For call centers, manually contacting customers for the purpose of inquiring about their debt, and, of course, chasing down payments, can be quite a daunting process. Today, this routine and demanding task has forced many organizations to find an alternative method to address customer service and debt collection needs in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.
When it comes to bill payment and collections, IVR solutions provider Vocantas (News - Alert) has proven it can reduce ongoing customer service costs and boost customer satisfaction with its Utilities OnCall and professional collection agency IVR application. Paired with voice recognition capabilities, Vocantas’ IVR collections services are guaranteed to enhance business operations, and improve consumer confidence and company image.
Through Vocantas’ IVR solution targeted at collection agencies, an inbound or outbound IVR enables customers of the loan program to perform inquiries about their loans and any associated policies. In addition, customers are able to access their account balances and payment histories at any time. In the case of a customer whom is late on their payments, an outbound IVR feature is used to both remind the customer about the payment, and offer the option to pay over the phone.
A typical outbound call for the purpose of collecting a due or overdue payment would first ask the caller if he or she is the correct person. If so, the call notifies the customer that there is X amount of owed debt, and gives the customer the option to pay via a credit or debit card at that time. If this option is declined, the agency or utility can then proceed accordingly – whether it be a follow-up call at another time, or, to draw back power supply to that customer pending the payment.
As opposed to normal systems, which can call at inopportune times and can be limiting for the customer, “an interactive IVR allows the client to get it over with, because they get to pay their debt, and it allows the collections to get their collection,” Gary Hannah (News - Alert), CEO of Vocantas, told TMCnet. The Utilities OnCall solution – aimed at utilities -- grants customers 24/7 access to automated meter reading, bill payments and outage notifications through sophisticated speech recognition capabilities that enables customers to use merely their voice for real-time, imperative information. This, in turn, lessens the burden on contact center representatives, who can now tend to other transactions.
According to Hannah, this can be quite beneficial in terms of cost savings. Hannah referred to one of Vocantas’ utility customers that reduced its accounts receivable in the first month by $150,000 by deploying an interactive collections system.
And, in the end, both customer and employee gain satisfaction. The employee, often tasked with having to manually contact the paying customer with notifications and other services, can find relief from automated collections calls. And the customer, through automated surveys, can provide feedback on his or her experience with the call center IVR solutions.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet web editor. She covers a wide range of topics, including IP communications and information technology. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell