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Updated by 09.06.2023

15-Year Study by E-Complish Shows Customer Knowledge is Key to Collecting Phone Payments

Boost Incoming Revenue with the Effective Use of IVR Technology

E-Complish has just released a study documenting 15 years of research on the essential ingredients of a successful telephone payment system and its benefits. The study consisted of an extensive series of customer surveys to business customers who tried to submit a payment through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) application over the telephone, but hung up before the payment was submitted. In order to conduct the study, E-Complish analyzed the points during a IVR process where a majority of customers would error, repeat or just hang up. If 5% or more of callers dropped at the same point, they would call each customer one-on-one to get their feedback.

The results showed that a majority of customers would drop due to inadequate instructions or the inability to input their information properly. For example, one sub-study of an IVR system showed that 22% of callers were hanging up when asked to enter their address. Normally a street address or PO BOX number is gathered for credit card address verification purposes. When these customers were asked why they hung up, it was discovered that these customers didn’t live on a Street or have a PO Box, but instead lived on a Rural Route. Entry instructions were only given for the first two address types, but not a Rural Route so customers would ultimately hang up. To compensate, Rural Routes were added to the data entry instructions of the IVR and the business’ revenue from phone payments immediately increased by 20% and error rate of only 2%.

IVRs are quickly becoming the standard for businesses that need to automate and secure their payment process, particularly among municipal governments and utility providers. Since founding E-Complish in 1998, CEO and Founder Stephen Price saw the importance of on-going testing of each and every IVR application that the company creates. A team was created to conduct on-going testing of each IVR application to further analyze what makes the difference between a completed payment and a dropped call. These results have been culminated into a 15 year study of most-common barriers to completion.

“IVRs are not a one-size-fits-all application, especially when you are trying to accept and process a payment” says Stephen. “The point of creating a payment gathering IVR system is to create security, trust, and convenience in the mind of the customer caller which then creates call center efficiency to allow customer service representatives the time they need to address service issues. It would be a big mistake to assume that all is well without responding to the problem of dropped calls. Ultimately, this hurts the efficiency of your business and inhibits all of the goals you were trying to reach by implementing an IVR in the first place. It is important to know your customer and then keep those lines of communication open, understand their experience, and adjust accordingly.”

The final study is available for download here.


E-Complish, LLC: Since 1998, E-Complish has been providing financial services for organizations seeking to improve their bottom line, and has established itself as a reliable and secure payment partner. For more information about E-Complish, please contact Marc Hopkins (301) 865-7570 x205, mhopkins(at)e-complish(dot)com or visit