Offering a wide variety of electronic payment options is a must for businesses of all types and sizes. But by “electronic payment options,” we don’t just mean mobile and online payment solutions. An interactive voice response (IVR) system, which allows merchants to accept a wide variety of payment types over the phone using a series of pre-recorded messages, should also be part of every business’s payment technology toolbox. The proof is the wide variety of benefits most if not all merchants can reap by investing in such a system.
1. Faster, more timely payments
Many consumers put off writing and mailing checks until the last minute because they have other things to do or believe the process requires too much of an effort. However, far fewer people procrastinate about bill payment when all they need do is pick up the telephone. Not to mention, payments made by telephone don’t get lost or delayed in the mail.
As if that wasn’t enough, transactions accepted via an IVR system are processed in real-time, resulting in faster payments for businesses. Of course, this isn’t the case with check-based transactions.
2. Hassle-free, cost-effective, highly accurate round-the-clock payment acceptance
With an IVR system in place, businesses can accept phone payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. No human intervention is required, eliminating the need for businesses to worry about employee reliability or the accuracy of the payment information staff collect.
Even more importantly, businesses that have an IVR system don’t need to stay open late or hire, train, and pay additional staff to process checks, no matter how many calls they take and no matter how much their call volume increases. This sparks significant cost savings.
3. Easier payment collection from a broader customer base
Some consumers would love the convenience of paying their bills without the hassle of doing so by mail or in person but simply aren’t comfortable handling the task on a computer or mobile phone. An IVR gives them another option for getting the job done, in turn increasing not only customer satisfaction and loyalty, but the likelihood of receiving payments that might otherwise be lost, late, or never received at all.
4. Happier customers
Allowing consumers to pay bills by phone when it’s convenient for them, rather than for the business itself, also leads to happier, more loyal customers, which is another boon to the bottom line. What’s more, having an IVR system means clients don’t waste time waiting to speak with an operator; instead, assistance from the system is available the moment calls are answered. The fewer time customers must spend on the telephone to handle their bills, the happier they will be and the greater the likelihood they will do business with the merchant again and again.
5. Access to detailed reports and transaction data
Data and reports collected from an IVR system give merchants valuable insight into their operations. This insight can spark improvements in the business, paving the way for increased customer satisfaction and a better bottom line.