Summer is the time of year that First Financial holds Open Enrollment – a period of time that a majority of customers enroll in their benefits. During enrollment, our representatives typically conduct one-on-one meetings with customers to discuss benefit options and answer questions. However, because COVID-19 continues to run rampant in our communities, First Financial was faced with a major challenge this year.
How do we maintain the personal interaction our customers appreciate while keeping everyone safe?
The answer was easy.
First Financial needed to put measures in place to protect our customers and employees during this time. One such step included creating a new Enrollment Assistance Center that would allow Open Enrollment to continue as planned – including the live support customers need – but without in-person contact.
Enrollment Assistance Center
When COVID-19 first reached the United States, we quickly created an Enrollment Assistance Center (EAC) to provide enrollment support in a safe, effective manner. We knew that many of our customers would be either working from home or choosing to social distance. Yet, we wanted to make sure they were able to enroll in their benefits during their employer’s scheduled enrollment period. Additionally, we needed to provide a way for them to speak with a representative so that any questions or concerns could be addressed beforehand.
The EAC is a telephone-operated system that allows customers to connect with a First Financial representative when they are ready to enroll in their benefits. Because the interaction takes place over the phone, both our customers and employees are at ease knowing they are protected from the coronavirus. Plus, customers are able to speak with a live representative at a convenient time for them.
A Success Story
The EAC is a brand-new service for us, but we have seen early success. In fact, Calcasieu Parish School Board (CPSB) in Louisiana was one of the first clients to use the EAC and reported this year being the best completion rate they’ve ever seen.
Not only were they one of the first EAC clients, but it was also the first year First Financial hosted their products on our portal. Additionally, CPSB’s schools closed one week after their Open Enrollment started. There were challenges early on, but together with CPSB, we handled them with ease.
“COVID-19 has presented huge challenges for school districts across this nation. Solutions have been hard to come by during these fluid times. Thankfully, the call center was a solution for our employees. It far exceeded our expectations,” said Skylar Fontenot, Risk Manager at CPSB.
Fontenot also praised the account managers and client service specialist assigned to CPSB who work closely with the school group to ensure successful enrollment.
“We ended up with a 99.70% completion – that is by far the best we have ever done. Rebecca Hanagriff went above and beyond…her number one goal was to make our jobs/live easier. The account managers worked tirelessly on the phones to get our employees enrolled – all while adapting to a ‘new’ way of enrollment,” Fontenot continued.
Covering All Bases
In addition to the EAC, First Financial is fully equipped to help you have a successful enrollment. From excellent customer service and administrative support to product education and enrollment, we are ready to handle whatever curveballs come your way.