With the transition to remote work in many offices, auto lenders must ensure customer service standards are upheld and loan servicing is timely and accurate — tasks that become more challenging as consumers look for quick assistance during the pandemic.
Westlake Financial Services, for one, has turned to behavior-based coaching to identify quickly, and on a mass scale, how agents need to be coached. This cuts down on the time it takes to advise employees and address call volume, Brian Renfro, vice president of servicing, told Auto Finance Excellence.
“You want to maximize your time on these calls, you want to maximize an agent’s effort, you want to maximize the borrower’s time,” Renfro said. “There’s so many pieces of the puzzle that make up a call.”
While Westlake already has a system in place to listen to calls and identify skills in need of improvement, the process of listening to calls and individually coaching employees is tedious, Renfro noted. With the coaching software, Westlake is able to zero in on specific behaviors by reviewing call transcripts and analyzing weekly coaching trends.
“We’re not reinventing how to how to do a phone call; we’re not reinventing the behaviors; this is just an opportunity for us to get better at doing our jobs with regards to coaching folks,” Renfro said.
Using a coaching platform also improves a call center’s ability to find mistakes, Westlake Service Manager Jennifer Horton said. “You can spend all of your time listening to every call,” she said. With behavior-based coaching, lenders can read transcripts of the calls, and identify where something has been missed, she explained.
Coaching becomes especially important when dealing with delinquencies and consumer loan payments, Renfro added. He noted that when a customer says they cannot pay, it’s easy for agents to skip additional questions to learn why the customer is struggling to make payments and how the lender can resolve the issue.
Since adopting behavior-based coaching, Westlake has seen a 34% increase in the rate of employee adherence to the lender’s best practice of speaking with customers to understand why they struggle to pay, Renfro said. Westlake Financial partners with VoiceOps, an AI-powered coaching software, for its call centers.
Further, behavior-based coaching helps to eliminate redundancies, Renfro said. “It covers a lot of the items in the call that we need to know, to save us time and additional supervisor work — all the things that at the end of the day cost a lot of money,” he said. “We can hopefully establish what we need to establish within that one call and not a repeated conversation.”
Auto Finance Innovation Summit, the premier event for technology in auto finance, returns March 16-17, 2021, as a virtual experience. The virtual experience will offer the quality networking and education of past events, all through an online platform. To learn more about the 2021 event and register, visit www.AutoFinanceInnovation.com.