5 Reasons Speech Analytics Is Critical in Call Center Collections

Final demand notice concept for debt, past due and overdue payment

Collections contact centers and accounts receivable management (ARM) firms face a constant challenge: balancing the need to maximize payments while maintaining quality service and strict compliance. Add to that complexity an increasingly strict regulatory environment and you’re left with collections firms under pressure to make sweeping and costly changes in order to remain competitive in the marketplace.

So what can collections and ARM firms do to drive operational improvements and stay one step ahead of the regulatory curve?

Enter speech analytics for call center collections.

The way it works is simple: Speech analytics converts spoken conversations into analytical data – either during or after the call – eliminating compliance risk, improving agent performance, increasing recovery rates, and much more.

Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why speech analytics is critical in the call center:

Maintain Compliance

Statistics show the average U.S. household with debt carries $129,579 in total debt; debt has accelerated in recent years due to the cost of living outpacing income.

Due to the resulting high volume of collections calls, it’s critical for call centers to maintain compliance to stay within state and federal licensing laws (as well as reduce or eliminate fines or lawsuits with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)).

Speech analytics allows collections and ARM firms to automatically transcribe and score 100% of interactions for Mini Miranda language, Right Party Contact language, FDCPA violations, abusive language from either party, and other risky language. Potential violations are flagged in real time, and patterns of non-compliant behavior are detected immediately.

Ensure Stored Data Contains Minimal Risk

With all customer interactions being automatically recorded and scored, it’s crucial for collections organizations to make sure that stored data has the least amount of risk possible.

There are two ways to protect against compliance risk: 1) Leverage redaction software to prevent the recording of sensitive information (since recorded calls are subject to the same rules as any other method of capturing and storing customer data), and 2) Limit the number of staff exposed to sensitive data by only giving them access to information they need to do their job.

Improve Agent Performance

Poor collector performance can represent significant risk to the organization – whether within on-premise call centers or through business process outsourcers. By tracking 100% of calls, speech analytics ensures agent procedural compliance and reveals behaviors and activities that lead to successful collections.

For example, if an agent is struggling with a single step in the call handling process, a call center could implement some immediate and targeted coaching or training to correct the behavior. Alternatively, if the analytics identifies a best practice by one agent that delivers better results, this can be deployed to the whole team.

With regards to specific areas like payments, speech analytics can help to track specific language to understand what drives payments and revenue. Did an agent ask for a balance in full or go immediately to a settlement? Did they ask for a payment directly or passively?

Optimize Collections & Boost Revenue

In addition to maintaining compliance and improving agent performance, speech analytics for call center collections also helps boost company revenue overall.

In order to do so, however, call centers must ensure they’re optimizing collections. By giving managers and supervisors insight into what’s happening between agents and debtors, speech analytics helps spot the best (and worst) performing agents in the call center. It also isolates successful techniques that can be used to create best practices for not only the individual agent, but the team as a whole.

Reveal Negative Performance Trends

Collections and ARM companies often discover that agents are not asking for payment as often as they should, or are consistently asking for lower repayments. Some agents may display a pattern of overly long calls, reducing overall dialer throughput.

With speech analytics in place, collections companies can quickly identify specific factors contributing to these sorts of negative performance trends. By improving and refining their business processes based on intelligence mined from agent interactions, these organizations can improve promise to pay ratios, script adherence, and the ability to spot and develop high-flyers.

Final Thoughts

Speech analytics in the collections call center helps collections and ARM firms strike the desired balance between mitigating compliance risk and improving agent performance. This indispensable tool is quickly becoming a critical component to a winning ARM strategy.

An earlier version of this article, “A Perpetual Balancing Act for Collections and ARM Firms,” appeared in CAS Insights.

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