You can’t be everywhere and hear everything at once, but speech analytics software claims to give you a fighting chance to that end. Collection Advisor talked to collection professionals about their use of speech analytics software asking them in what way it helps their collection efforts and pitfalls other professionals should avoid with its use.
What is a problem on the collection floor that speech analytics helps prevent?
Roger D. Weiss President, CACi
It’s not just “A” problem. Speech analytics, the way we use them anyway, essentially put a coach, compliance manager and collection supervisor on the collector’s shoulder on every call. We are able to drastically shorten training curves, avoid collector missteps and significantly reduce compliance risks.
Kim Berghold Quality Assurance Manager, Client Services, Inc.
It can prevent multiple problems. You can look for a specific tone or even derogatory words as a precautionary measure. It is most helpful in monitoring for specific keywords that identify special handling situations such as bankruptcy, attorney or dispute to ensure proper account handling.
What is the key to properly implementing a speech analytics solution into the collection process?
Weiss: The keys to me are, first and foremost, that the strategies you train and coach your collectors on are aligned and reflected in your speech analytics solution. Everyone from the top down has to understand your strategy and procedures and have those be reinforced with the technology, not the other way around. After that, truly it is communication and follow up on all levels. If you gather the data and don’t communicate results, take action steps and improve your processes, you are simply wasting time, money and resources.
Berghold: To get the most from your speech analytics tool, it is helpful to remember the following acronym: P-O-L-I-C-E:
Prioritize: When implementing your program, ask yourself: Which search tools need to be created first? Which would make the most impact on my business?
Organize: Create tracking to communicate progress and share results with the team regularly.
Listen: Your analytic demands can come from a variety of sources: law changes, company compliance reviews, client process changes/concerns and operations feedback. Be willing to meet with all of these areas within your company to determine needs and evaluate your search’s effectiveness.
Investigate: Gauge your search’s effectiveness through on-going tests and performance reviews.
Communicate: Keep everyone on the team informed of changes to searches and your voice analytic system’s overall performance.
Evaluate: Continually monitor and review your searches. Remember that there are infinite words and phrases that a consumer can use in regards to “collections.”
What is a mistake to avoid when selecting/using speech analytics software?
Weiss: Know what you want out of the product, and that the product can meet your wants and needs. For example, a lot of products, as good as they may be, are built for managers and compliance leaders. It was important to me that we used a product that was collector-centric. We got really lucky [with our system], because it is all about coaching collectors, then has a management dashboard to support the data. To me that lifts the power of the product enormously.
Berghold: Do not assume that, once you have created a search or category, you are done! A company should choose an option that can grow with their business. Collections is an industry that can require immediate compliance due to regulation/client reporting changes. Being able to modify your searches and even add on to your speech analytics program can make the transition easier and put you in front of the competition.
What is your favorite feature of your speech analytics software?
Weiss: You’d have to see it to believe it. [Our system] provides a checklist for required call steps that is fully customized. It offers collectors suggested scripting and coaching tips based on statements that the consumers make. Finally, if it is set up to do so, [our system] can provide the collector with a short call review after each call showing the collector what she or he did well, and what could be improved upon. In full disclosure, my consulting company, The Collections Coach, has worked with [this system] to provide an advanced scripting I call “Real Time Coach” which allows new users to plug and play [the system] in a matter of a few days, rather than several weeks.
Berghold: The ease of creating a search and being able to get immediate results. Quick construction of an analytic search assures compliance and allows operations to develop the collections team through timely coaching and correction.