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Applying Speech Analytics for Debt Collection

5 min read
Author Business Systems UK
Date Mar 28, 2012
Category Speech and Interaction Analytics

Effective debt collection is a tricky balancing act between collecting revenue and avoiding spending more time or money than is necessary to do this. Speech analytics provides a vital window into the interactions between agents and debtors and helps collection agencies identify where changes need to come from to give them a leading edge when competing for portfolios and collection accounts.

Keeping your agents working towards the highest return on every phone call

Speech analytics can help debt collection agencies recognise the opportunities their agents miss by simply failing to ask debtors to make a payment – which surprising numbers of collections agents fail to do when not being effectively monitored.By monitoring key behaviours via agent audio, these behaviours can be measured and tracked against monetary performance – the techniques that yield the greatest return can be mapped out by quality staff and introduced into coaching sessions.

Over time, properly focused training will return greater profits across fewer calls. Leading debt collection agencies that have implemented speech analytics within their call centres have reaped benefits in every aspect of their interactions. Not only have they been able to quantify problems but also identify the agent behaviours underlying them, fix processes accordingly and return more ‘promises to pay’ and higher settlements achieved in each call. At the same time, speech analytics helps reduce expensive inefficiencies. Speech analytics quickly highlights long calls and the conversations driving them, helping organisations cut these down and maximise profits per agent hour. Supervisor time is also wasted in finding and listening to single calls that give no real understanding of key trends and issues – speech analytics ‘listens’ to 100% of calls, saving hours of management time in the organisations that use it.

Keeping ahead of the regulators

The other great challenge in debt collection lies in ensuring that agents do not violate guidelines set down by regulatory bodies to prevent the mistreatment of debtors. Failure to comply with these guidelines will incur fines from regulators that can cripple your business. Speech analytics would allow a call centre manager to establish current levels of compliance and identify any troubling behaviours. UK Regulatory bodies like the FSA and Ofcom have access to speech analytics in order to investigate complaints by consumers; debt collection agencies should consider keeping themselves one step ahead of potential investigations and complaints by taking the preventative step of installing speech analytics.

Keeping ahead of the competition

Traditional, narrow call sampling techniques are not sufficient for understanding and developing agent-debtor interactions to achieve the greatest return on agent efforts. Ultimately, speech analytics can be used to compete for the best portfolios and keep your staff performing at their highest potential, helping you maintain a strong hold on what is currently one of the most lucrative UK markets.
If you found this blog post interesting, we’ve recently put together an updated article which goes into more detail. Check out our latest article on this topic – The Business Sense of Speech Analytics for Debt Collection‘.