July 16, 2003, Santa Maria, CA - The call center at the affiliated Delta Dental Plans of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana has been awarded the prestigious BenchmarkPortal certification, given in conjunction with the Center for Customer-Driven Quality located at Purdue University. BenchmarkPortal is a source for Customer Relation Management (CRM) best practices information for call centers worldwide.
The certification means that Delta Dental's call center is now judged to be a "Certified Center of Excellence" offering world-class customer service. The certification is based on best-practice metrics drawn from the world's largest database of call center information. Centers that attain certification do so on the basis of objective, quantitative data, which is audited and validated by researchers from BenchmarkPortal and the Center for Customer-Driven Quality. Delta Dental's certification was awarded following a rigorous audit that benchmarked its call center against the best practices of a peer group of comparable centers.
Auditors measured a variety of metrics including: the average speed of answer, percentage of calls satisfactorily handled on the first call, average length of call, even the number of hours new customer service agents spend in training. In addition, they interviewed many employees regarding their work environment and the call center's culture and philosophy. The results revealed that Delta Dental's performance outranked all other corporations in the dental benefits industry and it placed second in comparison to the entire benchmarked health care industry. "
This certification attests to the fact that Delta Dental call center managers have successfully balanced efficiency and effectiveness in their operations," said Dr. Jon Anton of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality. "By optimizing their cost components and their ability to satisfy customers, they exemplify best practices in a very important and competitive sector." Dr. Thomas J. Fleszar, president and CEO of the Delta Dental Plans of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana said, "Our goal is to deliver 'gold-standard' service to customers. This distinguished certification tells us we are achieving that and it underscores the results of our annual subscriber satisfaction survey that shows an overwhelming majority of respondents pleased with their call center contact." Delta Dental was presented the certification during ceremonies at Purdue University on Wednesday, July 16, 2003. Other companies receiving the certification included e-Bay, Merrill Lynch and Herbalife.
About Delta Dental Plans of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana
Delta Dental Plan of Michigan, with its affiliates in Ohio and Indiana, is the leading group dental benefits provider in the Midwest. This year the tri-state operation will pay out more than $1 billion for dental care for 5 million members. Considered an industry leader in dental benefit design, claims administration and cost management, the company provides coverage for nearly 4,200 groups including General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Albertsons, Fifth Third Bank, Kimball International and the State of Michigan. In 2002, it became the first health benefits carrier in the world to become ISO 9001 certified. The company's headquarters is located in Okemos, Michigan with offices in Farmington Hills and Grand Rapids, Michigan; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; and, Indianapolis, Indiana. For additional information, visit www.deltadentalmi.com (Michigan), www.deltadentaloh.com (Ohio) and www.deltadentalin.com (Indiana). For additional information contact: Delta Dental Plans of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana Ellen Jones or Jessica Mumaw 517.347.5241 or 517.347.5244 firstname.lastname@example.org