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When a machine treats a person humanly: IVR for payment reminder

Many people do not like IVR ( Interactive Voice Response) system simply because it is a ‘machine’, not human and they do not like the idea of ‘talking’ to machine! But there is an IVR application with whom many would like to deal with, instead of dealing with an human agent, the service is IVR for payment reminder!

One may forget to make a payment for utility bills, credit card bills or any other bill for many reasons! It is always embarrassing for a person to be reminded of pending unpaid bills! And if the payment reminder is done by human agent, many people feel uncomfortable with the knowledge that ‘other person’ too know know his secret of not paying bills!

There may be instances where a person is simply unable to pay bills! And with recent economic problems all around the world, many may have been victims of job loss and then one may become genuinely unable to pay bills! When a person goes through such distress, being reminded by a human agent of pending unpaid bills might result in more depression!

But outbound IVR for reminding of pending payment would not embarrass a person so much as a call from human agent would! Recently, I had a discussion with my friend Rahul Mishra, who blogs about Indian Real Estate about how many people default payment for their housing loans or installment for their flats during construction of apartments! While some people love to be reminded, but majority of the people feel embarrassed! And automated IVR would not embarrass a person as he/she would be reminded by a machine called IVR with no emotion, heart or feelings!

So, and outbound IVR for reminding pending bills is one IVR application in which a person may not like to speak to a human agent! Here are my few ideas:-

1. Everyone should use outbound IVR for reminding a person for pending unpaid bills at least three or four times before any human agent or recovery agents calls up in order to avoid embarrassing a customer!

2. During this call, the person should be given options like press 1 if already paid, 2 if will pay next week and does not want to be reminded again in between, 3 if he wants some one to collect payment from his house etc. This way, payment reminder service would be delightful even for defaulting customers!

3. Outbound IVR can also be able to transfer the call to human agent of the called party desires so!

So, in order to recover money or take payment from your customers, are you treating them cruelly ? Use outbound IVR to remind them gently and treat your customers humanly!

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • MANMOHAN August 16, 2011, 12:52 pm

    very nice blog and informative.

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