Speech Technology Magazine

 

The 2016 Speech Industry Implementation Awards: Encore Capital Group

By Steve Chirokas - Posted Aug 1, 2016
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Customer: Encore Capital Group

Vendor: CallMiner

Product: CallMiner Eureka and MyEureka

CallMiner’s speech analytics is helping Encore Capital significantly improve its engagement and conversion rates through the predictive analysis of previous interactions and its behavioral impact on account managers, says Rick Britt, director of consumer data management and strategy at Encore Capital, the world’s largest debt buyer. More than 1,000 account managers located in the United States, Costa Rica, and India make up to 100,000 outbound calls per day to work with consumers in resolving their debt issues across the U.S.

Organizations frequently rely on speech analytics solutions such as CallMiner for compliancy reasons. Encore’s focus with CallMiner, however, is on using data from prior interactions to modify how agents speak and direct their next action.

Debt recovery must adhere to strict regulations such as disclosing the nature of the call at the beginning of each interaction. Encore found that the most unexpected benefit of CallMiner was the ability to analyze how account managers were delivering their “mini Miranda” intro including using specific words, the order of delivery, and even the impact of accents. CallMiner makes it reasonable to review the performance of all agents within these intros.

Encore discovered a remarkably tight correlation between better delivery and dramatically reduced hang-up rates within the introduction. As a result, account managers have been trained using the evidence generated by CallMiner to modify how they speak, reducing hang-up rates to an average of 17 percent from figures that were climbing as high as an alarming 45 percent.

CallMiner enables Encore to put to work the tremendous volume of metadata it has gathered from previous dialogues. More than 70 fields are utilized within CallMiner to generate predictive guidance for account management prioritizing, along with words to use to make conversations with debtors more productive. Sentiment, vocabulary, and other conversational elements are correlated with the use of CallMiner, plus Encore programming, to restack workloads, shift assignments to specially skilled agents, and prioritize calling. Results have included a 72 percent reduction in unproductive time, with a corresponding revenue increase of $1.4 million.

CallMiner’s contribution toward positive business results across a number of areas stems from the ability to make personalization a business benefit. Previously, Encore considered each account as “data,” with statistics derived from credit reports providing some input on likelihood to pay. With CallMiner, Encore can now overlay the dimension of “who that person is” based on characteristics filtered by CallMiner’s speech analytics to make conversations more effective. As Encore notes, “This data is unpurchaseable.” As a result, conversion rates have gone up more than 7 percent, with a revenue increase measured in the millions of dollars.

Personalization benefits are touching the lives of agents as well. Account managers can now listen to what are categorized as their good calls or bad calls on demand, helping them to self-modify their performance. Also, speech analytics is being used to train agents on specific issues.

Encore references a group of account managers who were having difficulty with language skills. Managers were able to identify words marked as frequent problems within CallMiner reports; they were then able to change scripts to avoid the most problematic words and phrases and used an internal wiki to help modify the delivery of other conversational elements.

CallMiner has enabled management to more effectively assist their account managers via the use of evidence that is highly personalized to each agent. Speech analytics is not being used as a “compliance hammer” at Encore; rather, account managers and their supervisors are taking advantage of CallMiner’s resources to enhance their debt collection results and advance within the organization—some account managers have been promoted due to recognized improvement.

But it’s not just about the technology. “CallMiner was the calm, we were the storm,” Britt says, describing how CallMiner contributed to Encore customization requirements. Encore has taken CallMiner’s speech analytics foundation to new heights with significant integration to internal systems and data resources, supported by close collaboration with CallMiner’s technical team.

Encore Capital is one of the rare organizations that can say that “our best customer never comes back.” Many are clearly not returning as CallMiner helps Encore Capital make speech analytics the center of Encore’s operational intelligence. 

THE RESULTS

After implementing Eureka and MyEureka, Encore Capital Group has seen:

• a drop in unproductive time of 800 hours a month, a 72 percent reduction;

• a $1.4 million revenue increase, attributed to increased productive time;

• a 7.83 percent increase in conversion rates, with significant revenue gain; and

• reduced account manager attrition with higher satisfaction.

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