Unearth extensive insights and approaches for evaluating the efficiency of either call centers or contact centers:
Testing contact centers involves an in-depth analysis of how communications work across various customer engagement channels. This testing process encompasses voice, IVR, email, SMS, and chat communication checkpoints.
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In this day and age, consumers harbor higher expectations than ever before. To meet or exceed these standards while remaining a strong contender in the market, businesses require a system that persistently delivers superior customer service.
A contact center is a system that simplifies the interaction between customers and businesses. It acts as a resource for resolving inquires, tackling issues, and meeting customer demands.
Ensuring a steady customer experience necessitates having a contact center system that performs excellently under any business circumstances. Testing contact centers is essential to achieve this objective.
Up next, we delve into how contact center testing is conducted.
- What Involves Contact Center Testing?
- Tools for Contact Center Testing
What Involves Contact Center Testing?
Before diving into testing contact centers, let’s first understand what they are.
A contact center is a central platform, also known as a customer-company interaction system or e-contact platform, which manages all contact with customers.
Contact Center versus Call Center: A contact center hosts one or more call centers within its scope. While both systems offer customer service, a contact center renders a wider spectrum of services than a call center.
A contact center provides customers with omnichannel journeys, utilizing a variety of digital and non-digital channels such as email, chatbots, text messages, online, and voice calls to communicate with them.
Contact Center Testing:
Contact center testing is crucial when rolling out new projects or altering the contact center environment. It guarantees the seamless launch of new features pivotal for the customer experience.
Testing contact centers involves thoroughly examining the transition points of communication in omnichannel customer journeys.
Activities involved in this testing include:
- Directing calls to the right agents
- Availability of past communication channels
- Confirming the infrastructure and technologies of the contact center
- And other elements involved in omnichannel customer journeys
(The infrastructure of a contact center refers to the hardware and software needed for communication, which can either be located inside the contact center or accessed externally.)
In essence, testing contact centers ensures the development of an always-on, stable, and consistent omnichannel contact center infrastructure that can handle all business conditions.
It involves testing the integration of contact center software, technologies, and infrastructure to guarantee seamless operation. It also involves evaluating how efficiently phone and other media interactions are routed to the right agents and the contact center’s capacity to handle loads.
Furthermore, it includes testing methodologies, technologies, and infrastructure with complicated protocols that generate insights, reports, and analysis for agents.
The Components of Contact Center Testing:
Things to Consider Before Testing:
- Creation of inbound and outbound interactions
- Interaction of agents with contact center applications
- Interaction of agents with customers through supported media channels
- Routing of phone calls to the right agents
- Configuration of multiple levels such as administrator, operator, and system admin
- Deployment of new contact center features
- Maintenance and management of hierarchical arrangement of supervisors, agents, queues, and groups
Before conducting performance checks, it’s crucial to figure out which aspects of the system require testing. There’s no need to run performance tests for aspects that are rarely used. However, intensive and thorough testing is necessary for heavily used aspects of the system.
Consider the following factors:
- Total number of agents logged in at the same time
- Number of phone calls the contact center receives
- Rate at which agents log in to take calls
- Rate at which phone calls are made through the contact center
- Number of simultaneous calls handled by agents per hour
- Number of emails received and handled by the contact center
- Number of concurrent emails handled by agents every hour
- Total number of concurrent emails received
Contact Center Tests
When introducing new projects, testing is required to detect any issues or errors. Imagine rolling out a new project and encountering problems or the failure of existing elements. This is a common situation for both small and large enterprises. Rigorous testing is necessary to avoid and address such problems.
To prevent errors and problems and ensure a steady system flow, testing strategies should be implemented.
Project testing is essential for all enterprises that are launching new projects. It involves thorough testing of the system workflow and integration of various applications. There are two kinds of project testing:
Functional testing is performed at various stages of the contact center to ensure the functionality of the system.
The various stages include:
- System Integration Testing (SIT): This test is performed after full system installation to ensure the system and its applications function cohesively. It also verifies that any changes made to the working environment do not impact existing elements.
- Component Testing: This test focuses on individual components of the system to ensure they function properly. Although this test has a narrow scope, it forms the basis for other types of tests.
- Usability Testing: This test evaluates the interaction of users with the system. It examines whether users are provided with the intended functionalities and solutions. Usability tests may include testimonials, feedback, and mockups.
- User Acceptance Testing (UAT): This test ensures that the applications of the system meet predefined standards and are readily accepted by users.
Performance testing is conducted to evaluate the speed, accuracy, response time, and scalability of the system. It is usually performed at the beginning and end of a project.
- Load Testing: This test determines the breakpoint and bottlenecks of any application. It assesses the workload capacity of the system under extreme conditions.
- General Performance Testing: This test evaluates how the software responds under heavy conditions such as refresh time, pop-up display, and report generation.
- Disaster Recovery Testing: This test verifies the timing and restoration procedures during outages or disasters. It measures how the system continues functioning when certain elements are removed.
Why Should this Testing be Conducted?
As mentioned earlier, customer expectations are constantly evolving, and the contact center serves as the tool to meet those expectations and deliver customer satisfaction.
Some reasons why contact center testing is crucial include:
- Failures in Customer Experience (CX) often happen when customers transition between channels.
- Customers expect a flawless contact center experience, where their queries are quickly resolved and their expectations are met.
- Customers have little patience for contact center issues, so companies must strive to provide their best service and experience from the get-go.
- Agents frequently face immense pressure to resolve customer issues speedily.
Providing a consistent customer experience throughout the entire omnichannel journey is the most challenging task. These journeys are pre-designed and involve complex methodologies, technologies, and infrastructures. Contact center testing ensures these journeys are designed correctly.
Contact center testing not only focuses on CX but also on AX (Agent Experience), as agents play a crucial role in resolving customer queries in real-time.
Tools for Contact Center Testing
Each company uses different software for their call centers and contact centers. Depending on whether the infrastructure is within the contact center or outsourced, different hardware, and software management strategies are employed.
Testing the complex and ever-evolving contact center infrastructure, technologies, and applications, along with integrations, is considered a best practice.
Some of the top tools available in the market include:
Let’s take a closer look at STAMP as an example:
STAMP is an abbreviation for System Test and Monitoring Platform. It provides end-to-end test automation and monitoring of the customer experience. STAMP enables the creation and execution of comprehensive contact tests for omnichannel contact centers.
This tool automates the initial configuration steps and allows the creation, reuse, storage, and sharing of various tests within the organization. It was mainly designed for software vendors and integrators.
The DevOps community was among the first adopters of STAMP. STAMP supports QA, DevOps, IT, and contact center management by offering real-time performance tracking, reports, and alerts for the system.
Why Opt for STAMP?
Companies are persistently enhancing their contact center technology to boost interactions and response times and ultimately improve client satisfaction, recognition, and revenue.
Here are some reasons to use STAMP: