Training Top 125 Best Practice: Navient’s Transfer Agent Training
Traditionally, at call centers, agents initiate calls for a specific line of business. If they make a Right Party Contact (RPC), they continue the conversation and close the call. Directed by asset management and business processing solutions firm Navient’s Business Processing Solutions (BPS) president, the senior vice president of Operations Support and senior director of Training created a plan for a new team that would initiate calls across multiple business lines, reach and authenticate RPCs, then transfer the calls to the business whose agents would handle the specifics of the calls. If initiators contacted a third party, probing questions would be attempted.
BPS Training, directed by the senior director and SVP, curated a three-day curriculum for these “Transfer Agents,” which included reference materials, observation, and hands-on experience.
Although other agents received longer training periods, the new team provided entry-level opportunities for individuals who may not have had the experience necessary for other positions. Since their responsibilities were limited, they were not expected to have the same level of expertise as the other agents. Navient expected Transfer Agents to reduce the time Specialized Agents spent on calls that never connected or authenticating calls that did, while increasing the number of RPCs and fruitful probing efforts. Then, Specialized Agents could focus on business specifics on the transferred calls. The new team embraces flexibility to meet the changing needs of each business. The manager works with each business, scheduling outbound dialing at times when it is needed and adjusts if there is high call volume or low staffing. This prevents business lines from over- or under-dialing.
The team launched in May 2018, reporting under the senior director of Training. This was innovative for Navient because all other teams move to Operations after training. This unique relationship with BPS Training benefited the agents with an increased trainer presence beyond the three-day training period. Trainers doubled as managers, reinforcing the lessons of the classroom at every opportunity. Trainers used their mentoring skills to identify agents with the most potential, resulting in the promotion of one agent to a Team Lead.
BPS Training’s dedicated effort paid off. The team has expanded to five lines of business. The Transfer Agents team consists of 27 agents and one manager. Tens of thousands of calls are made every day, which benefits the businesses in two ways:
1. Businesses with high inbound call volumes can add outbound calls to their strategy. Therefore, accounts that would never have been called before are being dialed.
2. Businesses where agents spend an average of 45 minutes on RPC calls to walk customers through online applications are connected to more RPCs, reducing dialing time and increasing productive hours for Specialized Agents.
In July 2018 alone, the Transfer Agent team resulted in 624,712 calls that otherwise would not have been made. Of these calls:
- 43,952 calls connected.
- 4,466 were RPC.
- 2,469 calls transferred to Specialized Agents.
- 434 ended with promises to pay.
The Strategies department reports on the team’s financial impact by comparing the cost per RPC before and after the Transfer Team was formed. At the end of July, cost per RPC was reduced for the initial three business lines.
A second team and manager were added in September 2018 at the original Muncie, IN, site, and research is being done into placing additional teams at other Navient locations.