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Suntrust Replaces Predictive Dialer with Intelligent Automated Communications Solution from Varolii

SunTrust, one of the nation’s largest and strongest financial holding companies, chose to replace its predictive dialer technology with an intelligent automated communications solution from Varolii Corporation (News - Alert).

By using Varolii to deliver routine requests for borrower information, SunTrust can proactively contact customers before they call into the contact center, and help many customers to self-serve, SunTrust has greatly improved how it communicates with delinquent borrowers. The company reduced the number of inbound calls to its call center, shaved more than a day off its overall loss mitigation timeline, saved between $8 and $25 per call, and cut first payment defaults by more than 60 percent.
Tony Chambers, VP of default operations, reporting and strategy at SunTrust Mortgage said, “If mortgage default management were nothing more than applying a set of hard-and-fast rules to a generic group of delinquent borrowers for the sole purpose of collecting as much money as possible, the industry would have far fewer hurdles to overcome. But each borrower’s circumstances are different and require an entire series of personalized conversations over a critical timeline. Varolii helped SunTrust reach more troubled borrowers and gather the information we needed faster and at lower cost than we could have using our contact center agents.”
Like many mortgage servicers, SunTrust not only collects on loans issued through its own branches, but also on loans acquired from brokers and portfolio acquisitions.
As their first payment looms, many of these indirect customers have no idea who holds their mortgage or the various options available to make payments. Consequently, many default on their first loan payment.
“By using intelligent automated communications from Varolii, not only did SunTrust improve its business metrics, we empowered our customers and helped them understand they’re doing business with a company that truly cares,” said Chambers. “And that’s important. When the housing market turns around, the lenders that provided superior customer service all along will come out on top.”
In 2008, SunTrust implemented an automated welcome call using Varolii to reduce first payment defaults and get relationships with borrowers off to a good start. By setting customers' expectations early on that they would be proactively contacted on a routine basis, SunTrust established trust with its borrowers, which made them less likely to avoid future communications.
SunTrust calls each borrower a few days before the first payment is due, giving them multiple payment options, including an automated system to take a payment right over the phone or transferring to an agent to discuss their account and other payment alternatives. The results have been dramatic. In a year-over-year comparison, the number of SunTrust customers defaulting on their first payment dropped by more than 60 percent, despite a worsening economy.
In most default management cases, lenders have a finite window to expedite loan workouts or foreclosures, or risk having to start the costly process all over again. Even during a strong housing market, lenders struggle to communicate with every borrower at critical times. And with more messages bombarding consumers every day over multiple channels, some no longer respond to traditional communication efforts, especially those too embarrassed by their financial situation to discuss it with another human being.
SunTrust's dedicated Loan Resolution Team works with borrowers to complete the necessary workout documentation and keep the process moving forward. However, traditional outbound calling programs to provide status updates or request missing information couldn't keep up with the number of borrowers in the loan modification process who needed help and were flooding contact centers asking for immediate status.
SunTrust began using Varolii in its loss mitigation communication efforts to proactively contact borrowers in the modification process, provide a greater number of automated personalized updates and avoid the time-consuming problem of phone tag (News - Alert). Using Varolii, SunTrust freed up its agents to focus on more complex loan resolution tasks, cut its overall loss mitigation timeline by one to two days and dramatically reduced the number of inbound calls to its contact center--saving SunTrust the $8 to $25 it would normally cost to complete each call. And by listening and interacting with automated communication, SunTrust's troubled borrowers were able keep their loan resolution moving forward with less discomfort.
In the Communication Solutions Community, read here all about how 3Com (News - Alert) modernizes the IT infrastructure of Brazil's Federal Department of Justice with H3C Enterprise Networking Solution.

Hans Lewis is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri
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What Are Related Definitions You Should Know?

Related definitions that you should know as you increase your understanding of predictive dialers include:

Dialer: generic term for any computer-driven device that places outbound calls and connects the answered calls to an agent or operator.

Agent: telephone professional to whom a predictive dialer sends the ready call.

Predictive Dialer: Predictive dialing was introduced for the purpose of increasing efficiency within calling centers. They are computer based system that automatically dial groups of telephone numbers, and then passes live calls to available agents. The SpitFire Enterprise dialer utilizes sophisticated algorithms to speed up and slow down the call rate based on, number of available agents, number of available lines, the campaign’s average call time and other statistical information.

Quick Connect: Quick Connect allows your agents to log in one-to-one with a phone line. This option is great for B2B purposes, especially when your agent needs to be on the phone line through the entire call.

Fixed Dialing: Fixed Dialing gives your call center manager the power to manually set the volume of calls. The software will then automatically dial a predetermined number of lines per agent. Fixed dialing is ideal for political campaigns, charity campaigns, and other situations drop call ratios are not a factor.

Auto dialer: makes thousands of calls screening for busy signals, no answers, fax machines while detecting answering machines/voicemail and delivers pre-recorded messages. SpitFireX Auto Dialer is a low cost solution for voice broadcasting.

How Do Predictive Dialers Work?

Predictive dialers use complex mathematical algorithms that calculate, in real time:

  1. the number of available agents
  2. the number of phone lines available
  3. the probability of reaching a human being at a specific number
  4. the time between calls required for optimum agent efficiency
  5. the length of typical agent/customer or
    debtor conversations
  6. the average length of time agents require to wrap up after a call

SpitFire Enterprise Predictive SEP is a fully blended call center solution that supports unlimited lines, agents, and campaigns. Its greatest strength is in its flexibility: multiple campaigns can be set up, viewed, and changed with the click of a button. With easy options for customization, data and dispositions can be catered to each campaign. In addition to our user-friendly interface, SEPhighlights full customer data and combines multiple campaigns on one screen. All the information your agents need is accessible at a glance, freeing their energy to focus on what matters: the calls.

Keep It Simple with SpitFire Fully Integrated Call Center Software

Our greatest priority is making your call center run smoothly, and we do that by developing software that is intuitive and easily integrated with your current systems. SEP works seamlessly with most CRM applications and long distance carriers, making it the simplest and most cost-effective solution for your call center.

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Benefits of Using a Predictive Dialer

  1. Manages the process of dialing tens of thousands of calls or tens of millions of calls in its lifetime.
  2. Detects the result of the call, as an example: no answer, busy, fax, bad number, answering machine without any presence of human expertise. Consequently saving time by only transferring calls which are voice connects to the agents locally or remotely.
  3. Using predictive dialer increases the productivity of the company by drastically increasing the time agents spend on the phone talking to actual customers or prospective clients.
  4. Predictive dialer users get the ability to organize and better manage the client information, no lost notes scribbled on pieces of paper. The database used by the dialer organizes the calling structure.
  5. The most significant task done by the predictive dialer is to predict, which means always making an effort to get a live call to the available agent with the shortest amount of wait time. This is achieved by self learning algorithms within the predictive dialer to increase or decrease the dial ratio per agent, logged into the system.
  6. Inbound call can be better dealt with by allowing the customers to wait on hold in an IVR system, or a way to leave a message they'd like a callback while the agent is busy talking with other customers.
  7. Most important benefit of a predictive dialer is it reduces expenses for your company over a period of time since you do not need to buy and deploy a complex and sometimes extremely expensive PBX system. Your company will experience return of investment (ROI) in a period of six to twelve months.
  8. A predictive dialing system can effortlessly fit into your companies existing infrastructure since it is software controlled.
  9. The call routing logic and the contact management is all included in one software package. Your call routing logic implemented as per your specifications. Since it is a software package it can easily be upgraded even if you are located remotely with the help of internet.
  10. Provides an added cost effective method of managing the client database by giving the user of the predictive system ability to rework your database on previous call results.

    1. only redial records which were busy, no answers and answering machines
    2. Delete records which are bad numbers, disconnected numbers or operator intercepts
  11. Do a real time look up against the do not call database saving the predictive dialer user from accidentally calling people who have enrolled in the do National not call registry. This saves the company from lawsuits and others risks conforming to all legal statutes and FCC complaints.
  12. Provides progressive dialing capabilities like call blending which means handling inbound and outbound call at the same time.
  13. Provides ability to integrate call recording devices and call monitoring interfaces which helps call center supervisors to train agents and users and improve their customer support skills.
  14. Easy to setup and learn the predictive dialer logic and software tools.

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