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4 Tactics to Keep Contact Centers Agents in Compliance

4 Tactics to Keep Contact Centers Agents in Compliance

Compliance violations can lead to costly regulatory fines or complicated legal issues. Don't leave it to chance.

If ensuring agents and reps stay in compliance is keeping you up at night, you’re not alone. According to our new report, 1 in 4 contact center leaders cite compliance violations and risks as the most pressing concern to their contact center operations.

And it’s for good reason, too. 

Compliance violations can lead to costly regulatory fines or complicated legal issues.

But it can be difficult to actively monitor and manage—until it’s too late.

For example, consider the debt collection industry. Contact center leaders know agents, by law, are supposed to read mini-Mirandas when contacting an individual to collect a debt.

Guess the average rate at which it’s actually read. A startling 60%.

If your team is handling 10,000 calls a day, that means there are 4,000 calls that are out of compliance. 

Without any intervention, you’re opening yourself up to potential trouble, big time. 

And if your only way of identifying compliance breaches is after the fact, by listening to the customer conversation once complete, you’re always going to be playing catch up.

Luckily, there are some ways to boost your agents’ compliance upfront, so you can rest assured that the right rules and regulations are being followed from the get-go. 

Here are some top tips to do just that.

1. Ensure Script Adherence

One of the easiest ways to boost compliance is to put the language that agents need to use directly in the script. But once there, how do you ensure the script gets followed? And how do you measure which agents are not following the prescribed script?

Script adherence requires a two-pronged approach:

  1. Real-time guidance and prompts. First, agents need to be monitored in real time, during calls, and prompted to read the mini-Miranda or deliver other compliance-related language if they haven’t already. One way to do this is to have supervisors listen in on calls, but since supervisors can’t be everywhere at once, this will result in a large number of calls going unreviewed. In addition, agents may not always welcome a supervisor hovering over their shoulder. According to more than 300 contact center leaders, 1 in 3 said real-time AI helped agents stay compliant.

    A more hands-off solution is to use real-time AI technology, which can automatically pop up prompts for agents to deliver the necessary compliance statements while they’re on the call—no hovering supervisor necessary. Agent Assist apps can check off compliance statements if they were covered by the agent, creating a data trail for who follows the script and who goes off track.
  1. Post-interaction review and coaching. To get a sense of how well each agent is doing with respect to compliance, it’s critical to review completed customer conversations. Not only will reviewing the calls reveal whether they include language that will help drive conversions and retention (or not), but a deeper analysis can show spots where agents  may need additional coaching or intervention—or where they excel.

    For example, supervisors can use data trends for agents across all calls this week or this month to coach the agents who miss compliance statements more regularly than average. Post-interaction AI really shines here by making this process more effective and efficient. 

2. Uplevel Your Quality Assurance

As discussed above, a key way to boost compliance is to regularly review agents’ call notes and recordings. That way supervisors can surface instances of non-compliance as well as examples of successful compliance. This is the QA process, in a nutshell.

However, according to a 2022 Observe.AI research study, 21% of contact centers still use manual processes for quality assurance. 

Unless you have an army of QA managers (which, let’s face it, no one does), that means the QA team can only review so many calls, and they spend much more time evaluating them than they would if they had automated the process. 

They are also missing out on loads of additional insights and opening themselves up to human error in the meantime.

Upleveling your QA with automation can transform your call center’s performance—including compliance. 

For example, Observe.AI automates the quality assurance process so you can analyze 100% of conversations and automatically highlight behavioral trends across your agents. This can help you track the % calls in which compliance statements were missed and create a leaderboard view of the top agents who miss them regularly.

Figo, a leading pet insurance company, not only saves $700K annually with QA automation, but they now have full confidence agents are in compliance.

"The traditional way to monitor compliance violations is to manually audit the interactions and hope the ones they chose were representative of the rest," says Fausel. "Observe.AI reduces that risk because Auto QA will evaluate 100% of interactions for us and flag any potential issues so we can correct them. We have confidence across the entire team and every interaction."

3. Track Trends Over Time

Don’t forget about the long game. Tracking trends over time will show you which agents are regularly in or out of compliance, allow you to quickly address issues with those who are out of compliance, and figure out what compliant agents are doing right so you can replicate their success in others.

Using AI and automation here provides a more robust data pool, resulting in much more accurate insights and conclusions. For example, Observe.AI’s Real-Time AI automatically records call notes to ensure all important information is captured and correct. This gives supervisors reviewable documentation and is a subtle reminder to the agent to stay in compliance as the call is happening.

4. Keep Your Materials Flexible

We live in an increasingly fast-paced world. CEOs are concerned that their teams won’t be able to keep up with the pace of change. In fact, a new report from McKinsey found that a startling 40% of CEOs don’t think their companies will be economically viable a decade from now if they continue on their current paths. 

One way to keep up is to stay agile. As regulation and internal company policies change, you’ll want to ensure you can move quickly on your compliance prompts. Ideally, you’ll be able to update them on the fly to ensure all agents have the most accurate, up-to-date language and information to use.

This means that scripts and prompts will need to be regularly reviewed and updated, if necessary, to comply with the latest laws, regulations and policies. 

The trend of low-code and no-code technologies are allowing non-technical personnel to ensure their team can stay flexible and fast.

Observe.AI’s Experience Designer tool makes this simple by putting the control into the hands of users, with no coding required: Users can easily create compliance-related prompts that will populate while agents are in conversations, so you don’t have to wait until after the call to correct a compliance issue.

How Contact Center Conversation Intelligence Impacts Compliance

Contact center conversation intelligence has the power to facilitate and boost performance in each of the areas outlined above. 

For example, Observe.AI’s Real-Time AI provides an in-the-moment call coach and guide that:

  • Allows users to develop custom agent experiences that improve performance;
  • Helps keep agents on script during calls;
  • Reduces after call work and increase productivity;
  • Onboards agents faster and reduces attrition;
  • Empowers supervisors to support agents on live conversations and improve their behaviors immediately;
  • Enables contact center executives to act faster and more accurately, using real-time trends.

Post-interaction AI, meanwhile, offers 100% call review and analysis that:

  • Surfaces specific instances for review, allowing supervisors to target and tailor coaching to specific agents;
  • Provides a deep dive into agent performance through a mix of human and AI driven evaluations;
  • Allows supervisors to track trends over time to boost performance and replicate successful behaviors.

When both real-time AI and post-interaction AI work in tandem you can provide the maximum compliance benefits. Together, these technologies create an end-to-end conversation intelligence platform that maximizes contact center performance, efficiency, and revenue.

Learn more about how Observe.AI can help you boost compliance and ultimately drive business outcomes here, and take a self-guided demo today.

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Observe.AI Staff
LinkedIn profile
March 23, 2023
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