Monarch Call Center Serves as First Impression and Connection with Vital Mental Health Services ​

The Call Center is tucked away in a quiet, second-floor corner of Monarch’s corporate headquarters on Pee Dee Avenue in Albemarle.

The almost constant hum of compassionate voices can be heard reaching through their headsets connecting callers to Monarch services. During peak call in times, the nine-member team can sound like a bustling, crowded room.

“Every call that comes through Monarch arrives at the Call Center,” explained Chris Laganella, Call Center manager. “We really are the first voice that they hear when reaching out to Monarch for the first time. That’s really important to us and we take it seriously.”

The Call Center team realizes the importance of being, many times, the first caring voice that introduces callers to Monarch’s services. As Customer Service Representative Lucy Mosqueda tries to remember daily when she greets callers: “You can’t go back and make a first impression.”

Last year the team fielded 252,000 calls and anticipates answering even more in 2019 with an increase in Monarch services across North Carolina. The Call Center, primarily a centralized scheduling department, can field over 1,200 calls per day. The bulk of calls are for the 17 behavioral health sites, which includes scheduling new patient visits and follow up appointments. The team also mans the live chat feature available through Monarch’s website.

The Call Center’s customer service team consists of: Winnie Brown, Lisa Dunn, Christina Hallyburton, Natalie Makarow, Joyce McLaurin, Vickie Medlin, Teresa Mehaffey and Lucy Mosqueda.

The Call Center department began five years ago with one customer service representative and a manager. Laganella, who was hired as the Call Center manager last October, is establishing a team focused on delivering exemplary customer service. “My team cares so much about the people we support, and they sit down in their chairs each day eager to assist them,” he said.

Social media and 24/7 accessible technology requires an organization to deliver to the best of their ability. “Quality customer service is more important today than ever before. Aside from the interactions between consumers and companies being more public than ever before, there is also more choice than ever before,” Laganella observed. “Providing memorable experiences for the people that we serve could mean the difference between them choosing to receive services from Monarch and going elsewhere.”

Mosqueda knows that sometimes it’s more than scheduling an appointment or getting a caller to the correct department. “Sometimes people just need someone to talk to,” she observed, adding that callers have told her they appreciate the kindness they detect through the phone line. “We are not trained counselors, but we do have a sympathetic ear.”

Mehaffey agreed that callers often appreciate the warmth when they are having a difficult time: “We do try to remember that this is a mental health organization. Sometimes they are so grateful for the help.”

Posted on a department bulletin board is a weekly report card fostering friendly competition among the customer service representatives. The weekly report outlines how they are doing individually and as a team as calls are tracked. Laganella also explained how a quality assurance process and an electronic knowledge base have been introduced to assist the team to better handle calls.

Laganella and the customer service team realize the importance of being focused on the people we support. “Our ultimate goal is to create a second-to-none experience when those who need help reach out to us,” he said. “We want the people that we serve to look forward to calling us for assistance with the services they need.”

Call service representatives pictured from left to right: Winnie Brown; Christina Hallyburton; Lisa Dunn; Teresa Mehaffey; Joyce McLaurin; Lucy Mosqueda; Vickie Medlin; and Chris Laganella.