The benefits of IVR payment systems for your contact centre’s operational efficiency are numerous; however, they do bring several limitations that can impact customer service, prove to be costly, and give additional burdens around PCI-DSS compliance. Read on to discover those benefits and then how to evaluate technology providers so that you can maximise your contact centre’s efficiencies - and still provide the right levels of customer service and security.
Benefits of IVR Payment Systems
Payment IVRs allow your business, or contact centre, to add automation to the process of taking payments from your customers with the following benefits:
Your customers live busy lives and may look to pay bills or make purchases after office hours. With a payment IVR, your customers can make payments 24/7 at a time convenient to them. At the same time, as they don’t have to sit in a queue to speak to an agent to make their payment, they can finish the payment process much faster.
Having to take payments over the phone is a time-consuming process for your agents. It can often result in your business needing to employ more agents and/or them not being able to spend as much time as possible dealing with sales opportunities or having conversations with your customers. Research from ContactBabel revealed that the average cost of a telephony IVR self-service session is 65p, compared to the cost of a live service telephone call where the mean average was £3.55.
Payment IVRs can be particularly useful for businesses that have variable peaks in call traffic that cause difficulties with managing work rotas and ensuring optimal staff time usage.
Individuals often look for an excuse to avoid making payments, but a payment IVR makes it possible for customers to pay at a time convenient for them, increasing the likelihood that they pay on time.
Payments are usually something your customer just wants to get done. They are a dull and repetitive process for your staff but can also be a stressful one as making payments and giving credit card numbers over the phone, is not something customers usually like to do and can easily lead to numbers getting entered wrongly. A payment IVR takes that burden away from your staff, allowing them to focus on higher-value conversations that provide them with greater satisfaction.
Anyone taking credit card payments has to be PCI-DSS compliant with a payment IVR being much more secure than the traditional method of your agent having to input the numbers; a process in which there is no way they can avoid being exposed to the numbers, leaving the potential for fraudulent behaviour. If a payment IVR is done right, it can also descope your contact centre from some, or all, aspects of PCI-DSS compliance, reducing costs and time.
Considerations When Choosing a Technology Solution
While the benefits of a payment IVR solution are clear, there are some challenges that need to be resolved:
IVR Interactivity Limitations
The tree structure and the limited, unnatural way that consumers need to use to interact with an IVR, including the need to simply follow the instructions in order, and the difficulty of going back through the menu when the wrong button is pressed, meaning that IVRs are an incredible source of frustration with high dropout rate no matter the purpose of the IVR system. In the case of making payments, where a credit card has to be input from your phone keyboard the opportunities for error - and then not completing the process are even greater.
Agent Assisted Hybrid Solution
An agent-assisted hybrid solution can resolve this. With this solution, an agent initially handles the call but then passes it into a payment IVR when the customer is ready to pay. They are additionally able to monitor the progress of a call and intervene to help finish the payment if the agent feels it is necessary.
However, adding an agent to the process brings complexity to PCI-DSS compliance. In the case of a payment IVR, because your agents are not exposed to your customers’ credit card numbers, there is the potential to descope your contact centre. With an agent-assisted solution, if your agents must monitor the progress of a call, they are potentially exposed to the DTMF tones as your customer inputs their number, resulting in your contact centre being brought into scope. Your contact centre then has to go through the cost of making sure it is compliant. It is therefore essential that any agent-assisted solution can mask DTMF tones and keep your contact centre descoped.
You need to talk to the provider to understand the way in which the DTMF masking is achieved - does the solution provider require you to buy hardware? If so, this will likely be a significant upfront cost? Does the solution provider require the calls to be routed through a standalone telephony system? If so, this will mean significant new costs for telephony services as well as integration and time delays with implementation.
In addition, how is the vendor charged for a successfully processed transaction? You need to be aware of this to discover hidden costs.
Cloud Versus On-premises
We all know that a hybrid working model has emerged post lockdown, therefore, it is key that if you plan to have agents working from home, the solution provider is cloud-based without the need for hardware to be installed at your offices.
Your business is striving to unify the numerous sources of data flowing into your business to create a single view of your customer and greater insight. It is important therefore that any solution provider has the expertise to create that integration quickly.
Choose an IVR payment solution that can authenticate callers prior to taking payments via
a unique number like an invoice or a customer reference. Then, shortlist those that integrate easily with in-house telephony, accounting, and CRM systems.
Being able to have an agent-assisted solution has its benefits in terms of higher closure rates for IVR payments but brings many additional challenges – not least in that, an agent-assisted solution makes it necessary to hire extra agents to work outside of normal office hours. The ideal solution marries voice support with 24/7 self-service, and a voicebot can help achieve this goal.
A voicebot, or virtual agent, allows your customer to have natural language conversations 24/7. In comparison to the voice functionality of a payment IVR, a voicebot allows your customer to ask questions in a conversational manner, enabling them to use natural speech and, if they get something wrong or are unsure, go back and ask again. This means your customer is more likely to stay in the process and complete their payment.
In addition, as a voicebot isn’t a real person, it means it is possible to descope your contact centre, reduce your costs and enhance customer service. It can work in tandem with live agents to reduce the necessity for live agents to a minimum.
How Hostcomm Can Deliver Value?
Hostcomm offers a unique solution that combines a payment IVR with contact centre software in a PCI-DSS compliant environment. By integrating the two together we can deliver a PCI-DSS compliant, sophisticated agent-assisted payment solution without the need for costly DTMF tone suppression. Costs are also kept down as there is no need to route through a standalone payment IVR provider.
Hostcomm’s solution allows your agents to monitor the progress of a payment, intervene to help finish it, and then, post-payment, chat again with your customer to reassure them.
In addition, Hostcomm has a powerful voicebot solution with Google Cloud natural language and speech capabilities combined with Hostcomm Voice Gateway enabling exceptional performance for inbound and outbound telephony as well as website calls.
- Better customer experience. An IVR makes sure no customer hears nothing but a ringing phone. ...
- Options presented clearly. ...
- No more connection errors. ...
- Faster processing. ...
- More inbound calls. ...
- Improved costs. ...
- Non-stop availability. ...
- Brand connection.
- Information Provider. Upon calling a system, an IVR menu can be used to provide a caller with extremely useful information. ...
- Call Filter. ...
- Identification. ...
- Call Queuing & Callback Automation. ...
- Voice Recognition. ...
- Call Recordings. ...
- CRM/IVR System Integration. ...
- Self Service Actions.
IVR as a self-service solution
All customers want a personalized, more responsive customer experience. With more channels and options than ever before, customers now have the convenience and choice to select when, where and how they connect with you.
Interactive voice response (IVR) is telephony software technology commonly found in call centers. IVR allows businesses to interact with callers through a series of automated menus, often enabling the customer to self-serve for faster resolution.
Interactive voice response, or IVR, is an automated telephone system that combines pre-recorded messages or text-to-speech technology with a dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) interface to engage callers, allowing them to provide and access information without a live agent.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is a tool that allows customers to skip the hassle of wait times, and unnecessary agent interaction, and get quick solutions. Thus, it becomes necessary to look into IVR optimization to get the company to a higher growth curve and improve the IVR containment rate.
An example of IVR is when you call a company or business, and then you hear “press 1 for technical assistance, press 2 for sales support, press 0 to speak to the operator”. After you make your choice, your call is routed to an extension/call queue, or, for example, a voice message is reproduced to you.
Just 3 percent actually liked using the IVR service. These results did not vary appreciably across gender, but younger individuals tended to rate their most recent IVR experience more favorably than older respondents did.
Callers can switch to agent-assisted payments from IVR self-service payments at any time. Usually, the process takes no more than five minutes from start to finish.
Get the Right Music to Message Ratio
Have a message that lasts for no more than 20 seconds and then a music interlude in between that lasts for 30 seconds, so it feels like there's more music than message.
IVR Design - Create a design specification of the application. IVR Development - Organize a development team and assign tasks. IVR Programming - Perform actual coding of the IVR application. IVR Testing - Test the IVR application prior to going live.
Interactive voice response (IVR) is a telephone payment system. It allows consumers to make an automated payment over the phone without interacting with a live person. IVR payment services add value and build revenue for your business – all without hiring any additional staff members.
- Twilio. Twilio is the worlds leading cloud communication platform that enables you to engage customers across channels - SMS, voice, video, email, WhatsApp and more. ...
- GoTo Connect. ...
- Bitrix24. ...
- Acefone. ...
- Gupshup. ...
- VoiceGuide IVR. ...
- Dextr. ...
What is IVR Experience Testing? Experience testing refers to 24/7 testing of the Customer Experience being delivered by IVR systems. Essentially, it's an automated secret shopper. Test calls are made at regular intervals to ensure everything is working correctly all the time.
In telecommunications, IVR allows customers to interact with a company's host system via a telephone keypad or by speech recognition, after which services can be inquired about through the IVR dialogue.
The two basic types of IVR services are inbound and outbound. Inbound IVR systems handle incoming call volume, while outbound IVR systems make calls on either a total or partially automated dialing basis.
Interactive voice response (IVR) systems aren't just for major enterprises. Even boutique marketing companies can benefit from the adoption of IVR technology. These systems work for inbound and outbound calls, and while efficient routing is a major benefit of having an IVR, it's not all they do.
Visual Interactive Voice Response (Visual IVR) is a technology used in contact centers that makes it easier to understand exactly why a customer is getting in contact and to give that caller the tools to attempt to solve their own problem rather than wait in a calling queue.
IVR technology eliminates wait times by responding to a caller immediately. 24/7 service. IVR technology can operate without any interruptions and is available to provide information to callers whenever they need it.