Call centers take advantage seniors’ unique skills

When patients place a call to a medical office, they anticipate speaking to someone who is professional, and proficient. But they also want someone who they can connect with and who they feel is sympathetic and understands their unique needs.

That’s why many medical answering services are turning to an underused segment of the workforce to provide help: the elderly. Since senior citizens are frequently the people calling, it makes sense to also add senior citizens to their customer support solution.

One company using this strategy has added retired executives and senior citizens and trained them to not just work the phone bank at an after hours answering service but to effectively guide fellow seniors in the sometimes confusing world of health care.

Doing so allows companies to tap into a skilled labor force: the aging Baby Boomer population will push the number of senior citizens to 70 million in the United States in the next 20 years. Many of these people will need help and guidance while dealing with complicated services such as Medicare that cannot be provided by a typical outsourced call center staff member. But senior citizens who have dealt with these issues themselves are uniquely prepared to handle such cases and give expert advice.

Adding senior workers serves multiple purposes. It gives patients someone on the other line who they feel relates to them, making them feel more comfortable and at ease with their situation. And it can provide both financial and personal rewards for senior workers who can earn extra money while making a real difference in the lives of their fellow seniors.

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