9 Ways to Increase Successful Debt Collections by Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Speech Analytics Software

Operating a collections agency is a complex task involving lots of moving parts. In recent years, artificial intelligence has entered the field as a solution to some common industry challenges. In particular, artificial intelligence and speech analytics software may help streamline and strengthen an organization's operations and may be leveraged to aid a company in nine big ways.

1. A/B test to find which phrases best drive successful debt collections.

Have you ever wondered which of two phrases is more effective? A/B testing is a smart and effective solution for collecting data regarding the performance of different phrasing options. At a collections agency, A/B testing with artificial intelligence and speech analytics software is beneficial because it allows an agent to track two categories of conversations where all script lines except one remain the same. The results of A/B testing provide agents with insight into how best to address calls and complete the most successful debt collections.

2. Adhere to FDCPA regulations.

It is imperative to follow regulations in order to operate legally and protect a collections agency from preventable risk. So as to keep both themselves and their agents safe from risk, employers may use artificial intelligence and speech analytics software to assess agents' phone communications and assure that they are not engaging in four types of behavior prohibited by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): harassment, unsubstantiated threats and threatening arrest, false claims, and unfair practices.[1]

3. Automatically track KPIs.

By tracking KPIs such as successful contact and first-call collection, collections agencies stand to gain valuable performance-related data. Artificial intelligence and speech analytics software may be implemented to follow these benchmarks and determine company and/or individual success—however that may be defined—over time. With artificial intelligence and speech analytics software in place, it's not a problem if agents miscategorize their dispositions.

4. Create competition.

Employee engagement is a pain point in many collections agencies. It is important to work to grow engagement and keep agents active and motivated. One way to achieve better engagement is to promote healthy competition amongst agents. Using artificial intelligence and speech analytics software, managers can automatically rank their agents based upon performance in real-time. Scores—both between one agent from week-to-week and across all agents—serve as benchmarks. Providing concrete goals helps make work challenging yet fun.

5. Quicken the training process with consistent, comprehensive feedback from the start.

Habits form easily. As time passes, behaviors become routine, and it grows harder to encourage agents to change. For this reason, it is crucial to promote positive and effective work practices from the start. Using artificial intelligence and speech analytics software, an employer eliminates the lag between the call and the feedback to get agents performing well faster.

6. Maintain PCI compliance.

Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards apply to any business or entity that accepts payment via credit card. Remaining compliant keeps customers' credit card information safe. It is important for collections agencies not just to establish but also to maintain PCI compliance by consistently employing safeguard measures. Also, it is important to redact other sensitive information such as social security numbers and drivers' license information. Artificial intelligence and speech analytics software can easily and automatically redact card data and other sensitive information from all audio recordings.

7. Confirm dispositions.

Use artificial intelligence and speech analytics software to check agents' dispositions. Mistakes happen, and agents may miscategorize calls. Alternatively, it is possible that disposition options are too broad or not comprehensive enough. Artificial intelligence and speech analytics software can monitor calls to assess if this is the case. It is important to have complete and accurate dispositions, since collections agencies often use this information to assess call techniques and the strength of their contact database information.

8. Score every single call.

Many collections agencies hold thousands of phone conversations every day. How does an employer determine where each agent needs additional training? By using artificial intelligence and speech analytics software, a collections agency can automatically, without assigning a person to do so manually, score all customer communications to pinpoint every agent's strengths and weaknesses. This allows the manager to focus time on where each agent needs the most coaching.

9. Receive objective scores for each call.

When it comes to scores, bias is never desired. When calls are scored manually, complex workplace dynamics and pre-existing relationships may play into score results – whether intentionally or unintentionally. By using artificial intelligence and speech analytics software, a collections agency can eliminate scorer bias and automatically, without someone doing so manually, assess all calls from an objective point of view. Plus, when artificial intelligence is used to score calls, results are more accurate than if done so manually, especially with calls lasting longer than five minutes. Ultimately, the onboarding process benefits when agents receive honest and fair performance scores.

Take advantage of artificial intelligence and speech analytics software to help ease and improve the daily operations of collections agencies. As the landscape of the industry continues to develop, staying on top of the latest technology will prove more important than ever in differentiating your company from the rest.

[1] https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0149-debt-collection