From Collector: Evolving Compliance Strategies in Light of Advancing Voice Technologies

Advice and insight on implementing speech analytics from an ACA International member who has been there.

1/12/2018 10:00 AM

NewsCollector Magazine
From Collector: Evolving Compliance Strategies in Light of Advancing Voice Technologies

By G. Scott Purcell

We saw the business case for one of the newer call recording and speech analytics systems in our agency. Now that we have one, what’s interesting is the continual evolution of the technology’s power, and how we should, and do, continue to change how the system is used to ensure the greatest value is created at the lowest cost, ACA International Board Member G. Scott Purcell writes in the January issue of Collector magazine.

And that value must be evident in addressing any immediate fires, such as a call that didn’t go well, as well as easing and eliminating the flames of any future fires.

If you are bringing speech analytics into your operation, our biggest piece of advice is to schedule formal reviews at least twice a year to evaluate how the system is being used, challenge your assumptions as you learn more about what it really can accomplish, and understand the potential impact of continued enhancements created by your vendor.

The reality is that there are probably more than 20 different value drivers to our organization in using a platform like this.

Here are some of the processes that have evolved for us.

We use a call auditing and speech analytics solution from KG-Hawes, a sister company of ours. We have used the call auditing solution extensively to have a very large population of our calls audited by humans each day—with next-day feedback to the collection supervisors.

Now we are focused on reducing the proportion of calls audited by humans versus machine audits done by the analytics platform, while achieving an even greater proportion of work audited.

At ACA International’s Annual Convention & Expo in July, there was a fantastic presentation: “Incentivizing Accomplishment and Discouraging Negative Behavior.”

From the insights we gained in that presentation, we’re now auditing a sample of payment plan arrangements to ensure they are properly authorized. We’ve also added to our internal audit plan an additional emphasis on collectors whose variable compensation has large fluctuations to ensure their behaviors are consistently compliant.

This is a good place to plug the quality of ACA’s conferences. The world keeps changing quickly—and getting practical insight from how peers are addressing these evolving issues is exceedingly valuable to us.

Using trend information is really helpful to determine if coaching is paying off and tracking word usage is one of the ways we gather trend data. As an example, the words “tax refund” are used in the talk-off starting Jan. 15. On the morning of Jan. 16, I know which collectors haven’t bought into the fact it’s now tax season and can coach them accordingly.

The power of these systems allows for very targeted analysis. For example, we scan for various ways of saying “attorney represented.” Those calls are then available in a queue for our compliance team to do further analysis to ensure all process steps for that circumstance have been addressed.

We also monitor for the quality of the consumer’s experience. To that end, we look for the words “painful,” “horrible,” “terrible” and “disappointed” to identify conversations where there is potentially great feedback to consider.

One concern we had before implementing these systems was that increased auditing and scrutiny may have a negative impact on collector morale. We found the opposite to be true.

Not only can a system like this make for improved operations and ensure consistently compliant processes, but it’s also greatly appreciated by clients. Clients and prospects appreciate that we have these capabilities. It’s also helpful to meet unique customer needs.

Read more insights on advancing technology and compliance from G. Scott Purcell in the January issue of Collector magazine.

G. Scott Purcell is president of Professional Credit and a member of ACA International’s Board of Directors.

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