FKNC Offers Voice Recognition Software Backed by a Call Center

One benefit of promoting electronic payments is that it cuts down on paper billing and exception processing.

But the benefits extend beyond the bill paying segment to create additional revenue, cure delinquencies and increase customer retention, according to Fort Knox National Co. here, provider of the TruePay 5.0 payment solution.

TruePay 5.0 allows users to initiate payments electronically using operator-assisted and voice response telephone options. Borrowers can also make payments online via direct Web payment sites. The system accepts payments from customers' checking or savings accounts, signature debit cards and credit cards.

TruePay is built on FKNC's payment platform, which incorporates Microsoft.NET architecture, voice recognition and turnkey outsourcing services.

Josh Hartlage, chief marketing officer at FKNC, told MSN that the voice recognition feature will reduce the number of callers who "drop out" of the interactive voice response system. That frees call center counselors to work on more complicated calls than routine bill payments, he said.

If callers give up on the IVR and hang up, lenders may find themselves trying to communicate with that customer by much more expensive means, such as paper correspondence or outgoing calls.

Mr. Hartlage said the new TruePay technology really eliminates the consumer's excuses for "opting out" of a call. That means lenders should see a lower call abandonment rate.

And the integration of the call center with a central database gives the credit counselor a little more intelligence to improve the customer experience if the caller does choose to speak with a live agent, Mr. Hartlage said.

For instance, the customer service representative can see if the caller recently attempted to make a payment. All the information on the company's TruePay system goes back into a single database.

Mr. Hartlage said this integration between IVRs and the call center as well as computerized voice response capabilities has advanced to the point where it provides a competitive advantage. The whole system relies on a single database, so all information is consistent and current.

Integrating a call center with a voice recognition IVR unit is one way that TruePay 5.0 has advanced.

"That technology has been a little sketchy over the last few years. It is finally to the point where we feel it has a place in the marketplace," Mr. Hartlage said.

Having voice recognition on top of a touch-tone IVR allows a company to serve more borrowers electronically, he said.

"You are going to capture more traffic through your IVR, which is the whole reason for having an IVR."

The live body call center is available to help catch people who may drop out of the process despite the voice recognition technology. By outsourcing to FKNC's call center, lenders can effectively ensure that the IVR technology does not spill over into their own call center.

The TruePay technology also allows clients to set up multiple automated payment options for their customers in an effort to give mortgage customers the ability to pay their bill electronically how and when they want to.

The goal is to improve the customer experience. TruePay also can be used in conjunction with FKNC's TrueView, which provides a reporting tool to see data in a three-dimensional framework.

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