Benefits Communications, Employee Engagement, Open Enrollment

Winston Call Center Pivots During COVID-19

July 30, 2020 | Winston

At Winston, we have been partnering with brokers, consultants, and employers to expand the reach of HR for over 30 years, and in today’s climate, our goal is no different. COVID-19 has changed the way people interact, how companies will operate in the future, and shifted the focus for a majority of our clients. For HR teams, we see it impact how you deliver and communicate employee benefits and messaging. As the demands on your role continue to grow during these uncertain times, we are here to help expand your voice.

The solution—Winston’s Benefits Service Center. During COVID-19, we recognize that employees are looking for increased interaction with a benefits professional. Therefore, our call center services are adjusting to meet these needs for your business both now and as we look ahead towards the open enrollment season.

Our Director of Benefits Service AJ McFadden affirmed, “With the impact brought on by COVID-19, we have been able to provide additional support, helping our customers communicate benefit plan and coverage changes, as well as general furlough information. We’ve also expanded our outreach communication strategy, which includes live and automated phone support.”

Benefits Service Center expanded areas:

  • Remote Representatives – Our call center software, Five9™, allows us to have a fully remote call center operation during COVID-19. We can add additional representatives for unlimited scalability due to the restrictions of on-site counselors.
  • Expanded Benefits Topics – Our trained representatives can answer high-volume questions about COBRA, furloughs, and other timely topics outside of benefits.
  • One-on-One Virtual Counseling – Our Benefits Counselors are available by appointment during open enrollment to walk through any system questions via Microsoft Teams screen sharing.

McFadden commented, “Many of our customers request on-site representation during open enrollment each year, but because of the pandemic, this will have an immensely minimized role for the upcoming season. They were seeking a solution, so through virtual counseling, we’re able to provide a face-to-face enrollment experience without impacting our customers’ and counselors’ health and safety.”

Beyond these additions, Winston’s call center team focuses on providing exceptional benefits education and customer service to help manage employees throughout the year. Our technology and employee engagement strategies continue to deliver solutions that drive results to keep employees at ease. According to MetLife, 2 out of 3 employees state they feel more stressed than before COVID.1 We believe this trend of employees needing on-going benefits communication will continue beyond the pandemic, and Winston can partner with you to help adjust your communication and enrollment strategies.

Watch our short Benefits Service Center Video to learn more about our full capabilities and proven results.

1MetLife Employee Benefits Trend Study, 2020

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