Student loans affect millions of people worldwide, but particularly in the US where student debt has reached nearly $1.5 trillion. CommonBond believes that student loans are for fulfilling your dreams, not emptying your bank account. They offer services that help at every step of the student loan journey, including lower rates, refinancing options, and world-class customer care.
Exploring more options for voice
To date, CommonBond has funded over $3.0 billion in student loans. While CommonBond’s refinancing business has scaled at a steady pace, they needed solutions for their seasonal volume of new school loans.
In order to make smart staffing decisions for seasonal spikes in call volume, CommonBond turned to Aircall.
“We needed a voice platform that could keep up with our business needs. Aircall offered the features we needed — like callback requests and IVR — and provided the best onboarding experience I've ever received.”
Craig Shayowitz, Operations Manager and head of the Customer Care team, participated in the vetting process and explained what made Aircall stand out:
“Aircall just seemed like the best choice. The salespeople we talked to, they were the most knowledgeable, and Aircall cared a lot about reliability in the service, which, for voice, is huge.”
Giving world-class care, getting world-class care
CommonBond prides itself on superior customer care, so Shayowitz was really pleased when Aircall delivered on their high expectations.
“In terms of onboarding, it was the best experience I've ever had. My onboarding manager spent about two hours every day for five days in a row with me making sure I was set up and exploring every little thing I might have wanted. Everything worked perfectly. We ported all of our phone numbers over in a day, and we didn't lose anything.”
Once the Customer Care team was set up with Aircall, they started making changes by setting up an IVR to organize incoming calls.
“It was really easy to set up an IVR with Aircall. With a phone tree, you could press one to talk to someone about refinancing, press two to talk to someone about new student loans and so on. That's useful because it also tracks why people are calling in.”
Besides greater visibility into why customers were reaching out, CommonBond utilized their new IVR for internal training purposes. By setting up groups within Aircall labeled ‘Training,’ CommonBond could route specific categories of calls to an individual on their support team. This allowed new employees to focus on learning just one aspect of the product at a time.
Additionally, a well structured IVR tree helps CommonBond manage strategic partnerships:
“When we launched a new product with MassMutual, I was able to create a special phone number just for them in under five minutes.”
Efficiency with integrations and organization
Aircall’s tagging feature has helped CommonBond become more efficient at managing large call volumes.
“We tag all our calls, so I can know if someone is calling in about our refinancing product, in-school loans, or if they’re calling in because there are technical issues. I can track all of that.”
CommonBond’s Customer Care team uses HubSpot, and all notes collected in Aircall get pushed to a specific customer profile within that CRM. If a rep is trying to figure out what happened in a specific customer interaction, they can easily go to the corresponding contact page in HubSpot and see every email and call in one place. This helps Craig’s team stay organized.
“I have tags in Aircall that match up with tags in HubSpot... From there I pull a larger report together and look for trends in what our customers need the most help with.”
Managing call volume
When it comes to it’s seasonal in-school loan business, CommonBond sees a significant increase in call volume from May to September. This seasonality means CommonBond has to be proactive about their staffing.
“We used Aircall’s data to go through the past year which helped us plan for our care needs. We can project that in certain months we'll probably have to hire additional staff. It's been very helpful.”
CommonBond uses something called an Erlang calculator, which allows them to input Aircall metrics — such as how many phone calls they get in an hour — expected call volume, the duration of those phone calls, and what percentage of the calls they aim to answer. This helps determine how many people should be on staff each hour for maximum efficiency.
Aircall’s callback feature has also helped manage busy periods. Allowing customers to press the star key and receive a callback on their own time means customers don’t have to wait on hold indefinitely, which is especially useful during busy season.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in callback requests... I think that feature creates a better customer experience.”
CommonBond continues to innovate and grow, all while trying to provide the best experience possible for their customers. As a like minded business, CommonBond is excited to partner with Aircall and find creative solutions for customer support challenges.
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