CallMiner: Aspects of Improvement Within Call Center Regulations

By CallMiner

Call center regulations are complex. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), for instance, requires debt collectors to disclose the purpose of their written or oral communications at the start of every contact (the mini-Miranda). Additionally, the FDCPA has strict requirements that stipulate when, where, and with whom a debt collector may communicate with consumers. All of these requirements aim to protect consumers from unfair debt collection practices. As the debt collection industry continues to grow, more debt collection agencies turn to interaction analytics to improve agent performance while also mitigating compliance risks.

There are myriad other regulations that apply to call centers as well, from the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) to HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) to myriad state-specific regulations. Still, call center regulations aren’t perfect, and there’s plenty of room for improvement. To find out what today’s consumers, businesses, and call centers would improve about call center regulations, we reached out to a panel of call center pros and business leaders and asked them to answer this question:

“If you could wave a magic wand to improve one aspect of call center regulations, what would it be?”

Joe Laskowski was one of the 19 featured business leaders and experts asked to answer CallMiner’s question:

joe laskowski

Joe Laskowski is the Managing Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at Higher Ed Growth and LeadsCouncil board member. Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education.

“Adhering to regulations is an integral part of all call center activities…”

And the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) certainly outlines some of the most important requirements. From reassigned number liability to revocation of consent, the TCPA continues to be re-examined in the courts. The present-day rulings shape the environment in which call centers can engage with leads, and it is important for call centers to stay on top of changes.

One pain point for call centers in particular? The variability in TCPA consents. Many clients require specific TCPA statements for their brand, which is hard to scale and automate. It would be more effective for centers to have one client-approved TCPA that can dynamically integrate brand names. It is a much more seamless process for agents and reduces the risk of TCPA statements being missed or misread.

Read all of the responses to call center improvement on CallMiner.com: https://callminer.com/blog/19-experts-reveal-the-one-aspect-of-call-center-regulations-theyd-improve/

LeadsCon 2019: The Top 5 Trends

By Joe Laskowski

March is always an exciting time at Higher Ed Growth (HEG), as it means the team is heading to Las Vegas for LeadsCon. We always look forward to the opportunity of LeadsCon to connect with other leaders in our industry and learn from one another, gauging where the future of lead generation is heading. Last year, there was a feeling of renewed belief in lead generation coming out of LeadsCon. This year, it is clear that growth and expansion is the common theme in the future of lead generation.

From the Higher Ed Growth Team, these were the five biggest trends and takeaways from LeadsCon 2019.

Diversification

At the conference, many organizations were discussing expansion into new verticals in the upcoming year. These companies are realizing that their processes and technologies can be utilized across multiple verticals, and are now looking to diversify their offerings to encompass previously unexplored verticals. This growth within organizations can be, in part, attributed to the changes in several industries, and the reactionary decisions that these companies are embracing in order to maintain their edge.

Marketing to Millennials and Generation Z

Much like the new advances that we noted last year in lead generation, the marketing towards Millennials and Generation Z is continuing to evolve. Social media is beginning to play a much larger role in winning over the younger generations and marketers are learning how to utilize mobile to generate and follow through on leads. We can expect to see continued growth in marketing within platforms like Snapchat, SMS, Instagram, and other mobile applications going forward. 

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is also becoming more widespread among the lead generation industry. More and more companies are producing and utilizing this technology to focus on customer engagement through conversational interactions with potential leads. These interactions are not necessarily limited to one application or device, and are being applied to leads on websites, SMS, email, chat, voice calls etc. AI technology is increasingly being used to grow contact rates in call centers and create actionable insights in data.

Automation

Unsurprisingly, with the changes and developments to technology that are appearing, automation is also becoming more widespread across the industry. Automation includes uploading recordings, collecting and analyzing data, updating and optimizing campaigns and using IVRs. By using automation, organizations are better able to work through leads and send them in the right directions downstream, streamlining the process within the company and promoting growth within the industry.

Data

Underlying each of the major themes we’ve previously noted is data. Data is now and will continue to remain king. Data is an ever-growing need and want for the successful operation of any organization within the industry. The successful utilization of data within a company allows for the overall success and optimization of their digital marketing efforts, their call centers, and just about any other aspect of their business. Because data is so vital at every stage of the lead lifecycle, companies that utilize and share their data with partners will continue to thrive, while others will fall short.

LeadsCon 2019: Growth and Modernization Lead the Way

In every industry, growth has always been key, and lead generation is no different. LeadsCon 2019 has shown that the industry is going strong. We are taking strides to develop and utilize new technologies and strategies to better the industry overall, exploring new verticals and expanding the ways in which we advertise to potential leads. Maintaining relevancy and evolving with our potential leads is exciting stuff and gives us a thrilling look at the direction that lead generation and marketing is heading. 

Higher Ed Growth Receives LeadsCouncil Award in Excellence

Higher Ed Growth Receives LeadsCouncil Award in Excellence

Recognized for Excellence in Marketing Services

TEMPE, Ariz. — March 13, 2019 — Higher Ed Growth, a full-service marketing agency, announced today that it received the 2018 Excellence in Marketing Services Award, presented by LeadsCouncil.

The LeadsCouncil presented their annual Awards in Excellence during LeadsCon 2019 in Las Vegas. These awards are presented every year to the top lead generators, aggregators and lead technology companies across categories such as customer service, lead generation and marketing. Each year, the LeadsCouncil fields nominations for hundreds of companies for the Awards in Excellence and selects the best organizations for each category presented. The purpose of these awards is to distinguish the superior work of these companies in an officially recognized capacity.

The recipients of the Awards in Excellence are voted on by members of the LeadsCouncil and other companies within the industry, ensuring that the “best” organization in each category is selected. The LeadsCouncil Awards in Excellence make it easier for organizations that utilize lead generation services to discover and understand which companies may best fit their lead generation or marketing needs.

This year there were six categories for the Awards in Excellence:

  • Excellence in Lead Generation Services
  • Excellence in Marketing Services
  • Excellence in Innovation
  • Excellence in Compliance Services
  • Excellence in Call Center Services
  • Excellence in Customer Service (B2B or B2C)

Higher Ed Growth was nominated for four of the six categories this year. Their nominations included Excellence in Lead Generation Services, Excellence in Marketing Services (received), Excellence in Call Center Services and Excellence in Customer Service.

“We are so thrilled to receive this recognition amongst so many well-known and respected nominees,” said Joe Laskowski, Managing Partner and CMO of Higher Ed Growth. “The timing of this award is perfect as we expand into other industries with our new multi-vertical brand, Inquir. I’m extremely proud of our team and their enthusiasm to carry that reputation to new heights.”

Higher Ed Growth was also nominated in 2017 for Excellence in Customer Service and Excellence in Lead Generation.

About Higher Ed Growth

Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency where innovation, experience and technology are merged together to deliver targeted prospects to clients. As a company, Higher Ed Growth endeavors to surmount market challenges through the application of intelligent technology solutions. Higher Ed Growth strives to observe the principles of the LeadsCouncil by adhering to industry best practices, upholding their belief in maintaining a strong association with vendors, buyers and sellers, sharing information across the industry and maintaining and delivering high ethical standards and self-regulation of compliance. For more information, visit www.higheredgrowth.com

Higher Ed Growth Acquires CalmCircle

Higher ed growth_calmcircle

Higher Ed Growth Announces Acquisition, Expands Higher Education Marketing Services

Equity interest acquisition of CalmCircle stress and sleep management platform for education

TEMPE, Ariz. — January 9, 2019 — Higher Ed Growth (HEG), a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education, announced today that it has acquired an equity interest in CalmCircle, an online stress and sleep management platform. CalmCircle’s research-based curriculum for postsecondary students will enhance Higher Ed Growth’s services and solutions for colleges, universities and education partners. Additionally, CalmCircle’s application in other high-stress environments – such as corporate workplaces and healthcare institutions – will allow HEG to expand as a global service provider across industries.

Expanded Services

Founded in 2007, Higher Ed Growth’s focus has been to help education partners overcome challenges in EDU marketing, streamlining compliance and driving quality student-to-school matches. The CalmCircle acquisition allows the EDU marketing firm to provide partners with greater support throughout the student education journey, including retention, to further drive graduation rates and better student outcomes.

“We’re excited to help our partners find success beyond enrollments,” said Joe Laskowski, Managing Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at Higher Ed Growth. “Countless studies show how closely related student well-being is to academic performance, retention and outcomes. We weren’t seeing anything in the marketplace that addressed this connection in a simple and comprehensive way, and we’re excited to offer the solution in 2019. This solution also has widespread use beyond students – corporate employees and healthcare workers can benefit immensely from the stress management practices CalmCircle offers.”

Stress & Sleep Management

The CalmCircle platform was developed in response to high stress levels and poor sleep quality commonly found in student and employee demographics. The guided practice features research-driven methods for reducing the psychological and physiological impacts of stress and developing healthy sleep habits. The program is customizable and includes breathing exercises, mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques. Most sessions are five minutes or less to accommodate busy schedules.

“Higher Ed Growth has been a long-standing advisor for our company and helped drive technology innovation and strategic direction,” said Patricia Kinney, founder of CalmCircle. “This new alignment will allow us to provide mental rest and sleep support to students and those in high-stress environments on a much larger scale. Together, we can help schools and workplaces realize the many benefits that balanced and healthy environments can offer — from engagement and retention to the bottom line. Joining HEG, we look forward to making an even greater impact in education and to also head in some exciting new directions.”

CalmCircle Studies

A CalmCircle pilot program with Arizona State University showed that 84 percent of participating students experienced reduced stress and 41 percent noted better sleep quality. The program has similarly been integrated into primary and secondary schools with promising results – at one middle school, students saw a 32 percent improvement in sleep and 14 percent decrease in stress levels. In both programs, participants also noted a stronger sense of self-compassion, mindfulness, and ability to stay on task.

New Verticals: Corporate & Healthcare

CalmCircle has also proven successful for stress management and mental rest in the workplace. At one global company, 62 percent of participating employees stated that CalmCircle helped them manage stress. CalmCircle users also saw a 26 percent increase in efficiency compared to non-users. In addition to education and corporate services, CalmCircle will begin offering its product to healthcare institutions this year.

“We’re looking forward to bringing CalmCircle to a wide range of organizations that could benefit from stress relief,” said Eric Flottmann, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Higher Ed Growth. “The technology has been carefully developed to be easily accessible and feature minimal time requirements. Pilot programs have shown the benefits are clear and far-reaching. This product will also help propel Higher Ed Growth’s current technology and services to new territories in 2019.”

To read more about CalmCircle pilot programs or to set up a demo, visit www.calmcircle.com.

About CalmCircle

CalmCircle is an online platform offering a research-driven stress and sleep management program. The curriculum centers on mental rest, stress management and sleep support. CalmCircle was initially developed to teach healthy habits to today’s heavily taxed college student and was a featured partner in the Huffington Post Sleep Revolution College Tour in Spring 2016. The company’s mission is to help users develop lifelong skills and maintain mental balance in everyday life, high-stress environments and other events – from the classroom to the workplace. The company has expanded to bring mental rest and stress relief to the education industry, corporate workplaces and healthcare institutions. To learn more, please visit www.calmcircle.com.

About Higher Ed Growth

Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. HEG merges innovation and experience to develop technology and marketing programs that support client enrollment goals and meet changing regulatory needs. In addition to lead generation, it offers fully managed Master Vendor Services, compliance monitoring, white label software solutions, inquiry management, and analytics – with the ultimate goal of boosting enrollment and retention numbers for clients. HEG was named one of the Best Places to Work in 2015, 2016 and 2017 by Phoenix Business Journal. The company was also featured as an Inc. magazine Best Workplace 2017 and on its list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in 2014, 2015 and 2016. For more information, visit www.higheredgrowth.com.

Speech Technology Magazine Feat: Quality Assurance

Higher Education Growth: Improving Quality Assurance with Call Recordings

By Theresa Cramer, Editor of Speech Technology Magazine

 

Company: Higher Ed Growth

Higher Ed Growth (HEG) develops services and solutions that help the right students be matched with the right colleges and universities. This means better student outcomes and success.

 

Business Challenge

Agents often have phone conversations with students. These calls play an important role in enrollments, but agents must adhere to strict Telephone Compliance Protection Act (TCPA) compliance guidelines and processes for efficiency. There are many opportunities for errors and compliance missteps throughout the EDU lead lifecycle — particularly during phone calls. The company needed a more efficient way of dealing with this challenge.

 

Vendor of Choice: CallMiner

CallMiner is a Massachusetts-based software company that develops speech analytics software. It was founded in 2002 and headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, with offices in Florida and the United Kingdom.

 

Quality Assurance: The Problem in Depth

Higher Ed Growth (HEG) develops services and solutions that help the right students be matched with the right colleges and universities. The company says this leads to better student outcomes and success.

“HEG is always looking to increase the quality of EDU leads and so much of the process hinges on the agent phone call and agent-student interactions,” says Eric Flottmann, chief operating officer at Higher Ed Growth. “In 2013, we were lacking the ability to analyze and derive actionable insights from call recordings. At this time, our call recordings were reviewed manually, which placed a considerable strain on our time and internal resources. Automated systems and better Business Intelligence around our calls would give us the opportunity to develop better, more efficient processes and drive higher quality leads for our education partners.”

Later, the company’s needs changed a bit. Flottmann says, “In 2018, HEG sought to further improve its average Quality Assurance (QA) score across the thousands of EDU agent representatives nationwide.” *

 

Quality Assurance: The Solution

For both challenges, the answer for HEG was CallMiner.

“We initially chose CallMiner for its ability to capture dialog and sentiment of agent-student interactions and automate agent scoring based on findings,” says Flottmann. “Equally important, its Eureka product would also automatically store all call recordings and provide resources for agent training purposes, which would strengthen compliance for our education partners.”

Implementing sophisticated software is never a small task, but it can be made easier with the help of  experienced professionals. “The CallMiner implementation process had a number of stages that allowed our team to work alongside their team and then also take more and more of the reins over time,” says Doug Peterson, quality assurance associate at Higher Ed Growth. “We were completely supported throughout the entire process. For instance, after the initial build-out in early stages, we weren’t seeing the desired results just yet; their team tackled listening to numerous call recordings after transcription with us to ensure the tweaks made to categories were working and increasing correct category hits. We learned a great deal over this process, and all tweaks and changes eventually brought us to an impressive 80-90% accuracy range of transcription.”

 

Quality Assurance: The Outcome

So what does success look like for HEG? “HEG uploads about 100 hours of call recordings daily to CallMiner in order to get a robust audit of our calls,” says Peterson. “We now utilize dynamic categories within CallMiner to flag a variety of quality points — from recording disclosures and approved language to contact verification.”

Prior to CallMiner, HEG was unable to track compliance by individual agents. Now, it can not only track compliance and other performance metrics to the agent level, it also had the data to set reasonable performance targets and better coach agents to achieve them.

Now that call recording was automated, Flottmann says, “The early results of this effort were overwhelmingly positive. Automating our QA Process streamlined our efforts and improved our throughput for manual review by 10x right away. There was also plenty of room for growth.” This allows HEG to more accurately and fairly reflected individual agent performance, improve quality and prevent future issues.

HEG says the analytics team was able to apply lessons from one client to another. For example, if a compliance violation occurred on one account, Higher Ed Growth was able to build safeguards against similar violations into the monitoring program for all accounts.

“The cost savings from pushing back non-compliant leads more than offset the additional cost of the third-party monitoring company,” says Flottmann.

Like all quality assurance programs, HEG’s is on-going. Peterson says, ”It’s been five years since initial implementation with CallMiner, and we’ve made a lot of improvements during this time. We implemented a few new strategies with CallMiner this year that improved the average QA score across all agents by 8.5 percentage points. Considering there are thousands and thousands of agents in our system nationwide, this was a significant improvement.” *

 

*Note from Higher Ed Growth: This is in reference to EDU leads processed via our systems and all agent representatives from our education partners. 

 

Click here to read the full article on Speech Technology Magazine.

Higher Ed Growth Co-founders Named to Sun Devil 100 Class of 2018

Tempe, Ariz. – April 25, 2018 – Two co-founders of Higher Ed Growth (HEG), a leading full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education, were named to the “Sun Devil 100 Class of 2018.” The Sun Devil 100 celebrates the achievements of Arizona State University alumni who own or lead innovative businesses across the globe. Sponsored by the ASU Alumni Association, award recipients represent “innovation, growth and the entrepreneurial spirit.”

 

Sun Devil 100 Class of 2018_Eric Flottmann

Sun Devil 100 Class of 2018 awards for CEO Frank Healy and COO Eric Flottmann.

 

CEO Frank Healy and COO Eric Flottmann, both of whom are ASU alumni, were amongst those honored at the Tempe campus induction ceremony on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. This is the second Sun Devil 100 nomination for Healy.

 

sun devil 100 class of 2018

COO Eric Flottmann and wife, Cindy Flottmann, with ASU’s Sparky.

 

To be considered for the Sun Devil 100, alumni must own or lead a company for a minimum of three years. The business must also generate revenues upward of $250,000 within a calendar year and operate in a manner consistent with the ASU Charter. Of those meeting these criteria, the ASU Alumni Association selects the top 100 fastest-growing companies for the yearly Sun Devil 100 list.

Founded in 2007, HEG’s growth has also earned it a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the nation three times in recent years — 2014, 2015, 2016.

For a list of all honorees from the Sun Devil 100 – Class of 2018, visit https://alumni.asu.edu/sun-devil-100.

About the ASU Alumni Association – Sun Devil 100 List

Sun Devil 100 celebrates the achievements of Arizona State University alumni who own or lead successful, innovative businesses across the globe. Spanning industries and locations, ASU entrepreneurs possess a history of enterprise, vision and leadership. This special awards program was instituted to invite these innovative leaders back to campus for a celebration in their honor. The Sun Devil Class of 2018 is an elite group of talented business leaders who exemplify the spirit of ASU as the New American University. For more information on the ASU Alumni Association and the Sun Devil 100 Class of 2018, visit https://alumni.asu.edu/sun-devil-100.

About Higher Ed Growth

Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. HEG uses proprietary technology to deliver targeted enrollment leads to for-profit and non-profit education clients. In addition to lead generation, HEG offers inquiry management, white label software solutions, and compliance monitoring – with the ultimate goal of boosting enrollment and retention numbers for clients. Phoenix Business Journal named HEG as a Best Place to Work in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The company was also featured as an Inc. magazine Best Workplace 2017 and on its list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in 2014, 2015 and 2016. For more information, visit www.higheredgrowth.com.

Higher Ed Growth Supports Scholarships for Phoenix Nursing Students

Scholarships for Phoenix Nursing Students_V3

Tempe, Ariz. – April 17, 2018 – Higher Ed Growth (HEG), a leading full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education, donated funds to the East Valley chapter of Forty & Eight, Arizona Voiture 1466, which directly contributed to 10 scholarships for Phoenix nursing students in the local community.

Forty & Eight began in 1920 and is an organization that supports American veterans and veteran-associated programs for child welfare and nurse training. Since 1955, its Nurses Training Program has donated nearly $33 million in scholarships and activities to support more than 54,000 students in obtaining their nursing degrees. In 2017, the organization awarded $410,000 toward more than 1,000 nurses in training, graduating nurses, and those seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees.

“We’re proud to contribute to Forty & Eight’s scholarship program and support Arizona nursing students in their chosen degree and career paths,” said Frank Healy, president and CEO of HEG. “Higher Ed Growth helps thousands of nursing students find the right schools and enroll in the right degree programs each year. Forty & Eight is a way for us to continue this mission, support the local community and bring attention to a degree program with great demand.”

Nurse practitioners are one of the top 10 fastest-growing occupations in the country, according to recent projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The field is expected to grow 15 percent by 2026 and is a result of an aging population, longer life expectancies and increased rates of chronic conditions.

The East Valley Forty & Eight held its Nursing Scholarship Award Ceremony on April 14, 2018.

 

About Forty & Eight

Founded in 1920, Forty & Eight is a charitable honor society of American veterans. Its official name is La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux, derived from the French railway experience of US troops in WWI. Forty & Eight programs include Nurses Training, Child Welfare, Flags for First Graders, Carville Hansens Disease Center, VA Voluntary Service, and support for American troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. To learn more, visit the Forty & Eight National Media Kit at http://www.fortyandeight.org/national-media-kit.

About Higher Ed Growth

Higher Ed Growth (HEG) is a full-service marketing agency specializing in post-secondary education. HEG uses proprietary technology to deliver targeted enrollment leads to for-profit and non-profit education clients. In addition to lead generation, HEG offers inquiry management, white label software solutions, and compliance monitoring – with the ultimate goal of boosting enrollment and retention numbers for clients. Phoenix Business Journal named HEG as a Best Place to Work in 2015, 2016 and 2017. The company was also featured as an Inc. magazine Best Workplace 2017 and on its list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in 2014, 2015 and 2016. For more information, visit www.higheredgrowth.com.

 

 

LeadsCon 2018: The 5 Top Trends

By Joe Laskowski

At Higher Ed Growth (HEG), we always look forward to the month of March because it means connecting with industry leaders at LeadsCon 2018 in Las Vegas. As a longstanding sponsor and presenter, HEG enjoys taking part in meaningful conversations around trends and the future of lead generation. LeadsCon acts as a true barometer of the industry, providing attendees with valuable insight year after year.

From the Higher Ed Growth team, these were the five biggest trends at LeadsCon 2018.

 

Transparency Remains a Top Topic

Regardless of the presentation or topic, transparency was top of mind at LeadsCon and for good reason. Transparency is much more than an expectation; it’s now a requirement for success.

When it comes to the lead buyer–seller relationship and the advertiser-publisher relationship, the conference underscored the critical need for trust and transparency. One thing Higher Ed Growth has always stressed is sharing data between partners. It not only supports these goals, but also strengthens outcomes. This is especially true for student success metrics in EDU marketing. Connecting the dots between marketing channels and enrollment data offers a wealth of insights and allows EDU marketers to properly optimize future campaigns.

Higher education institutions, in particular, are showcasing a steadfast commitment to transparency. Schools are more focused on the link between the transparency of its marketing partners and quality leads than ever before.

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to the quality-versus-quantity debate, industry leaders are overwhelmingly choosing quality. Companies seem to be focusing more on conversions and success metrics, even if it means scaling back slightly on volume to ensure high-quality leads. New, sophisticated business intelligence tools and analytics are proving that results are driven by the right leads, not more leads. Overall, those organizations who deliver quality will be given more opportunities to expand on business relationships.

Shifts in Content Marketing & SEO

Lead generators are dedicating more resources to SEO and content marketing than they have in recent years. With strategic content for every stage of the lead lifecycle, such practices can generate low-cost, high-quality leads. When done properly, content marketing practices boost SEO and place resources toward the top of search engines. Companies that can optimize their sites with useful content will benefit. We can expect to see new and original campaign concepts in order to attract visitors and overcome a saturated market.

New Facebook Lead Generation Ads

Facebook recently introduced lead generation ads aimed toward collecting lead information in a low-friction environment. The social media innovator’s new initiative streamlines contact forms for better conversion rates and quality. Some advertisers have even reported a 56 percent reduction in cost per lead using Facebook lead ads. We’re sure to see more and more companies testing Facebook for their digital campaigns.

Actionable SMS Campaigns

Like email, text messaging isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. For advertisers, SMS campaigns are growing in popularity – especially for re-targeting campaigns aimed at leads who have expressed interest but have not completed the sales funnel. Lead generators are utilizing text messages to spur action in a mobile-dependent culture.

In Higher Education, text message campaigns have also been shown to boost student outcomes. In fact, one study showed that a segment of community college students in STEM programs who received text reminders had a 10 percent higher chance of staying on track in their program. SMS campaigns are impactful. With TCPA compliance in mind, we may see SMS campaigns expand and play an even bigger role in enrollment marketing, as well.

 

LeadsCon 2018: Renewed Lead Gen Confidence

In recent years, there has been an underlying sense of uncertainty from LeadsCon attendees due to an ever-changing regulatory environment. Marketers weren’t sure where new guidelines would land and how they might impact compliance and bottom lines.

In 2018, however, there was a renewed confidence amongst lead generators and other industry leaders. With quarterly Consumer Financial Protection Bureau funds redirected toward the deficit and other news, signs point to a calmer period with regard to new or tightening regulations. For LeadsCon 2018, it meant conversations could center less around “what might happen” and more around “what can we make happen together.”

 

Read the Full Article on LeadsCon: http://www.leadscon.com/leadscon-2018-transparency-other-top-takeaways/

AZBigMedia: Phoenix as the Silicon Valley of EdTech

How did Phoenix become the Silicon Valley of EdTech?

By Stephanie Morse, AZBigMedia

Phoenix has become a hotbed for education technology — or EdTech — startups in recent years with more than 50 companies in the Valley.

Over the last several years, EdTech startups in Arizona have garnered national attention and captured millions of dollars in venture capital from states across the nation. The success of existing EdTech companies, improving entrepreneurial ecosystems, school choice environment and strong universities has created a large and growing cluster of EdTech companies in Phoenix, according to local leaders.

“A lot of people in this industry actually call this area the Silicon Valley of education technology,” said Frank Healy, CEO of Higher Ed Growth, an EdTech startup in Tempe.

EdTech in the Valley rose to the national scene with success of the Apollo Education Group in the 1980s and ’90s. The company started the University of Phoenix, a for-profit college with online and in-person classes focused on providing higher education for adults.

“I think the amount of money the Apollo group was spending really created the EdTech space here in Phoenix,” said Healy, who worked with Apollo at the University of Phoenix before starting Higher Ed Growth. “Because of the dollars they were spending, all the businesses flocked here.”

Recent successes

The more recent success of Blackboard, a learning management system, and Parchment, an online digital credential service, has continued to draw attention to Phoenix and attract other EdTech companies.

Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, said these businesses created a clustering effect in the area, allowing startups and companies to share resources and expertise.

“Companies tend to congregate around companies of the same industry,” Zylstra said. “They get to share supply chains and you end up with a workforce that’s knowledgeable about the industry. All of those are key factors to the development of an economic cluster such as we’ve seen grow here in Arizona.”

Zylstra also said Arizona’s improving entrepreneurial landscape has continued to grow the EdTech industry in the Phoenix area. The increased focus on startups and the growing number of accelerators, incubators and coworking spaces has helped Phoenix attract more startups in EdTech and other fields.

“All of the things that were conducive to growing entrepreneurial companies, generally speaking, are applied to EdTech equally and created the spike of activity that we have now,” Zylstra said.

Companies in California, New York and Massachusetts, however, still receive 78 percent of all startup investment funding in the United States, causing funding challenges for some startups in Arizona, including those in EdTech.

“I would say the one flaw or challenge we have in our entrepreneurial ecosystem is capital and that’s not unique to EdTech,” Zylstra said. “We only have just a few venture capitalists town. You can count them one hand, unfortunately. We have two very good angel groups, but when you make that next hop beyond angels, they are few and far between.”

Outside help

The lack of funding and venture capital in Phoenix caused EdTech and other startups to have to look outside of the state for investments, which can prove to be more difficult.

“Entrepreneurial companies are able to get capital,” Zylstra said. “It’s just a measure harder, because when you’re seeking the funding outside the community, there’s more effort that has to go in.”

Despite these challenges, EdTech in the Valley has captured more than $100 million in venture capital during the past several years, according to EdTechAZ. Zylstra said companies have received funding from people and groups in Texas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and California.

“Entrepreneurial companies have to go outside the region to raise money and that’s where the leadership qualities and models that exist here are helpful,” Zylstra said. “People know that Phoenix and Arizona are sort of a hotbed for these kinds of companies. It allays some of their fears about investing outside of their own territory.”

Industry leaders also said the education environment in Arizona fosters creativity and encourages innovation in education, including looking at technology for solutions.

“Arizona has been one of the more progressive, open states in looking at creative solutions to help students, including technology,” said Leslie Sobon, vice president of marketing and customer experience for Edgenuity, an EdTech company in Scottsdale.

Arizona is one of the top three states in the nation for school choice, according to the Center for Education Reform’s 2017 Parent Power Index. Both Sobon and Zylstra said this created an environment open to embracing technology in the classroom.

“From a policy standpoint, we’re a leader in offering choice,” Zylstra said. “We’re a top state in the nation for offering choice in K-12, which led to the whole charter school movement. That was highly disruptive.”

Chartering a course

Sobon directly credited charter schools for helping Edgenuity grow because they are often innovative and more open to change.

“Certainly, what has helped Edgenuity is school choice,” Sobon said. “The ability for charters who are always more experimental to some degree has been part of our initial success.”

EdTech leaders also said Arizona State University and the other higher education institutions in the state help create this creative environment. ASU was recently ranked the most innovative university in the nation for the third year in a row by U.S. News and World Report.

“Having the strength of the university, especially with ASU, has helped,” Sobon said. “The higher-ed industry, and the companies and universities serving that, has helped as well just as an incubator and an understanding of looking at education from creative solutions and an open perspective of, ‘How can we make it better?’ or ‘How can we look at the classroom and make it more receptive to teachers and students?’”

Sobon said this creativity trickles down into the K-12 space, creating a more innovative environment overall.

“I think that comes from a lot of those factors, like having a university that’s really leading the charge in innovation around education,” Sobon said. “Overall, that all seeps down into the K-12 space.”

Sobon said the education environment in Phoenix is crucial for EdTech, because the industry is focused first on the classroom.

“It’s much more about the education environment here,” Sobon said. “Education begins with academic goals for the student more than it is looking at it from any sort of business perspective. We really focus on the classroom perspective first.”

Read the Full Article: https://azbigmedia.com/phoenix-become-silicon-valley-edtech/

 

CallMiner: Common Call Center Compliance Issues

By Robert Stanley, Sr. Manager, Marketing Operations for CallMiner

Call centers are constantly under pressure from regulatory compliance concerns. With a variety of regulations impacting call center operations across many verticals, and those regulations frequently in a state of flux, it can be challenging to stay on top of the latest regulatory requirements, particularly when regulatory changes require changes to the technology call centers rely on or to standard operating processes.

As a result, there are a variety of issues related to compliance that companies tend to overlook. To gain some insight into the most common compliance challenges today’s call centers are facing and the call center compliance issues that often go overlooked, we reached out to a panel of call center leaders and asked them to answer this question:

“What’s the biggest thing companies overlook when it comes to call center compliance issues?”

kolin porter

Kolin Porter, Vice President of Product Innovation at EduMaximizer (a Higher Ed Growth company), was one of the featured industry leaders.

“Real-time monitoring of call recordings is imperative. This greatly impacts a call center’s ability to prevent compliance infractions and proactively protect their brand – and their clients. Many companies are still auditing calls days or weeks after an initial call has occurred. This means they’re unable to identify – and correct – issues in the moment or throughout the day. Without a doubt, this puts them at a disadvantage.

With advanced real-time monitoring tools now available, compliance can largely be automated… and easy. Those using call mining and QA technology get a real-time view of agent activities and correct compliance issues faster, reducing their risk and increasing quality.”

 

joe laskowski

Joe Laskowski, Managing Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at Higher Ed Growth and LeadsCouncil board member, was another featured industry leader.

“One of the biggest things companies overlook when it comes to call center compliance is automation. When it comes to call center inquiry generation, many steps can and should be automated in order to reduce errors, call handle times and compliance missteps.

  • Short form lead data often requires agents to complete the same form fields over and over again. There is great opportunity for human error – and in turn, violations. With automation, fields can be pre-populated and streamline this commonly error-prone process.
  • TCPA disclosures should automatically be shown, read and include all brands to ensure the highest compliance for clients. For those in the higher education industry, this means each school name should be included in order for permission to call the prospective student.
  • Call recordings should automatically be stored once the call has completed. Such recordings should also be retained for seven years, as call centers are responsible for internal audits and the audits of their clients. It’s also important that catalogued recordings be delivered in real time.

Quality contact center software is integral to automating compliance. With the ability to combine scripting and search results into one seamless process, it means data collection is more compliant. In addition, call mining and call grading software solutions can help marketers get as close to real-time audits for compliance as possible.

 

Read all of the contact center compliance tips on CallMiner.com: https://callminer.com/blog/20-call-center-pros-reveal-biggest-things-companies-overlook-comes-call-center-compliance-issues/ 

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