Are Customers Seeing Your Problems Before You Do?

Have you ever had something go wrong with your system? How do you find out people are having a bad experience while trying to use your enterprise communication system? Here are three ways I can think of – some of which less desirable than others.

Method #1: Someone Complains

Are you finding out about customer affecting issues because a customer has actually been affected? Maybe you are hearing about a bad experience from a customer, contact center agent, or the CEO. This is by far the worst way to find out that you have a problem. The only step down from here is not being informed of the problem at all.

Why? Well, customer complaints can be difficult to quantify and chances are good that a person who complains is not the first and only one to experience the problem. Plus, there’s no way to know where the issue originated, so it’s really hard to fix the problem.

Method #2: Monitor Live Traffic

In this scenario, your monitoring system notifies you that a customers, agents, or employees are experiencing poor quality. A direct measurement of quality, such as a low Mean Opinion Score (MOS), is easily attributable to a bad experience. Other alerts, such as application or system health metrics going out of bounds, can also indicate that all is not well for your customers.

This method of discovering a problem is far better than method 1 above, with the only downside being that sometimes real people need to experience a problem before it can be identified. So again, you may have the problem of being unable to stop issues from affecting customer experience.

Read: Top Ten Tips for Testing Your Contact Center Network

Method #3: Active Monitoring

With this method, your monitoring system periodically initiates voice, video or chat session that emulate real users, with each transaction resulting in multiple Quality of Experience (QoE) and Quality of Service (QoS) related metrics. These transactions traverse your communication infrastructure and can alert you to a wide variety of issues and trends.

This is one of the best ways to identify a problem, primarily because you are not relying on customers, agents, or the CEO for help. The proactive approach empowers you to discover and fix issues before the complaints start rolling in and the reputation bashing starts rolling out.

Which method do you use to discover issues with you enterprise communication system? And what are the results? Let me know in the comments below.

Want a more detailed view of the advantages of these methods? Read Perform – Monitor to Assure a Great User Experience.

If you’re considering a well thought out stress testing effort before going live in order to reduce your initial headaches, check out Quality of Service Testing in the VoIP Environment.

Written by Tom Lynch – Tom on LinkedIn | Posts by Tom
Tom is an Empirix veteran who is an expert in VoIP, Unified Communications and Contact Center systems. He has nearly twenty years of experience in the technology world, and has spent much of his time successfully developing testing and monitoring solutions for Enterprises and Service providers alike.