Speech Technology Magazine

 

The 2014 Implementation Awards

By The Editors of Speech Technology - Posted Jul 31, 2014
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Customer: State Collection Service
Vendor: CallMiner
Product: CallMiner Eureka Customer Interaction Analytics

State Collection Service, based in Madison, WI, began serving the healthcare industry in 1949. Sixty-five years later, the family-owned company provides collection, early-out, third-party receivables, and bad debt services for high-profile healthcare providers across the nation. It currently employs 300 agents at three locations in Wisconsin and one in Chicago.

To monitor and measure each of its agents, the company in late 2012 turned to CallMiner Eureka to automate its quality management program, allowing it to run quality assurance on 100 percent of the more than 40,000 inbound and outbound calls handled by agents every day, and to support compliance with the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and related state laws. It began recording calls in September 2012 and rolled out the quality assurance scoring component in January 2013.

State Collection Service scoured the market for a proven speech analytics solution that would drive the most value and integrate easily into its IT environment, according to Tracy Dudek, the company's vice president of operations. "CallMiner had a great solution backed up by solid references in our market space. Eureka provides us with a basis of differentiation and helps us deliver a more compelling service to our clients."

Prior to the CallMiner implementation, State Collection Service had been recording calls, but was using handwritten quality assurance forms. A team of quality assurance agents was responsible for reviewing five calls per agent per month, a very small sampling of the total number of calls handled. It was a manual and time-consuming process that took a handful of full-time employees to complete.

The current process is fully automated, which has helped State Collection Service recoup more than 4,000 employee hours per year. "CallMiner took a lot of the manual work away," Dudek says.

"You can get a lot more information when you monitor all calls versus just five a month. We have so much more data now. And it's not anecdotal, it's all factual," she continues. "We're monitoring calls in a way that we just weren't able to before for things like compliance, professionalism, and courtesy."

Also key to the decision to deploy CallMiner Eureka was the software's ability to identify characteristics exhibited by top-performing agents so the company could then use that information to train other telephone reps. With CallMiner Eureka, State Collection Service was able to identify key negotiation words that top-performing agents used. For example, agents who highlighted the amount of time required to pay off an existing balance in full performed better. It also found that when agents used empowerment language, such as "I would be happy to explain the charges to you," "Have I resolved all of your concerns today?" and "Thank you for your payment," customer satisfaction increased.

"We never had a way to measure if the caller had a good experience on the phone," Dudek says. "We have that now. CallMiner gives us a good picture of the total call and everything that happened on the line."

State Collection Service built its own scorecard to align, measure, improve, and incentivize correct agent behaviors. Key metrics include use of the proper financial and negotiation language, overall call length, average duration of silence, courtesy, and regulatory compliance. By implementing the scorecard and attaching compensation to its results, State Collection Service has been able to drive increased representative productivity.

First-call resolution has increased by more than 23 percent, agent compensation as a percentage of revenue has decreased from 39.6 percent to 34.8 percent, and average revenue per agent per month has increased from $7,509 to $9,787. Agent quality assurance scores have increased by 14 percent, and the amount of silence during calls has decreased by 12 percent. Call handling times, new agent ramp-up times, and the amount of time needed for agents to familiarize themselves with new clients have also decreased.

Based on that success, State Collection Service plans to roll out several of CallMiner's other products, including its CallMiner EurekaLive, a real-time call center quality assurance solution that monitors in-progress calls for the presence or absence of specific language or acoustic characteristics.

"It's been a great implementation so far. There have been a lot of really significant operational improvements," Dudek says.

The results

Since implementing CallMiner Eureka, State Collection Service has seen the following:

  • first-call resolution increase by more than 23 percent;
  • agent compensation as a percentage of revenue decrease from 39.6 percent to 34.8 percent;
  • average revenue per agent per month increase from $7,509 to $9,787;
  • agent quality assurance scores increaseby 14 percent; and
  • the amount of silence during calls decrease by 12 percent.