Another Cloud Podcast

A podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business, and learn how they're using Cloud Technology to improve business and the customer experience.

Sports Metaphors and the Customer Experience with Troy Shaffer

with Alex McBratney and Aarde Cosseboom


Don't have time to listen? Read the full transcription.

Alex McBratney (Host) 00:00

Hello, and welcome to Another Cloud Podcast, a podcast designed to bring you stories from the smartest minds in IT, operations and business and learn how they're using cloud technology to improve business and customer experience. Well, Troy Shaffer it's great to have you on the podcast today. How's your weekend?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 00:20

Weekend has been awesome, its good weather, some downtime with the family around. So it's been all good.

Alex McBratney (Host) 00:28

Awesome, yeah, it's not bad, we get the blessing of being in Southern California. With the great weather winter, I put those in quotation marks is never really harsh. But man when the spring hits, and we get these 70 degree days, all day long. Yeah, beautiful, beautiful. Absolutely. Well, it's great to have you. And for those that don't know, your Scan Health Services, and you're the VP of Contact Center Operations. Tell us a little bit about how you got started and got your way into the contact center realm and kind of kick it off from there and get to know you a little bit.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 01:02

Yeah, no problem. Yes. So I was with another health carrier, for probably about eight years or so in, the more the quality area, and also supporting contact center work from that aspect. So did that, then the opportunity came around with Scan, and really, really kind of got focused on the nonprofit end of things, and really very mission driven. So you know, our mission is to keep seeing yourself being independent. And so typically, the majority of our membership is over 65 in the Medicare Advantage space, and so just seem to be a really good fit. And it's definitely mission driven work on a day-to-day basis.

Alex McBratney (Host) 01:41

Yeah, you mentioned that before, when we spoke last time about how there's a fine balance between how do you keep the mission going with the members, but then also like the moral aspect. And in the contact center world, a lot of times people are driving to lower the cost, driving for first call resolution, driving hit those KPIs, but you don't want that to infringe upon the mission of the organization, which it easily can do. And so in so many cases, how do you balance that with what you're doing in the contact center, and also keeping the mission alive?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 02:14

Yeah, I mean, that's the key word is balance, right? So there, you know, I look at it like a relationship. So we like to think it would be 50-50 every day, but sometimes as 80-20. And sometimes it's 20-80, right? And so, you know, obviously in our world, there is a, you know, regulatory perspective of it. So you have to make sure that you're doing things within regs, and then there's a service component, and then there's the member as well. So there's kind of this KPI balance with member experience. And in how do you truly balance that. So you know, with it being mission driven, from the top down to the frontlines is really understood that we're going to go the extra mile and take care of our members in every way we can.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 02:56

And to drill Troy into that a little bit more, what type of KPIs do you look at on regular basis? Let's say every day or week, you're always in a CSAT? Is it quality monitoring scores? Is it average handle time? Like what are the top, you know, three, four, or five that you look at?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 03:14

Yeah, when you say that, I mean, when you look at it from contact center perspective, is your standards, right? So service level, you know, did the answer, you know, 80% of the calls in 30 seconds? You look at average speed to answer you look at abandon rate. So those are some of the key ones. But then that point that balances it out is MSAT that we have what we call like a balanced scorecard for our advocates. So you know, the quality aspect is there as well. So there's kind of multiple levers along the way. But if you wanted to look at it from core KPIs, it's really those key ones that were held to from a regulatory perspective. And then, you know, as our discussion went earlier, is just how do you balance that? One of the things that we look at, I think is unique is that it's not this timer, right? So you know, in other organizations, I've been witness, like, three minutes, hang up, get off the call, three minutes, hang up, get off the call for this is truly more of a one call resolution, we, you know, what is the member calling about? And so we've trained our advocates to really understand and find those triggers to understand, okay, what are we trying to solve for here, and then work to solve that. So that that is kind of a big difference that I see in our organization. And with a 65 plus demographic, are you seeing mainly phone calls, chats, emails, tickets? What's the normal volume? Is it heavy to one side? Or is it kind of all over the place? Yeah, so it's interesting you ask that, you know, I think there's a misnomer out there, that a over 65, they want to just pick up the phone and call. And so that that's kind of, you know, the norm right now, but when you start to look at it from an omni channel perspective, and really look at the strategy kind of going forward, then that starts to change up a little bit. So you know, the whole kind of notion of meet the member where they want to be met, and when they do that, we're kind of on that journey right now, right? So we've opened up in our web we've done a lot of work on our website, which has made that a lot more friendly, a lot more flexibility in our website. And then you look at kind of, you know, some of the other like SMS and into a text and some of the things we're starting to dabble in. But the key was 65. And over is that you had to remember there's kind of these agents, so they're not quite 65 yet, and their agent in with kind of a lot of technology and savvy and don't discount our 80 year old either, right? Because they're out there on Facebook and Instagram with the grandkids, and especially with this pandemic, in being able to really communicate in those channels. So it's a broad band. And I think it just depends on the individual more than it does like a number.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 05:46

Totally makes sense. I was at Alex's over Easter weekend, I was hanging out with the in-laws. And we were playing cards, we're playing a game. And you know, we all had our phones next to each other. And in laws were actually we caught them on their phones more than we were on our phones there. I think they're like 69 and 68. And we had to call them out on and be like, Hey, get off your phones. And you know, when the phones got put away, they're using their Apple watches to check up on their friends and stuff. And I was like, wow, this is a little bit of a switch role reversal.

Alex McBratney (Host) 06:18

They're the cool grandparents, apparently,

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 06:21

You're gonna have to maintain the kids, right?

Alex McBratney (Host) 06:25

I mean, when you think about it, you're absolutely right. You know, it's like, I think COVID, you mentioned earlier like before, is that it's accelerated everything. Even if grandparents or people in that 65 plus demographic maybe weren't on it as much, they're almost forced to be on it now, right? Now, they're forced to be on FaceTime with their grandkids, or their kids, or just friends in general, because they need to have community and you can't do that. Couldn't do that in person last year for a very long time. But now it's transition to, you know, to that generation, but then also to the business side. So now it's like, well, shoot, we can offer these services to our clients or to our members now. And it's how fast we roll that out? Or how do you scale that up? Right. I was like, to bring that into the fruition if you hadn't already.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 07:11

Right. Yeah, yeah, I think that is it's kind of the journey. Right. And, you know, the roadmap, I think you haven't talked to a number of colleagues in various different, you know, service areas, really is like, how well prepared Where are you at is kind of hearing there's no any plan? How fast Were you able to really pivot and then kind of maintain? Right? So I think that is a key piece. Because if you can pivot, but do you have the monitoring and control in place? Are you able to understand, you know, capacity, and then there's kind of this, what we've seen is, there's this natural bubble. So there was like, you know, sin, you know, you know, maybe 300 people home, and, and everyone's excited, right, I get to work at home, I get to kind of you know, at lunchtime, go do laundry, I get to do all of these different things that I never had time to do before. And then you get to this new norm of Well, okay, we're not in the office, and I'm not having cooler talk every time. So then there's this kind of, you know, missing piece there. And then now it goes back to Okay, this is the new norm. And so there's this kind of roller coaster that we're seeing, and then how do you match the engagement, the ongoing training, you know, there's a number of things that we continue to kind of put your marks on? Yeah, I think one of the huge advantages that you guys had is that you're in the cloud when it happened, right? So you didn't have to make this huge leap to get up to speed technology wise, were you with scan when you guys went from Prem to the cloud on the on the contact center platform? Yeah, so that's a little bit different. And a little bit out of the realm of where I, where I've been involved with, I've been with scan, and ours was really more around the system itself and what we do to really kind of monitor and then flip that switch to be able to still maintain in a virtual environment. Gotcha. What a try what projects do you have planned for 2021? Is it really just what is the new norm? Do we continue supporting people work from home, but also try to bring people back in like, what are your 2021 goals? I know, we're already a quarter into it. So we don't have much time left. But guess how many projects on the horizon? Yeah, so I mean, to answer that it really be more to stabilize, right? It's really you know, when I talked a little bit earlier around just that level of engagement and you know, really monitoring because that's another balance point is, you know, your employee engagement, so not only the member satisfaction and kind of hitting KPIs, there's also a employee perspective. So really monitoring that piece right now. So there's not a lot of, you know, hot new projects right now is really more stabilization. Really kind of look at the new norm. You know, we're probably going to be remote for the you know, foreseeable future. And just really start to build on that piece ensuring that our managers and our supervisors have the right tools that they're comfortable in with their address, you know, remotely.

Alex McBratney (Host) 10:13

Yeah, with that new norm, right, and people working from home. What I'd like to understand a little bit is just the challenges, right for the other Contact Center Operations, you know, VPS, and managers or directors out there are, what are some of the challenges that you ran up against, maybe say, like, when COVID first hit, and then just challenges that you're looking to fix moving forward and the 2021 that maybe some people haven't considered or haven't even hit yet so that they can get a leg up when it does?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 10:42

Yeah, good question. I think, to be candid, it's really more of a personal issues that were going on, right? So it happens so fast, at least from my lens, right? It happens so fast that when you look at our workforce population that had children, for example, and the schools were kind of all over the place, depending on what county we're in, either they're closing right away, or they're going to be closing. And so there was a lot of uncertainty that went into that. And so you can imagine those that had, you know, younger kids, what did that mean? How are they going to adjust those that have, you know, from a caregiver perspective, and had elders in their home? Or parents that they haven't cared for? What are they going to do to get them to appointments and doctors shut down? What is that, so we faced a lot of that piece of it. And that's where I go back to just really the core of what scan is about, and being able to be flexible, to be able to kind of manage for that. So, you know, say for instance, it wasn't a perfect world, and you had kids in the background, you know, Yellin, or you had dogs barking in the back. And our members tend to embrace that they're like, Oh, you know, Honey, don't worry about that. We understand, you know, times are really rough. Right now, we haven't been through this. And so there was this period of time where that was acceptable. And then we got to the point where we said, okay, now we need to get back to professional, we need to get back to business. So think stabilized, we need you, our staff, to really kind of get those things under control have a secured workspace is non disruptive. And then we kind of evolved to that. So I would say that was the biggest piece, I think the other one is just the hands on and folks being able to kind of go and look, you know, adding cue and raise their hands are really getting our tools together, you know, through Skype or teams or, you know, those communication channels and escalations, how do we handle those? So really being able to handle that in a remote environment versus just kind of so much being, you know, dependent on kind of face to face?

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 12:44

Yeah, that's where I was gonna go next. So from a collaboration tool internally, are you guys leveraging Zoom for that, Teams for that? Sounds like you guys have a like Slack as well. What are you using? And is it effective? Does it work? So you know, if you're in a physical office, you have a problem, you raise your hand supervisor comes by, you can look at the problem together, solve it kind of move on. But in a virtual environment, it's a lot harder to do. Are you guys finding challenges with that virtual environment? Do you guys have the right setup? Is it good? Good enough? Like, tell us a little bit about that collaboration?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 13:18

Yeah, definitely, I would probably say good enough, right now. We want to get, you know, beyond, you know, good and start getting back to great, great, great, that's kind of the standards that I like to operate under. But I would say good enough to get the job done. Mostly zoom, it is really kind of the core tool that we're able to communicate with, you know, still the old outlook, Skype, things like that. Being able to, you know, use that and transform that into the remote environment. But yeah, I would say that that is kind of the big, I was saying we're kind of have the basics in play. And you know, the longer we stay in this environment and kind of continue to march on then from a strategic perspective, we're definitely looking at what's going to be best long term.

Alex McBratney (Host) 14:06

Yeah, you see, you see a lot of shake up in just the collaboration space right now. I mean, Zoo with, even with zoom in their voice product that they essentially launched last year, and it couldn't I mean, the timing couldn't have been better for them and seeing how they're a great, you know, collaboration video tool conferencing tool. Now all of a sudden, they're getting they're getting into the voice. And then you have Microsoft making integrations available for all these different UCaaS providers and see no contact center providers and I feel like right now the collaboration space is in such an up in a way it's like an upheaval, you see consolidation, you see slack being such a big player. I'm surprised they haven't been gobbled up yet by like a RingCentral. Or, you know Vonage or someone large right to kind of take that piece and bring it into their ecosystem. So it's definitely a challenge I can imagine for, you know, for a leader in the industry to say we've got these disparate systems of Zoom over here, you have your contact center platform here. Everyone's on there, your Outlook email, most likely with Microsoft. And it's like, it's hard to manage all those disparate system I can imagine, you know, on a day to day basis, too.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 15:12

Yeah, and I mean, the key, at least what I've learned over time, at least throughout my career, is that partnership with it, right. And that is, you know, so many folks, at least, you know, some of the folks I've talked to, like, they always go on to say, what is the business, you know, in control? Or is it and control the dog wagging the tail, or the tail wagging the dog? I think that kind of mentality automatically starts to put up the silos and the walls, versus Hey, we're a partnership in this thing. And that's the one thing again, is that what are we trying to do? We're member centric. And so we're trying to solve issues and problems for the member, not what's good for me the business or what's good for it, and what's the shining bright technology? So what I've, what I've learned, at least that's been successful for us is to really partner, and then it's about Okay, what are the requirements? What are the timelines, and then just the standards, rice of technology, people and process? And when you get those things, right, and those are the key levers, then which ones can you control that aren't really budgeted or dollar perspective. So to put in a new system that's been costing you dollars, right? So if that's not an option, how can I optimize my processes and my people, which I have a lot more control on to get done what we need done.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 16:27

Yeah, and earlier, you talked about coming from a quality lens, and then also MSATs, member satisfactions a very, very important score for you guys and KPI for you guys. But also, in your industry, there's a lot of hurdles, you have to go through a lot of compliances, you know, you got all sorts of things like PCI and HIPAA, you probably have CCPA, and GDPR, all these four letter compliances that can kind of get in the way of a good member experience like two factor authentication can be very frustrating for someone, especially if, you know they're not comfortable with doing it with other systems. So how, how do you guys combat that? How do you guys combat when a member is getting frustrated? Because they have to go through some sort of compliance? Or they have to double check or do a two- factor authentication? How do you guys work through that?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 17:20

Yeah, so great point, I think, you know, I'm a sports guy. And so for those that aren't, I apologize, but from a football perspective, right? When you look at kind of the way the field is stretched out, there's so there's out of bounds on the side, and then there's ends on the endzone, right. So we know, that's the confines that you need to play within. And so I see regulatory similar to that is, like, understand what those boundaries are, and how do you work within them. And then when it comes down to a members perspective, is really about them. Right? So you know, when you talk to them from an aspect of Hey, no, this you know, we really want to get to the core of your problem, we want to resolve this for you for your protection, there's a couple of things that we need to really kind of make sure that we're able to go through first. And so we really make and that's authentic, right that's about them is protecting their information, and really driving home the point that we want to make sure that this is you and that you know, or if there's a person talking on their behalf, that they're actually authorized to work on their behalf. And once we get that way, they're really clear on Oh, thanks so much. And then we're able to go off to the races from there.

Alex McBratney (Host) 18:26

Yep. regulatories. Interesting. I like I like that example, the football field. And just to bring it back to sports as a quick question, who's your team win the final for the championship tonight? Gonzaga or Baylor?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 18:39

This would be a question that says I don't have a dog in the fight. I drink the Kool Aid because my kids went there. And so once they was they took out of it. It was kind of like whoever Yeah, there you go. But so yeah, I would say, you know, I don't have a dog in the fight. I guess. I kind of like Gonzaga. I think Baylor is really a tough feed. But they had a good showing the other night so that would be my pick for now.

Alex McBratney (Host) 19:13

That's good. I just thought I'd wrap that in there. But getting back to it. I was curious. So we talked about like the agent, right? And how it's about keeping with the company mission and really taking care of the members of the at scan. How do you How did the agent How are the skills parsed out? Is it one agent handles the full call? Or is it there's a certain escalation that goes to some another group? How does that work with over at scan as far as like, you know, the agents and what they can do on a call?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 19:40

Yeah, we're big believer in kind of one call resolution and that that tends to be a buzzword across the industry and I think people do it to different degrees. So the challenge there is that you know, you need to have a generalist skill set to be able to handle multiple different call types. But then how deep can you go as well to really solve for those issues. So I think the other piece that I talked about earlier is without that, you know, get off the phone in two minutes or three minutes, and really giving our advocates the autonomy, and you know, to be quite frank, the empowerment to really dry solutions for members, then then that puts a whole another scope on it. And it's another ballgame at that point. So we do train broadly. And then some of that is just experience over time. So you know, the more things you're exposed to the more you know, issues that you're able to resolve for us, we have a broad lens and if they don't know the answer, we they have kind of be the forgiveness, so to say, and to, you know, if I could, if you can hold on one moment, let me research so they have plenty of tools to research. And when it's really an escalated issue, or remember that this beyond their scope, they're able to kind of then get, you know, additional help, but in general is to kind of go broad and deep, versus kind of one offs and done.

Alex McBratney (Host) 21:02

And so the next follow up question to that and this is more kind of a leadership style leadership, you know, way of thinking is like, how do you what's, how do you keep the agents happy? How do you keep them engaged in the culture working? Because obviously, if you put, if it's a generalist and becoming, you know, the better they become, the harder it is to lose someone like that. How do you coach? Or how do you, you know, lead the team to where your retention says hot as high as possible? Yeah. So the general is kind of the goal there is, you know, defined career paths as well, right. And so, you know, as you're looking at, what is that next step? And what do you what do you want to achieve as an individual? So, in my opinion, is not, you know, I wouldn't say more than 50% of the people want to just stay in as a frontline advocate their entire career, right? They're going to want to grow, they're going to going to do some things different. So what are we as leaders really doing to make sure we understand what are their individual goals? What are their capabilities? What are their skill sets? Where can we help them grow? Where do we need to coach, and then my motto is really like, I love you as a member service advocate, and I love you to be in the Member Services family. But if you have other goals and aspirations, then let me try to help you find those hopefully within scan, right, because then now I have a well-developed, well trained employee that will then now go and help in other parts of the organization. And at the end of the day, that's helping our member. So my goal is not necessarily Yeah, keep them within member service, if that's their path, and that's what they want to do, but brought more broadly within scanning. And if not, then just kind of the human side of things is like if you don't help them, they're going to go regardless, right. So what have I done to give them kind of that grounding, and that background from a career perspective that they'll carry on is transferable skills no matter where they go.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 23:01

And we know, happy and engaged employees means happy customers happy members, you could hear we've heard this before, you could hear the smile on the employees, you know, face, even though they're just talking over the phone. So pre pandemic, you know, you had all these opportunities to do things like birthday parties, and, you know, you know, taking them to lunch, and all these all these cool and fun activities that are there in the contact center. Now that we're at a work from home environment, do you have any fun things that you're done with the team? Is there like a watch party where they're all watching the same movie at the same time and talking over zoom? Tell us some tips and tricks for the people who are listening to might need to spice up their employee engagement programs?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 23:48

Yeah, I mean, I wish we could do watch parties, but part of it needs to be on the phone. Right. So there, there's, there's kind of that job that has to get done. But we tried to do that through team meetings, we've done a lot more video. And so from a leadership perspective, really having more one off videos on Hey, we appreciate kind of your contributions, we appreciate, kind of, you know, the last month, you know, results. And then we'll do some, you know, fun videos of just kind of like, hey, it's Friday and have some music put to that. And so they can kind of go out on the SharePoint and get some of those things, we continue with the recognition. So, you know, what we used to do is pull them off those that were liking those top teams top scores, pull them off, have a little snack and go from there, whereas today, you have to just get creative and put that into a presentation mode. So they tend to get pretty excited about that. Every once in a while if budget allows some time wherever do kind of like some grub hub and you know, give people the opportunity to get a little snack or lunch from there. But a lot of it is just really more concise videos and impact and there, we're still looking at that, we've engaged them what we call like an engagement committee. And so we have, you know, kind of folks from all levels of the organization, really trying to drive home, what will be exciting to you? And how do we drive that. We've done some interesting things when we do some graduations with folks they get through, through their, their training. And so what this has allowed us to do is now you can bring your family to that, right, whereas before, it's just them. So we've seen dogs, cats, and kids, you know, all kinds of things that came from that. And we've been like, Hey, give them a little headset, because now we're, you know, we have more capacity to get them going. So it's been pretty fun to play on the family side of that as well.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 25:40

That's so cool. Yeah, I love you know, graduation ceremonies, bringing the family and keeping them involved. That's cool. I love that idea. Yeah.

Alex McBratney (Host) 25:49

Well, it's definitely working I was when I was on the website, this morning, you have four and a half out of five stars by Medicare for years running for it, you know, for happy members. I mean, you guys are definitely doing it. Right. I think being in all of us being in California, and having probably one of the hardest hit states outside of New York with COVID. And having like, all these limitations brought around so quickly, you know, middle of March last year, I can imagine the challenges like you're saying and how hard it would how hard it is right? where a lot of states are getting back to a different normal, but, you know, kind of moving out, we're, we're still we're still in it here, you know, in LA County, and where you guys are and, you know, I think like you said, the challenges being that looking towards the future and kind of figuring out where it's where it's all going. And but I think gamification, like wallboards, like, are you guys? How big? Is the organization on just doing that sort of thing with gamification? Do you guys use wallboards? I've heard mixed reviews on how people view wall boards and stuff like that.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 26:51

Yeah, we're definitely working on building out the gamification piece specifically, I've seen a lot of different software out there and different companies that do that pretty well. And we're researching that to see kind of what may work for us. I think wall boards are interesting in how you use them. So for me, gamification needs to be a healthy gamification, right. So the key piece that I always, you know, insist on is that it's collaborative in nature. And it's fun competition, right? So I'm a competitive person. And if the three of us are in a game, you can bet that I'm going to finish burbs, right. And that's just kind of my nature and my DNA. But I'm not going to do it at the expense of a member, right. And so that that is the piece that we really try to drive home from our leadership perspective is saying, let's have healthy competition, let's talk some smack to each other, let's see who's going to kind of finish at the top, but never at the expense of a member. So wallboards, kind of to your point, I think it's good to understand the numbers and understand where you lie. So although you're not kind of on this three minute timer, if you look up and you see causing q then that's an indicator, like I need to try to wrap this if I can, because my teammates are hurting. Right. And at the end of that maybe there's some members, you know, that are waiting in queue. So I think they're good indicators. I think sometimes people try to use them and say, Look at my team versus your team. And you know, your number, you know, 300 versus 100. I think in that sense, it gets a little negative and toxic. So I think you need to have a fine mix in how you use that.

Alex McBratney (Host) 28:27

Yeah, I definitely think culture plays a big part in that, right. And we were talking with Brett Fraser over at Sun basket, and he's like, I can't stand wallboards I hate them. Because they're a very service oriented business, doing food delivery. And the same thing where you have to make sure that your members are happy. It's not like a sales word where it's like just bang out calls, like, you know, like your boiler room. Yeah, we're doing outbound predictive dialing all day long is not the culture that you want.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 28:56

Yeah, yeah. Troy, are you guys doing quality monitoring scorecards? And with those scorecards, are you doing any gamification around that? You know, you hit five out of five on that scorecard? So, you know, you did that three times in a row? So you get all kudos for that? Like, tell us a little bit more about your quality program?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 29:16

Yeah, definitely. I think that's, you know, one of the things that that's evolved over the years I don't know about you guys, but what I've seen from the quality that's kind of the police is what some organizations look at it as, and it's like, we had some of that a while back. And we really worked hard amongst those teams to show again, going back to partnership, right, so looking at it through a lens of you know, I am quality, and you as an advocate are my customer, right? And so I'm not only looking at it from a regulatory lens and say did you document correctly Did you know, finish on service the member in the right way, but here are some opportunities to improve here's some coaching aspects and then bringing in Supervisors from that aspect to then get ownership and buy in, right. So you as an advocate are probably going to have more, you know, invested in your supervisor telling you and coach, you then meet from the outside. And so there's those kinds of levers that we look at from, hey, how do we partner as internal members and customers, and then drive the quality standards from there. So yeah, there is some gamification from a spirit aspect of, Hey, you know, I got kudos for that, or I was able to get into, you know, the recognition for the month, or I got a perfect score. So we have this kind of this, you know, standard of perfect scores for the month, and then we have recognition that comes out behind that. So it's really more about that, but then the bigger piece, you know, Bronner is really internal membership and, and guidance and coaching and getting better than it is like actually doing something wrong. And that took a while. It's a mindset, and, and even within our quality team, right, it's like, you're not the police, you're kind of helping them, and here's the way you need to do it. So it's a two way we've had to work through.

Alex McBratney (Host) 31:01

You know, that's so interesting, because you can point this all back to sports, right? There's you know, the coach, that is just the busting, you know, the heart, the hammer, bringing the hammer down, that's a safe way of bringing the hammer down. But then you have the coaches like, you look like a john wooden, right, where it's like, he is coaching these kids for life, not just for basketball at UCLA for their one or two years after their and it's so much so in business, too, right. And it seems like with your leadership style is very similar to that, where you're, you're trying to elevate, you know, the people under you that you manage to give them an opportunity to have a career path, not just be on the phones or, you know, working with Member Services, their whole career, how do you how would you say that your leadership style is grown or matured? Since you've been in business? What is the style that you say, you print you have?

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 31:54

Yeah, and I it's collaborative in nature, right? You know, when you look at it, you know, we definitely won't bring too much politics into it. But let's say a president has a cabinet, right. And the goal of that is to have, you're not the smartest guy in the room, necessarily, but you have the smartest people in the room around you to then go out and conquer what you need. And so I look at it from more collaborative perspective, not afraid to roll up my sleeves, and help people understand that, you know, we're somewhat equals and colleagues versus this hierarchy of perspective. And there's some things that need to be kind of non negotiable, they have to happen, and those things I will bring to the table right as such, but outside of that, and then it's like, you know, we talked a little bit about empowerment, and what are you, you know, they're the ones that are on the front lines, day in and day out, they're hearing, you know, our members, in some cases, hey, you know, I have expenses that are, you know, my medicine, or my rent, my medicine or my food, those are real issues that we're trying to help people through from time to time. And so for me, kind of just sit in an ivory White Tower and tell someone on the front line, how they need to do that is not realistic in my viewpoint. So my style is very collaborative, very humane, very humble, in really trying to, you know, provide direction and vision for, you know, in clearing roadblocks clearing past, making sure they have the right tools to do their job, and that they feel supported, right. I feel like any good leader is really there to support their staff and work on behalf of their staff, to allow them to get where they need to go.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 33:32

And you talk a little bit about, you know how important these phone calls are not only to the member, but also how important the agent has to listen and have empathy and compassion. What about the opposite? Are you getting a lot of calls that are very transactional? Where it's like a reset password or update my billing information? Or it's not? There's no level of empathy that's needed. There's no level of compassion, it's just doing a task? And if so, is it hard for an agent to switch from super, super empathetic, compassionate type conversations to very mundane? Just click a couple of buttons and then process the conversation. Tell us a little bit about that.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 34:16

Yeah, at least my experience, when I've been able to talk to some of the folks for them, that's what they call the easy call, right? And so those are, they're, they're very, they can switch on a dime with that. And you know, some members want to kind of kind of hang out and tell you a joke and gotta tell you, Hey, this is their day, and sometimes they want to just really be transactional and get off the phone and, and I think our advocates do an awesome job being able to kind of understand and hear tone and address that as such. So, I would say is, is fairly simple because it's, you know, do you need an ID card, you know, do you need me to process this and they can really get to business and along the way, have a conversation, wrap it up and then move on in those cases to the next one. But it's never a, at least most of the time, right? You can't account for everyone's personality every day of the week. But, but in general, it's really around having that compassion and that empathy and never treating it as a transaction. Right. So that that is one thing that we will not do. When my mother was on this earth, I, you know, she was a member of scan. And so what I would tell the new higher classes is to this day is I was going to say my mother was a member. And here's the expectation is that every call is that she's at the end of that line. And that's how I expect every member to be treated. And so that's a pretty high bar, right for folks to kind of be able to control. And so that's just kind of the passion that I think a number of us bring to the table. And we address our businesses such.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 35:46

I love that saying I used to have, so I when I moved out to college at a dorm room, and my dad came in once my mom wasn't there, my dad came in and he said, I want you to clean this room every day as if your mom's coming in to check in see how clean it is. And that's so true. Like, why did I let myself go and have that standard of if only, you know, keep a clean room as it is if your mom was in here checking for dust, you know, I love that if I'm not I'll borrow that I'm not gonna steal it. But I love that.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 36:16

That's all good, you can leverage it.

Alex McBratney (Host) 36:20

That's true, though, you know, because if it's like, if anyone's grandma was on the other end of that line, you're gonna treat that person differently. And the older the member is that can be challenging because they don't track as well or you know, the cognitively they're not as sharp. So it can, you definitely have to have a lot of empathy. I can imagine on those calls when they're just not understanding something.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 36:43

Yeah. And I go back to it. There's some of that, right. But I would also clarify that from it depends, right? Because I can I can get an 80 or 90 year old on the phone that will challenge you, right, and I do think there is this drum. And again, that goes back to identifying them, but being able to kind of meet them where they are, what are they need to need to kind of solve for but there is a difference. Big spectrum of folks out there.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 37:13

Yeah, I was, I was out. And this is a story about Easter weekend again. So I brought something that sparked my mind. We were out there we played a game called pickleball, which is basically a lighter version of tennis, there's but it's less intense on your joints. And you play with this like wiffle ball, which moves smaller. And it's my in laws live in a 65 Plus, or maybe it's 55 plus community. And there's people out there playing on the tennis court, and they are just like, I'm watching them like I can't even do anything close. Like, I wish I'm in their shape when I when I'm their age. So yeah, just goes to show that there's definitely a spectrum. I'd love to ask Troy one last question on my side. I know we're getting close to time. But one last question mice, I would like to ask this question a lot of our guests, it's when was the last time you had a really good customer experience with some sort of company or brand? And what was it and what made it so great.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 38:17

Yeah, that's... well, these days is probably takeout, right? Because we haven't done a lot of not quite ready to get out there in the masses yet. But I think a it wasn't so good. And then we'll just close kind of knew, but we did a pickup, right. And my kids were down at the mall. And so we're texting back and forth. Hey, why don't you pick up some dinner while you're there? You know, bring it on home. They're all great. You know, can you put in the order online, and so I put it in with some special, you know, special kind of facts around it. And they go, I give him the order number, print that out and send it to him. So they go and they go to pick up and they're like, wow, we don't have that order. We see the completed order. Until we get it well advance why they were doing their thing. They were going to just kind of go scoop it up and come home. Yeah, so that was kind of the first drag they got there. So then they said okay, I said, Get a manager, let me speak to them. And so then they're like, We're sorry, we'll expedite it. So they go to the grill, get it kicked in. And then they didn't do a good job recovering that aspect. So they didn't get home. And then they're missing like a key salad, which is like one of the main things that we like that area. And so then it's kind of like, okay, we've already waited almost hour and a half they expedited what they could do now they ship it and pack it and it's wrong. And so then the call back as soon as I call back and manage like I know who you are. I apologize. I spoke with your kids. And so then you know they sent out a gift card. You know to kind of try them in things so it was kind of good and bad but I think it really kind of you know missed the mark but they they tried to recover.

Alex McBratney (Host) 40:10

The key was do they have empathy for your situation right? Yeah, exactly. You know and try to make it right food is food is hard and it's funny because it's going back to Brett over at Sun basket they have the same issue right with something gets messed up. This is a meal that's being delivered. There's they can't just run out you throwing someone like a $50 gift card doesn't just fix the problem. Just throw money at it, you know, so right. It's tricky, right? Being in the food services business for sure. But yeah, I think ultimately it comes down to being heard having empathy, you know, and trying to do what's right for the member doing what's right for the customer. Right. Those what ultimately what it comes down to? Yeah, we are up against time, but Troy man has been I'm glad we I'm glad you came on. This has been good, with your kids go to USC. I should had you on here for the first guest. I've got a USC...

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 41:00

I'll come back Alex

Alex McBratney (Host) 41:04

Yeah. And when things open back up, we'll definitely be seeing you hopefully at some of these contact center events coming out. And we'll see maybe the year vaccines are rolling out. So hopefully it won't be too long here. Yeah, definitely look forward to it.

Aarde Cosseboom (Co-Host) 41:17

Thanks Troy so much. It's been a pleasure. Wait for version two of the podcast. Love to invite you back.

Troy Shaffer (Guest) 41:24

Definitely. Sounds good. You guys have a good afternoon.


Alex McBratney (Host) 41:26

You too. Well, that wraps up the show for today. Thanks for joining. And don't forget to join us next week as we bring another guest in to talk about the trends around cloud contact center and customer experience. Also, you can find us at, LinkedIn, or your favorite podcast platform. We'll see you next week on Another Cloud Podcast.