Does an SMS Payment Solution Reduce Labor Hours?

Of course it does, but I think you knew the answer to that question before you opened the page. But let’s take a look at how and potentially how much an SMS Payment Solution could amount to in savings if implemented.

Potential savings are dependent on the business type, the size of the customer base and what other electronic payment tools are also implemented and how they are promoted and the acceptance rate.

If we take a consumer and business subscription based company like a water delivery company that has a monthly billing cycle and has a customer base of say 5,000 that are billed, has no website payment functionality and only 10% are on an autopay monthly recurring debit, we might expect that at least 1,000 that call into the company to remit payment over the phone.

Obviously those calls aren’t spread-out over the month on an even basis and also not on a daily or even an hourly basis. If 200 of those calls happen over a two day period – say a day after the monthly invoices were received by the customers, that means an influx of calls that either have to be staffed for in order to handle the calls, or the calls go unanswered. Unanswered calls lead to customer dissatisfaction, so that certainly isn’t an ideal situation. If each call takes 5 minutes to complete the payment remittance, that time alone amounts to more than two days of labor time. But of course those calls don’t come in on 5 minute intervals. There’s either wasted time involved or the customer service reps are multi tasking.

If we assume there are 5 customer service reps that multi task between taking payment information over the phone and various other tasks, the question becomes how many could be eliminated or assigned to other tasks that are more profitable than answering phone calls for payment acceptance.

If the company were to implement an SMS payment solution, there will obviously be a percentage of payments remitted via either an online payment form presented from clicking on a link in the SMS message, or by replying to the SMS with “call.” The latter triggers an outbound IVR call where the payment is taken via an IVR Payment system that is integrated with the SMS solution. Having both options increases the adoption rate – and that’s a good thing.

How the company promotes the SMS+IVR solution also plays a role in the adoption rate. Implementing an information tutorial in advance of the SMS solution within the customers monthly invoice would be advantageous and certainly assist with the adoption rate.

There is no throttling limitations on an SMS payment solution – at least not ours. No matter how many are delivered and how many choose to pay using one of the two options, the system is always capable of accepting and processing the payment.

Assuming a successful adoption promotional campaign, we can expect that 70% will choose to begin remitting their payments from the newly implemented SMS payment solution. That’s a reduction of 700 customer service handled calls on a monthly basis, or in 100% completely dedicated man hour time, 7.2 hours. But of course there’s other factors like space dedicated to accepting customer service calls, employee benefits and unproductive time, days off, vacations, etc. The bottom-line is that a payment remitted via an SMS solution will cost less than 50 cents. A payment taken over the phone with a live customer service rep typically costs a company $3.00 or more. How many payments does your company take over the phone?

Ready to get started with an SMS payment solution? Contact us now!

About Gene

Gene is a 24 year veteran of the electronic payments industry and has consulted with countless companies of all sizes. He has overseen large underwriting portfolios, directed IT staff, and currently serves as the Director of Business Development. Gene has appeared before the U.S. Congress to provide expert opinions regarding developing technology and transaction risks towards solutions for the payroll industry. You can find him on LinkedIn>.