Krista Dakken: From shoe sales to customer service

Left to right: Trina Lee (team lead CCC), Krista Dakken (team lead CCC), Kara Carpenter (team lead CCC) and Jason Pratt (manager, CCC) pose for a group photo.

In this employee spotlight, we feature Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Team Lead of Customer Contact Center (CCC) Krista Dakken.

Meet Krista
Born and raised in North Dakota, Krista moved to Baltimore when she was 18 to go to school, but the appeal of the Midwest brought her back. She has a 10-year-old daughter, Madelyn, and is engaged to her fiancée, Matt, who has a 23-year-old daughter Krista also claims as her own.

Krista worked at a retailer for over 10 years, eventually managing a shoe store. 

“That job quickly turned into a shoe-buying obsession that still hasn’t stopped. Even though I don’t sell shoes anymore, I still enjoy buying a lot of them,” she gladly disclosed.

Finding interest in BCBSND
Interested in the appeal of an eight-to-five, Monday-through-Friday-job where she could spend time with her family and friends on the weekend, Krista started to seriously consider the change. She also had a friend at BCBSND who knew Krista was getting burnt out in retail and urged Krista to apply. 

“I finally made the leap and I am really glad I did. I always wanted to check it out and thought the building looked cool. It was history from there,” she shared.

Starting in customer service
Krista started training in the CCC as a customer service advocate on the phone. She said it took her less than a week to feel like she belonged.

“Everyone was really kind and welcoming,” she said. “I was also surprised by how interesting it was to learn about health insurance and all the different nuances and intricacies.”

A caring culture
Krista was especially excited to learn that employees are offered volunteering hours. She describes the culture at BCBSND as caring, whether it’s caring for members, employees or the community.

“The different benefits offered to employees, keeping a pulse on the members’ care in the CCC and caring for the community by volunteering, it shows that BCBSND wants to take care of the community they serve,” Krista said.

Big ambitions, great opportunities
In retail, Krista worked her way to general manager of a shoe store, so she had big ambitions and goals coming into BCBSND.

“I knew I wanted to learn the ground level foundation work and the CCC was the perfect place to do that,” she shared. “Once I understood the ins and outs, I went for a research position in the CCC and then became a trainer in the CCC.”

Now as team lead, multiple CCC specialists report to Krista. 

“It’s my job to coach my team to do the best job they can and I know that if I’m being an impactful leader, then my team can do their job more effectively. When they’re more effective and more knowledgeable and feel empowered, then our members will directly reap the benefits,” Krista shared.

One of the things Krista is most impressed by and grateful for is the new leader experience program. The program is designed to help new leaders find their path, get through struggles and teach how to lead in the organization. One of the best parts is Krista’s mentor.

“Having someone to talk to and work through issues with – personal and professional has been awesome,” she said.

Finding daily inspiration
We asked Krista what inspires her to reach her goals and she said her team. 

“I want to do better every day so my team can have the opportunity and confidence to do their best and achieve their goals,” she shared. “If they can grow and achieve what they want out of this company, then I know I’ve done my job well.”

Leading the way at Blue
We’re grateful to have Krista on our CCC team at Blue. We appreciate her determination and inquisitive nature and thank her for the work she and her team do on behalf of our members.