As far as Melissa Bodnar is concerned, it’s all about helping people get on the road to better care, better smiles and better lives—not pushing paper.
In April 2008, Melissa joined Aspen Dental Management, Inc. (ADMI), the dental support organization that provides non-clinical business support services to Aspen Dental-branded practices across the U.S., in the company’s billing department. She quickly realized pushing paper wasn’t for her. She preferred talking to people. She knew her outgoing personality was better suited to connecting with people, particularly over the phone.
By April 2009, Melissa switched roles and became a Scheduling Center agent—taking calls from prospective Aspen Dental patients, many of them in severe pain and in urgent need of dental care.
“It’s a consistently busy job but I absolutely love it,” Melissa says. “Patients really appreciate that we’re here to listen and support them. I love that I’m able to connect with them so they can get the care they need.”
Melissa thinks of herself as more of a non-clinical counselor than just someone on the other end of the phone. “I listen to every patient, help figure out their situation and, most importantly, I have empathy for them. It’s such a gratifying job and I feel rewarded every single day because I’m able to help people across the country get the care they need.”
Melissa says she’s even received messages from some of the practices ADMI supports, thanking her for doing such a great job motivating people to make an appointment.
Over the past eight years, Melissa has been given additional duties such as training new agents. New ADMI team members routinely shadow her for a day to get a better understanding of how essential the role of scheduling center agent is.
“As long as you have compassion, you’ll do a great job,” Melissa says.