A constant challenge for many insurance companies is allocating resources to best support increasingly complex operating environments. As an industry, insurance is customer-centric, with a strong demand for instant account access and 24/7 service.
Implementing self-service voice-based and web-based portals is a proven strategy for bridging interactive channels and achieving operational proficiency. Modern Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) systems rely on these technologies to identify and prioritize customer needs and reduce costs. Deployment of IVR systems by insurance companies is proven to reduce operational costs and improve agent productivity. Call flow automation from start to resolution has measurably increased customer satisfaction and retention at all touchpoints.
What is IVR (Interactive-Voice-Response) Technology?
Modern IVR systems blend dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signal tone-masking to securely identify touch-tone phone digits with next-generation voice recognition technology to produce a seamless interactive customer experience.
An IVR system’s interactive speech and keypad technologies quickly process inbound calls. The IVR telephone menu system enables dial-pad and voice-recognition software to identify, segment, and route inbound callers to the most appropriate agent or company representative. The system collects caller information upfront to authenticate caller identity and ensure call transfer accuracy should a caller need to speak with a company representative.
Another primary function is the management of peak call volumes. IVR systems allow customers to select a callback option. Calls received during peak call periods can also be prioritized in the waiting queue based on call order, call urgency, and other customer-defined parameters determined by individual insurance companies.
With configurable call-in and self-service options, IVR offers more control and transparency related to insurance queries, status on actions taken, and subsequent outcomes. IVR systems allow customers to authorize insurance payments by phone, and payment service providers offer secure web portals that link directly to IVR systems.
Ways Insurance Companies Utilize IVR
Automated IVR systems reduce operational costs for insurance companies by augmenting time and resource-intensive activities involving agents, accounting, call centers, claims, and customer service support personnel.
IVR systems are designed to automate many of the core processes of customer engagement. For example, new and existing customers frequently access IVR systems to perform the following insurance-related actions:
- Request policy rate information
- Find an agent
- Obtain proof of insurance
- File a claim
- Review updated status of a claim
- Retrieve account or policy information
- Review and update policies
- Schedule payment notification reminders
- Authorize and execute payments for premiums
How Does IVR Payment Processing Work?
A typical call to an insurance company’s unique IVR number opens with easy-to-use voice prompts that provide customer self-service options to file a claim, review policy information, check account balances, and make premium payments. Customers respond to prompts with voice commands during the call or enter the appropriate numbers on a mobile or touch-tone phone keypad.
For insurance companies that offer more choices in how premium payments are made, IVR systems make it simple for customers to select payment preferences. Payment authorization by phone can be set up as a one-time payment or scheduled recurring payment, with a choice of the automated clearing house (ACH) direct bank transfer, electronic check, or credit card payment options.
With 24/7 customer access to secure IVR systems, most insurance companies enjoy faster bill collection and payment settlement times. And IVR systems scale to meet surges in payment capacity without hiring additional staff. The insurance company’s chosen payment services provider’s technical support will ensure IVR payment systems integrate correctly.
Benefits of IVR Payments For Insurance
One of the many advantages of utilizing IVR payments to power insurance growth is collecting more payments at a lower cost operationally.
Customers can quickly access information about their property and casualty, health, and life insurance policy coverage, initiate requests, or even make payments on the spot. PCI Level 1 certified IVR systems protect confidential customer information, including healthcare information, following HIPAA compliance standards. Data encryption ensures secure transmission of customer payment data.
Fraud-caller recognition within IVR systems helps mitigate fraud by authenticating each interaction and payment transaction. Another advantage with IVR payments automation is that escalated caller issues requiring agent attention can be assigned a routing number or immediately routed to an agent for follow-through on resolution.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of IVR technologies is the impact of an enhanced customer service experience. Positive customer experiences translate into more business. Researchers found that 76% of customers consider customer service the litmus test for how companies value their patronage. In the ultra-competitive world of insurance, the companies that offer fast, convenient, accurate, and secure interactive customer experiences are more likely to succeed over the long term.
The simple-to-use IVR payment service offered by iCheckGateway.com supports the operational needs of insurance companies in one platform. This platform allows payments to be submitted instantly, and transaction data is encrypted and routed through a provided PCI Level 1 compliant web portal. The net result for insurance companies that use the service is better customer service for a fraction of the cost of traditional labor-intensive manual systems.
Contact iCheckGateway.com for IVR payment solutions.
Date Originally Published: December 17, 2020
Date Updated: August 1, 2022