What Goes Around Comes Around – IVR / Phone Payments Resurging

After several years of decline, the use of Interactive voice response (IVR) systems is on the rise.

ivr-phone-paymentOver the past decade, interactive voice response (IVR) use has declined as an alternative payment method for bill-paying customers, having been replaced by online payment options.

However, as with many things in life, what goes around comes around. The number of people making IVR phone payments is on the rise, having increased in each of the past three years. Much of this growth can be attributed to the proliferation of mobile phones. Hundreds of billers use our IVR systems and we have seen a steady increase in usage since 2009, rising from 5.2% to 7.3% of total payments.

The increase is not surprising. Today, it is the rare person that does not have a mobile phone. And until mobile payment options are more fully embraced by customers, IVR will continue to be vital to any successful billing and payment strategy. For IVR, one phone call is all that’s needed, making it convenient to users “on the go” as well as those who want, or need, to make a quick payment after hours or without having to speak with a live person.

Approximately 70% of all customer service calls are inquiries related to billing and payment issues including obtaining account balance, finding out due dates, or simply paying a bill right then and there. As a result, customers want to call and execute transactions as quickly and easily as possible. Therefore, IVR call flows should be super easy-to-use, allowing customers to hear their balance and make a payment in less than three minutes. If it’s done correctly, IVR will handle more than 30% of all call traffic to your customer service desk, and free up time for your staff to handle more complex customer issues.

John Schott

Vice President

With more than 20 years of experience, John has worked with hundreds of billing organizations across North America. John is an expert in usability and is a frequent speaker on the topic of paperless billing and electronic payment best practices, including strategies for customer adoption, security and compliance, staff productivity, and process and technology optimization.