August 04

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Out of the Cubicle. Into Consumer Health Offices.

Out of the Cubicle. Into Consumer Health Offices.

‘Welcome to GSK Consumer Healthcare. How can I help you?’ If you are like me, you probably would like to put a face to the person who answers the call. What information can be provided? What requests can be met? Who really is on the other end? Good news. Questions answered. I got a chance to visit our call center and will introduce you to our team. Ironically, the US Consumer Healthcare Call Center is based in the Philippines and burns the midnight oil to service practitioners in the United States.

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I observed our customer service reps to be engaged in their service interactions. I was surprised as I observed a particularly insightful one. This agent was keenly aware of the customer’s needs. He was able to assess how well the brand ultimately delivered the client’s desired resolution. Then this individual made a recommendation for improving that process after the call ended.

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Judged against my high customer service standard, the conversations I observed were very good ones. Our agents are capable of recognizing, recording, analyzing and communicating feedback with great ease. I think most of us rate calls on how friendly and accomodating the staff is, as customer satisfaction is largely an emotional concept. The GSK reps were friendly and energetic.

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The Call Center is operated by Harte Hanks and employs over two thousand Filipinos. Clients include MLB, Ticket Master and Barnes & Noble just to name a few. Eighteen agents comprise a department that services GSK. The Center is open from 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Standard Time. That translates into 9 PM to 5 AM Manilla Time.

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The agents are also using our Salesforce data system. They are recording call notes into our accounts. Typical calls involve sample requests for Pronamel and Sensodyne.

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Two agents are doing the call outs for vacant territories or employees who are temporarily out for some reason. It was nice to put a face to the two gentleman who are playing such a key role in our world.

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I was impressed with the level of scientific engagement the call center reps have. For example, I observed a discussion where an account called for Sensodyne samples because of enamel translucency. Acid erosion was discussed and the recommended product, Pronamel, was sent, opposed to Sensodyne. Their backgrounds include a nurse, medical technologist and even a doctor is on staff.

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The call center also has team building activities to keep everyone refreshed throughout the night. During my visit, one of the GSK agents was one of three finalists in a cook off contest. He was making an Asian salad with a homemade dressing and an accompanying vegetable dip. So delicious.

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Who knew I’d find a US Consumer Healthcare connection so far from home! I hope you enjoyed learning about our Call Center as much as I enjoyed visiting it.

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In conclusion, this Pulse assignment is challenging me to start being present to embrace the learning opportunities all around me. I could feel this happening at the call center; it gave me goosebumps. I suggest each of you try to free yourself from distractions for an hour a day. I promise you will be more present too. By opening your eyes to quietly observe around you, your perspective will change. Don’t assume you understand or get too busy to stop and watch.