More and more businesses are adding IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Systems to their accounts receivables management toolbox and more and more consumers have become acclimated to using this business tool in their day to day lives. Credit Card Companies and Banks use IVR to accept bill payment or check on the balance of an account. Airlines are using IVR to assist with booking reservations or checking the schedule of a flight. Pharmacies are using IVR for prescription refill and Doctor and Dentist offices use IVR for appointment reminders.
Many first party and third party billing companies are adding IVR for these reasons:
- The quality of IVR has increased significantly over the last few years, while the cost has gone down.
- The use of IVR increases inbound payments collected, improving revenue cycle while reducing business costs and increasing efficiency.
Better Quality, Lower Cost
Gone are the days when a business had to pay up front costs in order to install and maintain an inhouse dialer. Many IVR systems are now web based, hosted, can be quickly deployed, and have little to no up front costs. The ability to utilize an IVR system has never been easier or more affordable especially with the introduction of DAKCS Software’s new IVR service, QwikDial.
The quality of the voice recognition software has improved significantly along with the ability to customize the dialog and customize the route you want your callers to take. With integrated services, any payments processed via IVR, can be automatically posted in your ARM software.
IVR Increases Inbound Payments, Reduces Expenses
IVR can be especially effective for Inbound Payment Processing. This is when your customers call into a specialized phone number listed on their billing statement and are taken step by step through a quick and easy voice based payment system. The payment information is then securely processed by your PDCflow Payment Processing account and then updated to your ARM system automatically (if using one of PDCflow’s integrated partners or you choose to integrate to the IVR system’s QwikDial, Open API) and the payment information is securely stored and is easily accessible for reporting and to initiate future payments or to set up a recurring payment schedule.
Since IVR calls are automated, using IVR for inbound payment processing increases your customer satisfaction, no waiting on hold or in a call queue waiting to be connected to the next customer service representative, instead the IVR system immediately takes them through the simple steps of making a payment, saving them time and increasing their satisfaction with the billing and payment process.
Your IVR system is always open, no lunch breaks, no sleeping, no vacations, so your customers can call at anytime, even when your office is closed, and make payments to you. This gives your customers additional payment flexibility and gives your business a smart, efficient option to accept more payments.
Using an IVR system for collecting these quick and easy payments also is less expensive than using your employee. According to Emily Yellin, author of “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us” the average customer service call takes about 8 minutes at a cost of $7.50 a call, but she also reports that using an automated service reduces the cost of those calls significantly. With QwikDial, this cost could be reduced by as much as three quarters! This also frees up your employees to focus on other tasks or handle the calls that need human intervention.
IVR systems may be not be the best choice for some situations, like answering specific billing or payment questions or dealing with payment problems, but it is perfectly suited for simple payment calls that are focused on a single outcome: collecting from your customers. IVR increases Inbound Payments and is perfect for this task while at the same time increasing your productivity and customer satisfaction levels.