Posts

TeleVoice Awarded U.S. Patent For SpotLight

TeleVoice, which develops and implements customized call center solutions, has been awarded a U.S. Patent for the unique technology embodied in SpotLight. The single-point of contact (SPoC) call management solution was designed specifically to address the challenges mortgage servicers face in implementing regulatory requirements for SPoC. SpotLight offers a distinct set of tools that improve agent efficiency and ensure regulatory compliance.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
“With SpotLight, single-point-of-contact operations become more than just an audit check box,” said Barry Hays, SVP and co-founder of TeleVoice. “A well-managed SPoC group really can achieve the true goal of loss mitigation, to move each troubled loan to the most favorable outcome as quickly as possible. Improving the flow of communications between SPoC agents and their assigned borrowers is the key to optimizing loss mitigation operations.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
SpotLight manages all inbound and outbound call tasks assigned to SPoCs and may be used in environments where individual SPoC agents are assigned a group of loans or where a group of SPoC agents share responsibility for a set of loans. With SpotLight, agent resources are maximized and borrower needs are addressed more effectively.

Featured Sponsors:

 
Using propriety technology, SpotLight dynamically calculates a call priority score (CPS), based on loan-level data and call characteristics, for each inbound and outbound call task. Critical calls are handled first, and less urgent calls are scheduled to be addressed later. Outbound contacts required by regulators receive priority as deadlines approach, insuring that regulatory standards are maintained.

The patented technology also provides critical audit trails by recording the disposition of every inbound and outbound call attempt. Servicers are able to instantly produce contact logs for individual loans, showing the outcome of every call that was placed by the borrower to the SPoC or by the SPoC to the borrower. Successful contacts, voicemails, requested call backs, abandoned calls and other call events are all tracked, providing a level of management detail not available with any other system.

Servicers using SpotLight for their loss mitigation operations have reported significant increases in Quality Right Party Contact, as well as increased SPoC efficiency and improved responsiveness from delinquent borrowers.

“The struggles the mortgage industry endured in the wake of the meltdown have largely abated, but the lessons learned have led to a lot of operational improvements,” Hays said. “We’re proud that SpotLight is one of the tools that is playing a continuing role in enhancing loss mitigation efforts.”

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

New Tool Gives Call Agents More Information

TeleVoice, which develops and implements customized call center solutions, has launched TelePath, a desktop tool for contact center agents that increases customer service efficiency and delivers significant improvements in the customer experience.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
For mortgage servicers, TelePath provides a customer service representative a wealth of caller-specific data the moment the call is received. With this additional intelligence, the representative is better able to anticipate the caller’s needs and mood and can then provide a higher level of service.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“Delivering a premier custom experience has a direct impact on a servicer’s reputation, driving everything from referrals to refinances. The converse is equally true.,” said Barry Hays, senior vice president of TeleVoice. “We understand that the industry needs effective tools to provide stellar service and that drives our development plan.”

Featured Sponsors:

 
Among the critical data provided by TelePath are:

>>Who is calling (identifies the borrower or co-borrower)

>>How long the borrower has been on hold in the queue (The caller may be impatient if hold time is excessive.)

>>Why the IVR application transferred the call (caller had trouble completing a one-time draft, caller is 45 days delinquent, etc.)

>>What cross-selling messages should be presented to the caller

>>Other helpful data pulled from the borrower’s account information

When calls must be transferred from a representative to a different representative or queue, TelePath can display a “heads-up” message to the representative receiving the transferred call. The message, entered by the sending representative, can include helpful information about the caller’s issue. Heads-up messaging reduces the need for time-consuming warm transfers and ensures better service levels through the life of the call.

The caller data from TelePath is instantly presented to the representative when the call arrives. At the same time, TelePath “pops” the appropriate screen from the system of record, populated with the borrower’s account information.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

The Father Of Longevity

website-pdf-download

The old maxim “necessity is the mother of invention” has long been used to describe change and innovation. Consistency can then be called the father of longevity as it is paramount to ensure that a company is around for the long haul.

We have witnessed several economic cycles and many companies come and go since we started in 1986. When we started TeleVoice, the average interest rate was close to 11 percent, cell phones were a rarity, serious computing still meant mainframes, and that whole Internet thing was still a few years off. Consolidation in the mortgage servicing industry had not begun, and there were hundreds of servicers managing relatively small portfolios.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
The regulatory environment also was very different 30 years ago. An entire alphabet soup of agencies and rules have since sprung up. Servicers operations a now dominated by considerations of CFPB, TRID, TCPA, RESPA, SPoC, TILA, UDAAP, HMDA and more.

Over the last three decades, the only real certainty has been change. Adapting to address inevitable changes has been the challenge for servicers and vendors alike.

Featured Sponsors:

 
For a company to survive and thrive in this ever-changing industry, we have learned that we must be consistent. We must be consistent in our core principles and passionate about providing the very highest level of service to our clients. Here are a few guiding principles that have kept us on track and contributed to our longevity.

Strive to be a trusted partner to clients. Our clients face an array of challenges driven by market changes, customer expectations, portfolio growth, regulation and innovations in technology. Our role is to listen to their concerns and deliver recommendations tailored to their particular needs. That often requires the development of unique solutions, not just trying to use a standard application to address a very non-standard need.

Featured Sponsors:

 
Provide over-the-top service in addition to top-tier products. Mortgage servicers rightfully expect dependable service from their vendors, but we have worked hard to develop a corporate culture of exceeding expectations. All team members understand that they are to go the extra mile to ensure that projects are completed on-time and any necessary resources are applied to promptly resolve support issues. The extra effort ensures better operations and builds lasting relationships.

Embrace change. Change is the reality of our lives, and consistency in our service to our clients requires that we not only acknowledge that truth, but that we build a culture that is quick to respond to change. To be of genuine value to our clients, we must adapt to their changing needs. A commitment to innovation makes it possible to ride the waves of economic and regulatory changes and survive when other are failing.

No one has a crystal ball, but it seems safe to say that the decades ahead will be filled with their own set of challenges. Whatever they may be, a steady and consistent business philosophy will be the key to long-term success.

About The Author

Barry Hays
Barry Hays is Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of TeleVoice, a provider of customized call center solutions, to the financial services industry. Barry may be reached by email at bhays@televoice.com.

Consistency: The Father Of Longevity

The old maxim “necessity is the mother of invention” has long been used to describe change and innovation. Consistency can then be called the father of longevity as it is paramount to ensure that a company is around for the long haul.

We have witnessed several economic cycles and many companies come and go since we started in 1986. When we started TeleVoice, the average interest rate was close to 11 percent, cell phones were a rarity, serious computing still meant mainframes, and that whole Internet thing was still a few years off. Consolidation in the mortgage servicing industry had not begun, and there were hundreds of servicers managing relatively small portfolios.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
The regulatory environment also was very different 30 years ago. An entire alphabet soup of agencies and rules have since sprung up. Servicers operations a now dominated by considerations of CFPB, TRID, TCPA, RESPA, SPoC, TILA, UDAAP, HMDA and more.

Over the last three decades, the only real certainty has been change. Adapting to address inevitable changes has been the challenge for servicers and vendors alike.

Featured Sponsors:

 
For a company to survive and thrive in this ever-changing industry, we have learned that we must be consistent. We must be consistent in our core principles and passionate about providing the very highest level of service to our clients. Here are a few guiding principles that have kept us on track and contributed to our longevity.

Strive to be a trusted partner to clients. Our clients face an array of challenges driven by market changes, customer expectations, portfolio growth, regulation and innovations in technology. Our role is to listen to their concerns and deliver recommendations tailored to their particular needs. That often requires the development of unique solutions, not just trying to use a standard application to address a very non-standard need.

Featured Sponsors:

 
Provide over-the-top service in addition to top-tier products. Mortgage servicers rightfully expect dependable service from their vendors, but we have worked hard to develop a corporate culture of exceeding expectations. All team members understand that they are to go the extra mile to ensure that projects are completed on-time and any necessary resources are applied to promptly resolve support issues. The extra effort ensures better operations and builds lasting relationships.

Embrace change. Change is the reality of our lives, and consistency in our service to our clients requires that we not only acknowledge that truth, but that we build a culture that is quick to respond to change. To be of genuine value to our clients, we must adapt to their changing needs. A commitment to innovation makes it possible to ride the waves of economic and regulatory changes and survive when other are failing.

No one has a crystal ball, but it seems safe to say that the decades ahead will be filled with their own set of challenges. Whatever they may be, a steady and consistent business philosophy will be the key to long-term success.

About The Author

Barry Hays
Barry Hays is Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of TeleVoice, a provider of customized call center solutions, to the financial services industry. Barry may be reached by email at bhays@televoice.com.

Vendor Moves Office To Accommodate Growth

To accommodate its continued growth, TeleVoice, a provider of customized call center solutions, has moved to new offices that are substantially larger than its previous location.

Featured Sponsors:

 

 
The offices are still in Houston and feature a state-of-the-art audio recording studio for production of IVR prompts using the company’s experienced voice talent team. Since each client has unique criteria for its interactive voice response (IVR) application, this in-house studio allows TeleVoice to be in complete control of the quality of the recordings and facilitates faster turnaround for time-sensitive projects.

Featured Sponsors:

 
The new facilities also include an expanded test lab allowing for simultaneous quality assurance testing of contact center projects for multiple clients.

Featured Sponsors:

 
“The kind of growth we have experienced this year, our 30th year in business, warranted an investment in new offices,” said Barry Hays, senior vice president of TeleVoice. “This expanded space enables us to add technology and marketing staff to our team, These additions  will help us continue to provide the highest level of service as our client base continues to expand.

TeleVoice’s new address is 16430 Park Ten Place, Houston, TX  77084.

Progress In Lending
The Place For Thought Leaders And Visionaries

Don’t Lose Sight Of The Human Touch

The last couple of decades have completely transformed the way consumers and mortgage servicers interact. New and augmented self-service technologies have delivered higher and higher levels of efficiencies in borrower interaction. Increasingly tech savvy borrowers have come to expect a broad range of technology options for accessing account information and communicating with their servicers. It’s been a great thing for borrowers and servicers alike.

Most borrowers now take advantage of more than one self-service channel in the course of their relationship with their mortgage company. Perhaps it’s a quick look at the principal balance on the web tonight, followed by a one-time draft payment using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) next week, or double-checking on a web app to make sure a payment posted. The use of various self-service channels depends upon the borrower’s preference, what tools they have available at any given time (cell phone, PC, etc.), and the nature of the inquiry.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”2″]

The mix of self-service options….web, IVR, mobile apps…is the proverbial win-win. So long as the applications are well-designed, consumers enjoy the convenience, and servicers can now process inquiries for a fraction of the cost of a call handled by a representative.

The Downside of Self-Service Technologies

In our rush to embrace these new and improved self-service technologies, the hazard is forgetting the critical importance of the human element. While borrowers will frequently be happy to grab information on the run from the web or IVR, some questions actually do require a conversation with a representative. Consumers want the assurance that a representative is available if needed, no matter what channel they’re using. It’s an important reassurance…even if they don’t take advantage of it.

Featured Sponsors:

[huge_it_gallery id=”3″]

We’ve got to strike a proper balance between facilitating self-service and maintaining easy access to contact center representatives. Through careful design and scripting, we should encourage borrowers to serve themselves using IVR, the web, and mobile apps, but we’ve also got to ensure it is easy for them to raise the white flag and seek human help if needed.

Opting for an Agent via IVR

One of the greatest complaints among consumers is that IVR menus are poorly worded and make it difficult to access an agent. As servicers strive to improve customer satisfaction, it’s more critical than ever to build IVR menus that make it easy for callers to navigate to the information or service they need. However, it’s equally important to offer an option to speak to a “live” representative.

It may seem counterintuitive, but making it easy to press “0” for a representative at any menu won’t discourage self-service. If it is easy to authenticate and if IVR menus are well-written, borrowers will typically self-serve because it is faster. But if the borrower really needs to speak to someone, you do yourself no favors by hiding the option to get to an agent. It’s important to ensure that each major menu offers the caller a consistent option to press “0” for a representative.

Contact Options on the Web

The web channel is no different. Borrowers accessing account information on the web often don’t find all the answers to their questions. Once again, they’re going to desire a quick and easy way to connect with a representative.

The worst solution is to expect the borrower to find your 800 number on the web and call for help. That call will lead to your IVR system where the borrower will have to once again authenticate and then navigate through a menu to reach an agent.

Instead, consider augmenting your website with more direct contact options. For many consumers, the contact method of choice will be a web chat. Chat’s the perfect communication tool for a large segment of the population that has embraced texting and Instant Messaging (IM). It’s a natural extension of their day-to-day interactions, and they are comfortable using chat to quickly get their questions answered.

But not everyone is chat-oriented, and some questions are more readily addressed over the phone. For those web users, the better option is to build into your website an option to request a call from a representative. When the borrower fills out the form, an agent in your call center is notified immediately that this borrower has requested a call, and the call is placed to a phone number entered by the borrower. An immediate call back gets the borrower’s questions resolved quickly and underscores your commitment to customer service, and makes for a happier borrower.

Both borrowers and servicers benefit from the full range of self-service options, but the servicing business is still very much a people business, and the need to connect borrowers with call center representatives continues to be a critical factor in customer satisfaction.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Barry Hays
Barry Hays is Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of TeleVoice, a provider of customized call center solutions, to the financial services industry. Barry may be reached by email at bhays@televoice.com.

Screen Pop Technology: An Overlooked Solution

website-pdf-download

We all know additional government regulations, especially from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), call for a higher level of customer service for borrowers, be it at the point of origination or day-to-day servicing or even at default. These requirements have motivated servicers to improve the customer experience while simultaneously seeking greater efficiencies in their call centers. Enhanced call center technology has been one of the best tools for ensuring that regulatory requirements are adhered to and that borrowers are given the highest level of service.

One technology that can greatly enhance the experience and improve service levels exponentially is screen pops. Screen pops are a customizable solution that can give call center agents the edge they need to provide optimal service. The technology allows inbound customer service callers to reach an agent and not have to provide their account number because their account information is automatically be displayed on the agent’s workstation. This saves the agent time and eliminates frustration for the borrower.

Here’s how it works. The call first answered by an interactive voice response (IVR) system. After authenticating the borrower, the IVR system updates a CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) database, associating the loan number with the call. If the borrower later needs to be transferred to an agent, software loaded on the agent’s desktop and retrieves the call data from the CTI server. Using the borrower’s loan number, a defined screen with the caller’s information “pops” on the desktop as the agent’s phone rings.

In addition to adding a layer of convenience to the customer experience, the use of screen Pops can reduce the average call time 15 to 20 seconds. This time savings gives agents the opportunity to work with more customers each day, yielding significant savings for the all center. For example, let’s say a call center has 100 agents, each handling 100 calls a day; that’s a total of 10,000 calls per day. Saving 15 seconds per call represents total agent time of 2,500 minutes per day. Let’s assume 200 work days per year and an average loaded hourly cost of $25 per agent, the annual cost savings with Screen Pops is more than $300,000.

So why aren’t more call centers set up with Screen Pop technology? Most call centers use a variety of systems, typically from several different vendors. These systems include the telephone switch, ACD, IVR system, desktop phones and PC workstations that use local or hosted software applications. To have an effective Screen Pop deployment, it is imperative to communicate with these disparate systems and consistently link the correct caller account information with each call. In addition, each implementation must build on a call center’s existing infrastructure, interfacing with all of the aforementioned systems.

The solution is the use of CTI middleware that can communicate with all the various systems within the call center. A customized CTI solution will manage the behind-the-scenes communication, ensuring that borrower information is associated with the call for the entire life of the call. Once Screen Pop technology is in place it tends to be easy for IT groups to maintain. Just like with other servers, CTI Screen Pop servers should always be protected by anti-virus software as well as up-to-date operating system service packs. With Screen Pops implemented in call center, advanced CTI modules may be readily added which will build on the existing infrastructure and further increase call center efficiency and improve customer satisfaction.

As an industry, we can provide the improved levels of service that both customers and the government want. Continuing to embrace technology and its benefits will help every area of customer service when systems are implemented to supplement an agent’s efforts.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Barry Hays
Barry Hays is Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of TeleVoice, a provider of customized call center solutions, to the financial services industry. Barry may be reached by email at bhays@televoice.com.

Servicing Innovation Lives On

TeleVoice and Black Knight Financial Services have collaborated to develop several innovative solutions that can improve how lenders and servicers manage their customer service communications channels while increasing operational efficiency. Here’s what they accomplished:

The companies developed several TeleVoice applications, then integrated them with MSP, Black Knight’s servicing system. MSP is a complete, end-to-end system used by financial institutions to manage all servicing processes, including loan boarding, escrow administration, investor reporting and more that offers servicers the ability to meet all mortgage and consumer loan servicing needs for any size portfolio. The applications developed include:

>> IVR Payoff Autofax – Prepares and faxes a payoff statement from MSP, when requested by borrowers through the TeleVoice Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, for more efficient processing;

>> SpotLight – Helps servicers manage day-to-day call processing between borrowers and their assigned contact via a comprehensive single point of contact (SPoC) call management solution;

>> Interactive Voice Response – Improves call efficiency by integrating an automated voice response system with Black Knight’s MSP servicing platform to provide borrowers with immediate, secure access to loan-related information via touchtone phone; and

>> Screen Pops – Improves the caller experience and productivity by delivering an online snapshot of the customer’s loan data to a customer service representative when a call is transferred from the IVR.

“During Black Knight’s 26-year business relationship with TeleVoice, we have worked together to provide servicers with solutions that help them offer better service to their customers; manage their operations more efficiently and cost-effectively; and support their efforts to maintain compliance with industry regulations,” said Joe Nackashi, Black Knight’s chief information officer and president of its Servicing Technologies division.

New American Funding is one of the lenders that has benefited from TeleVoice’s IVR and one-time draft processing.

“Having a solution in place that offers our customers the best experience they can have when they call us is very important and in line with our mission to provide stellar customer service,” said Carol Norton, vice president of system support at New American Funding. “TeleVoice’s commitment to working with us to ensure we have the right system for our needs that meets regulatory requirements has made the implementation process easier.”

“The TeleVoice team of consultants, developers, programmers and support personnel has an average of 15 years of experience working with Black Knight’s MSP technology and with servicers of all sizes,” said Barry Hays, senior vice president of TeleVoice. “This experience has translated into a strong partnership that benefits all parties involved. We look forward to continuing our work with Black Knight and its clients.”

Black Knight offers the full suite of TeleVoice call center solutions to its growing client base. An active Black Knight-TeleVoice User Group, composed of servicing clients, meets regularly to help shape TeleVoice product development.

“The Black Knight-TeleVoice User Group has been an essential part of helping us meet our commitment to deliver solutions that address the changing needs of the servicing industry,” Hays added.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.

Addressing Today’s Servicing Requirements

The servicing industry is in the midst of significant regulatory rule adoption and implementation, but based on the volume of servicing-specific entries in the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint Database, the pace of change is simply not rapid enough. At a recent servicing trade show, Deputy Director of the CFPB, Steven Antonakes, clearly vocalized his level of disappointment in the lack of progress in this regard. Under this increased level of scrutiny, servicers are challenged to quickly and cost effectively improve their borrower communications to comply with the spirit of the CFPB’s regulations.

So where should servicers focus their attention first? A good starting point would be through the very communications channel that borrowers prefer to use most – the telephone. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) experience that a borrower has before being directed to an agent is crucial in ensuring borrower satisfaction and refining agent performance. Servicers should look for potential improvements within their IVR scripting and menu options to eliminate redundant data entry by borrowers and to shorten the average call length – something that can typically be achieved by improving the utility of existing systems.

The Borrower Experience

Every borrower, loan and situation is different. The personalization of the borrower experience enables servicers to differentiate themselves from their competitors and truly engage with their borrowers. Servicers must consider ways to anticipate borrower questions and offer options for borrowers to address issues themselves through intelligent self-service, via IVR and/or the Web. As an example, if a borrower requested a payoff statement three weeks ago, and she is calling again, she likely needs an updated payoff statement. In order to meet specific (and some of the most common) borrower needs, servicers should update their IVR menus to offer options such as this in efforts to streamline the borrower experience.

Borrowers are authenticated by IVR applications, most commonly by entering their loan number and the last four digits of their Social Security Number. However, a very common borrower complaint is the tedious repetition of the same loan and personal data once they are connected with an agent; wasting time and resources for both the agent and borrower. Servicers can build efficiencies into already existing processes – for example, agent/borrower interaction – by leveraging existing call center platforms, such as Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)-enabled systems, and implementing sophisticated screen pop options to consistently link caller account information with each call.

Loan-Level Reporting

Effective communication between agents and borrowers creates a viable paper trail that enables servicers to immediately retrieve and generate reports to comply with Single Point of Contact (SPoC) requirements or loss mitigation guidelines. Enhanced call center systems tailored to the SPoC environment can produce call reports in a timely manner that will quickly mitigate any complaints against a specific agent or servicer within the CFPB’s Consumer Complaint database, or in the event of an audit.

The technology to address common servicing challenges to meet the latest industry standards is available today. By improving the utility of existing services, servicers are enabled to meet and exceed borrower satisfaction levels, ensure compliance and streamline agent efficiencies.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Barry Hays
Barry Hays is Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of TeleVoice, a provider of customized call center solutions, to the financial services industry. Barry may be reached by email at bhays@televoice.com.

Enhancing Call Center Efficiency

As mortgage servicers invest more resources toward improving borrower satisfaction and increasing call center efficiencies, TeleVoice, a provider of customized telephony applications, has released a white paper on enhancing call center efficiency and customer satisfaction by utilizing Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)-enabled Screen Pop technology. Here’s the scoop:

While Screen Pop technology has been available for decades, the CFPB’s mortgage servicing regulations have caused servicers to reexamine all aspects of their call center operations to ensure servicers are being as efficient as possible when addressing borrower inquiries. Particularly in today’s market, Screen Pops differentiate the call center experience for borrowers and improve the quality of service they receive by reducing the average call length by (on average)15-20 seconds, simultaneously enabling servicers to dedicate time to additional accounts and increasing customer retention levels.

“In the current regulatory environment, identifying compatible call center technologies is crucial in reporting all servicer and borrower interaction,” said Barry Hays, co-founder and senior vice president of TeleVoice. “Our white paper clearly articulates the challenges of utilizing a CTI solution that communicates with a call center’s disparate systems to consistently link caller account information with each call, and presents the guide to implementing an actionable, profitable solution.”

To access the full white paper, “Enhancing Call Center Efficiency with Screen Pops,” visit http://televoice.com/case-studies/Screen_Pops/.

About The Author

[author_bio]

Tony Garritano
Tony Garritano is chairman and founder at PROGRESS in Lending Association. As a speaker Tony has worked hard to inform executives about how technology should be a tool used to further business objectives. For over 10 years he has worked as a journalist, researcher and speaker in the mortgage technology space. Starting this association was the next step for someone like Tony, who has dedicated his career to providing mortgage executives with the information needed to make informed technology decisions. He can be reached via e-mail at tony@progressinlending.com.