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Benefits of IVR Payment Processing For Your Call Center

Implementing interactive voice response (IVR) in your call center can not only enhance operations, it can also significantly improve security and compliance, especially if IVR is used for payments. Given the financial, legal, and reputational repercussions of a regulatory breach, ensuring compliance is essential, and anything you can do to improve security standards is valuable. Using automation tools like IVR, you can safeguard your organization against breaches while also improving customer experience. Furthermore, as you scale and handle more interactions, the need for compliance will only grow, so it’s important to secure things as soon as possible.

What Is IVR and Why Is It Important for Your Call Center?

Interactive voice response uses pre-recorded responses to help customers quickly find solutions, softening the workload for agents and improving call center efficiency. The automated nature of IVR ensures that customers are connected to the best agent for their query or, in some cases, are given the option to resolve their problems themselves. Despite the advances in digital communication channels, 59 percent of customers still rank phone calls as their number one preference, so it’s important that your phone system is as effective as possible. Proper IVR integration saves time, lowers costs, and boosts CX.

Streamlined Call Routing

If customers can get to a solution quicker, that’s good news for everyone involved. The customers themselves are happier, agents are under less pressure, and leaders will see improved KPIs. Using IVR, you can filter calls and direct them to the agents who are best equipped to resolve the issue, improving key metrics like first call resolution and CSAT.

Reduced Waiting Times

When a customer calls, there’s no guarantee that an agent will always be available to answer immediately. With IVR, they will get an instant response. This is particularly beneficial during peak times, when demand for agents may push up waiting times. Using IVR, you can accommodate increased demand without adding extra agents or reallocating resources from elsewhere.

More Focused and Productive Agents

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With the average employee facing 56 interruptions a day, minimizing these workplace distractions is essential to improving agent focus and productivity. With IVR handling call routing and even allowing for self-service, agents can better focus on high-priority tasks. IVR call routing also ensures that agents only deal with those customers appropriate to their department and expertise, removing the need for time-wasting transfers.

Improved Call Resolution Rate

IVR provides a more straightforward phone system for customers, removing unnecessary obstacles to query resolution. The fewer obstacles, the higher the likelihood of a quick resolution and the improved first call resolution rate, which feeds into CSAT, NPS, and other customer sentiment surveys.

Better Customer Experience

Speaking of customer sentiment, a well-implemented IVR can significantly improve customer experience. With fewer distractions and repetitive tasks, agents have more time to focus on what matters, delivering an exceptional CX. 

How Do IVR Payments Work?

IVR payments use existing IVR or contact center software to handle transactions. This technology can be used for everything from one-off payments to regular subscriptions. It is particularly useful for call centers that deal with a high volume of transactions. Features like text confirmations, omnichannel payments, and call routing are part of IVR payment systems.

Agent-Assisted vs Self-Service IVR Payments

IVR payments can be either agent-assisted or self-service. While self-service solutions use AI and speech recognition to carry out the entire interaction, agent-assisted IVR payments still include the agent until payment information is collected. Both approaches can improve call center efficiencies and help ensure PCI compliance.

What Are the Benefits of Using IVR Payments in Your Call Center?

IVR payments can reduce costs, improve compliance, and give customers peace of mind about their security and data privacy. While IVR isn’t a complete replacement for agents, it is a valuable tool for call centers that want to streamline operations and save time. Below, we will examine some key benefits of IVR payments in contact centers.

Fewer Late Customer Payments

87 percent of businesses face challenges around late payments, so anything you can to overcome this recurring problem will make your call center more financially secure. As no live agent is required for an IVR transaction, customers can make payments 24/7. You can also encourage customers to sign up for an automated payment system or send out reminders in advance of the due date.

Reduced Call Handling Time

IVR-driven payment automation expedites the process for customers by streamlining the process and reducing the required steps. By removing the task of collecting payment information, you immediately reduce call handling time for agents. You can also overcome the challenges of peak time and seasonal demand by redirecting callers who wish to make a payment using IVR.

Lower Operating Costs

If agents have to process payments, calls become longer and more complex, increasing operating costs. With IVR running 24/7, your agents require fewer working hours, leading to cost savings for your call center without reducing the quality of service.

Improved CX

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IVR payments free up agents to focus on more complex customer queries, leading to faster resolutions and shorter waiting times. Customers can get to a solution quickly, confident that their information is secure and their payments have been processed safely. The reduced waiting time also reduces the chances of a customer abandoning a call out of frustration. 

Increased Security and Compliance (PCI-DSS Compliant Solutions)

IVR payments are a PCI-DSS-compliant solution, adhering to the highest regulatory standards for financial transactions in the call center. They use data encryption and restricted access to cardholder information to achieve PCI and NACHA compliance, eliminating the risks associated with agents handling data. IVR also uses verification and cross-reference processes to ensure that caller information is accurate and secure.

How Can IVR Payments Improve Your Call Center Compliance?

In recent years, data breaches have led to huge fines like the $877 million reprimand issued to Amazon for GDPR violations. With the potential for financial and reputational damage, it’s essential that your call center remains compliant. Each time you deal with sensitive information, you are at risk, so you must strive to eliminate errors and bolster security.

Enhance NACHA and PCI Compliance

As noted previously, IVR payment solutions are National Automated Clearinghouse Association (NACHA) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant, safeguarding your organization against financial or legislative repercussions. This level of compliance is essential as PCI determines security standards for payment methods around the globe, with an emphasis on protecting consumers and their credit card information.

Enhance HIPAA Compliance

Personal health information is extremely sensitive, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the primary piece of legislation protecting it. HIPAA prohibits the disclosure of patient information without prior consent or knowledge of the patient in question. As with payment data, IVR technology ensures that this data is protected according to HIPAA standards. 

Eliminate the Risk of Incorrect Data Input

Machines aren’t perfect, but they’re much less susceptible to incorrect data input than humans. While stress, a lapse in concentration, or even a simple miscommunication can cause agents to input the wrong payment information, IVR does not have the same risk profile. 

Reduce the Risk of a Security Breach

Security breaches are costly. In fact, IBM research finds that the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $9.44 million. Human error is responsible for 82 percent of data breaches, so implementing technology like IVR payments can go a long way to avoiding agent slip-ups and the associated consequences.

Avoid Miscommunication and Its Risks

IVR’s automated nature helps reduce the chances of miscommunication and even provides multilingual support, giving customers access to payment options in their native language. This not only improves CX but also helps avoid crossed wires that may arise due to the language barrier.

Integration With CRM and Other Software to Avoid Data Loss

To avoid data loss and keep things running smoothly, it’s essential that you integrate IVR technology with your CRM or any other existing software. This ensures that consumer data is stored securely and maintained for verification at a later stage. Modern CRM systems are designed with compliance in mind, so they should integrate seamlessly with any IVR you choose to employ.

Consent Recording and Payment Processing

Laws in place require customer consent for call recording and certain security practices for processing payments. Call centers that do not abide by these laws are open to litigation, prosecution, and the resulting damage.  The mentioned PCI regulations are the most notable guidelines for establishing payment transaction security. IVR systems help secure the payment process by removing agents from the equation, eliminating the possibility of human error or malpractice.

 

Final Thoughts

Compliance is key for modern call centers, and the implementation of IVR payments can contribute significantly to improved security and adherence. Without the right technology, you leave your call center susceptible to breaches and the associated financial and reputational repercussions. By integrating IVR alongside a purpose-built QA platform like Scorebuddy, you can cover all your bases and safeguard your organization while enhancing customer experience. Using the most flexible scorecard builder on the market, you can monitor agent adherence, maintain a compliance audit trail, and alert managers to breaches in real time. To see how Scorebuddy tools can be integrated alongside IVR to enhance compliance, request your free 14-day trial now.

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