How the training and sales team at OppLoans got nearly a 100X return on investment with Spoke






Amanda Ly
Senior Associate, Business Operations
Temeka Cartwright
Director of Training

Now that OppLoans’s sales training team is using Spoke for knowledge management, salespeople have on-demand access to the sales enablement resources they need – unlocking up to $350K in new business in 2018 (100X investment in Spoke) while ensuring compliance with regulation.

Disorganized knowledge management slowed OppLoans’s growth and risked compliance issues

For people who need a loan, OppLoans provides a fast, affordable alternative to payday lenders.

OppLoans’s five-person Training team educates and provides information to OppLoans Loan Advocates, the friendly and professional customer service representatives that handle loan applications.  Advocates generate the bulk of the business’s revenue streams and have helped OppLoans earn glowing reviews from its 100,000+ customers (include an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau).

But at the end of 2017, the lack of a formal knowledge management system meant Loan Advocates weren’t getting the information they needed efficiently, or sometimes at all.

As Temeka Cartwright, the Director of Training at OppLoans puts it, “Information was scattered everywhere across different platforms, including Google Drive. So knowledge requests were very manual. Loan Advocate supervisors maintained a Slack channel to try to answer questions, but it was inefficient because we’d lose issues that the supervisors weren’t able to answer.”

This created a problem.  When Loan Advocates aren’t equipped with the necessary knowledge to process loan applications, it doesn’t just slow down revenue generation, it can also create legal compliance risks if an Advocate processes a loan improperly.  

Unlocking $350K in benefits with an A.I.-powered solution 

OppLoans wanted to empower Loan Advocates with easy access to the concise, accurate information they need to get their jobs done efficiently and correctly.  Temeka explains, “One of our goals this year is to ramp up Loan Advocates more quickly, to give them the knowledge they need to get acclimated to their work faster, and to make sure they have easy, ongoing access to the information they need.”

Given these goals, Amanda Ly, a Senior Associate on the Business Operations team went in search of a solution.

“I evaluated many competitors in the knowledge base space, and Spoke came out as the top performer.”

“What made Spoke stand out the most was that it’s both a knowledge base and A.I. bot that understands natural language and provides self-service. I researched a lot of solutions, but I couldn’t find any others that combined both of those aspects.”

“So many of the knowledge base platforms have additional implementation fees and require additional time and technical work to get them set up and configured. I remember telling my manager there’s none of that for Spoke, and she didn’t believe it. She was like, I don’t think that’s true. Show me. I had to show her that you literally just turn it on.”

As part of her evaluation, Amanda calculated the potential ROI of using Spoke to get information to Loan Advocates more quickly using the A.I. bot for self service.

“Basically, the longer a Loan Advocate has free on the phone, the more loans they can close. By reducing the amount of time they have to wait to get answers from four minutes to just seconds, I projected incremental net benefit for 2018 of over $350K. That’s an ROI of 9160%.”

Those compelling numbers made it easy to get buy-in for Spoke from the leadership team at OppLoans.

“At every single level, they were 100% on board. They were so excited about Spoke. Once we showed them the numbers and what it could bring to our company, they were all like, Let’s go do it.

“It was the easiest implementation ever. It was so out of the box, it was perfect.”

And Spoke’s Slack integration and ease-of-use drove quick adoption among the Loan Advocates.

As Mackenzie Saunders, Training Associate, puts it, “when I think of Spoke, I think of simplicity. It cuts out all the fat of what’s not necessary and doesn’t overcomplicate things. It’s very streamlined and efficient.”

“The integration with Slack is huge. That’s our number one means of communication. That literally makes the difference between whether people use it or not.”

Empowering the sales team with on-demand access to sales enablement resources

Now that Spoke is giving Loan Advocates quick, easy access to accurate information they need, Temeka describes the various ways Spoke is specifically helping the Training team empower their frontline customer service reps:

“Spoke gave us a way to organize information and made it accessible for Loan Advocates when they’re doing their work. They’re really excited about it because it provides them with information quickly. They’re able to seamlessly complete customer interactions.”

“Because they can send a direct message to Spoke, they don’t have to feel silly asking a question that they think that they should know the answer to. Now, they’re less likely tell the customer the wrong answer because they’re too afraid to ask.”

“The new hires find it really beneficial. They’re learning these new definitions, learning all these new loan terms, and that stuff is hard to memorize. Now they can just ask Spoke and all the resources they need are at their fingertips.”

“Before Spoke, There had been a lot of frustration on the floor because Loan Advocates could get a different answer depending on which supervisor they asked. People know that they’re going to get the same answer every single time with Spoke. It also minimizes our risk for compliance violations, because the information is consistent and everything we put into Spoke has been vetted by our legal and compliance departments. So the Loan Advocates have more confidence in customer interactions.”

“Not only does it free up the Advocates, but it also gives supervisors more time to perform managerial tasks.”

Not only has Spoke given Loan Advocates easy access to existing information and resources, it’s also given the Training team clear insights into the resources that still need to be developed to help the Loan Advocates–and company–succeed.

“One of the challenges that we face on our team is creating relevant materials. Spoke is helping us identify where we need to create materials or training sessions. From a training perspective, it helps us understand what needs to be covered and how we can also help to best service our customers.”

Having found so much success with Spoke on the Training and Loan Advocate teams, Opploans is now looking to use Spoke to improve knowledge management across the company.

According to Amanda, “All of our HR stuff is already in there. We see so much potential across departments in the company. For example, I’m the person in charge of how our phone system works. I’m asked things like, How do you fix that? What does this thing mean? I put a lot of that knowledge in Spoke for members of the Business Operations team so that if I’m out of office or busy and can’t respond on Slack, they can just ask Spoke. That not only alleviates the burden of one person having to answer all the questions, but also spreads knowledge across the team, which is always a good thing.”

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