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3 Benefits of an Enhanced Interactive Voice Response Solution

By Yaroslav Melnyk

We often talk about omni-channel payment options as a billing essential, mainly for the convenience of allowing customers to make payments, whenever, wherever, and however they’d like. Never has this been more prevalent than now, in an age where customers are primed to expect optimal convenience from all their consumer experiences — including receiving and paying their bills. 

According to financial services and information management consultancy the Futurist Group, about 38% of consumers now see contactless payments as a “basic need,” up from 30% a year ago. 

Offering an enhanced interactive voice response solution is a simple way to provide that convenient, contactless customer experience your payers expect while also reducing call volumes, improving operational efficiencies, and increasing your revenue flow. 

So, what is interactive voice response? Let’s dive into what this payment channel is and how a fully enhanced interactive voice response solution can benefit billing organizations like yours. 

What is an Interactive Voice Response solution? 

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are ideal for providing 24/7 access to paying bills over the phone — and for e-billing platforms, it’s another source of online payment revenue. All that’s necessary is a connection between your payment processor or gateway and IVR system. 

With IVR, your organization can: 

  • Offer customers a contactless option to pay all types of bills, including utility bills, rent, HOA fees, and more. 
  • Allow customers to make partial payments when necessary
  • Enable recurring payment options that callers can authorize. 
  • Allow customers to save and manage their own stored payment information. 
  • Mitigate security risks with a PCI-DSS Level-1 certified IVR vendor. 

Like any omni-channel payment option, IVR is going to stand out as the ideal payment route for many of your customers. That being said, it’s not enough to simply provide an IVR option; this payment channel must be optimized to yield the most impactful benefits for your organization. 

What are the benefits of an enhanced IVR solution? 

Ultimately, the purpose of an enhanced IVR solution is two-pronged: the technology should make your customer service representative’s life easier, while also offering customers an effortless payment experience. Offering an outdated IVR system can actually increase your team’s call volumes, mainly from customers being incorrectly routed and getting confused. 

Here are a few major benefits your organizations can see after implementing an elevated IVR solution: 

Improved collection efficiencies 

Your organization should take advantage of the fact that many payers prefer to make payments over the phone – the more customers you can encourage to regularly pay through an IVR system, the less time your customer service staff has to spend processing payments or answering payment questions. 

To achieve these efficiencies, your chosen payment solution must make the IVR route quick and painless for the customer. For example, an enhanced IVR solution should allow customers to easily locate their account with multiple options (i.e. customers can use their phone number to verify their identity, rather than a hard-to-remember account number). 

This type of flexibility ensures more customers will opt to pay through your IVR system, which keeps internal collections running smoothly, reduces late or delinquent payments, and allows your staff more time to focus on high priority projects. 

Drive more customers to self-service adoption 

The most impactful way to drive results for a billing organization is to get more customers to self-serve, which they can do by enrolling for services like automatic payments (AutoPay), paperless billing, and even by signing up for payment reminders. Increased self-service means fewer customer service calls, reduced walk-in and lobby traffic, decreased staff workloads, fewer account shutoffs or cancellations — in short, increased self-service enrollment means fewer headaches for you and your team

IVR is a key tool in driving your customers to self-service enrollment. When payers are using an IVR route, a thoughtfully designed system should take advantage of this critical customer engagement point. For instance, when a payer tries to access AutoPay or paperless billing during a call, an IVR enhanced system should send the customer a text message with a link, directly taking them to where they can enroll in a variety of self-service options. 

Improve the customer experience and boost customer satisfaction scores 

It’s difficult to offer fantastic payment experience without optimized, omni-channel payment options. Today’s customers need the ability to make payments wherever, whenever, and however they’d like  without this type of convenience, your organization’s customer experience will not be up to snuff, and your customer satisfaction scores will suffer as a result. 

While simply offering an IVR payment option is a step in the right direction, the key to improving your customer’s payment experience (and, therefore, your customer satisfaction scores), is to implement an optimized IVR solution. Enhanced IVR technology should make paying through this channel an efficient, effortless experience for your customer which, in turn, helps your organization boost adoption rates, save organizational funds, decrease phone call volumes, and much more. 

How can Invoice Cloud help? 

Invoice Cloud’s IVR technology, provides all the upgraded features that allow customers to quickly, easily, and intuitively pay bills over the phone. With our IVR technology, Invoice Cloud has helped nearly 1,000 billing organizations achieve 2-3x higher online payment adoption, lowering their operational costs, decreasing their call volumes by up to 60%, and more. 

To learn more about how Invoice Cloud can help your organization reach its goals with IVR technology, schedule a call with a member of our team today. 

Tags: ebpp, adoption, customer experience, omni-channel

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