Over the past decade, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics have transformed many business processes. Virtually every data-rich organization now claims to be “gaining actionable insights from AI.” For businesses considering analytics, it can be difficult to separate the hype from the hope and understand just what these solutions can do. Will the benefits they offer outweigh concerns about bringing on unfamiliar systems and changing time-tested methods?
Today, a new generation of AI-based speech analytics solutions are being implemented by call centers across numerous industries to help increase sales, support regulatory compliance and improve customer service. Systems tailored specifically to the ARM industry are easier to integrate into agency routines than many owners and leaders assume. But how well can they really address the major challenges that most agencies face?
How Speech Analytics Benefit Stakeholders Throughout Your Organization
Let’s have a look at four main agency challenges to see how AI-based speech analytics can empower stakeholders across the organization to achieve success and exceed their goals.
1) Increasing collection rates
Because driving collections is the basic purpose of the ARM industry, enhancing each agent’s success at obtaining Promises to Pay (PTP) is a primary goal for every agency. Speech analytics insights can help in a number of ways.
- By analyzing successful calls that end with a PTP, AI identifies impactful elements that agents can adopt to transform individual successes into repeatable processes.
- Analyzing agent performance data for specific consumer demographic groups can help agencies identify the customers with whom each agent is most likely to succeed, so assignments can be adjusted accordingly.
- AI can also identify customer sentiments and provide relevant feedback to agents so they can pitch conversations appropriately -- for instance, empathetically or with a businesslike tone. It can also give agents constructive feedback regarding how they come across to customers (e.g. as aggressive or tentative). Feedback from an objective source can help agents fine-tune their soft communication skills to significantly improve outcomes of future conversations.
2) Reducing legal risk in real time
Traditional monitoring processes depend on sampling that covers just a small percentage of interactions. Agencies remain unaware of missteps and violations in unmonitored conversations unless – or until -- a complaint is filed or a regulator knocks on the door.
Even when issues are successfully uncovered through sampling, remediation is often slow. Audit results may be received only monthly, delaying intensive monitoring of problematic agents and their retraining. By the time post-training performance is assessed, several weeks might have passed.
In contrast, AI-based monitoring solutions audit 100% of calls and flag violations as they occur, providing a clearer, timelier, and more comprehensive picture of legal risks. Mitigation and agent retraining can be initiated immediately, with ongoing monitoring of “risky” agents ensuring compliant conduct and preventing repeat offenses. Advanced compliance monitoring platforms may integrate a coaching layer that issues bite-sized lessons and instructional videos to agents as violations are flagged and repeated. (To learn more about monitoring-triggered training, read our blog post “Modern agent training: The path to agency success” )
3) Boosting operational efficiency
Reviews and other manual QC tasks are tedious, time-consuming and repetitive. By automating tasks, AI frees QC teams for higher-level work. Systems tailored to the ARM industry may come with FDCPA and UDAAP guidelines built in, minimizing initial configuration efforts for operations staff. Advanced solutions automatically issue a scorecard for each call, reducing review time to mere minutes. Violations are automatically logged into the system, and task management functions make it easy for QC and operations leaders to follow up on mitigation tasks. Data analysis tools offer deeper insights into operational performance and ways to improve efficiency, performance and compliance.
4) Lowering agent stress and churn
While agents may initially have reservations about AI monitoring feeling intrusive, most quickly come to appreciate the guidance that AI assistance offers. Understanding what actions to take to optimize conversions and increase PTP rates provides a sense of control and increases workplace satisfaction.
With some AI solutions, agents can evaluate their own performance through personal dashboards and build skills by consuming micro-learning nuggets recommended by the solution. This transforms the review process from sporadic and stressful to ongoing and self-driven. The result? More autonomous, motivated and confident agents, reduced churn, higher productivity and increased collection rates.
Digital Channel Analytics: The Next Frontier
While first-generation speech analytics solutions have been available for a number of years, many simply monitored conversations for specific keywords and as a result, generated a flood of false positives. In contrast, new generation AI-based systems like Sedric “understand” conversational context and therefore provide more precise results with much lower false positive rates. Sedric leverages insights gained from conversation monitoring to improve the entire process, from automating remediation to building customized training programs for each agent.
With Reg F giving the green light for the use of digital channels to communicate with debtors, extending monitoring to these channels is the next compliance management frontier. The Sedric platform monitors all interactions -- voice, text, chat and social media messages -- generating interaction analytics that allow compliance officers to rest easy at night.