Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) have many options when thinking about career advancement. In this news series we share the stories of employees who started in similar job roles as you and are now in leadership roles to show just how far you can go with the meaningful skills you develop as a CSR. The possibilities are huge, and we encourage you to explore them! In this edition, meet Tammy Hanson, who tells us about her journey from Temporary Customer Service Representative to PMO Manager.
Tell us about your career journey at Cognosante, and the qualities that helped you succeed. I began my career as a Temporary Customer Service Representative on the NPI program. I became a full-time Customer Service Representative in 2008, then was quickly promoted to Application Processor. I moved to a Quality Analyst position the following year, then became a Production Assistant. By 2012, I had been promoted to Team Manager.
In 2015, I moved to the Complex Case Help Center on the 1095-A Program. I began as an Outreach Manager, then advanced to Project Coordinator, Deputy Project Manager, and Project Manager. Since March 2020, I have been the PMO Manager for the 1095-A program.
It is hard to pinpoint the exact qualities that help a person succeed, but I have a strong work ethic, and a desire to always put my best foot forward. Those characteristics have been invaluable to me throughout my c
areer. I always had a strong desire to move up, and expressed interest in new opportunities. I had some successes and failures along the way, but always tried to learn from them so I could grow.
Describe your experience with career development and promotion at Cognosante. I’ve always had a drive to do more and learn more and I have been fortunate to have some wonderful mentors during my time here at Cognosante. From early in my time here, I surrounded myself with people who encouraged my career growth and were able to provide honest feedback and guidance.
Cognosante has provided me with opportunities to continue to learn and I took advantage of those opportunities when they presented themselves. I put my energy and focus towards success in every single role I’ve held and have leveraged what I’ve learned to help me be successful in future roles.
Describe the main job duties as a Program Manager. In my current role as PMO manager, my primary responsibilities are to provide oversight of all project management activities that occur on the program. I work closely with our Program Director and other project managers to ensure that we meet all contractual and corporate expectations when it comes to scope, schedule and budget. The goal of our PMO is to be supportive and help provide the tools and resources the program needs to be successful. Being in this type of leadership role has allowed me to pay it forward and mentor others who have a desire to move into other roles, whether that is in project management or down some other career path.
What CSR skills are important to have to move into leadership? There are four that really come to mind:
- Strong communication skills — The ability to clearly communicate goals and expectations
- Motivation — Being proactive, focused on continual improvement, and able to keep your team motivated as well.
- Dependability – Gaining the trust of your team and giving them the confidence that they can rely on you.
- Relationship building – Building and maintaining strong relationships within your team. This ensures that you are able to assess each individual’s strengths, delegate tasks appropriately, and accomplish goals more effectively.
What advice can you give to a CSR wanting to move forward in their call center career? Own your career growth. Nothing worth having ever comes easily so it’s important to leverage the tools and resources that are provided to help you grow. Ask for feedback and take it seriously! At the same time, remember that perception is everything. Even as you grow, it’s important to remain confident in your own skills.