Protect Your For-Profit Education Institution with Speech Analytics
For-profit colleges have a lot to offer their adult students such as online courses, flexible meeting times, and year-round courses. Because of the flexibility of most for-profit colleges, more and more adult and working students look to these programs as a viable and more affordable alternative to the traditional four-year college program. Since for-profit colleges often have open admissions policies that accept most students who apply, earning a certificate or degree from a for-profit colleges is also a viable alternative for students that didn’t mean the usual admissions criteria at a four-year university program.
In 2009, students at for-profit colleges received more than $4 billion in Pell Grants and more than $20 billion in federal loans, making for-profit colleges a very profitable business. However, The Government Accountability Office has found that some for-profit institutions and affiliate marketing companies are misleading prospective students in order to boost admissions and grow revenue. Undercover tests at 15 for-profit colleges found that 4 colleges “encouraged fraudulent practices and that all 15 made deceptive or otherwise questionable statements to GAO’s undercover applicants.”
This study emphasizes the federal, state, and public scrutiny, compliance concerns and the potential penalties that new regulations to protect would-be students at for-profit colleges from fraud bring to the table. For instance, the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education was created to protect students “against fraud and misrepresentation, establish minimum standards for financial and ethical business practices, and to enforce minimum standards for instructional quality for students” in the same way that a consumer protection agency in any other vertical would. This push for transparency means that for-profit colleges have to know exactly what their affiliates or in house agents are saying to prospective students on the phone at every given moment. The best way for colleges and higher education performance marketers to monitor both inbound and outbound calls for compliance is with speech analytics.
Traditional approaches call quality monitoring are flawed because they are labor intensive and produce inaccurate results, relying on the manual evaluation of a small sample of contacts. Automating performance management with speech analytics allows for the automatic scoring of 100% of your contacts, and provides immediate feedback.
Speech analytics solutions monitor every individual call for risky language. Each call is scored in real-time to identify relative risk level associated with any aspect of compliance based on content of the conversation. For instance, what type of scholarship opportunities are being discussed with a prospective student? Does the representative offer to “correct” a FAFSA form for the prospective student? Does the representative “guarantee” employment upon graduation or misrepresent income potential? Since call analysis occurs near real-time, tagging or indexing of violations within contacts allows for immediate navigation to the occurrence of the violation. Speech analytics helps for-profit colleges uncover just what their representatives are telling prospective students and allows managers to easily present evidence to agents. Are your agents willfully misrepresenting your college or are they just misinformed and under-trained?
Implementing a speech analytics solution can also protect your for-profit institution. Should anyone ever question your representatives you can pull up each and search every single call and show that your team is not engaging in any fraudulent behavior. In addition to protecting your college, speech analytics helps improve your agent’s performance. You can track what kind of questions they are getting asked and see which representative are struggling and which ones excel at phone support. Do certain agents need more training when it comes to sorting out financial aid? Are some representatives more knowledgeable about some of the certificates you offer but know little about others? Since speech analytics tracks every call you can easily discover which areas require more coaching.
It is more important than ever for schools to verify that their brands and programs are represented correctly to ensure compliance in advertising and avoid incentives, co-registrations, second & third chance leads, and bogus scholarships. Speech analytics is a powerful tool that can be used to improve recruiting performance while staying compliant with an increasingly complex regulatory environment.