Call centers can be a blessing and a curse for municipal entities, utilities, loan offices, financial companies, real estate organizations, and other businesses. On the positive side, it is through these centers that customers can obtain answers to their questions and assistance with problems, in turn increasing their level of satisfaction and loyalty. On the negative side, when customers also telephone call centers to make payments, those call centers can quickly become inundated with calls—leading to high levels of inefficiency at a time when businesses must also move faster than ever to accept payments and move on to the next. However, businesses can reduce their call center volume and/or the duration of calls to call centers using two types of automated payment technologies: interactive voice response (IVR) telephone payment systems and employee-facing online payment portals.
IVR systems are based on web technology. Instead of interacting with a call center employee, callers just follow a series of pre-recorded messages, interacting with the system via touch tones or a voice recognition component and selecting from among multiple payment methods. The messages are easy to understand, the process is quick and hassle-free, and the system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With an IVR telephone payment system in place, call centers receive fewer calls because customers can complete payments on their own, without the need to speak with a customer service representative.
Meanwhile, employee-facing online payment portals allow call center employees to accept payments by check, credit card, or direct debit, as well as to authorize credit and debit transactions. Staff are guided through the process from start to finish. Automating payment acceptance allows calls to be handled with increased speed, shortening the length of time call center operators must remain on the line with each customer and allowing a higher volume of calls to be handled in less time. This leads to increased call center efficiencies and more manageable call volumes—with few if any repeat calls from customers who have experienced payment acceptance difficulties.
E-Complish’s DirectPay IVR system and VirtualPay employee-facing online payment portal automate phone payments so businesses can accept money quickly and efficiently—while at the same time decreasing the number of telephone calls fielded by call center staff or streamlining payment-related calls made to call centers. DirectPay is completely customizable, so businesses can match IVR messaging to their brand, tone, language, and required functions. The average call script length is three minutes, but this can be adjusted depending on the desired complexity and other factors. Payment authorization is verbally recorded using NACHA-compliant ACH processing via IVR, and transaction processing is Level One PCI-compliant for maximum security.
DirectPay works with E-Complish’s other payment processing solutions, including VirtualPay for rep/CSR-facing web payments, RecurPay for recurring/scheduled payments, Text2Pay for SMS/text payments, EDOCs for signed ACH authorizations and EBPP for e-billing and payment. VirtualPay functions as merchants’ 24/7 call center payment portal, for handling every step from sending the first invoice to the final receipt and permitting businesses to simultaneously manage thousands of payments while remaining PCI compliant. A comprehensive web-based customer interface shows customer payment history and all sources of payment on file, expediting the payment acceptance process. Best of all, everything is fully built and customized to the business needs of the Merchant.