Debt collection is a massive industry, especially in the United States. In fact, the USA is among the top 10 industrial nations with the most household debts. This means debt collectors are consistently on the phone trying to recover payments. This arduous process can cause hostile and dishonest practices that have led to heavy regulations within the debt collection sector. Because of this, agents are required to follow strict parameters, while still offering excellent customer service. This is not an easy task, but call monitoring tools, such as speech analytics, can help mitigate some of the customer service risks involved in debt collecting.
Challenges Within the Debt Collecting Industry
All debt collection agencies are bound to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), along with numerous other federal and state laws and regulations. These guidelines ensure that all collection practices are free from common taboos, such as fraud, abusive language, and violating the debtors’ rights. As such, debt collection agents must be extremely mindful of their behavior. For instance, debt collectors are required to identify themselves on calls as debt collectors; they cannot use deception or lies to settle a debt; and they are prohibited from calling incessantly or harassing a customer. This is just to name a few of the litany of restrictions for agents.
Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to consumers filing lawsuits (and many often do) against debt collectors who violate the law, which then leads to fines and penalties. In addition, debt collection agencies found guilty of these violations have to pay for damages and legal fees. Even with debt collectors’ who take extra precautions to ensure their agents are being thoroughly compliant, consumer complaints continue to plague them.
How Speech Analytics Can Help
Fortunately, there’s hope. Implementing an automated call monitoring solution like speech analytics with agent scorecards can help debt collection companies reach 100% compliancy while still providing excellent service. By scanning all calls for specific words and phrases, speech analytics can easily identify calls where agents have fallen short of meeting industry standards, such as not following a set script or using offensive language.
Speech analytics tools can also detect if agents are providing accurate information about a customer’s balance, payment due date, and other important information. This data can be used to improve training processes for both new and current agents, allowing managers to efficiently and effectively correct any problematic behavior. Plus, by recording and archiving all phone conversations, collections agencies can more easily resolve or settle litigious disputes and regulatory compliance hearings. As a result, they will save a lot of time and money.
There are a multitude of rules and standards for the collections agency industry. Ensuring that regulations are met can be very stressful for these agencies and their agents. That’s why a call monitoring solution like speech analytics can help agencies avoid violating laws, ensure their agents are being fully compliant, and drastically mitigate any risks. With speech analytics, debt collection agencies – and their customers – can breathe a little easier.