What Role Does Speech Analytics Play in Contact Center Compliance?

by Jason Napierski from CallMiner / March 31st, 2015

Collections contact centers and Accounts Receivables Management (ARM) firms face a constant challenge: maximizing payments while staying compliant and up-to-date with on new rules and regulations.  The ramifications of neglecting to do so can be severe: The latest WebRecon statistics show 3,204 consumers filed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaints against debt collectors in January 2015 and roughly 929 consumers filed lawsuits under consumer statutes during that same time period.

To address this challenge, contact centers can take advantage of speech analytics solutions to analyze thousands of hours of recorded calls and help mitigate risk.  The end result is not only improved contact center compliance but also increased recovery rates and better agent performance. Here’s a closer look at the role speech analytics plays in contact center compliance:

Identify compliance risk:

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the debt collections industry is predicted to experience a 23% rate of growth between now and 2016. The data shows much of the increased demand for debt collection services will come from doctors’ offices, hospitals, and government agencies.

Due to the resulting high volume of collection calls, staying within state and federal licensing laws will become increasingly critical for contact centers in the years to come.  Manual samples of recorded calls or contacts provide little to no prevention of non-compliant behavior or protection against litigation.  With speech analytics software in place, however, contact centers can reduce or eliminate fines or lawsuits associated with the CFPB and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  Speech analytics also tracks abusive or risky language (from either the agent or the consumer) that can lead to potential violations.

Improve Agent Monitoring:

Aside from eliminating compliance risk, speech analytics solutions also provide the indirect benefit of helping agents improve their performance. By using speech analytics, collections contact centers and ARM firms can uncover issue root causes and develop strategic recommendations to address compliance risks as quickly as possible.

Because poor collector performance can represent a significant risk to the organization, speech analytics reveals behaviors and activities that lead to successful collections, as well as those factors that may be contributing to negative agent performance.  Southwest Credit, for example, implemented speech analytics software in its quality assurance department to ensure new CFPB regulations were being adhered to a high percentage of the time.  With the software in place, agents and management teams now receive scorecards on a weekly and monthly basis that highlight the actions that can be taken to improve overall quality scores.

Increase Recovery Rates

By quickly identifying which agents are in need of training or require more grounding in compliance policies, speech analytics not only improves agent performance, but also increases promise to pay ratios. According to a Fico Labs article, speech analytics software for a leading debt recovery company revealed that agents failed to follow the company’s “ask for payment” process 60% of the time!

With the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report showing that total household indebtedness across the U.S. is now $11.71 trillion, asking for collections payment is more important than ever.  Add to that complexity that approximately 30 million Americans have at least one debt in collections and it’s easy to see that making strides to increase recovery rates isn’t something that should be taken lightly.

Final Thoughts

Contact center agents working in collections face a unique set of challenges with potentially serious ramifications. Fortunately, speech analytics solutions can help by analyzing thousands of hours of recorded calls, resulting in improved compliance, increased recovery rates, better agent performance, and more.

How has your collections contact center used speech analytics for improved business outcomes?

An earlier version of this blog appeared on CallMiner.

About The Author

Jason Napierski is a Product Marketing Manager for CallMiner and authors much of the company’s thought leadership content, including white papers, case studies, and other articles on technology trends and contact center best practices.