Outbound IVR vs Inbound IVR – Which One Do You Need

The goal of a robust and streamlined payment Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution is to enable an automated self-service process -including payment. The technology uses either touch-tone or speech-recognition technology to answer customer questions, handle their requests or point them in the right direction, all without having an employee speak with them directly.

While telephony solutions like these were once only used by large companies that received massive amounts of calls on a daily basis, nearly any size or type of business can benefit from IVR payment technology. The question that most businesses have is whether they need an outbound IVR or an inbound IVR or both?

There are many types of IVR systems but most are either inbound, outbound or both. Inbound IVR systems are used to automate the calling-answering process and can conduct much more complex transactions such as to accept payments over the phone for things like outstanding bills. Some inbound IVRs have become so sophisticated that they connect with a payment gateway service so transactions can authenticate in real time.

Inbound IVR systems are a cornerstone of effective billing for a variety of industries from healthcare and utilities to credit unions, financial institutions, auto finance, property management and beyond. Inbound IVR is not only beneficial for businesses that receive a high volume of calls. Most importantly, it enables processing of card and ACH transactions over the phone with a simple transfer from the phone system, and can operate 24/7.

In addition to inbound IVRs, many businesses are now taking advantage of outbound IVR technology or dialers. Outbound IVRs allow businesses to have their systems call customers for things like payment reminders or payment received.

Outbound IVR can offer advanced message and payment functionality. Payment reminders or collection calls are placed via an automated system that’s intelligent enough to recognize if a call was answered by a person, via voicemail or an answering machine, or not picked up at all.

An outbound IVR solution is beneficial in many ways beyond the percentage of customers that are prompted to complete the payment process. In addition, the system can keep track of the call volume in terms of answers and non-answers, payment fulfillment and which days and times are seeing the highest percentages for each action.

Deciding whether your business needs an inbound or outbound IVR or both, is dependent on a number of factors ranging from the industry, call volume, regulatory compliance and several other factors. At Billing Tree, our experts understand that not all businesses utilize one or the other as many businesses can derive great benefit from implementing both forms of IVR depending on what their needs are. By providing a fully integrated suite of state-of-the-art payment solutions and services, it’s much easier to match the present and future needs of any business for crucial growth and stability.

To learn how BillingTree’s myPayrazr IVR and integrated omni-channel payment solutions can help streamline your company’s billing practices and boost revenue cycles, contact us today.