How COSE has stepped up its service to small businesses Featured

8:01pm EDT May 31, 2012
How COSE has stepped up its service to small businesses

Historically, the Council of Smaller Enterprises — COSE — has made its name as a health insurance provider for small businesses, relying on discounted rates to provide value to its members.

But over the last decade, as the health insurance market has become more commoditized, COSE has differentiated itself by providing excellent health insurance-related customer service.

COSE, which is led by its president and executive director, Steve Millard, has a member service department consisting of 10 professionals based in the organization’s call center. When members have a question or problem, they call on COSE rather than calling the insurance company directly. COSE thereby serves an advocacy role for its members, working directly with the insurance provider so members don’t have to.

The health-insurance-related services that COSE offers its 14,000 small-business members include:

-          Access to Ohio licensed health insurance professionals through a members-only dedicated telephone hotline.

-          A dedicated e-mail address that provides members a guaranteed response from a staff member to all inquiries in 24 hours or less.

-          A live online chat service through which the COSE member service team interacts with members and provides real-time resolution to their questions.

-          Free benefit review sessions in which members meet with a COSE staff member to review their health insurance coverage and needs. Last year, COSE conducted more than 900 benefit review sessions with its members.

-          Free information and consultation on issues related to health care reform.

COSE has also begun to provide a higher level of service to customers for items outside the health insurance sphere, including networking, education and advocacy. Serving its members in these new areas has forced COSE to step up its game in the area of customer service. COSE now takes what it calls a “concierge’s approach” to serving its members’ needs, with staffers taking ownership of individual members’ inquiries, following them through to complete resolution.

HOW TO REACH: COSE, (216) 592-2222 or www.cose.org