Contact Centre

Could Your Business Benefit From IVR Payments?

One of the most important innovations in recent years, IVR payment systems are becoming more and more popular amongst businesses and call centres. In this article, we cover what exactly an IVR payment is and how they could benefit your business.

What is IVR?

IVR, or interactive voice response, takes advantage of modern technology to integrate computers with telephones, allowing customers to communicate directly with PCs. Typically coupled with pre-recorded messages to help the customer proceed, IVR systems can translate dual-tone multifrequency (DTMF) signalling or voice commands into actions, from answering frequently asked questions to telephone banking. Simply put, IVR lets users interact with computers via their voice or DTMF tones.

IVR is especially useful when dealing with high call volume, easily resolved issues. This technology is especially prevalent in call centres, as it helps to resolve caller queries without the need of a live agent.

IVR is different from automated attendants or virtual receptionists, which route calls. Where virtual receptionists will only be able to direct a call to the right agent, an IVR can also resolve a user’s issue directly. For example, an inbound call centre with IVR could offer and provide callers with public transportation timetables, or an outbound contact centre with IVR might be able to complete a survey with callees.

What is a Payment IVR?

One of the more sophisticated tasks that a customer might require of a call centre is to make and receive payments. For example, a person who receives a call offering a product might decide that they want to purchase what is on sale or upgrade their existing service. Typically, consumers want to pay there and then, or will at least appreciate the opportunity to do so. IVR payment systems or IVR transactions, when properly complying with PCI-DSS, empower your customers and make payments over the phone secure, giving them peace of mind that their private information is safe.

If your users can’t make IVR payments, you risk either frustrating clients or, worse, losing a potential sale. As such, having IVR payments possible for call centres is becoming less of an added feature and more a core requirement for any well-functioning system. For more information on IVR payments, read about our IVR solutions.

Are IVR Transactions Safe?

In the past, if consumers wanted to make a payment over the phone, people had no better option than to read their card details to an agent. Unsurprisingly, this had an element of risk. For call centres that need to record calls, for example, consumers might feel uncomfortable or unhappy about providing private card information if they are not certain that it will not be taken advantage of.

To minimise risk, IVR transactions are strictly regulated according to PCI DSS guidelines – read our introductory guide to PCI DSS for more information. In order to reduce the chance of client’s card data being misused or misappropriated, contact centres need to comply with PCI DSS. This includes preventing keypad tones from being recorded, as well as any other information that would allow companies to identify a user’s private payment details.

Four Benefits of IVR to Your Business:

1 Take Payments at Any Time

IVR payment systems can be used to let customers pay at any time they wish – whether your agents are busy dealing with other clients or a customer needs help in the middle of the night, an IVR payment system integrated into a well-functioning call centre can significantly cut the amount of dedicated staff needed to take round-the-clock payments.

2 Better Customer Service

Though you might see it as counterintuitive, automating the payment process to the point where agents are hardly required can massively improve a customer’s experience. With IVR, your customer does not have to wait for a free agent, helping to save them and your company time. With more complex payments, you can offer agent-assisted IVR, where the agent is able to remain on the call and monitor the payment process, providing customer support if needed. Having both IVR and an agent makes the processing system much more accessible, smoother, and stress-free for the customer.

3 Improved Brand Image

A capable IVR payments system signals to your client and customers that you are a competent, modern company that can handle their needs and provide the best service possible. This is especially beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses who want to demonstrate their excellence in the market. Depending on your business, integrating IVR into your offering can significantly improve your customers’ perception of your company.

4 Save Your Business Money

Every payment that you accept over an automated IVR payments system is time that a full-time agent saves for dealing with more challenging issues. While each call might not appear to take much time, those staff-hours can soon add up to a considerable expense. Reducing the number of staff-hours needed to spend dealing with payments substantially increases how long your agents can spend on the other, more challenging calls they make.

We at Hostcomm offer a payment IVR that can be made bespoke to your business needs. Our proposition provides the highest standard of security and customer service for your business. For further assistance in finding the interactive voice response system to meet your needs, contact us on 0800 168 4400 or email us at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to provide our expertise.

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