CBE Lets Companies Collect with CallMiner Platform

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CBE Group has a long history in the accounts receivable management business, having served customers since 1933. Today, the Cedar Falls, Iowa–based business employs nearly 1,000 people in four locations, and has over 500 clients in a variety of industries, including healthcare, utilities, satellite telecommunications, financial services, education, and government. The company focuses on maximizing the recovery of accounts receivables for lenders and service providers via first-party accounts receivable collections and charged-off debt recovery.

CBE originally installed CallMiner Eureka Speech Analytics Version 7.1 in November 2010, and upgraded to Version 8.1 in July 2012. According to CBE, the upgrade of the software strengthens its investment in speech analytics and positions it to deliver greater value in its accounts receivable management solutions. The long-term impact of the upgrade will be seen through increased performance and compliance, the company said.

The integration and application of speech analytics has been vital to CBE's ability to proactively ensure compliance, pinpoint training opportunities, and monitor trends—all without the time-intensive task of listening to recorded calls.

For clients, the payoff is significant. Not only does the system offer a valuable resource, but it spawns greater compliance, efficiency, and ultimately performance, as well, according to CBE.

CallMiner Eureka speech analytics software allows CBE to extract meaningful business intelligence from recorded calls and complete quality assurance and compliance reviews on every collection call made. CallMiner notes indicators of stress, excess silence, or other signs to indicate calls where additional collector training may promote a more favorable outcome.

"We're making hundreds of thousands of calls a day," says Chad Benson, chief operating officer of CBE Group. "Being able to efficiently and systematically analyze every single one makes it possible to respond quickly to change, measure the success of client initiatives, monitor expectations of associates, and have a better understanding of what is being communicated on the phone."

CallMiner Eureka captures customer conversations from a variety of sources—predominantly recorded phone calls, but also chats, emails, and any other channel in which organizations communicate with their customers. The system directly connects with these third-party sources of data and pulls the conversations in.

Along with those conversations come metadata or attributes associated with the conversation, as well as information on which agent handled the interaction, when it occurred, and whether it was in a specific location or department. This may include a customer identifier, which allows Eureka to associate any CRM data with the interaction, such as the length of time someone has been a customer, the services they subscribe to, or the amount of their outstanding debt.

The first thing Eureka does is normalize conversations into data; in the case of calls, this means recognizing words spoken on the call and any acoustic metrics, such as silence, agitation, tempo, length of contact, etc. With text-based communication, Eureka parses the text out of the source file of the conversation into words and punctuation.

Next is automated categorization, in which contacts with similar characteristics are tagged according to a set of rules. These rules typically regard language patterns (the presence or absence of certain language), whether the appropriate procedures are followed in the collections process, and other key components specified by the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

Every contact (or targeted contact) is then scored based on a combination of measures. The system takes disparate measures of activity on the call, such as "Was the proper procedure followed?" and "How much silence was on the call?" and combines those into a weighted average or summed score. At this point, all of the unstructured information stored in the conversations has been converted into structured data that can be analyzed, searched, and measured.

Lastly, Eureka looks at thresholds, trends, and other aspects of correlation and then presents feedback in an easy-to-understand and consumable fashion for contact center managers, supervisors, and agents. Eureka also delivers reports and scorecards to users and provides a full analytics application for conducting searches, discovery, and root cause analysis.

CBE turned to speech analytics after seeing a negative trend in certain areas of performance within a team of employees. The platform allowed the company to quickly identify specific factors contributing to the trend, determine the root causes, and then implement a fast plan for improvement. Continued trending showed a 299 percent improvement in just seven months.

A recent policy change by CBE affected the order in which certain disclaimers are stated during a phone call. Now, with speech analytic capabilities, CBE can measure compliance with the change through a custom tracking element within CallMiner. With continual trend monitoring, CBE can proactively pinpoint individuals or teams that can benefit from additional training. It is anticipated that this proactive measurement will reduce the time to implement the change by 200 percent.

After a client's competitive analysis metrics were released, CBE implemented corresponding custom speech analytic measurements. Not only was CBE able to inspect what was expected, but it as able to provide the ability to proactively influence trends. Scorecard performance improved from an average of 89.6 percent over three quarters to a recent 98.4 percent.

CallMiner's latest upgrade significantly increased the benefits CBE brings to its clients. Key features include:

  • a score builder tool that allows CBE to weight criteria in a way that pinpoints analysis and training on high-priority goals like compliance and performance;
  • an enhanced format with improved graphics, drill-down capabilities, export features, tag clouds, and criteria-based sorting that enhances the ability to analyze scores and see trends; and
  • the capability for supervisors to analyze scored calls, make comparisons, identify trends, and extract specific details, allowing them to learn from their success and be proactive about individual improvement.

"Utilizing speech analytics in our operations has made a significant difference for us and, more importantly, our clients," says Benson. "Speech analytics has proven to be a benefit for our clients—directly and indirectly. When we can be more efficient, more compliant, and more productive, it means more bottom-line ROI for our clients.

"The key to our success with speech analytics doesn't come from just having the tool," he continues. "We've invested a great amount of time and resources into truly integrating it into our business and our culture. We've customized the program, incorporated it into our training and quality assurance programs, and extended access to everyone in operational management so they can leverage the tool right on the call center floor."

App at a Glance

Since installing Callminer Eureka Speech Analytics,CBE Group has:

  • seen a 9.6 percent increase in collection revenues;
  • reduced the time needed to implement changes by 200 percent; and
  • noted scorecard performance improvement from an average of 89.6 percent over three quarters to 98.4 percent.

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