Your business is taking off; you’re adding personnel and looking at how to streamline processes to boost your efficiencies- congratulations! You now have dedicated staff to take customer calls, and in many cases, those calls are regarding a payment. You’ve heard of IVR systems and know that they can route calls to your business’s appropriate department. Still, you’re not so sure about using them to accept payments. Aside from the fact that there’s a cost, clients calling in must enjoy speaking with someone, right? Well, not necessarily.
The Convenience 0f Payments by Phone or Text
Even if you have a web portal to accept payments, often, it’s inconvenient for a client to log in and go through the steps to process that payment. While we have access to the web via our smartphones, many find the screen-print small and challenging to read. Others don’t have access to a computer at all. We’re impatient multitaskers by and large. Many of us may be calling to get that bill paid as we’re driving down the road. Or quickly pay that bill that’s been sitting on the kitchen counter for a week. Bottom line, us consumers want to pay and move on.
The Cost Savings of Automated Payments by Phone or Text
There are compelling cost savings associated with implementing an IVR solution for automated payments by phone or text. According to a recent survey by ContactBabel, it costs businesses seven times more when a customer talks to a live agent compared to an IVR. And your savings potential could be higher depending on several factors. If you want to put some real numbers to gauge the impact of an IVR system for payments, below are some simple inputs we’ll need:
- Number of invoices generated per month
- Number of incoming callers per month that want to make a payment
- Average loaded employee hourly wage. The wage will vary by geography (loaded wage includes benefits paid and other factors).
- Convenience fee and average monthly invoice amount. In some industries, a convenience fee is standard for electronic payments. The fee can more than pay for your service and generate added revenue for your business if you choose to assess one per transaction.
Let’s take a look at the following example:
- You generate an average of 5,000 invoices every month.
- An average of 750 callers (15%) pay by phone.
- Your loaded hourly wage is $20/hour.
- You charge no convenience fee.
In this example, we’ve used 15% as the number of people who need to pay by phone. This percentage is what we’re currently seeing across a wide range of industries. And we picked $20 an hour as the loaded salary because it’s a round number close to the national average for contact center agents. Our clients and future clients also tell us the average time it takes for an agent to process a payment is 12 minutes. And many apply a $5 convenience fee for the automated payment by phone or text. This data alone indicates you could realize an $81,000 annual return on the investment.
The ROI Is More Than Direct Cost Savings
But that’s not the entire story; your actual ROI could be significantly higher. When we take a closer look at your business, we’ll add some additional inputs. Those would include the cost savings associated with descoping PCI compliance and added intelligence to create an accurate ROI tool that will aid your business case. We’re here when you need us. We’ll help you make the best decision for your business and deploy your automated payment solution whenever the time is right!