PenChecks Opens New Call Center to Improve Phone Support
The PenChecks Trust® call center has always worked hard to provide our clients and their plan participants with fast, efficient phone support. We are proud to announce that it is about to get faster and more efficient with the opening of our new call center located in South Dakota!
Why South Dakota?
This location provides plenty of room to hire more agents, and enables us to quickly scale the call center to keep up with PenChecks’ strong growth. Having two call centers will allow us to continue providing the high level of service and support our clients have come to expect from PenChecks.
How We Process Calls
To ensure client/participant questions are answered and issues resolved in a timely manner, we divide incoming calls into separate divisions.
- Participant Division. This team provides participants with information and assistance to distribute their funds from an Employer Sponsored Retirement Plan using PenChecks services. Our agents put them in touch with their funds and make sure they understand the available distribution options.
- Accounts Division. The accounts division team handles Automatic Rollover and Missing Participant individual retirement accounts (IRA). These agents assist with processing and supporting participants claiming lost funds from a previous employer.
- Recurring Benefits Division. This team takes calls related to our Recurring Benefits Payment service. Plan participants may have questions about payment cycles, federal and state tax withholding, tax forms or other issues. Our agents answer their questions in a prompt and efficient manner.
- Client Division (Recordkeeper/Advisor/TPA/Plan Sponsor). The Client Division does the heavy lifting for our TPA, plan sponsor, recordkeeper and advisor clients. Its primary task involves working with these clients to get funds to their participants in the way they want them distributed using PenChecks products and services. Agents also help resolve issues involving clients’ accounts.
- Technical Support. We also have a technical support division that specializes in providing tech support for Amplify, our new payment processing portal. These agents work with TPA clients to resolve technical issues only.
Key Elements of Successful Call Centers
To provide an excellent customer experience, call centers must do many things well.
- Answer every call in a timely manner – our goal is within 20 seconds or less.
- Ensure the call goes directly to the appropriate team or person to handle it.
- Provide correct information to resolve the issue, allowing the caller to make decisions.
- Timely follow-up when issues can’t be resolved in one call.
PenChecks achieves these outcomes by building our call centers around the following elements:
- Hire the Right People. Operating a successful call center starts with hiring the right people for the job. PenChecks is a fast-paced, service-oriented environment. Candidates need to exhibit strong problem-solving skills, a service orientation, and the ability to handle high call volumes.
- Rigorous Training. Our call center agents go through extensive training before we put them on the phones. New agents spend a minimum of six months to a year learning how to handle calls in all participant divisions, and should be able to handle 1,000 transactions a month. Our best producers can handle 1,600 or more. When agents achieve this level of performance, they receive another year of training and work in our Client Division.
- Low Turnover. Our best performers stay with PenChecks because they enjoy the challenge of the job, appreciate the support they receive, and like helping people solve problems. This allows our call centers to provide continuity to our clients while maintaining expertly trained teams that produce at high levels.
- Agent Support. Our call centers maintain an extensive library of knowledge articles, training materials, and other documentation so agents always have the correct information in front of them during the call. In addition, team leads, supervisors, and managers are always available to answer questions agents can’t.
- Efficient Channel Management. Successful calls start with going directly to the right team or person. To escalate these calls through the proper channels, we create case tickets within Salesforce software. In addition to providing efficient tracking, this enables different departments to communicate with each other for faster resolution of issues.
- Experienced Agents. Ultimately, having experienced agents makes the difference between an average call center and a successful one. Call center agents become successful through our intensive training and focusing on answering clients and participants’ questions.
Our Commitment to Continuous Improvement
PenChecks was built around innovative technology and continual development of new products and services. Over the next few years, our call centers will focus on automating manual processes and increasing self-service options to add speed and efficiency to the customer experience. We’re also looking into new products and technologies to improve our internal processes so that we may serve you better.
PenChecks VP, Customer Experience