Each time Consumer Advisor Dominique Dawson takes a call, he knows it’s an opportunity to do more than the member expects.
That approach meant a great deal to one member who recently shared the difference talking to Dominique made as she prepared for an upcoming surgery.
Listening with intent
The call started with questions that customer service teams get frequently. “Can you check my benefits for the procedure I’m having? Is the doctor I need to see in-network?”
While answering those, Dominique kept the dialogue going. Then something the member said about the cost estimate from the surgery center motivated Dominique to dig deeper.
“They told her the cost to be paid before surgery was $5,000,” Dominique says. “Something about that didn’t make sense based on what I’d already checked related to her benefits.”
Dominique also heard the member’s concern over being able to make a payment that large in one transaction. She thought it might delay her surgery.
“I had to see how else I could help her,” Dominique recalls.
Taking additional steps
Looking at her information, he noted that the member had already paid part of her deductible. She should owe a smaller amount, he calculated. Then, with a promise to call the member back, he contacted the surgery center. He gave them the information and asked them to recalculate the member’s cost.
The result? A new estimate by the surgery center of $2,500. On his call back to the member, she told him this would help greatly with other payments for surgery-related costs. “‘You made life easier,’” Dominique remembers her saying.
“I want to express my appreciation and gratitude for assistance that Dominique exhibited while helping me,” the member wrote to BlueCross. “With this reduction in costs, Dominique was able to allow me more flexibility and time in regard to my bank.”
Always looking out
Dominique understood that the member’s needs went beyond her initial reason for calling — an essential quality to serve members effectively, according to Commercial Operations Manager Scott Gay.
“He took the initiative and felt compelled to do this outreach for the member,” Scott says.
Dominique takes these extra steps because insurance isn’t something everyone fully understands. He hopes members leave a call feeling not just better educated but like they’ve had an actual conversation.
“I want them to feel like they’re talking to a friend and to feel comfortable calling us again,” he says.
He credits those who mentored him in his earlier years — his brother, athletic coaches — with influencing him to be relational in all his pursuits. Raising his son has taught him patience and empathy. Dominique tries to bring those qualities and his mentoring mindset into every conversation with members.
“I think that understanding insurance is a life skill. It’s something you pay for. It should work for you, and you should be able to use all of its benefits to the fullest,” Dominique said.
Striving for peace of mind
Dominique’s supervisor Valerie Whitlock finds his conversational approach and calm demeanor help him set a positive tone, regardless of the reason for the call.
“I receive frequent compliments from members that Dominique gives them such peace of mind during calls,” Valerie says.
Additional thoughts the member’s follow-up letter confirm that fact. “I’m very thankful and happy that he took the time and went above and beyond to assist me,” she wrote.
Getting feedback like this assures Dominique he’s on the right track in serving and meeting the needs of members.
“I think it came across that I’m here for you,” Dominique says. “And I’m going to work my hardest for you.”
“I always knew I liked helping people. But getting this job last year, I now know I love helping people.”