A complete guide to contact center or call center testing with tools and techniques:
A Contact Center Testing is a type of testing done on Omnichannel customer journeys to thoroughly examine the transition points of communication. It tests voice, IVR, email, SMS and chat communication points.
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In the changing age of different types of customers, expectations are much higher than they were ever before.
Companies need to meet or exceed customer expectations with the best possible customer service. So, companies need a system to meet those higher expectations of customers consistently and compete with others to stay successful in the market.
Contact Center is one of that system which helps in developing communication between a customer and the company. Contact or you may also call it as a Call Center helps to solve queries, problems and generate results to meet customer expectation.
To have consistent customer experience, you need to have a contact center system that performs well under all business conditions. Contact Center testing is the key to achieve this goal.
You will get clear shortly with how this testing works.
What You Will Learn:
- What is Contact Center Testing?
- Contact Center Testing Tools
What is Contact Center Testing?
Firstly, we need to know about what is the Contact Center before knowing about what is its testing.
It is a central place also known as an e-contact platform or customer-company interaction platform from where all the customer contacts are managed.
Contact Center and Call Center: A Contact Center comprises of one or more Call Center inside itself. While both the systems imply to provide customer services, Contact Center supports more services than a Call Center.
A Contact Center generally offers Omni channel journeys to the customer where they use different channels to get their work done. These channels could be digital as well as non-digital channels. Services supported by the Omni Channel including emails, chatbots, text messages, online, and voice calls, etc. to communicate with the customers.
Testing Contact Center:
It is imperative to perform Contact Center Testing when new projects are launched and when new changes are driven into the Contact Center environment. This enables the smooth rollout of new feature and functionality that are critical for customer experience.
A Contact Center Testing is a type of testing done on Omnichannel customer journeys to thoroughly examine the transition points of communication.
The testing is done to check the whole cycle of the customer journey and involves the following activities:
- Routing of calls to appropriate agents
- Which of the prior channels are readily available
- Appropriate infrastructure and technologies of Contact Center
- And various other factors which are indulged in the Omnichannel customer journey.
(Contact Center infrastructure means the hardware and software which are required to support the communication. They can be either located on the Contact Center itself or they can be located and accessed externally.)
Well, you might be thinking what actually this testing is?
This is about preparing an Omnichannel contact center infrastructure that is highly-available, stable and consistent to handle all business conditions.
Let me make it clear, this is about how a company’s Contact Center software, technologies, and infrastructure are integrated to perform well. Also, how swiftly the phone/other media interactions are routed to appropriate agents and how much load a Contact Center could hold on.
Also, it involves various methodologies, technologies, and infrastructure with complex protocols which help in generating insights, reports, and analysis to the agents.
The Building Blocks of Contact Center Testing:
Key Points to consider before testing:
- Generating inbound and outbound interactions
- Agent and their interactions with all the contact center applications
- Interaction with customers by agents through several media that might be supported
- The phone calls are routed to an appropriate agent
- Formation of multiple statements such as administrator, operator, and system admin
- Deployment of a new contact center features
- The hierarchical arrangement of Supervisors, Agents, Queues, and Groups are maintained and managed accordingly
Before you start conducting any Performance check on your system, it’s smart to keep a watch on your system alternatives of performance and testing; and you need to understand volumetrically of Contact Center which is tested.
There is no purpose to run any Performance check against any aspects of appliance that are seldom used. However, it’s necessary for those aspects of the system, that are densely used goes through an intensive and a thorough test.
To determine the above-discussed aspects, one should consider the following:
- Total Agents to be logged-in at the same time
- The number of phone calls that are created to Call Center
- The rate at which Agents go online to attend the call
- The speed at which telephone calls arises through Call Center
- The number of simultaneous phone calls to be handled by the agents each hour
- The amount at which emails are created to Call Center and from Call Center
- The number of concurrent emails to be handled by the agents each hour
- Total number of concurring emails received
Contact Center Tests
As we have discussed above that testing is required when new projects are launched. Now imagine, if your company is launching a new project and you are speeding up to launch the new applications and system.
But wait you see that the changes which are driving to your newly upgraded environment don’t seem to work well. And again you see that old things are faltering too.
Well, this scenario is common in almost every small and large enterprise. The pressure of working with a new system and collaborating with new dynamic environment affects internal as well as external sources. So, there is a need for rigorous testing to forego different test plans.
Without testing, many errors and problems may occur which hinders the smooth flow of the system. Therefore, testing strategies are required which concludes testing processes for prevention of such errors and problems.
Project testing is essential for every small and large enterprise while launching new projects. Rigorous testing helps in analyzing the system workflow and different applications integrated with the system. There are two types of project testing:
This type of testing is applied at various stages of the Contact Center to check the functionality of the system.
Different stages are as follows:
- SIT (System Integration Testing) is undertaken after the system is fully installed to check whether the system and its applications are cohesively working or not. It also ensures that any changes made to the newly established working environment do not affect existing elements
- Component Testing is done to check whether the working elements or components of the system are working or not. This testing is of narrow approach but is an essential requisite for other tests
- Usability Testing is done to check user interaction with the system. Moreover, this testing involves whether the user is delivered with what is defined and not only meeting the solutions. In other words, testimonials, feedbacks, and mockups are examples of usability tests to check the user interaction with the system
- UAT (User Acceptance Testing) is done to ensure that the system applications are working according to pre-defined standards and are easily accepted by the user
The performance test is usually done to determine the speed, accuracy, response time, and scalability of the system. This type of test usually takes place in the beginning and end of the project.
- Load Testing helps in finding the breakpoint of any application and also bottlenecks of any application. Moreover, this test is done to identify how much workload can a system handle under extreme conditions
- General testing of performance to check the software response under heavy conditions like refresh time, pop-up display, and generation of reports
- Disaster Recovery test is done to verify process timings and restoring of backups. In addition, it measures the continuity of the system when some elements of the system are removed
Why perform this Testing?
As we have discussed above customer expectations are changing all the time and Contact Center is the delivery mechanism to meet those expectations and provide satisfaction to the customers.
Some of the few things that make Contact Center testing a must-have requirement are:
- CX (Customer Experience) failures often happen when customers cross channels
- The general assumption of a customer is that a company must have a flawless Contact Center which interacts with them in the most brilliant way possible solving all their queries
- The tolerance a customer has for a Contact Center is extremely low hence you have to deliver him/her your best in the first attempt
- The agent often falls under terrible pressure while trying to resolve a client’s issue in no-time
The most challenging task is to drive and ensures the CX (Customer Experience) correctly through the entire Omni channel journeys of a customer. The journeys are pre-designed which involves complex methods, technologies, and infrastructure. The CX must be tested against some standards to ensure the journeys are correctly designed.
While ensuring CX you also need to ensure AX (Agent Experience) as the agents are the experts which are under pressure for resolving the customer query in the real time.
Contact Center Testing Tools
As each company has its own Call Center and Contact Center, they use different software for their purpose and needs.
As we have seen above if the infrastructure lies within the premise of the Contact Center, the hardware and software are managed by the company which owns the Contact Center. And in the scenario of external infrastructure, outsourcing is followed up.
The best practice is to test the complex and constantly evolving Contact Center infrastructure, technologies and applications with the integrations.
The best tools available in the market are:
We will see an example and review of STAMP Tool:
STAMP stands for System Test and Monitoring Platform which provides end to end test automation and CX monitoring. It also helps to generate and run comprehensive contact tests for Omnichannel Contact Centers.
This tool automatically executes preliminary steps to configure various existing tests from the test amplification. It was mainly designed for the use of software editors and integrators.
The DevOps community was the first community in general for using the STAMP tool. STAMP support QA, DevOps, IT, and Contact Center Management by providing real-time performance, reports and alerts of the system.
Contact Centers of various companies are strategically being enhanced and updated on a regular basis to provide high customer satisfaction and generate high revenue.
Ultimately, the constantly improving Contact Center and its functionality and technology can be a burden to many customers and staff members of the company if not tested accurately.
There are many reasons to use STAMP:
- STAMP tests are highly flexible and can be cloned, reused, stored and shared throughout the organization as and when needed.
- STAMP ensures that systems are cohesively and consistently working under real-life situations.
- STAMP provides various users with the freedom of self-operating end to end testing for optimizing CX and AX.
- STAMP helps in reducing the work stress, pain, expense, and work delay as companies can take measures to maintain the system.
- STAMP is a backbone of Contact Center as it is a comprehensive solution that can automate tests, provides records and reports, and also define the problems.
- STAMP covers almost every aspect of automated testing and optimizes customer interaction, helping agents and resolving customer experience issues.
After the STAMP gets introduced in Contact Center’s Application Tests, it has to go through various Omni channel interactions. From these interactions, it decides whether the type of test to be carried out will be concurrent or sequential. After which it runs all the interaction options and captures the responses of the Contact Center.
Types of tests STAMP perform
- Load Testing: While STAMP loads each and every interaction volume like calls, emails, chat, etc., it also creates real-time scenarios for ensuring the system is perfectly sized and configurations are correctly made.
- Regression Testing: It performs a regression test in order to ensure the reliability, stability, and to check if there is any impact on existing CX.
- Stress Testing: This test is undertaken to analyze how Contact Center operates during outages, accidents or destruction. It also measures the responsiveness under stressful conditions.
- Functional Testing: This test measures the functionality of a Contact Center system. It measures data transfer between different apps, system response within a defined acceptable range and records end to end verifications of the system.
- Heartbeat Monitoring: This test involves sending of alerts messages to operation if any collapses are found. It helps in maintaining the CX.
Benefits of STAMP
- The benefit of putting low efforts with full coverage: STAMP automatically tests the client’s experience in an IVR network. This repeatable approach saves time as well as money
- Canon Performance of System: STAMP rigorously perform different tests like load and stress testing in order to ensure that the high volume of visitors in peak situations could be handled more carefully.
- Problem Detection at Early Stage: Heartbeat Monitoring and Regression test help in a way that the agents and customers do not face any issues related to the system, therefore more emphasis is done to the brand name.
- Code-Free Testing: STAMP provides an atmosphere where the user does not have to write complete coding for the body, which means a reduction of code with the help of mouse pointing and clicking.
- Supportive DevOps Technology: Test plans and cases are reusable, schedulable, and may go by developer’s Victimization rest-based APIs
Features of STAMP
- STAMP monitors IVR and other telephony systems for their optimum performance
- It also deals with the reporting and routing of CTI Systems along with back-end integrations
- STAMP conjointly offers a completely distributed and versatile design to satisfy the need of any Contact Center specifications
- It provides real-time interactions and activities to test beneath the load
- It creates distinctive test plans quickly either through importing APIs or by planning systems among STAMP
- User can create a clone and can also export test plans
- STAMP configurations help to create monitoring plans for testing purpose
- User Omni channel journeys are supported by STAMP in conjunction with E-mails chats etc.
- Delivers advanced take-a-look at information management like setting-up and re-formatting information before execution, cluster information things, collect information things from alternative servers where databases are created via internet
- STAMP helps in enabling of grouping, storing, saving, and sharing of tests between DevOps and team of testing.
- “Virtual Agent” enables by STAMP helps in taking immediate actions
- Old records and reports are maintained by STAMP which includes deep insights and real case studies for configuration levels
- Offers configurable notification levels supported failures
- Generates time period read or taking a look at the accomplishment
- It also helps in recording calls and provides other features to agents like pause and play, forward play and rewind play of call interactions
=> Check the official link for more details of STAMP tool.
Time and Cost Saving through Automation
au•to•ma•tion (n): It is a technique, which states that the operation or functioning of a process is done without or less human intervention by automatic means— Dictionary.com
With automation enabled testing technologies like STAMP, a Contact Center can save remarkably on both cost and time while loading testing their architecture and infrastructure to keep up with client demands at all times.
Let’s say a customer visiting your website and places an order on your website. The customer must be able to track the shipment of the order placed on your website. This can be done through a GPS system available on the delivery person’s cell phone.
There is no interference of any employees helping the customer to track the order. The order automatically gets tracked with the help of software.
This is much beneficial for the company, employees as well as consumers. The employees don’t have to manage or track data for customers. They don’t have to deal with a regular update of tracking shipment queries by the customers.
The company saves much time with the help of automated software as employees don’t have to waste time only dealing with customers on phone calls or via messages. They get much time to promote their product to attract new potential customers. Ultimately, the diversification and growth of the company are achieved through Automation.
At the same time, customers also get benefited with this automated software as they don’t have to request or bargain with anyone for their queries. The process has become so easy and interactive that any type of consumer can go through and understand it briefly.
Do you know? With automation in software, 20% of each employee’s time is saved which means a full day time in a week is saved by a company. Sometimes you can save a lot with the help of a system. So, gear up and find a new system which saves a lot of effort for your company.
Testing Efficiency and Accuracy
Efficiency means the completion of work or task on time with minimal resources.
If we talk about a Contact or Call Center efficiency it means how effectively customers are interacting with your Call Center services. Are they fully satisfied or not? Or they are switching to competitors.
On the other hand, can you do cost cutting without sacrificing customer satisfaction? Or can you eliminate any unfruitful resources and be more effective to your customers?
This is what Contact Center efficiency is defining how effective can you be to your customers.
Accuracy means the completion of the task with correctness and perfection.
If your company do not provide accurate information or provide any false information to the customers then you are probably distorting customer’s satisfaction.
On the other end, every single customer data should be maintained accurately, so whenever an existing customer comes up with any query your company is always ready to deal with them.
Companies are forever improving their Contact Center technology to positively impact interactions and response times, with the sole intention of client satisfaction, recognition, and revenue.
Contact Center systems, as well as Interactive Voice Response systems, ought to work on well with the varied technical elements in an Omnichannel setting.
Now it might be clear with you all that Contact Center testing is not simply a test to measure the quality of a call or resolving the client’s problem. The concept is a bit different. It is a test to measure your company’s strength in meeting customer satisfaction.
Well, the test concludes about your hierarchical arrangements of the system which involves the use of different types of methodologies, technologies, and infrastructures. It is imperative to test your Contact Center to keep your company updated and compete in the market.
It is essential to maintain the correct standards of Call Center testing in line to have sound system architecture at all times and also to keep up with client demands. In this case, as you have to come to know STAMP stands to be the benchmark out of all the Contact Center testing tools, and with the broad range of feature list, it does a lot more than expected.
By automating the Contact Center’s client interaction testing method, STAMP ensures that all the systems are systematically and cohesively performing beneath diverse real-world conditions. It executes customer-to-agent interaction tests and makes sure every interaction is accurate, fast and consistent, as your customer expects it to be.
Hope this article helped you to get an idea of importance and need of Contact Center Testing in a Company. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!