Driving Electronic Bill Pay Adoption in a Multi-Lingual World: A Client Success Story

A suburban utility in the southwestern U.S. reached out to Paymentus with the goal of implementing an electronic bill payment system that could reduce operational costs and improve the customer experience.  As we learned more about their needs and challenges, it became clear that inbound call center volume was abnormally high and that customers complained about a lack of payment options.

Through additional analysis and segmentation, we determined that the issues stemmed from three major factors:

  1. Their bill-payer demographic contained a large population of Spanish-first speakers, yet all digital channels presented content exclusively in English.
  2. Because online and mobile channels were in English, most bi-lingual customers contacted the call center to make a payment.
  3. And since the utility lacked an IVR payment channel, all payment calls had to occur during limited business hours.

How we addressed their challenges:

Channels and Features Implemented
  • IVR – Automated, multi-lingual IVR system enabled customers to hear account balance(s) and conveniently make payments over-the-phone 24/7.
  • Customer Dashboard The electronic bill payment dashboard provided users access to prior billing statements, usage rates, scheduled/recurring payment options, a digital wallet to store payment information, and more, all in the customer’s preferred language.
  • Agent Portal – The Agent Portal enabled CSRs and administrators to proactively monitor and maintain the revenue cycle by providing full customer account information, outbound communication tools, as well as the ability to safely accept and schedule payments for customers.
Results Observed
  • Thriving IVR – As of Q2 2017, IVR payments now account for over 40% of total payments accepted.
  • Broad Adoption and Growth – The utility also receives 37% of total payments through online and mobile channels, up from 14% (previous vendor).
  • Reduced Inbound Traffic to CSRs – The addition of multi-lingual and IVR channels, coupled with enhanced autopay/scheduled payment capabilities, has reduced incoming calls by 30%.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction – The utility has reported material increases in reported satisfaction with billing and payment processing, citing language options and self-service tools as key drivers.
  • PCI Risk Offloaded – Prior to Paymentus, the utility accepted over-the-phone payments in a manual process that involved a live CSR. By utilizing the IVR channel to accept all phone-based payments, we were able to remove the utility from the risks associated with manual payment processing.
Client Testimonial:

“We could not be happier with the response we’ve seen from our customers. The numbers we are seeing, especially from the IVR, have been a welcome surprise that has made collecting payments much easier.”