Whether you’re a utility company or a mortgage lender, it’s important to you that you receive payments from your customers quickly and on time. We offer Interactive Voice Response (IVR) as a payment channel for these reasons and it’s helped our clients run their businesses more efficiently.

Simply put, IVR is the tool that allows a computer to interact with your customer. It does this through both DTMF tones input (using a keypad to answer questions) and voice response (“say ‘billing’ to pay your bill”). Employing an IVR payment option allows your customers to make last minute payments and access information about their account any time they need without speaking to a customer service representative.

What are the benefits of using an IVR payment option?

  1. Around-the-Clock Payments— IVR can be used to help your customers pay any time they want, even at 2 am. Since an IVR can perform a lot of the same functions as a customer service representative, your company doesn’t need dedicated staff on-call through all hours of the night. IVR gives you that flexibility.
  2. Improved Customer Service—It might seem counter-intuitive that removing the human element from the bill payment process actually improves your customer’s experience. With IVR, your customer’s calls are answered on the first ring. This significantly cuts down on both wait time and call volume, helping save your customer and your company time.
  3. Accessibility—IVR isn’t just for big, brand-name companies. Small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of it too, which in turn can give them a leg up on the competition.
  4. An Enhanced Company Image—Using IVR establishes a professional image for your company, which can be extremely beneficial for a smaller business.

Additional Considerations

Combine IVR with Reminder Notifications—An IVR payment option is an effective bill-pay tool on its own, but becomes even more so when combined with payment reminder notifications. Proactive reminders are proven to be effective and customers prefer a reminder rather than be harassed by phone or in the worst case scenario, have their power shut off.

Some Customers May Be Slow to Adapt—Your customers are busy people and paying their bills is just a fraction of their day, so it’s expected that many of them might be reluctant to use an IVR to pay their bills and risk complicating their routine. As you push your company forward to adapting electronic payment options, be aware that your customers may need some time to make the switch. Take these steps slowly and reassure your customers that these changes will help make paying their bills a breeze.

To learn more, visit https://payments.westernunion.com/industry-solutions/insurance.