Regional Bank Boosts Collections Efficiency to Save $1.97M in Three Years

A regional bank and subprime auto lender struggled to add new loan accounts without also increasing the cost of their service operations. EPIC Connections implemented a skills-based service model and cloud CRM solution that produced productivity gains equivalent to 61 FTEs and created an estimated savings of $1.97M.

Situation: Grow Accounts Without Increasing Costs

A regional bank and subprime auto lender faced growth challenges that made it difficult to add new loan accounts without also adding significant costs and resources to the collections and customer service operations. With every 350-400 new accounts, the contact center hired one new agent to serve incoming customers. To remain competitive, the bank needed to position itself for greater scalability and sustainable growth.

EPIC was selected because its consultants brought decades of experience helping collections contact centers build capacity without headcount increases. EPIC was specifically asked to leverage technology to increase agent productivity and manager effectiveness.

Solution: Skills-Based Model & Cloud CRM

Veteran consultants were brought in to assess the situation, design a strategy, and roll out a results-optimized solution. After a 30-day assessment of the inbound and outbound call operations, EPIC presented its findings and recommendations, partnering with the bank to develop and implement a customized solution.

Root Cause Implemented Solution & Recognized Benefit
Operations Model Limitations: Collections and service agents owned specific customer accounts which slowed service times and limited efficiency

Skills-Based Operations Model:
Transitioned from an account-based model to a skills-based model

  • Freed agents to serve where they were most needed
  • Enabled specialization and heightened the customer experience—tenured agents handled more difficult calls
Technology Gaps: Missing and non-integrated contact center systems prevented visibility into performance and restricted management

Integrated Cloud CRM Platform:

  • IVR enhancements
  • Outbound dialer
  • Workforce management (WFM)
  • Screen pop-ups and call scripting
  • Quality Assurance (QA) with speech analytics
  • Unified knowledge base
  • Proactive text and email alerts for bank customers
  • A managed RFP process to ensure the right technology at the best price
Manual Processes: Drafting personal direct mail letters and paper-based collections processes reduced work speed

Back-Office Automation: Standardized templates, system-generated letters, a dedicated back-office team and a transition to electronic systems

Modernized Business: Eliminated manual processes and reduced the workload overall

Results: Productivity Gains Equivalent to 61 FTE

By redesigning the operations model and implementing an integrated cloud CRM, the bank was able to optimize their agent workforce. When combined, the bank’s productivity gains were equivalent to a total headcount savings of 61 Full Time Employees (FTE) (8 service agents, 51 collections agents, 2 supervisors). These time efficiencies empowered existing agents to serve more accounts, increasing their hours of direct customer contact, reducing the cost per collection by an estimated 28%, and positioning the bank for more sustainable future growth.

“When we came in, collection rates were declining, and the cost per collection was higher than it should have been. One year later, the bank was operating on the most modern technology, leveraging collections best practices and analytics for management effectiveness, and adding a very minimal number of agents alongside account growth,” said Steve Weston, Senior Consultant, EPIC Connections.

Eliminating unproductive manual practices from the collections letter-writing and notifications processes also allowed the company to reallocate time and resources, building a dedicated back-office (skip-tracing) team that directly supported the collections/service operations. In the third year, the bank’s net savings was expected to reach ~ $1.97M.

Productivity gains equivalent to 61 FTE

Reduced the cost per collection by 28%

© 2021 EPIC Connections, Inc.