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IVR: The Right Payment Solution for Your Contact Centre?

As contact centre traffic booms due to increased customer service needs and a shift to a more digital world, organisations are assessing their current and prospective technologies. On many lists is an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) solution.

IVR is an automated telephony system that prompts and navigates callers through the call journey, making the interaction as similar to a live agent experience as possible. IVR solutions are used to provide callers with information lookups that can be pulled from backend database systems, or complete actions such as taking a payment. IVR solutions typically use prerecorded voice files or ‘text-to-speech’ systems to ask the caller about the task they wish to carry out. The caller responds by pressing buttons on their telephone touch tone keypad or by speaking the answer which is picked up and analyzed by the IVR’s speech recognition system.

What are your goals?

Whether you are looking to provide around the clock support to your customers, reduce call-in wait times, or streamline your contact centre agents’ calls, a strong IVR solution can be the answer. IVR has great value in the right setting and this type of solution is no doubt a solid choice for many routine contact centre situations:

  • Seasonality. If you know that your call volume peaks on specific days or months, an automated system can help your customers to reach a contact resolution faster, rather than ‘hanging on’ for a live agent to become available. In many scenarios, a properly integrated IVR can keep organizations from having to increase seasonal agent hires as it can meet the needs of low-level contact centre call-in activity.
  • Disaster Recovery. Due to its automated nature, an IVR is often used for disaster recovery for a professional and consistent response. Whether that disaster be external or internal, callers are often calling for the same information regarding status updates. An IVR ensures that the organization is getting the most accurate and updated information to callers as quickly as possible in a uniform manner.
  • Consistent responses for routine information. To reduce contact centre agent fatigue, routine information such as operational hours and other frequently requested information can be incorporated into an IVR solution to limit the number of unnecessary calls being passed through to live agents.
  • Reduced operational costs. By reducing the volume of calls being passed through to live agents, operational costs are reduced while also improving morale by allowing employees to focus on customer satisfaction.
  • Secure payments. A benefit of a payment capable IVR is that callers are able to securely make a payment 24/7 without the assistance of an agent. With the right payment IVR in place, organizations do not have to worry about sensitive card data entering the contact centre environment, ensuring that payments are handled with the confidence of maintaining PCI DSS compliance.

Maximizing a full payment experience

When exploring IVR and other contact centre solutions, an important question to ask yourself is, “does an IVR solution simply meet my goals, or is there a more comprehensive option out there?” Even a great solution like IVR has its limitations. In the most successful contact centres, you will often see an IVR paired with other supporting technologies to create a holistic approach that meets the needs of the consumer day or night. Other solutions such as Agent Assist and Digital meet many of the same goals that a secure payment IVR can provide but also allows more opportunity to support the customer through the payment process.

Take the time to do the research and see not just what technologies you need today, but also, which technologies will truly maximize your contact centre to its fullest moving forward.

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