We provide only local phone numbers for our IVR phone payment system but we have two options when it comes to how to connect your customers to your IVR. We don't charge different based on which option you choose and have the following guide to point out the advantages of each:
Local number forwarded through your existing phone system.
This is the most recommended option if you have an auto-attendant phone system. What happens here is we would provide a local number however your customers would never know what it is. Instead you would work with your phone system provider to setup an extension that forwards to the provided number. This is advantageous for several reasons. Your customers would dial your existing main number and hear an option that allows them to make a payment. If your phone system was programmed with a prompt that said (for example), “Press 5 to make a payment” then your system, when the customer pressed 5, would forward to the number we provided and the IVR would take over from there. Alternately if the customer reached a customer service representative, that representative has the option to manually forward the call to the IVR extension and again the IVR takes over. This option provides for the most automated method for steering customers to the IVR to make their payments while maintaining the identity of your existing main contact phone number which results in the least confusing option for the customer. Example: With this option you would print a note on your bills that said, “To pay by phone please call our main number (NNN-NNN-NNNN) and press 5.”
Local number which you would print as a dedicated phone payment number on your bills.
If you do not have a phone system capable of creating the forwarding option then the next best option would be to have a local number that is printed on your bills and noted as a dedicated phone payment number. The customers would call that number and instantly connect to the IVR. The number is only used for the purpose of the IVR. With this option you would print a note on your bills that says something like, “To pay by phone please call NNN-NNN-NNNN.”
(Please note that only under certain circumstances can we provide toll-free numbers. In order to obtain a toll-free number we would evaluated usage patterns in your area to see approximately how many customers would actually need the toll-free option and may adjust the per-payment fee that we charge in order to underwrite the additional expense of operating the system using a toll-free number.)