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.

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