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    Medibank trialling ultra-local customer service

    Medibank is trialling a new customer service initiative that will see it deliver more personal and localised service and health support.

    As part of the trial, when customers in the Geelong region and South Australia contact Medibank they will be diverted to newly created local hubs, and will speak to a Medibank Specialist who either works at their local store or lives in the same state.

    The trial, which has been in place for the past three months, has seen an increase in customer satisfaction as the teams are able to help customers with their local knowledge of the health system in their area.

    The trial is testing “triple-level routing” (local, state and national), which will see inbound calls be diverted to their local hub (i.e. their closest local Medibank store) or to a state-based hub. If the call cannot be answered in a suitable time, it will then be diverted to a national hub.

    The Geelong trial is testing the local hub model, whereas the South Australian hub is testing the state hub model. For example, all calls from the Geelong region will be diverted to the local Geelong store, whereas all calls originating in South Australia will be diverted to Adelaide stores.

    Medibank’s Chief Customer Officer, Milosh Milisavljevic, said: “We want to create a more personalised approach to the service and health advice we provide our customers.

    “Australia’s health system is complex and can sometimes be hard for people to navigate, especially when you consider that each state has different systems and policies. We receive thousands of calls and online messages every day, so this trial will see whether providing a localised service delivers better outcomes for our customers.

    We’re already seeing a fantastic response from customers who are surprised to hear they are speaking with someone who lives in the area and knows the local hospitals and health professionals.

    “We’re also finding that by connecting our employees with their local community, employee engagement is increasing.”

    Medibank Geelong Store Manager, Tracy Fisher, said: “Even though the trial has been only going for three months, I already feel more connected to the community.

    When a customer call comes through, they aren’t a number in the queue, they’re someone who might walk into the store tomorrow.

    “We’re also noticing a huge improvement in the conversations that we’re having with customers when we tell them that we work at the local store and that we know the local dentist or physio.”

    To ensure that the local teams can support all types of customer enquiries, Medibank has also been upskilling all frontline employees. Previously, contact centre employees were trained in specific areas, such as claims, service and cover review. This new way of working will reduce transfers to different departments and improve the customer experience.

    Medibank employs around 700 frontline employees, including contact centre employees and retail store employees. Medibank does not have a traditional call centre – all call centre employees have the flexibility to either work from home or a local store.

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