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Online Chat Drives Interaction

Health insurer aids customers in online buying with a live chat capability.

To provide further assistance to customers buying its insurance products online, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF, Jacksonville) has added an online chat feature to its Web site. The feature is part of the company's online sales initiative that enables agent/customer interaction via phone, email, or online chat. The pilot was launched June 5.

BCBSF's online capability is enabled through ASP (Orlando), which handles both incoming calls as well as online chats with BCBSF's customers. "BCBSF doesn't have the capabilities to facilitate online chat internally," says Al Pratico, director, direct market sales, BCBSF. "We will use as a service bureau until we make technological changes internally to support the online chat function," according to Practico.

Connect to an Agent

According to Pratico, at any stage during the online sales process—which lets customers get rates, fill out an application and identify an agent in their area—a customer can click on the site's online chat icon and be connected to a licensed agent employed by The ASP designates agents who deal exclusively with BCBSF's customers. BCBSF, in turn, pays a monthly fee for the service.

Questions that agents are unable to answer can be routed to one of BCBSF's internal representatives. The system includes a page-pushing feature enabling BCBSF's internal representatives to view the same screen that both the agent and the customer is viewing.

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