As we celebrate our 3 year anniversary, we couldn’t be more proud of the partnerships we’ve developed with our highly valued clients. We would like to take a moment to spotlight loan management company, ECSI.
I was able to speak with Director of Servicing Operations, Mike Bowman, about ECSI’s service offerings, business challenges and even, what he believes is on the horizon when it comes to staffing and retaining great employees. I’m excited to share these insights with you!
Q. So Mike, what would you say is challenging about managing a call center in the world of loan management today vs. 5-10 years ago?
A. I think you could ask that same question regardless of industry, Shannon. When anyone contacts your call center today they continue to expect correct, friendly, and helpful assistance, but they also don’t want to wait on hold and they want to be able to contact you through the channel of their choice.
In order to accommodate our customers today we use self-help IVRs, live chat, email, and text messaging in addition to phones as communication channels. Three years ago digital communication made up 10% of our overall traffic. Today, it accounts for 40% of our overall traffic!
Q. Wow! That’s interesting. I can imagine many of your competitors see that change as well. How does ECSI ensure what their offering stands out among the competition?
A. We believe our staff is the number one difference. The company spends a lot of time training staff to become industry and subject matter experts in all things loan servicing. Our clients (and their students) get access to highly skilled business partners; people who are knowledgeable but also creative in solving complex and unique challenges.
Secondly, our quality of work. We take great pride in our productivity, but also our quality assurance. While there are a large number of entities that audit us and watch our work, no one is harder on ECSI than ECSI. We invest heavily in checking our work from legal, accuracy, regulatory, and factual perspectives so our clients never have to worry about the quality of work we provide them.
Q. I love that… “No one is harder on ECSI than ECSI”. Aside from the training you mentioned, how else does ECSI invest in their staff and keep them engaged?
A. Employee engagement has always been in the top 5 objectives ECSI sets for itself each year. We began a strategic effort to improve employee engagement in 2017 when we noted how high our turnover rate was. We wanted to create a culture where employees didn’t just “stick around” but willingly contributed their very best effort.
Since 2017 our turnover rate has significantly improved and people are staying with the company. For example, during 2018, 52% of our staff had been with the company less than just one year. Now, in April of 2019, just 21% of our staff has been here less than one year.
Some things ECSI does to keep staff engaged are 1) employee led department meetings, 2) career pathing, 3) formal training paths, 4) job shadowing, 5) regular team huddles and employee / supervisor one-to-ones, 6) company meetings, and 7) monthly lunches with our company executive.
Q. Wow! It sounds like the staff at ECSI has many reasons to stay motivated and contribute. In working with ECSI, I can say that I’ve felt that positive energy. I’d also say that in a short amount of time, KO Business Solutions and ECSI have forged a strong partnership. Would you agree?
A. We like the KO Management. They are seasoned service and operations pros. It is not uncommon for our two groups to share ideas, collaborate on service projects, or troubleshoot problems together. Each group has its strengths and we have found that our backgrounds and experiences work well together.
Should you find yourself in need of hiring help and are looking for a true partner – not just a vendor, we hope you’ll contact us to talk about your business needs. I’d like to thank Mike Bowman, Director of Servicing Operations at ECSI, again for speaking with me and allowing me to share his thoughts! For more information on ECSI, please visit their website.
Shannon joined KO in 2016 as Director of Project Management and Administrative Services. She and her staff work closely with the Talent Acquisitions department to manage all aspects of employment for KO contractod employees. Prior to KO, Shannon worked in the higher education industry, improving backend processes and for a U.S. Department of Education contracted department. She also led the creation of a unique loan product that is still in use today.