TMCnews Featured Article
July 19, 2012
Call Center Training Program Builds Necessary Seasonal Sales Force
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
While most businesses in America have been or will be affected by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, at least one east coast call center has already undergone massive lay-offs and part-time hire replacements as a result.
According to this Philly.com article, those part-time employees are not enough to meet the coming demand so the call center is now on the hunt for 70 full-time workers and 800 temporary employees and will need to schedule appropriate call center training. Why the volatility in hiring? This call center works to enroll people in the Medicare health plan, a subscription which must take place within a brief three month window.
Medicare enrollment has been a key element in the President’s health initiative and since the Supreme Court upheld the legislation which requires most people to become insured, the call center anticipates a very busy subscription season.Because every employee at the call center who enrolls customers in Medicare must be a trained and fully licensed insurance agent, the center has incorporated a specialized call center training program.
The call center does not cut a paycheck to those who attend the insurance call center training, but instead picks up the tab for the computer-based insurance agent classes. The call center training program has been running weekly and will do so through the month of August in an effort to prepare for the rush. Close to 200 applicants have been showing up each Monday morning to take advantage of the opportunity.
Those overseeing the training say that roughly half of those who begin the insurance classes finish the course and earn their insurance licenses.The push is geared toward getting a staff of licensed agents online before the Medicare enrollment season which runs from October 1st through 7th. Trained call center/insurance agents must be in place in time to handle the seasonal spike. Many private insurance companies retain a full time staff of phone sales operators, but when there is a peak, as happens with Medicare enrollment, they rely on call centers to help cover the workload.
This particular call center also expects that 2014 will be a busy time as that is the deadline for millions of people who are currently uninsured to get insurance under the Affordable Care Act.The healthcare mandate is expected to keep demand for Medicare and other insurance enrollment high. That is good news for call centers like this one that are training a skilled sales force to meet the anticipated demand.
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Edited by Juliana Kenny