August 12, 2020

Transcript: Lessons Learned from Covid-19: Taking a Digital-First Approach to Today’s New Environment

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A webinar recap on business lessons learned from taking a digital-first approach to Covid-19.

Full Transcript

Access the full webinar recording here

JIm Lynch [00:04:11]: I’m Jim Lynch. I’m the Senior Director of Product Marketing here at LiveVox. So, really excited to be here today. Um, so we’ll touch on taking a digital first approach to today’s new environment. So we always think about what is new and obviously it’s really new if we think about how fast we’ve come to where we are today.

JIm Lynch [00:04:31] And it was just a few months ago where most of our contact centers were forced to really change and, and move to a work at home type environment. Digital channels have started to explode and really I’m excited to be joined by an expert panel today. So what I want to do is take a few minutes and allow them to introduce themselves and we’ll dive right in.

JIm Lynch [00:04:49] So, Jeff, how about if we kick it off to you first, maybe a little bit of background about yourself. 

Jeff Batista [00:05:00] : Sounds good. I love to do that, Jim. Hi everyone. , I’m the VP of IT for Hunter Warfield and I’ve been within Hunter Warfield for what I call nine exciting years. I’ve been in the IT field for about 16 years. So in addition to the collection space, I’ve worked in an IT capacity in the industries raging from hospitality to retail distribution.

Jeff Batista: [00:05:17] And as with Jim, I share his enthusiasm of being on this con panel today. 

JIm Lynch: Thanks, Jeff. I think everyone on the line understands you’re nine exciting years, especially in this field. All right. How about you, John? 

John Kelan [00:05:34] : Good afternoon. I’m John Kelan, Senior Director of Operational Strategies for Hunter Warfield.Uh, been in the arm industry a little over 18 years, uh, spent about the first 10 years in operations management, ranging from a collector to overseeing a large call center, uh, shifted, uh, the last eight years have been spent and strategy. Workflow development, um, specializing in digital channel and omni-channel growth, uh, then with our first six years and, uh, excited to be here.

JIm Lynch [00:05:55]: Awesome, John, thank you. And then we had to, how about over to you?

Amanda Butkewich: [00:05:59] Uh, yeah. Thank you, Jim. So hi everyone. Good morning. My name is Amanda Butkewich and I’m a Content Strategist here at LiveVox. Um, I sit on our content marketing team, and I execute on all aspects of content development and branding and product marketing initiatives to really help facilitate market awareness and gain mindshare for the LiveVox platform within financial services. Uh, and, and recently a lot of what I’ve been doing has been focused around researching and analyzing how contact centers have responded to the shift toward working from home. Uh, and in terms of my wider background, I have 10 years of marketing and editorial experience spanning theB2C and B2B worlds, and have written and edited for outlets, such as Healthline, NerdWallet, and Ozy Media.

Jim Lynch [00:06:46] Awesome. Thanks, Amanda. I’m so excited to share some of these statistics that you’ve done with the analysis of the reports that you’ve completed this year. So I think it’s really going to be relevant information to the team. So before we go on, I know many people on the line are familiar with LiveVox, but for those that aren’t, I’m just gonna

Jim Lynch [00:07:02] You know, give you a high level overview. So LiveVox is a powerful next-generation contact center platform that seamlessly integrates omnichannel communications, CRM, and workforce optimization that really does empower your agents to provide exceptional customer experience. We power over 14 billion of these interactions every single year.

Jim Lynch [00:07:20] And as mentioned here, we were born and bred in financial services and continue to assist our clients with TCPA risk mitigation with our TCPA court ruling record that currently sits at 9 and 0. So that being said, you know, these conversations just really get us excited here at LiveVox and the team is excited to be part of this presentation.

Jim Lynch [00:07:39] So let’s shift this over to Jeff to tell us a little bit more about Hunter Warfield. 

Jeff Batista: Yeah, we’ll do that. Thanks Jim. So we’re a revenue recovery company, essentially that collection and we’ve been in the industry for over 30 years. Majority of our clients are property management companies and we  help them recover that for tenants that have moved or are no longer there.

Jeff Batista [00:08:00] And their property, but you also offer commercial business and business collections for our clients as well. And some of the things that we feel differentiate us from other companies, this is really our culture. We’ve worked extremely hard to be the strong culture within the Warfield. That really stayed true to our core values.

Jeff Batista [00:08:18] So always encouraging to hear from our clients after a non site visit, uh, it is raving about the team members and the culture. It mimics your traditional call centers. And one of our core values is focusing around continuous improvement. That really helps us keep an open mind and think through innovations and how we improve services, offered to our clients or new ways or things to help them.

Jim Lynch [00:08:40] Awesome. Thanks. Yeah, it really does. So in your culture, you know, you guys obviously have one best call center to work for eight consecutive years. That’s pretty important. And I think that people love to work for innovative companies and I think. Once we get through this presentation. I think that a lot of people are going to see just what Hunter Warfield is all about.

Jim Lynch: [00:08:57] So thanks a lot for that. So let’s take a step back in time a little bit. So we’re all facing, you know, what we thought could become a new normal and guessing what others might be up against. Right. How businesses were planned to respond. We really didn’t know. So during this time live launched a couple of, you know, research reports.

Jim Lynch: [00:09:16] So we launched the team out and they’ve done a couple of things. One a work from home. Another one is really around digital channels and SMS. So Amanda, why don’t you take a few seconds, let’s talk a little bit about this messaging goes mainstream report that we’re going to be touching on throughout the presentation.

Jim Lynch: [00:09:31] So people kind of understand a little bit more about the background of the report. 

Amanda Butkewich [00:09:49]: Yeah, sure. Jim, thank you for setting that up, but, but let me actually, um, let me actually set the entire stage, though.So since, um, some of the data on the following few slides is pulled from the April work from home report.

Amanda Butkewich [00:10:00] : I’ll start with that. Um, because those points really substantiate the larger shift that we’re talking, I think about. And as you said over the first year, two quarters of this year, we released several surveys around work. From home and the use of text and digital messaging, and those surveys included about a thousand participants combined, um, all of the decision making level within the context center.

Amanda Butkewich [00:10:07]: So that means, um, director, VP C-suite those positions. Um, the differences between the, the differences between the two surveys is that the, the work from home survey really looked broadly at the financial services space and included content centers. Doing both inbound and outbound communications. Um, and well, while we were still looking at decision makers, within context centers, doing inbound and outbound in the may SMS study, um, it included a more diverse participant pool in that we opened it up to include additional segments.

Amanda Butkewich [00:10:39] Beyond just financial services. Uh, and you see those listed here on the, on the slides. So BPOs, telecommunication, sales, marketing, and healthcare. So that’s just a background in some contextualization around the surveys. 

Jim Lynch [00:11:02]: Awesome, Amanda. I appreciate that. So just for everyone online today, please understand we’re going to make sure that [00:11:00] this report is available to you as well at the end. So Amanda, let’s talk about our first report and a little bit of the key takeaways from this. So this was our work from home report. If you could just call out a couple of bullet points that you have here. 

Amanda Butkewich [00:11:22]: Yeah, sure. Uh, so you see some of the key findings right here on the right. 63% of leaders are pushing for wider digital adoption with around 80% relying, heavily on email. Um, but I do want to draw your attention to the fact that only 25% of our respondents reported having a digitally enabled work from home contingency that included the entire workforce. Um, and, and I call this out because we found that. The BCDR preparedness was really correlated to performance success during and post transition.

Amanda Butkewich  [00:11:43] And so that is something that really premise, uh, the use of digital, uh, and, and, um, you know, what we’ll be talking about in the later slides. Yeah. I’m sure as, as we think about that, Amanda, with 25% of them being covered with BCDR, it really wasn’t even [00:12:00] something that. Man. I could have never, if dream is the right word, I never could have come up with that to have an idea about a pandemic that was going to shut down all of my contact centers and force people to work from home.

Jim Lynch [00:12:11]: I don’t know John or Jeff, if you guys had anything like that upfront, I know you were thinking about digital, but would you fall into that spectrum of, Hey, you didn’t really have a plan for that either. 

Jeff Batista: Yes. To some extent I would say we would. Yeah, because we looked at our plans and we were really relying on either our onshore offices where we can.

Jeff Batista: [00:12:30] Yeah, close one down and across the country, keep our other,  flow our processes to that or near shore as well. So as far as planning for the world, closing down, it was a Casa that we didn’t think through too much, uh, as well. So I think we’d fall in that 25%. Yeah, I think that or 75% range, for sure. That’s totally fair.

Jim Lynch: [00:12:52] And most people do it except now everyone knows that they better have it because every client that they’re thinking about doing business with in the future is also going [00:13:00] to demand that from you. So interesting. Interesting stats there. I mean, do we want to touch on one other slide here that talks a little bit about, um, you know, the shift to work from home and some of the things that were important.

So maybe you could cover that. 

Amanda Butkewich [00:13:11]: Yeah. Um, so, so these figures here really just reiterate the importance of switching to, um, or yeah, using a low bandwidth cloud platform. And this is because a large portion of our survey participants cited trouble with internet access as their biggest pain point. And I think that that’s kind of stating the obvious, right?

Amanda Butkewich [00:13:31] I mean, you’re not controlling the agent’s environment. Um, especially in a remote model, cloud platforms really offered. A greater flexibility on this front because they help mitigate those variables of internet speed because they’re already low bandwidth to begin with. Um, so they don’t overly tax someone’s internet connection and slow it down further.

Amanda Butkewich [00:13:52] Uh, and as you see, we found that our respondents felt a combination of cloud and VPN produce the most, um, [00:14:00] optimal environment for maintaining previous levels of performance. Um, and as you see a large portion of participants, Uh, around 80% or so, um, or actually using one or a combination of the two.

Jim Lynch: [00:14:13] Thanks, Amanda. No, it really does speak to the cloud. I know that the guys over at Hunter Warfield thought about this, you know, probably a few years back, you know, when they think about moving to the cloud compared to a premise solution, but it really does. And then they have the, uh, you know, you think about securitizing, the data that moves between the agents and your, you know, your host system.

Jim Lynch: [00:14:31] We’re working at a contact center. That’s easy for an IT team to go in and make sure it’s all set up. But you know, when this transition to work at home, You know, that causes some new work and Jeff, I know that’s probably something that you’re going to talk about. So it kind of leads us on to the next slide is why don’t we talk about for a second, you know, why we’re still laying the groundwork here, how Hunter Warfield transitioned to work from home.

Jim Lynch: [00:14:50] Like, what some of your initial challenges were, and then some of your success. So Jeff, maybe we start with you and you talk about from a security standpoint and how you’re getting everyone hooked up. You just saw move into [00:15:00] cloud different types of internet security, you know, talk through some of that.

Jim Lynch: And then, you know, you and John, you know, showed the stage a little bit on this one.

Jon Kelan [00:15:03]:  Sure. Thanks. Thanks, Jim. So, yeah, as far as some of the things, you know, we, we feel we’re in a good position to some extent, because some of the technology we already had that position to, to move quickly when we had to go home.

Jon Kelan [00:15:21] So like our VPNs were established and we have a hybrid where it’s the cloud and non prem. Uh, and that really positions us when we talk about the speed. Where a partner likes a live Vox where there’s some things we didn’t have to consider as much like calling encryption and sending people home and QoS for, for the, the phones where they’re at home.

Jon Kelan [00:15:41] It removes a lot of that lift from us for a couple reasons. One we’ve tested it to live is a broader sense of clients that they’ve gone through. And they’ve been thinking through this for quite a bit. So on the security front, we had a lot in place. The biggest thing for us there was really training. Our team members.

Jon Kelan [00:15:59] Now [00:16:00] take a small step back to say at this point, I’m sure most people on this webinar can relate to the experiences that we face in the transition to going home. And the major constraint for us all was time. Really. We had to do this quickly, uh, and time. And like you mentioned, Jim is security. Um, and they raised a few of these challenges, uh, and something unique.

Jon Kelan [00:16:21] When we talk about the business continuity plan, it wasn’t only our company doing this. It was the world doing this. So we came across challenges when it came to like resources where there’s hardware, other types of resources that we started competing with to get out in the market. Um, the other challenge we had goes back to training right now, our team members have to, that they have to wear multiple hats.

Jon Kelan [00:16:45] You have to know how to set up a workstation at home. They have to learn some basic troubleshooting, uh, skills. They have to learn how to interact with their team members that we’re one sitting next kind of thing, cubicle to them. So, that piece we [00:17:00] had to take into consideration. Yeah. How do we overcome this challenge when it comes to the training and also collaboration?

Jon Kelan [00:17:06] Um, and VPN too, when we talk about training is something they didn’t have to use before. And that two factor authentication to, to help with the security of authentication identity went home. Um, and of course the security concerns, uh, all over, right. Making sure the traffic’s encrypted when they’re at home, uh, cause our, our Kevin’s secure fashion.

Jon Kelan [00:17:26] And to look at how we address some of those challenges or what are we identified as our key successes? Where was number one? I’ll talk about our company culture again. It’s really inspiring to see how the company really came together. And there was no separation on traditional roles; being blocked is for helping one another out.

Jon Kelan [00:17:44] And we had a thing that we love to see was just team members, volunteering without any solicitation to say, Hey, how can we help get the company home? How can we help transition? Um, and our operations team aided a lot in that process where they took on some of this. [00:18:00] Training and how to set up equipment.

Jon Kelan [00:18:02] Yeah. How to log in a fielding, initial help desk, causes people to go home. And so the spirits of the company were up, um, in such a rough time, which was exciting to see, you know, we go back to the hybrid cloud and non-premise infrastructure. Sure. And again, one of the biggest things historically in my career was he really had to focus on when going home.

Jon Kelan [00:18:23] The quality I’ll call, can the, can the consumers hear us on the other end? It’s getting frustrating for them. And those, those vendor partnerships or relationships really helped us in that area. Yeah. And another thing that that we leveraged here was, you know, I mentioned access to data, but really how do we utilize the information that we’re getting from, uh, the consumers on the other end and information from our clients too really.

Jon Kelan [00:18:49] Tailor our conversations with consumers to, to meet their specific needs and kind of the way things are changing in the world. And the other thing too, like you mentioned, Jim is [00:19:00] really that, you know, business continuity or disaster recover, planning that now it’s at the forefront that most companies where we revisit it regularly and talk about, know how anything we want to change the, how we’re doing it today and how do we improve going forward.

Jim Lynch: [00:19:14] I think it’s right. All of us had a plan, right? As soon as this happened, everyone had a plan on how we thought everything was going to work. We quickly discovered that it really didn’t work as smoothly as what we did. But man, I’ve been amazed at all of the companies that we’ve spoken with. They really have, like you said, it was a huge effort from everyone.

Jim Lynch [00:19:32] They pulled together, they all made it happen. Everyone, you know, went home. There were a couple of bumps and bruises along the way, but, uh, I think you guys did a great job. Um, you know, shifting. Transitioning everyone to work at home, which kind of leads us to where we are today. So we think about where we are today.

Jim Lynch [00:19:48] We obviously saw, you know, an increase in inbound volume coming in. People were at home. They had a chance to give you a call back, depending on what types of business you were in, you might even see people calling in for deferments or other [00:20:00] customer service, um, calls. So really what we saw is that. You know, people that needed assistance, and weren’t quite sure where to find it, that drove inbound call volume through the roof.

Jim Lynch [00:20:08] So we’re going to talk to, you know, both Amanda about what people are doing to reduce some inbound call volume, or maybe even swing it over a little bit more to self service. And then, um, Jeff, you really good on this? You said, how do I maintain customer agent experience? So I’m meeting the demand for new channels.

Jim Lynch [00:20:24] So not only, you know, maybe, uh, exploring, expanding some of the channels, the digital channels that you have, but you really do have to train the agents. How do you train the agents differently? So we’ll talk a little bit about that and then make sure that that customer experience and agent experience remains high.

Jim Lynch [00:20:41] And then the last part that we’ll make sure we covered today is how do we increase our operational efficiency with everything that we just talked about along with them being a remote workforce. So we’re going to dive into this a little bit here. And Amanda, you’re going to go through for us, if you could, um, a little bit around the additional capabilities that people were [00:21:00] looking for to support a work from home environment.

Jim Lynch [00:21:02] So over to you. 

Amanda Butkewich  [00:21:02]: Yeah, sure. Uh, so, um, the demand for digital has arrived. Uh, the title of this school might actually be a bit of a misnomer in that, you know, we, as an industry really already knew and were responding to the rising customer preference for digital channels. Um, so it’s really more like our present circumstances have hastened about adoption, uh, and, and highlighted its [00:21:27] primacy, because of things like a need to accommodate different agent’s schedules, mitigate environmental distractions, um, respond to an increase in, excuse me, an increase in voice calls. Like you’ve said, Jim, uh, because so many people, you know, now have the time as they sit at home to get on the phone.

Amanda Butkewich: [00:21:44] Uh, and so we’re, we’re seeing digital channels like web chat, for instance, over here on the right, of course, uh, behind voice be considered the second most needed tool to facilitate work from home. And while other digital channels like SMS are increasing in [00:22:00] usage, uh, as necessary elements of the remote model.

Amanda Butkewich [00:22:03] Um, the, the fact that web chat was listed as the. The primary digital channel needed behind voice. Makes sense. When you think about it, right. Um, like in terms of a website as the digital storefront for your company, um, as we, as we started to shift in doors in a way from these, like in person or in branch transactions, the website sort of, um, supplants or [00:22:26] stands in for that face to face experience, we’re in a customer can pop up in a chat and, and, you know, connect. Um, and then, and then in a similar vein, you know, hearkening back to the cloud and VPN conversation, we get into the infrastructure that accompanies a digitally enabled work from home set up. Um, so, so your screen recording your, your real time campaign monitoring, all of which are listed as necessary components to, to really optimizing digital, as you can see here.

Jim Lynch: [00:22:56] Yeah. I mean, I think that’s all great. And I think you’re spot on. People [00:23:00] are thinking about, you know, we talked about how we move some of our traffic from inbound to more of a self service. So obviously you saw, you know, IVR started to explode a little bit where, you know, people are driving messaging and putting, pushing people to the website and you’re right.

Jim Lynch [00:23:13] The website is their storefront. Um, if it, if it wasn’t before, it’s definitely the number one thing that they have going on right now. And they’re thinking about the customer experience. And they’re also thinking about those inbound calls when you think of web chat and offering SMS and things, because that is, you know, that people are able to have more than one conversation at a time, you know, for every agent.

Jim Lynch [00:23:31] So think of an agent having somewhere between two and five, you know, chat sessions going on at one time. Obviously it’s a lot better for the customer experience where they’re not having to wait on hold. So. So awesome. Awesome stuff here, Amanda. So let’s talk about, you know, over at Hunter Warfield, you guys were able to drive digital and self service growth through this time.

Jim Lynch [00:23:49] So, you know, why don’t you share a little bit with how you’ve kind of battled some of these areas? 

Jeff Batista: [00:23:49] Yeah, absolutely. Um, you know, as, as the world has changed and [00:24:00] everyone’s working from home and, and consumers now have the flexibility to use digital technology, Um, you know, one of our main things was, you know, making sure that we are not just growing those channels, but adapting them to today’s environment.

Jeff Batista [00:24:12] And when that comes into play, you know, we look into, you know, creating specialty campaigns, um, especially, you know, those two towards COVID impacts, um, and you know, partnering with our clients on engaging different settlement options and flexible payment terms. Um, you know, you have to be prepared to adapt your email communications or SMS communications to understanding the new environments that consumers are facing and really trying to, you know, pick and, and partner with the consumers to choose the digital channel of choice and making sure that you have those mechanisms in place to capture all of the things that need to happen and ensuring that they get back into your system of record.

Jeff Batista [00:24:49] Um, and you know, we talk about email, like one of the first things we did was, you know, look, as we’ve seen, you know, the government extending, uh, tax time, you know, was talking to [00:25:00] partners quickly and clients to say, you know, are we going to follow suit? And if we are quickly engaging an email campaign, That informs consumers that we’re, Hey, we’re extending all settlement offers to a certain period of time.

Jeff Batista [00:25:11] So just kind of, you know, recognizing that we’ve seen the market and the world changing, and we had to be quick to adapt that as well. Um, some of the other sides, you know, we, we shifted heavily towards SMS and MMS. Um, what we’re seeing, obviously yes, consumers are home. They are more likely to reply to a text.

Jeff Batista [00:25:31] Uh, communicate through an email. Um, and in a lot of cases in the SMS channel, we’ve tried to adapt to throwing in contact cards. So in today’s technology, you know, you can provide every single communication tool that you have as an attachment and an SMS that allows a consumer to email you to one-click call, to respond via SMS, or even to potentially send you a communication via mail.

Jeff Batista [00:25:54] And all of that’s basically in one location that can be easily imported into a cell phone. So you know, that [00:26:00] digital tool, um, and in contact cards and digital, you know, items like that can really help bring you to the forefront and allow the consumers to engage in their method of choice. Um, some of the other scenarios.

Jim Lynch: [00:26:12] So go ahead. It’s really important. So you’re thinking about some of the things that you mentioned here was the first thing you did was reach out to some of your clients, because you knew not only are you battling this, but you saw an opportunity where you already have the infrastructure in place, but your clients might not.

Jim Lynch: [00:26:26] So they were battling this a little bit, but you have an example where you may be launching an email or an SMS type campaign. You don’t need to mention the client, but did you do any proactive outreach for anyone? 

Jeff Batista: [00:26:43]  Yeah, no, I mean, pretty much every week we kind of use the general blanketed email to our clients, the outline, you know, the extension on the tax time. And, you know, as most companies in our industry tax is extremely unimportant time. It’s where a large portion of your revenue comes from. So our goal was to mass produce, you know, digital communications to our clients, you know, asking them to opt into a settlement extension. And those that quickly said yes, you know, launching [00:27:00] those emails and SMS is to inform consumers that settlement offers have been extended.

JIm Lynch: [00:27:05] No, no, this is really great. And I think that you were also spot on, you said, look, I’m not going to launch a large SMS campaign across our whole base. You are really looking at specialty campaigns. And I think that’s a real important point to bring home for everyone. Is that just because you’re launching SMS, you don’t have to think about it in this broad reaching sense where I have to have a problem or a solution for everything you want to say you just don’t like, you’re not going out and asking people to put their credit card information.

Jim Lynch [00:27:31]: You’re not asking them to put. You know, PII inside text messages. You’re not asking them to, you know, take a snapshot of their check and send it through. Um, so I think that’s, that’s probably something really important. And then maybe I ask you, could you just give like one or two examples of a specialty style campaign that you guys have launched using a digital channel?

Jim Lynch: [00:27:51] You mentioned settlements. Was there anything else? 

Jeff Batista [00:28:00]: Yeah, I mean, no, like the, you know, settlement extensions to themselves, um, the. The type of language we use where you need to specifically COVID and the impact that it may present on consumers and giving them the flexible channels to pick and choose how they want it to communicate their hardship or their willingness to resolve.

Jeff Batista [00:28:12] Their desks and, you know, and a lot of the feedback that we received actually allows us to make adjustments on our payment portal. You know, the payment portal we use today is an autonomous debt negotiation platform. So we’re able to easily pay them and make changes on the fly to how long they can repay on an account or what settlement percentage they will receive.

Jeff Batista: [00:28:34] So we partner with clients and even a lot of the consumer feedback to kind of make on the fly adjustments. To settle parameters and repayment terms to allow some longer periods where, you know, in a normal case, those types of things may not have happened. But obviously in today’s world, we had to be very flexible and create these unique scenarios to allow consumers greater flexibility in resolution.

Jim Lynch [00:28:54]: Awesome. This is all, all great stuff. And I kind of went to shift gears a [00:29:00] little bit into what some of the concerns were. So as we move forward, and then I’m going to come back to you and ask you, you know, from your perspective, we are seeing the same thing that Amanda is seeing in the data.

Jim Lynch [00:29:09]: So Amanda, when we think about this, you know, the largest concern of the organizations when it comes to operating non-voice channels. So sometimes they don’t even get started because some things are barriers to entry or they think they’re barriers to entry without moving forward. So why don’t you cover a couple of these points that you have here?

Amanda Butkewich [00:29:25]: Yeah. Sure. Um, so I’ll say that upfront, we found that channel integration was listed across the board as a hindrance for everyone. Um, and this is probably not surprising, right? Integration is the largest concern when it comes to adding new channels because, um, because when you’re, when you’re adding new channels, you’re adding new workflows.

Amanda Butkewich [00:29:44]: Um, and this is something. I’ll say that we’ve seen in every survey we’ve done this year. Um, you know, even heartening way back to the before times of January, when we released, um, an Omni channel trends, insights report, uh, integration was listed as a key [00:30:00] hangup. Um, and clearly as you see here in these graphs, it continues to bedevil context centers even still, um, So, so diving a bit deeper into the data.

Amanda Butkewich [00:30:11]: Um, yeah, you can see here that financial services folks are preoccupied with compliance concerns, but only marginally more so than channel integration by about two points. Um, and I just want to stop and underscore that point because when you put that into perspective and you really consider the massive amount of [00:30:30] regulatory red tape that financial service firms contend with on the compliance front, it really serves to show how big this issue of integration is. And then moving on to the BPO segment, we see more monitoring and execution concerns listed as a secondary impediment to operation.

Amanda Butkewich: [00:30:50] Um, and, and just as a side note, I’d like to point out that this may also inadvertently tell us something about compliance from a third party standpoint. Um, meaning that the introduction of more channels presents added wrinkles, like, like I’ve said, um, for things like consent capture. 

Jim Lynch [00:31:00]: No, this is great, Amanda.

Jim Lynch [00:31:12] And you know, when I think of this, I, I also think that integration is probably, you know, even though people aren’t seeing it, it’s the biggest pain point for those that have launched in siloed applications that weren’t able to. So bring the data together. And we think about that through the lens of compliance that could also happen.

Jim Lynch [00:31:27] Let’s say that someone comes into a web chat and SMS tells you to cease all communications with them. Well, if you have an agent that’s just on chat, maybe they, you know, update something with an SMS, but they forget to update something with, with calls or I don’t know, files could break through things. It could be crazy.

Jim Lynch [00:31:44] So, you know, before, before we move on from this slide, Jeff, you know, from the Hunter Warfield side, Before you guys really started to launch your digital applications. Were any of these areas also kind of like a pain point for you when you guys were thinking about launching? 

Jeff Batista [00:32:08]: Yeah, they were, um, I think we probably started with, uh, the compliance piece and making sure what we did, uh, was compliant with all the regulations out there.So we didn’t get in trouble or clients were secured and we were, uh, doing the right thing for the consumers as well. Talk about integrations. Data integrity was a key piece for us there to make sure that the data flowed correctly and they got the word needed to land so that the workflows, uh, worked appropriately, um, technology limitations.

Jeff Batista [00:32:28]: I think a warrant is big of a problem. It really came down to more resource allocation at that point for us. Awesome. And then, so John, we thought about this from an operational perspective and that kind of moved on a little bit to the considerations for channel adoption. What are these from an operational perspective, really stuck out to you.

Jeff Batista [00:32:50]: Um, and I mean, honestly, truthfully compliance and litigation risks typically take the forefront, um, just because of the cost and exposure to your brand and the client’s [00:33:00] brand. You know, if these channels aren’t implemented correctly or not followed to a T. Um, they can unfortunately create a lot of headaches and frustrations that could be avoided if you follow the compliance aspects upfront.

Jim Lynch [00:33:13]: Yeah, I think that’s fair. And I think that a lot of people are worried, but things in a digital, you know, think about digital transformation, everything is written, right? So they’re afraid of someone taking a snapshot on their phone posting on social media. It could get ugly really quick, but there’s people that are doing it, right?

Jim Lynch [00:33:29]: Meaning that every phone call you listen to you, they’re treating people with respect and just doing things the way that they should. Then if you’re treating people that way, normally it’s okay. It’s actually a positive message when, uh, when some of the digital transactions get out. So, um, how difficult to implement?

Jim Lynch [00:33:44]:  Did you find it from an operational perspective? I know that you have people working at home now they may have taken on some new responsibilities that relate to channels. Has it been difficult to implement or, or talk through that process a little bit? Sure. Uh, you know, each channel has its own level.

Jeff Batista [00:33:57]: Well, the difficulty, um, [00:34:00] from my side, that’s basically what my team specializes in. Um, a lot of them have operational experience and technical skills. So our main goal is kind of like that bridge between the tech side and then the operational use. Um, and you know, as you build in these new technologies, you mentioned it, you know, the key to tracking, um, tracking.

Jeff Batista  [00:34:17]: Opt-ins not, not every case is a company going to launch three new digital channels all at once. So you can’t just think about what and how you’re going to do it today, but you also have to be thinking on the forefront of what is the next channel and the next channel and where will we ultimately seamlessly track?

Jeff Batista  [00:34:33]: You know, as each new channel comes on board to ensure, you know, as you said, if a chat agent isn’t handling email, we need to make sure that the minute a chat agent gets some kind of ceased communication or something that must be noted and taken into consideration across all that is quickly inputted into the system of record.

Jeff Batista  [00:34:49]: And it’s visible for any other communication channel that may be going on at the same time. So is this something that Jeff really helped you with from like an automation standpoint? Or do you find your people doing it manually? Talk a little [00:35:00] bit about how you’re accomplishing this. Sure. Um, so our main goal, typically when we do a lot of these channels, it’s looked at from each of the departments and we actually all play a huge role.

Jon Kelan  [00:35:10]: Um, we, we basically get together when we’re onboarding these new channels and talk about, you know, how are we going to provide ease of use to the consumer? Because obviously the easier you make that channel, um, acceptable, the greater the selection and the greater the usage. But I mean, in our case, we constantly meet and we ask ourselves, does our system of record?

Jon Kelan [00:35:29]: How is it? And me and I see, and my team, we work hand in hand on all of these channels. I mean, that’s the partnership there as Jeff alluded to the culture is extremely important to ensuring that we’re using any technology in our system of record. And we’re creating the least amount of outside tools and things to make sure everything works together.

Jon Kelan [00:35:51]: So, you know, it for me is extremely valuable when it comes from the implementation. 

Jim Lynch  [00:36:00]: Yeah, no, I can’t agree more. And the full visibility that you noted here into the multichannel contact history, that’s probably the most important, because it really does allow you to go in and audit, change your work streams, update any nurture flows that you might have, um, you know, pretty quick.

Jim Lynch  [00:36:12] So this is awesome. And then we talk about, you know, compliance and quality management. So this is especially big for you guys right now. You’re thinking about compliance. And then you’ll talk about quality management here in just a second, but you know, with people working at home, maybe you could touch on, you know, these two bullets real quick.

Jeff Batista [00:36:29]: Yeah, sure. I mean, you know, in any new channel you have two aspects, you’ve got the compliance piece, which you’re ensuring that the new channel is being used quarterly to any kind of, you know, regulatory laws. And then you have the operational efficiencies and ROI expectations. And both of those, you know, kind of have their own uniqueness, but share some similarities.

Jeff Batista [00:36:49]:  Um, so one thing we had to do when we launched a new communication channel is ensure from a compliance monitoring standpoint that that team has tools and things like that. There used to [00:37:00] be able to fill new chat logs, or new email communications. Anything in those channels, they need to have access, to be able to review and ensure everything that should be on there is done, everything tracked back to the system of record, you know, and then we look at aside of saying, okay, now how are we best using those channels?

Jeff Batista [00:37:17]: Are we, you know, sending a consumer SMS because that’s their method of choice versus emailing them. And that’s kind of the things that are. Formance improvement team monitors for, they listen to ensure agents are getting opt in across the board and not just towards one specific channel. They’re making sure that if a consumer, you know, is ready to resolve the account, that we’re able to send them an email or an SMS communication, almost real time to ensure that we can confirm receipt and basically, you know, offer that on that initial call.

Jeff Batista [00:37:46]: So that’s kind of where our pit team comes into play. It’s just making sure that our agents. You know, are, are doing the proper steps to get off opt ins and notating accounts accordingly. And following the efficiency steps that we’ve given to them to make each of those channels successful.

Jim Lynch [00:38:00]: Awesome. I think it’s great.

Jim Lynch [00:38:01]: Like it’s one thing that really launched a channel. Okay, great. Who everyone’s got it working, but it’s another thing to optimize and really make sure that we’re using it in the correct way. So I think that’s awesome. So how, how large society of curiosity is this pit theme that you have. A big team is kind of a dual risk.

Jeff Batista[00:38:17]: They actually are collections as well, but there’s about seven members on that team, including a supervisor. 

Jim Lynch: Awesome. Awesome. Great. All right. Cool. Let’s shift gears a little bit. And Amanda, we’re going to kind of kick this over to you from the consumer front. Why are businesses really starting to pay attention to, you know, the non-voice channels and the speed of adoption?

Amanda Butkewich [00:38:39]: Uh, yeah, sure. Jim, um, So, so as you’ve suggested, we know customers prefer digital. Um, but, but I think that that often gets thrown out as, um, as a blanket statement with so much, you know, kind of generic and assumed evidence behind it that the assertion is. Basically rendered useless because it’s not really telling us [00:39:00] anything substantial from the business’s point of view.

Amanda Butkewich  [00:39:02]: Um, and so what I mean by that is that when we say customers prefer digital, that’s just, you know, one side of the story. So in the survey, what we wanted to know was whether the customer preference was critical to the business when considering alongside, um, other imperatives. And we especially wanted to see if that would vary when broken down by industry.

Amanda Butkewich [00:39:23]: Digital has proven to be really important from a business standpoint for industries like retail, um, which I bring up only by way of comparison. It was not an industry that we looked at in the survey. Um, but what we wanted to confirm was whether there was a difference by industry segment in terms of the quote unquote stock contact centers we’re placing in that.

Amanda Butkewich [00:39:45]: Some are preference feedback. Um, and so we wanted to understand whether or not the fact that customers wanted the digital channel communication, whether or not that was a big enough factor that it could potentially have greater influence over adoption decisions when considered along [00:40:00] things like what you see here, lower, low, lower cost, higher contact rates or deflecting inbound call traffic.

Amanda Butkewich [00:40:07]: Um, and, and further we wanted to. Uh, see how it would stack up in a ranking against those business impact goals. And we saw overwhelmingly like across industries, that customer preference for digital was consistently ranked as the biggest deciding factor when it comes to adoption. Um, albeit ranked as slightly more important for those folks within financial services than others surveyed, um, and, and turning to concerns like lower costs, operational efficiency and, and the others.

Amanda Butkewich [00:40:36]: I mentioned, we see them ranked neck and neck across all segments with. With higher contact rates, of course occupying the second biggest driver for BPO. So this is all to say that that customer preference does constitute a significant and critical business imperative, irrespective of industry, and also really shows how customers are defining the standards that shape the market and not the other way around, which was a really interesting confirmation to see.

Jim Lynch [00:41:05]: And I agree. And I think as we start to see some of these new methods shake out, what I believe is going to happen is we’re going to start to see higher contact rates starting to creep up. We’re going to see lower costs, you know, become more important as well. And then I think the one thing that’s not on here is really like an ROI.

Jim Lynch  [00:41:23]: So I think ROI is going to be really important as well. Once people start to see some of the data. And I know the guys over a hundred warfare, they’re going to share a little bit about the data with us this afternoon. So that’s pretty exciting. Thanks, Amanda. And as we think about optimizing efficiency in a remote work environment, all right, now here’s where the rubber hits the road guys.

Jim Lynch  [00:41:43]: So, you know, John, Jeff, talk to us a little bit about some of the results that you’ve seen across here and why, if people haven’t been thinking about this, why they should be thinking of it, especially after what you just saw on the previous slide. Sure. Absolutely. Um, I mean, you know, as we move into the [00:42:00] digital world, uh, cell phones to me are one of the greatest technologies, um, SMS, um, can provide you a world of Avenue and opportunities.

Jeff Batista [00:42:09]: Um, you know, and the good thing about vendors and options is that there’s a lot out there. And a lot of companies should also consider not just necessarily using one product, but to, you know, depending on again, the, the. Ease of use, the quick to adapt. So we kind of do a dual partnership where we share those responsibilities between LiveVox, using a lot through our commercial and international channels.

Jeff Batista [00:42:32]: And then, you know, much like, um, you know, compliance risks and exposure. We partner with a vendor called sin, right? Who uses a lot of the HCI technology, similar to the cell phone output on the HCI component. So we’re, you know, trying to mitigate risk by those channels and using them effectively. So in our case, you know, we’ve been able to grow.

Jeff Batista  [00:42:50] You know, our SMS volume is almost 63,000 emails a month. So for our base, that’s, you know, when we were averaging 22,000, we’ve basically gone to a three to one [00:43:00] ratio. And that seems to be the same side on our email channel as the opt-ins and the places that we make it for consumers to be able to quickly opt into any communication channel.

Jeff Batista  [00:43:11]: It’s awesome. So allow us to grow our email communications 48% and the results are seeing an 85% increase in their response rates. Um, a little surprising to us, um, you know, it’s where do you think it may have curved and inbound volume because of these digital channels? It has actually even grown our inbound channel.

Jeff Batista [00:43:30]: Um, and what we’ve done there is kind of build out different skills based routing. So when we’re launching campaigns, as we talked about, you know, the COBIT extension or, or the, the repayment solutions, um, we’re building targeted, skills-based routing to be able to help offset some of that inbound volume and to ensure, you know, SLS.

Jeff Batista [00:43:48]: And optimal consumer engagement is efficient, but you know, with SMS channels, you can, you can attach PDF, you can throw digital contact cards. And by doing those types of things, you’re giving the consumer every [00:44:00] single communication channel in which to choose from. And in our case, we’re seeing high response to SMS.

Jeff Batista [00:44:05]: We’re seeing very high response to email and we’re even seeing high response on inbound calls. And, you know, we kind of thought that wouldn’t be a deflection, but we’re not seeing it. And that’s, you know, that’s great. Um, the chat we actually launched at the end of January, uh, we’ve just been kind of growing our Omni and digital channel footprint over the past few years.

Jeff Batista [00:44:24]: Um, we simply placed it on our payment portal to help alleviate some of the inbound traffic that we were receiving there for how to navigate through the site. You know, obtaining credentials to log in. Um, and we’ve basically seen like an 8,500 reduction where we’re having way more chats in regards to those types.

Jeff Batista [00:44:42]: So scenario and far less inbound on that channel. And as you mentioned in one of the previous slides, you know, a lot of these chat agents are proficient enough to handle a three to five chats to one call. So where we’re now engaging three to four consumers in one agent level, um, in, in the old [00:45:00] school and the inbound side, it’s basically a one to one ratio and that agent is tied up on a high cost channel, engaging one consumer.

Jeff Batista [00:45:06]: So, these digital channels just allow wow, a wider variety of, you know, customer engagement and resolution options at a higher capacity. No, I think it’s great. So I think of it. Yeah. You know, my personal experience, I take a look at my cell phone right now, and I, I think about all the phone calls that I get, you know, maybe on a daily basis.

Jeff Batista [00:45:26]: And I look at my little notifications that show voicemail and I have 56. Unread or unlistened to voicemails on my cell phone. So I don’t know, that’s probably a bad thing, but I think a lot of consumers out there do the same thing now, but I do read my emails. I do read my text messages, so it’s not too bad if you think about this.

Jim Lynch [00:45:43]: So you are primarily probably staffing at a higher level to make a lot of outbound calls is probably primarily what you were doing. Now. You shifted some of that traffic there. You talk about a three time increase in SMS, monthly usage, and a 40% increase in email. So I’m going to ask [00:46:00] the question, how have your outbound phone calls come down a little bit?

Jeff Batista [00:46:02]: Were you utilizing some of these channels now? Um, specific calls have so as we, you know, we mentioned the chat was launched on our payment portal. To alleviate site navigation questions or login credential information. So we’ve seen those types of skills dramatically reduced where we’re seeing a huge influx yeah.

Jeff Batista [00:46:21]: Is basically SMS response, even though we’re still seeing a higher volume of consumers, you know, responding to the area, um, you know, using those digital tools, that card they have every means in which to contact us. But for whatever reason, a lot of consumers are wanting to call in and discuss, you know, COVID has a lot to do with that impact, you know, trying to have a.

Jeff Batista [00:46:41]: Full-blown SMS conversation for a consumer who’s in a financial hardship. Um, you know, that’s where it can become tedious or long for the consumer and for the agent to continuously type. So a lot of times they’ll shift away and engage into an inbound call, but the good news is, is through all of these channels.

Jeff Batista [00:46:58]: You know, you can set keys [00:47:00] and, you know, use the toll free numbers for specific routing. So you can direct that traffic back to the agents who are specialized in those particular areas. If you’re running unique campaigns, That’s right. No, this is, this is all great. All great stuff. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the successes.

Jim Lynch [00:47:15]: This is what you had. So, you know, you’re thinking about 2020 versus 2019. You touched on this a little bit, but let’s go through one more time. Because of this, these stats are very important for Latinos to hear. Yep. So, you know, and each of these channels want to just, you know, clearly call out this is direct traffic to each of the individual channels.

Jim Lynch [00:47:33]: So I know when you see like the percentages, I don’t want to make it seem like, well, it’s a major influx, it’s solid numbers, but it’s specifically from these channels and what we’ve seen in our payment portal, you know, by adapting the payment terms by changing settlement parameters, um, by being more flexible from what we’re seeing, we’ve seen a 62 and a half percent increase in payer base coming directly from our payment portal.

Jeff Batista [00:47:54]: Uh, from the revenue secure, we’re seeing, you know, 123 plus percent increased in revenue, [00:48:00] simply due to the extended options where a consumer may have bailed before, because it didn’t fall into an acceptable amount or a range that they could afford, you know, listening to their feedback and making those adjustments have led to those kinds of results.

Jeff Batista [00:48:13]: And we’re continuously adapting it every single day to just, you know, the changing of the world and what we’re seeing from our clients and consumers. Um, the IBR, the same case, you know, as we move into the digital world using SMS. Um, and our, you know, digital contact card, it allows direct access to the portal.

Jeff Batista[00:48:30]: It allows a one touch call into the IVR. So when a consumer, you know, calls us back, the first thing we do is ask them, are they choosing to self pay or do they need to speak to an agent? And a lot of these consumers who are receiving these new digital communications. You know, they’re just simply using this channel to resolve.

Jeff Batista [00:48:46]: Um, so they just want quick access to their account. Right? I know they want to pay the balance so that the IVR sees about an 80% increase in players and the 136% increase in revenue secured. And again, same thing, case scenario. You just constantly [00:49:00] have to. Review each of these channels and make tweaks as needed to help them continue to grow.

Jeff Batista [00:49:05]: But one of the main things I think has definitely contributed to the work from home is agent productivity. Um, you know, we’re seeing an 8% decrease in not ready time. Um, a lot of agents know that if they’re not on the phone idle with this increased inbound volume, they’re less likely to receive those inbounds.

Jeff Batista [00:49:20]: And a lot of agents correlate an inbound to it, to a payment or recovery. Um, so we’re seeing now that they’re at home and not next door to the neighbor, You know, they’re, they’re basically, you know, taking, you know, shorter breaks or in most cases just quickly wanting to jump on the phone on time when they sign in and not, you know, signing into the time clock and running off to the coffee shop a 12% decrease in update time.

Jeff Batista [00:49:41]: Again, you know, we, we keep. You know, preaching these in our daily huddles that, you know, you have to learn to talk and type there’s less distractions. You can’t look over to your agent and the next cubicle and talk to them about what’s going on this weekend. So the agents are learning more about talking and typing and continuing to update the accounts and move on to the [00:50:00] next, with no distraction.

Jeff Batista [00:50:01]: And then what we’ve seen from an outbound to call ratio, which also, you know, as you mentioned, Mike, the influx of outbound calls, um, we’re, we’re seeing about a 7% ratio improved per agent. On the overall daily output call volume, which is also leading into additional return calls to the IVR. Um, and you know, inside of the IVR, we give them specific ways to access the portal.

Jeff Batista [00:50:23]: Again, you know, every step that this work from home has provided us where we’re seeing a lot of positive trends that we hope continue into the future. No. Wow. This is, this is really great. I know one of the biggest concerns that everyone had before they went to work at home. I mean, well, I’ve had conversations in the past, right?

Jeff Batista [00:50:39]: Should we allow people to work remote? There were some challenges around licensing. There were some lots of challenges up in the air, but we found a way to do it. And not only has it worked, it’s really worked. Like when you look at this an 8% decrease in not ready time. That’s huge. And if you would have seen that in the contact center yourself, I mean, you would’ve just been.

Jim Lynch [00:50:57]: Been enthused anyway. So I mean, I mean, these stats sure. [00:51:00] You stats are great. And kind of what we’re hearing across the board here. We haven’t, I guess we heard some people say, look working from home. Isn’t isn’t perfect for everyone. Some people don’t like it. They’re not as motivated when they come in.

Jim Lynch [00:51:11]: They have to just sit in front of their computer. I mean, have you guys seen the same thing happen? They’re like some really did well and the transition to work at home and a couple of people maybe struggled a little bit or has everyone really just done a great job?

Jim Lynch [00:51:24]: No. I mean, you know, as we we’ve taught, there’s, there’s some agents who are excelling far beyond there, there’s actually some agents who, you know, were not succeeding as well in a work from office environment that have now started to move into the performance levels of some of our senior reps. And one of the things that we’re just monitoring is, is, you know, when the world returns, what do we do as a company?

Jim Lynch [00:51:46]: And I’m sure, you know, most agencies are contemplating that same question. So we’re just, you know, having to see how this pans out and what’s up to common and expectations, and just making sure that if we are going to continue in this [00:52:00] environment, that we have the steps in place, ensuring that all channels are monitored and the agents that continue to remain are successful in those environments.

Jim Lynch [00:52:07]: So now I’m going to ask you the tough question that everyone online is battling with as well. And that is okay. So if there’s an end in sight, which we don’t know if there is, there’s obviously more. You know, rulings coming out as of late for, you know, new closures and things. What is going to be the new way of operating is work from home.

Jim Lynch [00:52:24]: Something that’s going to stay with you guys and augment some of your processes. Are you trying to play room back into the contact center? What does the future look like if you were out? Like if you had to guess today?

Jeff Batista [00:52:44]: I had to get today, I think, uh, prior, um, a larger portion of work from home environment probably would not have been on the radar. But in tomorrow’s world, I think as a company who wants to grow and see increased productivity and returns, um, I think it is definitely something that will be on the radar go forward. Uh, if you have agents that are excelling extremely well, far [00:53:00] beyond what the expectations were, you know, and that comes from the less distractions, the more dedicated focus, the ease of work from home.

Jeff Batista [00:53:07]: You have to say, this is probably an avenue that we need to consider now and into the future and be ready for when the word war would turn to norm, you know, how will we pick and choose and keep consistency. And the agents that remain work from home versus ones that returned to the office. Great. I couldn’t agree more.

Jeff Batista [00:53:25]: I think most people out there are saying, Hey, this needs to be part of your business as you move forward. And honestly, I bet some of the clients are looking for that as well. 

Amanda Butkewich: So, yeah, Jim, and, and if I could jump in here, um, to close out our work from home survey, we actually posed this question to our participants and 63% of contact center leaders said that they do intend to.

Amanda Butkewich [00:53:48]: To keep at least a portion of agents working from home. So it does look like the, you know, our present circumstances have really opened up and, um, opened up a window into a new world where [00:54:00] work from home is going to become standard operating procedure.

Jim Lynch:  For sure, Amanda, no, that’s a great stat. And it would be interesting for us to actually go do that one more time because people made that the 63% made a guess on how they, how well they thought it would roll out.

Amanda Butkewich [00:54:13]: And now when we think about like, we’re, you know, a few months into this, I bet that that number goes up and creeps up just a little bit. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And I think that, um, you know, just by way of example, we’re seeing a lot of big tech companies like Amazon and Google saying that their, you know, their workforce is going to be.

Amanda Butkewich [00:54:32]: Entirely remote through summer 2021. And so we know that they, they obviously, um, they set the tone and the, and they, they set the standard for a lot of us. So I think that that’s a big indicator as well, but if you don’t mind, if there’s time, I’d like to hop back a slide, because there’s a point that I really wanted to underscore Jim, that you made and that the folks at Hunter Warfield, man.

Amanda Butkewich [00:54:54]: So to, to this point of, um, Of you not answering [00:55:00] your, you not answering phones and, and, and having all these, um, unlistened to voicemails. I think that that really rings true. I know that it’s the case for me. Um, and especially when you consider things like, um, STIR/SHAKEN, or the fact that, you know, I’m an iPhone user and I on iOS 13 now have.

Amanda Butkewich [00:55:17]: my phone is set up to, if I don’t have the number in my contacts, it goes straight to voicemail and my phone doesn’t even ring. So if Wells Fargo or, um,you know, another bank that I do business with is trying to contact me by phone, I don’t have their 1- 800 number in my contract, so I’m not even answering, but.

Amanda Butkewich [00:55:34]:  If they’re emailing me, if they’re texting me, I’m obviously going to get that. So I think that we’re really seeing an inversion in the way that voice is being used because to Hunter Warfield point, it is being used as more of an inbound. A mechanism as opposed to outbound because the, the calls just aren’t being answered.

Amanda Butkewich [00:55:55]: But when somebody wants to reach out, because, you know, maybe right now they’re going through a financial, [00:56:00] they’re experiencing a financial hardship. Um, they’re more likely to seek you out. And we have seen, um, you know, many of our clients start to use digital channels, like SMS or IVR to supplement some of that volume.

Amanda Butkewich [00:56:14]: So I just wanted to underline that a little bit. 

Jim Lynch: No, I think that’s a really important point, Amanda, and good way to bring that home. And I think that as we go through, I’m going to remind everyone there is a Q and a box at the bottom. So make sure you enter those in, we’re going to get into questions in just a moment and be able to ask both Hunter Warfield, Amanda, some, some good questions.

Jim Lynch [00:56:33]: So really what my last point here is, you know, what’s. Next for the future of the contact center and customer engagement. And it really is thinking about an ecosystem. And if this ecosystem, obviously, you know, this is an image for LiveVox, where all these things are included, but the guys from Hunter Warfield hit home on it.

Jim Lynch [00:56:49]: There’s lots of vendors out there to choose from. The biggest point is that you probably want to drive home. Make sure all your data is able to be seen. You know, from one area and you’re able to, you know, make some [00:57:00] smart workflow decisions. So think about how chat, email, you know, your basic voice, your CRM system, SMS, uh, all those kind of integrated where you can have intelligent workflows that hit on these multiple channels to really increase these, uh, you know, Outback and contacts to bring those inbound conversions.

Jim Lynch [00:57:19]: Because that’s what it’s all about. If you guys really think of it as a marketing aspect, In collections, which many of you do, all you’re doing is really marketing to people. You’re making phone calls, sending emails, making letters, doing all that stuff, and really thinking about it as a marketer to get people to come in and your conversion is just a payment.

Q & A

Jim Lynch [00:57:35]: So with that being said, Mike, why don’t we throw it over to you? I know there’s a couple of questions out there. Maybe you could, there’s just a couple of questions and then we can get them in about five minutes. I sure will. And I will also encourage the audience. If you have questions that you’ve been sitting on, please feel free to submit them.

Mike Bevel [00:57:51]: Now, uh, we’ll start here at the top. And I think, uh, Jim, we’ll start with you with this one and then sort of round Robin [00:58:00] it, but of the 80% of agencies emailing as their primary contact, are any of them using skip traced emails or emails provided by the client? Sure. I’ll start first and I’ll let the guys from Hunter Warfield go.

Jim Lynch [00:58:16]: I would say most of the clients that are out there are using emails that we’re sending  from one of their, one of their clients directly. I don’t see. Yeah. A lot of people go out and use email or skip tracing for emails, some do. Um, and they’ve done it for a while. Thinking that that’s a good way to.

Jim Lynch [00:58:34]: Skip trace and reduce some letter costs. But how about, you know, Jeff or John over a Hunter Warfield? What are you guys using for email? Are you using only client provided emails or you skip tracing for them as well? Uh, primarily all clients provided emails from more of the consumer side, uh, commercial. We do implement some other strategies in regards to skip tracing for emails.

Jeff Batista [00:58:54]: Obviously the requirements and the contact messages that we use on that side is a little bit different than consumer facing debt. 

JIm Lynch [00:59:00]: Awesome. Okay. All right, Mike. All right. Um, the next question, how did you handle desktop PCI requirements for work from home agents in terms in scope versus out of scope?

Jeff Batista [00:59:18]: So a few things there for us. So one, one of the things that we’re able to leverage is we send everybody home with company owned equipment, giving us full control of kind of policies on the security side and how locked down these things are, what agents can and can’t do. And we also use kind of remote desktops where they’re not doing anything on that except connecting to VPN.

Jeff Batista [00:59:38]: And on that front, we also have that encrypted VPN tunnel that, you know, all the, all the business related traffic is coming through that, um, and that gave us the ability to continue. You kind of are CIS framework for desktop pardoning and those things, but even to take it beyond PCI and how we’re protecting the, you call it a cardholder data.

Jeff Batista [01:00:00]:I would encourage, uh, companies to offer. So look beyond what’s documented in those types of, uh, compliance requirements cause they don’t adapt quickly. Right? It’s a new type of threat that’s in, in, in those things. So, uh, partnering up with local, uh, companies, whether it’s peers or firms that focus on security and they’re seeing these new threats come in, that you can really adapt how you’re protecting your agents at home.

Jeff Batista [01:00:26]: Based on not only the kind of policies that were written a little while ago, but also new things that are coming up on a day to day basis. 

JIm Lynch: All right. Uh, this next question, I think actually refers to the earlier question about, um, uh, emailing, uh, as our primary contact. And somebody says in that same vein, are the clients passing consent or are you reaching out without it?

JIm Lynch [01:00:57]: So I’ll take this one first and then I’ll kick it [01:01:00] over to you guys. And I would say that most people are doing it where they have consent directly from the client. And then this is, this is really a great time also where we see a lot of, you know, our clients reaching out to theirs based on some statistics that they have.

JIm Lynch [01:01:14]: So a Hunter Warfield could essentially take, you know, what’s happening in their increased in, you know, right. Party contacts increased in conversion once they answered these channels. And if a client doesn’t have support. You know, or I should say consent already baked in. That’s normally a company event to allow them to see not only Hunter Warfield taking them that next step of being innovative and providing some value, add to them, but also, you know, it’ll give them enough to say, you know, get their legal department behind it, you know, making those changes.

JIm Lynch [01:01:43]: But guys, over at Hunter Warfield, is that kind of what you’re seeing as well. Are you using the consent from the client to reach out and then having these other conversations on those clients that don’t give you consent? Yeah, no, absolutely. Um, definitely that and a lot of it comes with client engagement and partnerships.

Jeff Batista [01:02:00]: So w you know, we’ve been in the email space for probably about three plus years now. And one of the things we worked with heavily on was how quickly and the ease could they adjust contracts to ensure that. The opt-ins and those passed seamlessly through any agency that they were choosing to service.

Jeff Batista [01:02:15]: So over the past few years, we’ve had a lot of clients adapt their contracts to changing legal language, to just allow, you know, pass through consent to any service or that they were using for recovery of the debt. 

Mike Bevel: Awesome. All right. And then we have one final question and then I think, uh, we can start to.

Mike Bevel [01:02:35]: Bid a duex, but the question is how are you capturing consent or revocation of consent or SMS? 

JIm Lynch: So as part of the SMS requirements, the, the revocation is simply done through the SMS through any means. Um, we have a self service portal directly on our, on our main website, pretty much any, any channel that we use to communicate to a consumer has, you know, [01:03:00] options to unsubscribe or opt out.

Jeff Batista [01:03:02]: And then the same thing with the opt ins, you know, we’ve marketed heavily. Um, our ease of digital channel opt in through our main website, along with any other communications that we talked to about the pit team. You know, we are monitoring high usage on agents obtaining that email and SMS consent upon that initial contact with a consumer.

Jeff Batista [01:03:23]: So for us, you know, it’s all about marketing and ensuring, you know, no matter how the consumer reaches Hunter Warfield, that there’s an ease of use to opt into any digital channel of their choosing. And there each of those components have their own revocation piece. Right. That can tie into one and or all, and that seamlessly flows back into our contact of record to shut down that specific channel.

JIm Lynch [01:03:44]: Yep. And Mike, I would say that that’s pretty important. Again, you get back to that centralized database. So inside LiveVox, we definitely do have the multichannel consent module, which does allow you to choose consent, revoked consent for every single channel that we’ve [01:04:00] mentioned today. Alright, I want to thank everyone again.

Mike Bevel [01:04:06]: Uh, who joined us today for this presentation on lessons learned from COVID-19 taking a digital first approach to today’s new environment. Uh, I also really want to thank the panelists who put so much work into this presentation that I thought was really incredible. Uh, John Keelan, director of operations strategies at Hunter Warfield, Jeffrey Patista VP of it at Hunter Warfield.

Mike Bevel  [01:04:32]: And then Amanda Butkewich Contact Center Content Strategist at LiveVox and Jim Lynch, Senior Director of Product Marketing for LiveVox. Uh, if you have questions about the content in today’s presentation, you can email those to and I’ll make sure they get forwarded to the appropriate person.

Mike Bevel [01:04:54]: Uh, if you have feedback about the presentation, send that to the editor too, and I will share that [01:05:00] with others. Um, and that’s it. Uh, thank you for spending this Thursday with us and we will see you next time you princes of Maine, you Kings of New England.

About LiveVox

LiveVox is a next-generation contact center platform that powers more than 14 Billion interactions a year. We seamlessly integrate omnichannel communications, CRM, and WFO capabilities to deliver an exceptional agent and customer experience, while reducing compliance risk.  Our reliable, easy-to-use technology enables effective engagement strategies on communication channels of choice to drive performance in your contact center. Our battle-tested risk mitigation and security tools help clients maximize their potential in an ever-changing business environment.  With 20 years of pure cloud expertise LiveVox is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. Our more than 450 global employees are headquartered in San Francisco; with offices in Atlanta, Denver, New York City, St. Louis, Medellin, Colombia, and Bangalore, India.

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About LiveVox

LiveVox (Nasdaq: LVOX) is a next generation contact center platform that powers more than 14 billion omnichannel interactions a year. By seamlessly unifying blended omnichannel communications, CRM, AI, and WEM capabilities, the Company’s technology delivers exceptional agent and customer experiences, while helping to mitigate compliance risk. With 20 years of cloud experience and expertise, LiveVox’s CCaaS 2.0 platform is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. The Company has more than 650 global employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Atlanta; Columbus; Denver; New York City; St. Louis; Medellin, Colombia; and Bangalore, India. To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox or visit

To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox, visit or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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