As a customer service representative for BlueCross and as a person, Brittany Clay exudes warmth – which is fitting, given the Chattanooga native and telecommuter works with providers to better serve our members.
“The irony is that I’m perpetually cold,” she admits. “If I’m working from home or in the office, I want to crank up the heat all day.”
Brittany – and her temperature sensitivity – recently celebrated her four-year anniversary at BlueCross. Before joining the staff, she worked as a caregiver for people with special needs, an experience that prepared her for both the medical and service sides of working in customer service.
“Health care is obviously a big part of everybody’s world, but that’s especially true for those with intellectual disabilities,” she says. “Many of the people I got to know were unable to enjoy everyday life experiences.”
“Helping these people navigate their health care needs was very rewarding and very moving.”
A service career shift
Seeking to grow her career and have the flexibility to spend more time with her son, Martez, Brittany applied for a customer service representative position at BlueCross. In 2014, she began assisting our provider partners. She recently joined the authorization services team as a pre-service assistant, still working with providers and facilitating cases that require a prior authorization.
“Providers call on behalf of our members to request assistance with everything from billing issues to medical records,” Brittany says.
“There is a degree of learning while on the job, but the key is to ensure you’re working through issues on their behalf in real time.”
“I have to keep an open mind every single day, as there is a possibility that I may run into something that I have not dealt with before.”
As an example of a successful effort, Brittany recalls a situation with an initially frustrated provider.
“It was about a year ago, and she was trying to obtain authorization on behalf of her patient and our member,” Brittany says. “She had been told by BlueCross that authorization would be required through our vendor. But the vendor kept telling her that authorization is not required. So of course she’s upset, because she’s getting conflicting information and going back and forth.”
“By the time she got me, I understood her frustration,” Brittany adds. “I offered to make a three-way call to the vendor, because the information we had in our system was of course correct. We got to the bottom of it.”
“This provider was so happy that I actually stayed on the phone with her, called them and got everyone on the same page. I wanted to do it so that we could get that desired outcome quickly.”
A natural presence on screen
Service like this led to Brittany’s recognition as a top agent in her department, an unofficial designation meaning she excels in all categories related to job performance. It also netted her an audition for our “Right Here” ad campaign.
The campaign, which began in 2017 and was produced in Tennessee, by Tennesseans and for Tennesseans, included a series of television commercials featuring Volunteer State landmarks and actors. Three of our customer service team members, including Brittany, were cast in speaking roles for the commercials. Her commercial is airing again this year.
For Brittany, who had no prior acting or on-camera experience, the audition and filming process was fun, if a bit nerve-wracking.
“One night after work, I got a call from my supervisor, who was requesting her top two agents audition for a BlueCross commercial – and the other agent couldn’t come,” Brittany recalls with a laugh. “When I auditioned, the director gave me a line to say, and just told me to act natural, as if I were on the phone with a member or a provider. He kept telling me to shake my hands and relax. Just relax. It’s easy to say something and have the look on your face not match what you’re saying.”
“I was excited, and I could handle being away from my heater for a day,” she says, laughing again. “I brought my blanket, so I was OK.”
The commercials began airing in September 2017, but Brittany seemed to be the last person to see her own ad spot. Not that she minded – she has an incredibly tight bond with her family, particularly her mom and four sisters, so hearing about her small-screen debut directly from them was a blast.
“A lot of my family members saw it before me, even kids, and would tell me, ‘I saw you on TV, I saw you on TV!’” Brittany says. “My auntie actually recorded it with her phone and sent it to me, which was the first time I got to see it.”
‘Right Here’ in more ways than one
Brittany’s line at the end of the commercial is “If you need anything else, we’ll be right here” – and it’s fitting that she was so natural delivering it, as she’s always right there for Martez. A self-described “full-time parent,” she never misses a football or basketball practice or game.
“He plays every sport you could think of, so I never catch a break, of course,” Brittany says. “Football is his favorite. His dad was good at football, and he has a cousin, Bradley Chubb, who plays for the Denver Broncos. When Martez played Little League football, I was the team mom for his age group. He just started basketball again. So whenever I’m not at work, I’m somewhere on the field or the court, helping the teams.”
“I want him to know that I’m always there.”
And just like that, without even thinking about it, she once again shows her warmth and reiterates why she was a perfect choice for our “Right Here” campaign – and a trusted advocate for our members and providers.