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Recent News from IVR Technology Group

Collect Self Storage Rent with Payment Reminder Notifications & Pay by Phone

The self-storage industry made over 27 billion in America last year. However, about 155,000 storage units went to auction because renters didn’t pay their monthly dues on time. While popular shows like Storage Wars and Auction Hunters have glamorized storage unit auctions and made them seem excessively profitable, that’s not reality. In fact, for most self-storage business owners, public auctions are only used as a last resort to recoup a portion of unpaid bills. Most owners don’t enjoy auctioning off their renters’ belongings to the highest bidder; they’d rather have the renter just pay their bill so they don’t end up eating the cost of unpaid rent. On average, a 10×20 foot, non-climate controlled storage unit rents for $125 a month. At a normal auction, bids for storage units rarely go above $300. That means that the average auction will only help the self-storage business owner by recouping about 2.5 months of lost wages. It’s much more profitable for self-storage business owners to collect rent when it’s due instead of trying to make lost rent back in auctions. The number one reason that people don’t pay their monthly bills on time is because they forgot about them. This is especially true for the self-storage industry. Your renters don’t see these items every day, so they don’t think about what it takes to keep them. Out of sight, out of mind. Self-storage business owners looking to collect their rent money on time should be distributing payment reminder notifications The most effective payment reminder notifications are sent according to the recipient’s preferred communication method, either email, text message or phone call.... read more

Utilities: Use a Pay by Phone Solution to Reduce Delinquent Payments

On average, 9% of households are at least 30 days past due on their utility bill.  As a result, utility companies have increased the number of service shutdowns in response to the increased delinquent customers. For example, Pennsylvania-based PPL Corp increased shutoffs by 78% in one year. The city-owned utility in Memphis, TN increased shutoffs by 38% in just 8 months. In New York, utilities are owed $611.3 million. New Hampshire & Massachusetts-based utility companies are owed approximately $15 million. While the lack of heat in the winter may entice some non-payers to pony up, service shutoffs cost the utility company in the long run. Most shutoffs are manual, meaning the utility company has to send a crew out to the delinquent location to manually disconnect the service. Some companies are in the process of transitioning to digital meters, which would allow the utility to shut off services digitally. Digital meters mean utilities don’t have to send crews to physical locations to manually disconnect services. This transition requires a hefty upfront investment, though. California-based Edison International switched to digital meters and, according to it, installing 5.3 million digital meters cost $1.63 billion. Many utility companies are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can’t continue to allow non-paying customers to receive services, but they can’t fund the transition to digital meters. These companies should explore alternate payment options to make it as easy as possible for customers to make their payments on time and in full. Many utility customers would prefer an automated bill pay solution that makes the payment process hassle free and paperless. Utility customers also want a fast, easy way to make... read more

Call Analytics Help You Provide Better Customer Service

There’s an old adage when it comes to better customer service: Do you want it fast or do you want it done well? Fortunately, in today’s fast-paced world, customers can call to get an item at the push of a button. This means that if customers are made to wait on hold for too they may not actually believe their call is important to you. Call analytics are more than just pie charts and bar graphs; they are a power tool that can improve your customer service. With call analytics, you’ll get a better understanding of your customers. You’ll know where they are from, what their needs are, and what brought them to you. Nowadays, what usually brings a customer to you is a smartphone. When customers find your website through a search engine, it’s a good idea to have a click to call button handy so that they can get a hold of you right away. When a click to call button is used, your customers will be routed to the location best suited to help them. When the click to call button is clicked using a smartphone, the call analytics report will keep track of the phone’s physical location. Likewise, if someone found you on a computer, the analytics report will report their location based off the IP address of the user. Both will be placed in a call analytics report. Mobile and tablet users can be tracked separately from those who found you using a computer. Knowing the location and the technology used by your customers can help you fine tune your advertising to meet their... read more
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