Interactive voice response technology allows humans to interact with computers, effectively replacing a human on one side of the equation. A company's customers can utilize this technology for paying invoices or amounts due without the need for a human customer service agent to be on the phone from the company's side. IVR payments technology doesn't take vacation days and doesn't call in sick. It's working all the time, 24/7. While there's a cost to implementing IVR for payment remittance, it's far less expensive than human customer service agents staffing those calls. That's where the first benefit is found; reducing customer service expenses in collecting receivables, which leads to a healthier bottom-line.
There are a lot of companies that share the goal of reducing expenses incurred on receivable collections, but often look past IVR as a method to do so. That's being short-sided. More commonly, website methods of receivable collection methods are employed first. Online payments continues to grow every year, and rightfully so. However, there's a large portion of the population who either still prefer picking up a phone and making a call or simply are concerned about website payment security, no matter what the statistics say about security.
Another benefit of IVR payments comes in that callers don't have to spend time on hold waiting for a customer service agent. Todays IVR technology can support more calls than a company has callers. That leads to happier customers. Not only is there a benefit to customer service hour reduction, but the staffing hurdle for peak calling dates and hours is eliminated. Sure, there are times were some companies have a need for human customer service intervention, and todays IVR technology can support that by programatic configuration.
And then there's the security benefit from IVR. When you eliminate human customer service agents from the equation of taking payment information, you eliminate a potential source of fraudulent use of sensitive data. Let's face it; it only takes one disgruntled employee. Moreover, customers are simply more comfortable remitting their credit card or checking account information to an IVR system then a someone at a call center.
Reducing delinquent payments is also a benefit. Offering the ability to make payment over the phone can reduce outstanding receivables - especially to the older generation or to people without internet access. The older the customer is, the more they prefer a solution available by phone.
Every company wants satisfied customers. Technology has brought us many new ways to present invoices and billing and ways to accept them. There's are few companies left who have yet to embrace the payment acceptance technologies that have spawned over the last 20 years, and with each one employed there have been two common themes; to improve customer satisfaction and reduce expenses. Imagine what your company's bottom line would look like if you hadn't embraced new payments technology? Now imaging what it might look like if you eliminated call center involvement and replaced it with IVR payments?
Agile Payments has been supplying payment technologies for over 18 years. If you're considering IVR payments for your organization, contact us to learn what we can do for you.