Is Overtalk Impacting Your Collection Outcome? Here’s How Speech Analytics Can Help

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It’s more common than you might think for both the agent and the consumer to talk over each other during conversations. This is okay to some extent during collection-focused conversations, but too much of it can negatively impact the agent’s performance and the overall outcome of the call.

After analyzing 65 million calls in 2022, we found that calls with less talking over each other had a better customer satisfaction score (by 2%) than the 22% of calls that had some overtalk. This suggests that talking over each other could be a sign of bigger problems that quality assurance managers need to monitor. In this post, we’ll discuss the common causes of overtalk and ways to deal with them.

Consumers don’t like being dismissed and interrupted

Agents having good listening skills is very important for a collection-focused call to be successful. It’s crucial for agents to fully understand what the consumer is saying to negotiate repayment terms. But if the agent interrupts or talks over the consumer too much, the consumer may feel like they’re not being heard from the beginning of the call. Even if the agent has all on-call compliance in check, too much overtalk can make the conversation feel rushed and leave the consumer feeling upset.

Solution: When there’s too much overtalk in debt collection calls, an important speech analytics feature – sentiment analysis can be helpful in finding out why it’s happening. If the overtalk is because the consumer is feeling negative, like if they’re frustrated or confused, this information can be used to train agents to be better listeners and show more empathy. But if the consumer is happy with how things are going and the overtalk is just an accident, this information can be used to improve the call’s structure and make it more efficient.

Overtalk negatively impacts agent performance

Agents might talk over consumers to end the conversation quickly and bring down their Average Handle Time (AHT) score if having a low AHT score is part of their performance evaluation. However, this approach can backfire as it can make the call longer if the consumer has to repeat themselves. If the consumer has to call again to speak to someone else, it can hurt the First Call Resolution (FCR) rate, another important agent performance metric. This can ultimately harm the agent’s overall performance and the collection goals assigned to them.

Solution: You can use speech-to-text transcription to identify instances of overtalk in recorded calls and then calculate how much overtalk happens per call, per agent. It also provides more information about what was said during the overtalk once the call is transcribed. Additionally, you can use keyword and phrase detection to help your Quality Assurance (QA) team find the words that usually cause overtalk and remove them from your agent script.

Improve overtalk with the power of speech analytics: If you have more detailed information about your agents’ performance, including overtalk, it’s easier to train them and make improvements. A cutting-edge call quality monitoring solution, such as ICAP, can quickly show which agents need more training by detecting instances of overtalk. If you want to know more about how ICAP can help QA managers improve agent performance and collection yield, click here to schedule a demo with one of our representatives.