“I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum potential” - Bob Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot.
Mr. Nardelli’s words echo much of the same sentiments we hear from account recovery professionals - coaching frontline collectors with new skills and capabilities is a top priority and key to agency success. Yet, it’s easier said than done. In fact, “failure to train” is one of the main reasons for enforcement actions against debt collection agencies.
Coaching mitigates compliance issues and performance-related failures, including poor negation skills, objection handling, or operating with a lack of empathy. Your program should be designed to address a range of critical day-to-day functions and responsibilities. Some examples: How do you identify the weak spots of every individual agent? How do you create engaging training sessions where people will retain the material? And how often can you pull busy agents from the collection floors to training sessions without impacting your bottom line?
At Sedric, we recognized training needs to evolve from paper-based manuals and town-hall-style lectures. We saw coaching as a vital piece of our mission to help ARM businesses boost collections while staying compliant. Everyone can use a coach to up their game, and today we are excited to announce a new agent training module dedicated to upskilling today’s collection agents.
The new application uses monitoring data to deliver agents engaging, bite-sized training videos, according to their individual compliance and performance challenges. With AI Avatar technology, we enable agencies to easily create personalized micro-learning videos that frontline collectors can watch at their own pace. The end goal: maximizing collection success and minimizing legal exposure and costs.
We’ve been piloting the training app for several months, and the feedback and results have been highly positive. After using the app, collectors have seen significant improvements in their operations and outcomes:
- 30% + increase in cash collected
- 40% decrease in compliance violations
- 50% reduction in 1:1 collector reviews and coaching sessions after the first month
Our clients attribute the success and effectiveness of the training app to several of its features, including personalization and the innovative use of video and AI to deliver an immersive experience. As an extra benefit, they mention the reduced need for collective team training sessions and the associated loss of team productivity.
The true game changer, however, is the fact that with the Sedric coaching app, agencies can dramatically shorten the time that elapses between errors that occur in consumer interactions, to the moment an agent receives the relevant feedback. While with manual sampling and reviews, it often takes a month or more until violations are surfaced and addressed. Sedric provides agents with individual feedback and coaching as soon as the platform detects recurring deficiencies. This prevents errors and underperforming conduct to sink in and create repeat exposure and missed collection opportunities.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel Yourself: The Training Library
While every agency has its own policies and procedures, there are regulatory requirements that are the same for all players, with little room for interpretation. This is why we have added an extensive library of videos explaining FDCPA, FTCA, and UDAAP requirements to the training module. The library enables collection agencies to quickly roll out training on critical compliance requirements that pertain to every frontline agent.
Mini Miranda explainer - one example from the Sedric coaching video library
Get Trendy: TikTok Style Training
Video training is a highly effective tool that has been shown to increase accessibility and retention rates and improve performance. Studies show that viewers remember 95% of a message when watching a video compared to 10% when reading it in text. By delivering training in short-form and on-demand, agents can consume the content at their own pace and convenience. Quiz questions at the end of each video and opportunities for feedback help assess the effectiveness of the training.
Trainers can use our app to convert their existing training manuals and textual training content into TikTok-style videos without hiring a professional editing or voice-over artist. AI transforms written content simply into videos, at the click of a button. That capability allows trainers and compliance leaders to stay in front of their development program and build new custom training content for their agents, as regulations get updated or new policies are introduced.
Easing trainers’ workload
At a time of high agent turnover, trainers are challenged with an increased flux of new hires that need to be onboarded and closely monitored during their first time on the collection floor. Sedric can help here as well. Automated monitoring of training calls and subsequent customization of video training programs allows trainers to get new agents up on speed with a reduced time investment and without increasing risk. Agencies with remote collectors in particular reported that the coaching app enabled them to better track how these individuals were doing on calls and provide them the guidance needed. Intuitive dashboards let trainers follow up on performance improvements with a simple look at a dashboard that simplifies overseeing individuals and teams. To make life easier also for the compliance team, all training efforts and outcomes are documented and easily “pullable” for reports and audits.
There is a lot to consider when building a training and coaching program but don't let the idea of building a comprehensive training system seem overwhelming. Sedric's agent coaching app is designed to make training easier, more effective, and less time-consuming for agencies. Contact us for a demo.
“Training and monitoring of consumer-facing employees will be critical to ensure that an organization is compliant. Technology will support and help the credit and collections industry meet demanding obligations with ease and efficiency, in order to produce the outcomes a regulator wants to see.”
Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance Group
“Our challenge going forward is to position our industry and our companies as desirable places to work. We must implement diversity, equity and inclusion in our workplaces, and get the word out that we have changed. Ask your newest employees for feedback—what would make our workplace desirable for their friends and acquaintances? In this post-pandemic world, getting people to crawl out of their comfortable cocoons may be difficult, but it can be done!”
“In the last few years, the buzz of the call centers faded away. Now that many people still have the opportunity to continue to work from home, performance directors need to pivot their focus. We need to ensure that the training is effective in this new environment. The move is from hours in a classroom setting to immediate, personalized micro-learning units that enforce the corrective behaviors.”
“The digital collections movement continues to be in full steam and we are excited to see all of the new technologies that are coming into the ARM industry to help drive enhanced collection performance in a compliant manner. We anticipate additional M&A consolidation globally in the ARM industry, as more digital ARM companies look to accelerate market entry and obtain blue-chip clients and deploy digital-first solutions.”
“Digitization will be critically accelerated in 2023. Recovery organizations may be required to furnish consumers’ account data through consumer-selected platforms that will likely be different from organizations’ traditional payment portals. Organizations should start preparing their technology and operations for that contingency now to harness the trend to their benefit.”
“Data is the new oil, and extracting data from all sources, especially voice, will be a must-have in 2023. We are in the age of machine learning, and ML runs on data. Getting ALL the data and getting it into one place for the ML to do what it can are the key differences between organizations that will make it and those that don't.”
“In 2023, collectors and creditors will be required to work closer together. Reg F oversight requirements have created a new reality of shared compliance responsibility. Servicers and creditors can better collaborate by using new data-driven compliance platforms that provide all parties with critical insights and generate the transparency and trust needed to succeed in a tightening regulatory climate.”
As Gen Z enters the workforce, you’ll have up to four generations in your agency. Everyone learns differently. Young people learn from TikTok videos, and there is a professional term for this: micro-learning. Such short videos are especially efficient when sent out close to the time when the violation occurred.
Barron & Newburger
The most efficient training systems I’ve seen are those which build surgical, data-driven compliance content and provide agents the exact training they need when they most need it. This approach avoids wasting time and money on training which does not address the need. Continuous, role-based training programs that focus on the needs of each individual agent are some of the most efficient and effective I’ve seen.
Bedard Law Group
“Training is only going to be effective if it's done at or near the time the violation occurred. As agents handle hundreds of calls a week they will not have the capacity to remember particular moments of each consumer interaction. Therefore, effective monitoring will be critical to address the deficiency when it happens, in order to remediate quickly so that it does not become a systemic problem going forward.”
Consumer Financial Services Regulatory & Compliance Group