Leveraging data driven insight to empower agent performance

Written by Ian Barker Small headshot image of Ian Barker, Managing Partner at BFY Group.
13 Jul 2023
Customer Service Debt People and Culture
Leaves and tree branches with sunlight shining through.

You may be feeling like you can't see the wood for the trees on agent performance and customer outcomes. You may not be clear on who is performing, and who isn’t – and crucially, why this is the case.

Without the right data, you won't be able to create actionable insights, and will miss out on making meaningful comparisons across agents and managers. The right data is needed to truly understand who are your high performing agents, managers, and teams.

Back to basics

We still see clients struggling to ‘wrestle the bear’ on what should be simple/hygiene-based data analytics, having to link together data from multiple disparate systems (Billing and CRM, Telephony, and Customer Engagement platforms).

It’s all too common for clients to ‘pick up pennies in front of a steamroller’ and look to deploy AI or complex analytics, without the basics in place. In reality, getting the basics right will have a much bigger impact across the collections estate, when compared to AI deployed within a niche.

If you’re wondering what ‘getting the basics right’ should involve, it typically means:

  • Getting to a clear reporting baseline to understand current performance
  • Building operational processes to continually improve through feedback loops
  • Deploying analytics to understand the outcomes of your actions
  • Layering on predictive analytics using an agile approach

Key insights from our ‘SWAB’ report

On a previous client engagement, we were rolling out an agile transformation and needed to put in place light touch reporting very quickly. We deployed our ‘SWAB’ report, which showed the correlation curves between Customer Engagement and Debt Resolution.

The SWAB report helped to drive key insights, including:

  • Customers will need multiple nudges in order to move your bill to the top of the payment ladder
  • Leaving voicemails on a dialler isn’t pointless and ineffective (but doing it manually is costly and inefficient)
  • Customers will typically always engage through the channel of least friction, and they’ll tend to pay how they’ve always paid
  • Agents collecting the least cash on the day should not be considered as low performing – it’s about resolution over the course of an engagement campaign
  • Customer engagement comes in many forms – speaking on the telephone, opening an email, making a full or part payment, logging on to the CRM to check their bills and balance. Where you have customers engaging – build on that engagement

This example alone demonstrates the material impact that data can have upon agent performance and customer outcomes, without investing significant time and money into overly complex analytics.

Click here to read the next article in our Driving Agent Outcomes series, where we focus on 'Using accountability and incentives to manage agents effectively'.

Ian Barker

Ian shapes the BFY vision and inspires our team to bring it to life, while remaining central to complex client engagements in Strategy, Commercial, and Operations.

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Small headshot image of Ian Barker, Managing Partner at BFY Group.