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Health Insurance Industry Discovering Empathy Counts

If Gregory Warner's report from the front lines of relationship management in the healthcare industry is to be believed, empathy with the customer is in and voice jail is out.

Warner takes us on a tour of a Convergys call center in Kentucky -- "a sea of head-setted heads in 500 cubicles" -- where empathy coaches "roam the aisles and swoop down on agents when they flounder."

It's apparently all a result of health care reform, which is making shopping for health insurance more like shopping for say, a health club. All of a sudden, rapport counts as people learn that they have choices about who their supplier might be. But it can cut both ways.

"In a world where insurance companies track our behavior closer than a jealous lover, companies can use those same tracking tools to pick and choose the customers they want to treat well," Warner points out.



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