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With 60% of consumers expecting better customer service than they did just a year ago, organizations that are focused on training and development around client interactions are poised for stronger, longer term ROI.

Great customer service includes assisting clients through complex, and frequently, emotional processes – such as healthcare claims.

We sat down with Susan Long, VP of Learning Solutions at United HealthCare, to discuss how her team addresses customer service training internally, while also combating the emotional fatigue typical in a health service industry.

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Susan Long:        The healthcare industry in general, there’s this whole concept of emotional fatigue, where these folks are speaking to people who are in cancer treatment, who are struggling with their health, or a child is sick … every call, every claim typically doesn’t have a great new story unless of course it’s a pregnancy. Most of the time you’re seeing a doctor because you’re not well.

Helping people understand the importance around showing up in a really compassionate way. Every call matters, every claim matters, every claim has a story behind it, a person behind it.

And moving from it being transactional to emotional, to connecting emotionally with the people behind all of the work that we’re doing in support of the organization.

And also making sure that we retain these great people. We’ve made significant investments in them. The training programs can be extremely lengthy. And wanting to make sure that these folks who are in our organization know how important they are and keeping them supporting the company mission, which is about making everyone healthier in the long run.