John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

Should Obamacare operator have been fired for over sharing? Summit sold out

Obamacare Operator Fired – Earlier this week conservative radio host Sean Hannity called the Obamacare hotline and spoke to an operator. The operator, Earline Davis, was honest and told Hannity nobody liked the website. The next day she was fired.  Since then there has been public outcry over this story and how she was the victim.  Check the full story out Fired Obamacare Operator.

She was wrong – While I don’t like to see anyone fired, what she did was wrong. Let’s look at it from a business standpoint and not as a goliath government entity. This happens every day in business by front-line employees. Her job is to address incoming calls and questions and provide people with answers. Her job is not to over share, i.e. ‘nobody likes the website.’  Do I think she should have been fired? Depends.  Was she trained to not over share? If she was, this needs to be addressed and stressed again. If she wasn’t, then there is a serious gap in the Obamacare training of their Customer service representatives.

Never over share – One of the most common Nevers, that my clients have in Nevers & Always, is Never over share.  Everyone loves to over share. Why? Because they want to make sure the Customer knows it wasn’t their fault. “I didn’t know you were here; no one told me.  If I would have known, I would have been out sooner.” Or “shipping didn’t next-day-air the package. I told them, I put it on the order. They do this type of stuff all the time.” I have had this same issue with our call center representatives at John Robert’s Spa.  I would over hear them telling Customers on the phone, “Our computers are always so slow.” While this information is critical to management, the Customer really doesn’t need to know about any dysfunction going on behind the scenes.

Action Plan – Are your employees trained to not over share your company’s dirty laundry with Customers?

You are really important to us — in 21 days – Look at the automated response United Airlines sends out to their Customers who contact them (below). “Thank you for contacting United Airlines. Our Customer Care team is currently responding to most inquiries within 14-21 business days…We look forward to assisting you.



Are Customer Service vs. Customer Experience the same? I just read a great blog written by Annette Franz on the difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience. The following has some insightful highlights.

Secret Service Summit Sold Out!  For the fifth year in a row, the Secret Service Summit is sold out! If you didn’t getyour tickets, you will be able to purchase the audio presentations of every presenter of the 2013 Secret Service Summit. 


Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.
It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time


John R. DiJulius III best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the President of The DiJulius Group, the leading Customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on Customer experience trends and best practices. Learn more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, America’s #1 Customer Service Conference.



John, I agree with the point of your article, but I have to admit I am a bit taken a-back at your choice of words, “Obamacare” all throughout your article and not once refering to it by what it is actually called: “The Affordable Care Act.” It would be similar to someone doing a book review on, “The Secret Service” but instead refering to it as the “Johnny-book” all throughout the article. No harm intended, but perhaps felt.

Comment by Kena Kindle

True! Sometimes you can’t blame the agents for being so secretive and dismissive. As you said, they are trained to be like that. Worse, they are threatened that if they don’t do it, they’ll loose their jobs. I think CEO’s and upper management of the brands should take calls as well so they’ll have a first hand experience on how a conversation between a representative and a customer takes place.

Comment by cheyserrdelacruz

excellent point Cheyserrdelacruz! thanks for sharing

Comment by The DiJulius Group

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