CESI’s 6-Hour Over-the-Phone Debt Counseling Course Is Run on DialogTech IVRs

The Problem: Building a Robust IVR to Capture Answers from Pre- and Post-Filing Tests

For those filing for bankruptcy, CESI offers two federally-mandated courses, one for pre-filing and one for post-filing. Users can take them online or via phone — a popular option for senior citizens and the visually impaired. These courses include a 25 question pre-test with quizzes interspersed between each of the 12 chapters. By phone, these courses take about 6 hours to complete.

CESI’s challenge was finding an IVR provider who could not only deliver the sheer volume of IVRs needed to capture all the quiz and test answers, but also the webhooks needed to transfer and store each caller’s answers into CESI’s database in compliance with strict federal regulations.

The Approach: Cross-Department Collaboration to Deliver a Custom Solution

CESI turned to DialogTech to help them create IVRs for their pre- and post-filing tests. Through collaboration between its customer success and professional services teams, as well as CESI’s software development vendor, DialogTech delivered a custom IVR solution tailored to CESI’s robust requirements. Throughout the implementation process, DialogTech’s customer success team remained responsive around the clock to answer CESI’s questions and provide support.

“I really appreciated DialogTech’s energy and commitment to getting it done,” said Jean Elias, VP of Marketing at CESI. “They did a great job at managing all the dynamics involved in the project. They listened to my concerns and put the heat on wherever they could to move the ball forward.”

(DialogTech makes it easy to build professional, sophisticated IVRs for any use case.)

The Result: An Automated Alternative to Live Agent Instruction

By collaborating internally, with CESI, and with CESI’s software vendor, DialogTech ultimately delivered 230 IVRs for the pre- and post-filing courses. In compliance with the Justice Department’s regulations, DialogTech’s webhooks transferred each participant’s responses to CESI’s database, showing tangible proof of completion.

Additionally, DialogTech’s solution automatically flagged those who completed the courses on CESI’s backend, so CESI could quickly send certifications to these callers, their attorneys, and their courts. Finally, DialogTech pushed participants who completed the courses directly through to customer service for payment.

As a result of DialogTech’s IVR solution, CESI was able to fully automate its phone courses, rather than having to rely on live agents. With customers spending over 18,000 minutes on the phone courses each month, the savings on staffing were significant.

“Without DialogTech’s powerful and flexible IVR solution, we wouldn’t be able to offer our courses over the phone,” said Elias. “They’ve helped us significantly lower our staffing costs through automation.”

CESI (Consumer Education Services Inc.) is a nonprofit credit counseling agency, which provides debt management, bankruptcy counseling, and student loan solutions. Established in 1998, the organization has helped over 500,000 individuals to date.


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