Agent Performance vs. Compliance. How Interaction Analytics Keeps the Scales Balanced


There’s been a lot of talk on some of the recent posts about the difference interaction analytics can have on performance management.  It can help supervisors relate agent performance back to corporate goals by providing them with calls that are relevant to the KPIs important to the company.  It also gives them ability to target coaching to the individual and dedicate a more significant portion of their time to doing so, because they’re no longer reliant on random call sampling that doesn’t give them the information they need to understand what issues each agent struggles with the most.  And while all of this is valuable and offers an approach that the industry has not yet seen, it does overlook a key component that is of vital importance in today’s changing world – the impact interaction analytics brings to the risk and compliance side of performance management.

Regulations are Changing the Financial World

In the credit and financial industries, the Dodd Frank Act in the US and the Financial Services Act in the UK are driving dozens of new regulations covering virtually the entire financial services space – retail banking, credit card processing, credit information services, investment banking, mortgage origination, consumer lending, etc. These new regulations, and energized regulators eager to enforce them, have already led to significant judgments against major industry players. Discover Card and American Express paid more than $200 million and $100 million, respectively, to settle allegations of deceptive sales practices. UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Barclays, after admitting to rigging LIBOR rates, have paid more than two billion dollars in fines.

 Balancing Priorities

Understanding the rules is one thing.  Ensuring that agents adhere to them, while still performing their job to achieve optimal results, is another.  Businesses must walk a tightrope, making sure you don’t tip too far in either direction and sacrifice one for the other.  That’s where having a solution like interaction analytics comes into play. Interaction analytics gives companies the ability to monitor 100% of their interactions, so that every call, from every agent, can be evaluated for all potential regulation infractions, like reading required disclosures like mini-Miranda to avoiding harassing language, and for key performance indicators important to corporate goals.

Interaction analytics categorizes calls by type and generates at-a-glance dashboards that show results at site, team and agent levels in relation to performance against key metrics such as compliance or use of language that could generate a complaint.  The results are generated using 100% of an agent’s interactions, ensuring risk exposure can be measured, not just extrapolated.  Additionally, features like real-time monitoring and alerting supplement post-call training opportunities with live-call intervention by sending notifications to agents and supervisors when the presence or absence of key phrases is detected as a call occurs.  This feature allows corrective measures to be taken before an interaction is terminated and a potential infraction is committed.

Companies Still Have Goals

No contact center is placing or receiving calls for the sole purpose of reading disclosure statements.  There’s always another goal in mind whether it’s attempting to collect a debt, sign up new customers to a credit card or handle inquiries about a financial card or service a customer already owns.  Each of these scenarios requires agents or collectors to have a unique set of skills and that requires training and follow-up coaching on the part of their supervisors to ensure that goals are met and skills are kept sharp.  Again, this is where interaction analytics plays a big role.  As mentioned by my colleagues, Mike Hutchison and Jonathan Wax, interaction analytics offers supervisors the opportunity to stop searching for the right calls to review and instead delivers the calls relevant to the metrics that agents most struggle with, allowing supervisors to do what they do best – provide targeted, one-on-one coaching that is specific to the needs of the individual.

Real-World Example

The results will speak for themselves.  You don’t have to take my word for it:  listen to Steve Mounds from Apex Credit Management talk about how interaction analytics worked for his team.  Apex applied analytics to their performance management program to not only improve overall collection performance, but to maintain compliance as well.

Continue the Conversation

The concept of using interaction analytics for the collections and financial services industry is such an important one right now, that we’ve dedicated a separate blog thread to it, located here.  It goes beyond just performance management and offers a greater understanding of how the solution can be applied to multiple business challenges the industry faces.  So if this is an area that’s relevant to you, check it out and let us know what you think; we’d love to hear your thoughts and start a dialogue.

Categories: Performance Management