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Blue Surface

Three Factors That Maximize Call Center Engagement

Why do engagement rates vary so widely for top-ranked ACO and health plan call centers?

Why does one company have a sub-40% engagement rate, while another reliably approaches 80%?

Why is one ACO or health plan’s D-SNP engagement less than 30%, while others exceed 60%?

When comparing approaches, three performance drivers consistently stand out: Expectations, Analytics and Quality.


It’s surprising how many call centers have a “two attempt rule” where two calls are made, then if engagement is unsuccessful a postcard is mailed.

What’s not surprising is this approach yields consistently low engagement rates.

More productive call centers exhibit a distinct “find a way, make a way” attitude. This is a cultural issue. High-performing call centers exhibit a mission-critical mindset toward engagement, “This contact has to happen and I’m going to find a way to make it happen”.

Versus many call centers that seem to acquiesce to low engagement rates,

top performers thrive on the challenge.

It is commonplace for high-performing teams to deliver twice the rate of engagement vs. other call centers. It starts with the “this call is going to happen” mindset, supported by proprietary enhancement techniques, and a “fail fast, whatever it takes, keep trying” approach.


Many call centers build roadmaps toward higher engagement rates by dissecting both completed and unsuccessful attempts. Engagement results (good and bad) are saturated with repetitive patterns. But these patterns are interdependent and are often hidden. Industry-leading engagement rates result from multidimensional analysis and planning: Point A has to happen first. Point B is a common thread that runs through all of our high-performing engagement campaigns. Point C has six variables, some of which are population dependent, but one of which must be included, and so on. Analytics may identify six, or eight variables or more as the roadmap to success is created.

This is as much subject matter expertise as it is data science, as it is the relentless desire to solve the puzzle.

A distinctly different culture: Analytics-based call centers are outwardly excited about discovering clues. While they fail more often than succeed, high performers remain passionate about finding missing pieces of the puzzle that result in answered calls.

Once productive workflows have been discovered, top call centers continue to hone them, yielding repeatable, industry-leading results.


There is an unmistakable correlation between the quality of a call center’s outreach and the rate of successful engagement.

Back-and-forth conversations outperform scripted presentations. Satisfaction and literacy both increase when the member does most of the talking. Meaningful conversations drive engagement.

An acid test for the quality of your call center’s engagement:

What percentage of members ask, “When can we speak again?”

Meaningful conversations present the ACO’s or health plan’s benefits in the context of how they enhance the member’s lifestyle and aspirations. When members feel heard, known and supported, they reliably answer the phone.

How would you define the culture of your call center? Is it weighed down under the doldrums of reading the same script, 8 hours per day for 28 days in a row? Or is your call center teeming with empathetic professionals who take pride in the life-changing impact they have on members’ lives?

How many high fives do you see in a typical week?

Top-performing call centers think differently, engage differently and always have a distinct, inviting culture.

If you would like to continue this conversation, give us a call. We would enjoy getting to know your Team as, together, we reimagine your call center.

It’s time to ditch the scripts.


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