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After a three-year effort to improve customer service, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York has received certification from a standards-setting body for its call center performance, the company announced.

The insurer and related units of parent company HealthNow received certification from COPC Inc., which sets call center standards.

The insurer cut time-on-hold in half to 28 seconds, on average. Call transfers were cut by 44 percent and call handling time fell by 6 percent, the company said.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the Buffalo region's largest health plan with 570,000 members. Its call center employs 235 representatives and handles more than 1 million calls a year.

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