselves in the customer’s shoes, because we’ve all been on the other end of the phone. Customer care professionals also needs to understand how to utilize the tools they’re given to perform their tasks quickly and efficiently.
What unique challenges do you face as a healthcare company?
When a customer is calling us, we’re the face of the whole pharma industry, so we have to show the customer that we’re not this stigma preventing them from getting their medications—that we’re truly there to help them with their questions and issues and ensure that the experience they have is a great one.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote?
“Treat your customer like you want to be treated.” I know that sounds clichéd, but it really does hit home. And if we put ourselves in the customer’s situation, we’ll have more empathy and want to go that extra mile to ensure the customer gets what they need. During our training classes, I like to remind agents about the times they felt like a number instead of a person on the other end of the phone and how it made them feel: “Ask yourself at the end of the call, Did I do everything I could for that customer and did I do it with a smile?”
How do you blow off steam after a long day—or week?
I like to ride my motorcycle. There’s nothing like the feeling of riding the back roads and having the wind hit you in the face. To me that’s a time I can reflect and clear my mind and just enjoying the beauty of the land.
Give us one “off the resume” fact about you.
I learned my customer skills working as a cashier and assistant manager for a 7-Eleven at the age of 16. There’s no better way to learn how to interact with people than having them “live and in your face.” It really prepared me for dealing with people as I progressed through my career.