Interactive Voice Response is an advanced customer experience tool that enables self-serve payment options for your customers. Here’s everything you need to know about adding IVR to your payment processing system.
Consumer trends show that most customers prefer to use self-service options, with current data revealing 69% of customers prefer to autonomously resolve issues. However, only one-third of companies offer some form of self-service solution leaving a significant gap in the overall customer experience.
Interactive Voice Response, or IVR, solutions fill this void, allowing customers to self-serve common concerns or questions, as well as make cost-effective payments, relieving the call load on your customer support team and meeting your customers where they are.
What is an IVR Payment?
IVR payment is a technology that uses pre-recorded voice prompts for customers to interact with to complete a payment over the phone. Through a series of voice commands, customers make payments quickly and efficiently within a secure system that links them directly to their account data.
With IVR payments, customers have access to personalized customer service specifically tailored to their account and history at any time and any place—even outside business hours. This 24/7 service is especially helpful for customers with irregular hours.
IVR Payments Then and Now
In the past, IVR payments may have felt limited and one-dimensional, but the modern IVR payment experience is just as practical as other self-service alternatives.
Utilizing the power of AI and customer data, we can now design custom IVR payment experiences that are convenient and time-saving—a welcome replacement for the outdated systems that used to have us repeatedly dialing zero for the operator.
Now, IVR payments are informed and intuitive. Customers can easily navigate their options or transfer their call to a live agent if they prefer. Compared to traditional interactive voice response systems, modern IVR payments are actually the preference of many customers today.
How does IVR Payment Improve the Customer Experience?
By offering IVR payments to your customers, they benefit from an improved customer experience that gives them control over how they interact with your organization.
IVR payments add another layer of customer security
The closed-loop security of IVR payments limits exposure and vulnerabilities for individual account data. With multiple security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access, customers can feel confident that their transactions remain secure.
- IVR payments are more convenient for customers
IVR payments allow customers to make a payment at any time and anywhere at their convenience. This flexibility empowers customers to take control of their payments at their own schedule, whereas other payment options might require a live agent to finalize payment. This convenience factor can dramatically increase customer satisfaction and loyalty in the modern digital economy.
- IVR payments offer personalized customer service
A well-designed IVR payment system can be just as effective as a live agent with its ability to offer personalized customer service. Customers can make a secure payment over the phone and easily access their personal account data or navigate through transactions.
Additional personalized details, such as greeting customers by name or saving call preferences, offer an added convenience that customers appreciate.
- IVR payments save customers time
According to a 2020 study by ZenDesk, modern consumers find speed to be the most important aspect of a good customer service experience. With the latest technology, Interactive Voice Response can indeed be interactive and is a competitive choice compared to other self-service options, making it a valuable addition to your payment system.
How to Create a Valuable Customer Experience Through IVR Payments
You can create a neutral or valuable customer experience depending on how you design your IVR payment system. These are the elements we consider when implementing a new system to create a rewarding and enjoyable experience for your customers.
Keep Your Customer Top of Mind
Design your IVR payment system from your customers' perspective first.
Rather than focusing on your end goal (to complete payment), consider your customers’ objectives and offer solutions that fit their needs. Of course, making a payment is an important option to include, but also consider other services your customers often need around making a payment, like checking account balances, recalling recent transactions, or using a saved payment method on file.
The more accessible and more convenient you can make your IVR payment system for your customers, the more likely they will use it so you can experience all the benefits of having this technologically-advanced solution in place.
Integrate into the Payment System from the Start
Don’t wait to integrate your IVR system into your existing payment system. A single integrated approach connects all your service offerings and allows your customer service team to access complete data from all channels. This approach is essential for linking Interactive Voice Response to a live agent, live chat, or previous payment transaction record.
With a partner like FirsTech, you can add IVR to your existing system with little setup. Because we offer flexible payment plans to fit your needs, all our payment services are easily integrated to scale as you grow.
Use Simple Directive Language
A confusing or complicated IVR system can be highly frustrating for customers and can make adoption an uphill battle even with a ready customer base.
FirsTech can help you create effective menu structures and directive language commands to simplify your IVR navigation. With these insights, your IVR payment system will be responsive and intuitive, creating a rewarding customer experience in the process.
Make It Personal
Adding personalized service is still possible within Interactive Voice Response. Consider adding personalized options such as name prompts, saved preferences, or saved payment methods for customers to make the experience even more convenient.
Ask Your Customers About Their Experience
Offer the chance for your customers to give you feedback on your IVR payment system. Hearing firsthand from the users is often the best way to explore new features to add or how to optimize the current system for customer use.
In an IVR system, this can be done with a simple survey menu option at the end of the payment process.
5 Reasons Why You Should Add IVR Payments to Your Payment System
Adding IVR payments to your payment system not only benefits your customers but positively impacts your bottom line.1. Easy Integration
IVR payment easily integrates into your current payment system. There is no need for an additional number. Customers can continue to call the same service line with the new IVR payment system as an immediate option. Customers then have the choice to interact or speak with a live agent, if available.
As for security, partnering with a leader in the industry like FirsTech makes secure integration simple: adding the option for IVR payment to your existing system doesn’t require additional equipment and, after the initial setup, is easily maintained without requiring internal resources or management.2. Cost-Effective Solution
IVR payments reduce operational costs significantly. Live call support can cost up to 80 or 100 times more than a self-service solution. Routing just a portion of your calls to Interactive Voice Response can save on associated staffing costs and allow you to utilize your customer service staff on more complex customer inquiries.
IVR payment is simple and cost-effective to set up, requires little maintenance, and provides a long-lasting solution that doesn’t need regular costly updates. These factors make IVR one of the most cost-effective payment solutions available today.3. Increased Payment Volume
Reducing live agent call volume also minimizes wait times and allows customers to make payments on their schedule. This freedom and flexibility make the payment process more convenient for many customers. You’ll likely see an increase in on-time payments with a flexible self-service option like IVR.4. Expanded Product Offering, Increased Customer Loyalty
Customers like options, and adding IVR payments to your offering make your payment system attractive when compared to more traditional alternatives. Your expanded product offering also enriches the customer experience and increases brand loyalty as customers know that they can rely on you for modern technology-centered solutions for their needs now and in the future.5. Simplified Reporting
IVR payments directly integrate into your payment system so that you receive comprehensive reporting from a single source. Adding additional payment methods without full integration can sometimes mean consolidating multiple reports from different sources, but with FirsTech, your customers will have access to a comprehensive and enhanced electronic payment system while your data and reporting remain accurate and error-free.
How IVR Payment Can Impact Your Organization
FirsTech has served thousands of businesses in nearly four decades of payment services. Here are some of the industries we serve and how IVR payments positively impact each sector.
Increased electronic adoption decreases customer service call volume, allowing your team to focus on more specialized service needs. With IVR payments, international clients and those traveling maintain access to their accounts and can make a phone payment anytime and anywhere.
IVR payments streamline the medical billing process and allow customers to make a payment of their medical bill in as little as two minutes. Relieve your medical billing team from the volume of standard bill payments and provide a private, secure payment option to your customers with a trusted payment provider in the industry like FirsTech.
With an integrated payment system like ours, your medical billing records are automatically updated from all IVR payments made—eliminating manual billing entry and unnecessary errors or redundancies caused by human error.
Government & Municipalities
Many municipalities and governmental agencies have partnered with FirsTech for their secure payment systems because of our commitment to security and our wide range of payment options, including IVR payments.
Provide your constituents with a convenient payment method that also offers a rewarding customer experience.
Our utility partners know that customers appreciate flexible payment options for their utility bills, and IVR offers precisely that.
With IVR payments, customers can pay their utility bills at their convenience and outside of regular business hours. This can make a significant difference for many customers and pull some traffic away from other customer service offerings, such as those in-person or live agent phone calls. With decreased call volume, every customer receives more attentive service.
To ensure agent and policyholder satisfaction, FirsTech’s IVR payment services add a beneficial dimension to a comprehensive payment system designed for insurance companies. With IVR, policyholders can make convenient payments quickly, and all payment information is provided in a single report for simple account data management.
Get ahead of the competition and offer advanced payment options like IVR within your FirsTech arsenal of enhanced electronic payment options. Rather than the outdated payment systems that exist in the industry, your telecom company can stand out and give customers the service and experience they deserve.
How to Add IVR Payments to Your Organization
IVR payments can serve as the perfect complement to your existing payment offerings, but where do you start?
- Connect with a payment specialist at FirsTech. They’ll take a look at your current payment system and support your team through IVR integration and beyond.
- Experience IVR payment support from a payment partner who is dedicated to your success. FirsTech will help you create and maintain your interactive voice response system with personalized customer service.
- Enjoy the benefits of IVR payments for your organization and customers.
Why should you partner with FirsTech?
FirsTech has been a trusted payment partner for decades. Their emphasis on security and technology in the payment sector has branded them as leaders in the industry—always dedicated to the success of their payment partners.
As a wholly-owned subsidiary of Busey Bank, FirsTech maintains the highest security and auditing standards and is a trusted partner in industries such as banking, healthcare, and municipalities. You can be sure you and your customers are given the highest level of care through any of our payment services.
Ready to get started? Connect with a payment specialist today to learn more about how IVR payments can benefit your business.
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