The creative juices are flowing with our Third Party Collection team and their recent use of CallMiner’s MyEureka Dashboard to measure agent negotiation!

For many years, our agents have used a series of fact-finding questions to help them understand a patient’s situation and provide the best solution for account repayment. The answers to these patient’s financial situation questions are noted on each account as the agent gathers the information in a very professional and conversational manner. Payment negotiation can sometimes be intimidating for the agent so there is much training that goes into this process, from role-playing scenarios to side-by-side listening sessions before making those first calls. Even for experienced agents, negotiation tips are shared during call calibration sessions.

In an effort to reinforce the training around using negotiation language and completing the financial fact-finding, our Director of Third Party Collections, Mark Neill, collaborated with our Quality Assurance Analyst, Ruth Podest, to put this measure directly on the agent dashboard.

Through CallMiner’s MyEureka! Dashboard, each agent can measure their call quality scores throughout the day. More importantly, they can now measure their negotiation score too! Key words are built into the negotiation score, which is displayed on the agent dashboard. Phrases such as “how much time do you need to resolve the balance”, “how short of the balance are you”, and “please let me take a moment to gather some information before confirming a payment plan” are all word strings that work together, with others, to create a negotiation score. Now, when new hire or refresher training takes place, the agent can see their score changing right on the dashboard! He or she can then adjust their own negotiation approach to align with the trained strategy if they are not scoring as high as expected. What a rewarding experience for the agent to be making adjustments throughout the day independently rather than wait for supervisor coaching!

By taking a very commonplace experience such as negotiating payment terms on a call, Mark and Ruth have creatively solved the issue of giving timely, routine feedback to the agent through the addition of this measure on the agent dashboard. Use of these phrases has increased with our Third Party Collections team because we all know that more conversations with strong negotiation lead to better repayment plans for patients.

Our agents have been thankful for the additional dashboard measure too. As Sommer Espie, a member of our Madison-based team so clearly stated, “Each day, I see my personal rankings within the team and want to improve in these categories. I have learned to adjust my negotiation techniques and find the resolution language that works for me while making consumers more comfortable with the conversation.”

About State Collection Service, Inc.

Since 1949, State Collection Service has provided quality collection service to countless healthcare organizations.

Through experience and innovation, State Collection Service has grown to become a tremendously credible and nationally-recognized collection agency offering services from pre-registration to bad debt. It is upon the basis of ethical behavior and a dedication to integrity that each State Collection Service employee works to uphold the company’s vision – Partnerships for a Lifetime.

*This article first appeared in “A State Collection Service, Inc. Newsletter Volume 22, Issue 3, Third Quarter 2016”