Most of us are familiar with holiday-themed days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but in the insurance world, Unum has a special day that’s our busiest of the year: Red Hot Monday. No, it’s not a day when our employees binge on those spicy red candies, rather, it’s the Monday following the four-day Thanksgiving weekend when our Contact Centers handle more calls than any other day of the year.
“We understand how important connecting with us is for our customers who need to use their employee benefits,” said Tiffany MacDonald, a director in Unum’s customer experience center. “Whether our customers are recovering from an accident or injury or filing a routine wellness claim, or they are focused on their finances, their health and, in some cases, when they can get back to work, our people are there to ensure every customer gets answers to their questions.”
On Red Hot Monday in 2017, Unum and Colonial Life helped more than 37,000 customers in just one day, representing about a 20 to 30 percent increase compared to an average day in our Contact Centers. To give you an idea of that scale, it would be like filling Madison Square Garden full of customers and having each person call – TWICE!
Ryan Carr, Pete Albert and Sean Puckett are three of our nearly 650 customer service representatives who will work overtime to deliver on our promise to help customers when they need it most. They, along with a core team of managers and internal business partners, began prepping in late August.
“Preparation is certainly key, and being well-rested is beneficial to maintaining focus through the extended shift,” Albert, a four-time Red Hot Monday veteran, said. “Our goal is to continue to provide quality assistance, while keeping hold times for our customers as low as possible.”
This spike in calls is partially due to the natural influx of work after the four-day weekend, but this is also the time of year when customers file wellness or other claims and look for updates on their benefit payments and other details before year-end.
At Unum, we celebrate this busy day and find opportunities to engage our employees across the organization. We reach out for assistance to former Contact Center representatives who have moved into other departments within the last year.
“This gives former representatives the chance to lend their experience to the team, and to connect with customers for the day,” MacDonald said. “Our Information Technology and Benefits teams also help ramp up for this busy week. We’re prepared across the board, because we know our customers are looking for simplicity, expertise, and empathy with every interaction – even on the busiest day of our year.”
This year’s Red Hot Monday is likely to go down as the busiest day ever for our contact center, but with careful planning and well-orchestrated staffing, our customers will never know the difference.