Top 10 Communications Systems Failures

I’d like to share the top 10 issues Empirix has discovered while working with clients in the past 45 days. Hopefully these insights will help you think about your own communications environment and how it effects the customer experience.

In previous posts, I’ve commented on the end-to-end testing methodology which Empirix considers to be the best practice for ensuring – before you go live – that your communications environment will work as expected. This type of testing can be grouped into key categories, so you can resolve issues quickly, with minimal impact to the customer experience.

Read: 3 Critical Steps for Executing Contact Center Testing Scenarios

Below are ten real-life examples of problems our customers have faced before they’ve gone live with their contact center system. Each of these issues was pinpointed through rigorous testing. I recommend you think about these examples and how they apply to your own environment.

White Paper: 10 Tips for Developing a Powerful End-to-End Contact Center Testing Plan

SBC/Voice Application Testing

Calls not rolling over to secondary trunks

When testing individually, all might be fine, but when doing multiple, simultaneous testing, calls begin to fail once the primary trunks are filled. Solution: Reconfigure SBC and switch.

Calls getting rejected (e.g., busy signal or ring no answer) at the gateway under heavy load

We see this in a large number of tests the first time we try to reach the peak call volume. Solution: Reconfigure/reprovision SBC; add secondary SBC.

Read: Testing SBCs: Why Do It?

Voice quality issues

These can cause user inputs to get misinterpreted or make prompts difficult to hear. They are often caused by bandwidth issues. In a recent test, the client’s system was having issues with inbound quality and was unable to recognize the account number entered by customers on 50% of the calls at peak volume. Solution: Reprovision network bandwidth.

No response

The system runs out of resources and stops responding altogether. The callers hear silence until they give up. Solution: Reconfigure SBC and switch.

Calls getting disconnected in the middle of a transaction

Everything seems to be working fine and then the call is gone. Solution: Reconfigure switch; recheck/reprovision all network elements.

Read: Take a Closer Look: End-to-end Application and Voice Quality Testing

IVR Testing

Speech Recognition resources not freeing quickly enough at the end of some calls

This causes the system to fail to respond to user inputs on the next call. Solution:

Reconfigure speech recognition system and increase speech licenses.

White Paper: The Future of IVR Customer Service Assurance

Voice prompts fade out in the middle of playback

Solution: Increase number of IVR ports.

Calls failing to properly transfer between applications

For example from the main IVR to the customer service application. Solution: Conduct regression testing; refine all routing tables.

Read: Take a Closer Look: Voice Portal/IVR Testing

CTI Testing

Calls getting “lost” in queue at high volumes

In one instance, the calls were attempting to transfer to an agent but failed. The call ended up in limbo between the queue and an agent, stuck there until the caller hung up. Solution: Refine routing tables; reprovision segments within network.

Database failures

The system can’t keep up with the number of requests and comes back with a system unavailable message. Solution: Update database licensing; purchase new server.

Read: Take a Closer Look: End-to-End Testing to the Agent Desktop

These are just a few of the examples we’ve seen recently of challenges our customers are facing every day.

What issues are you and your customers facing?

More on security

The Outlook for Fixed and Mobile Service Providers

At Empirix, our continued focus and development of our analytics platform will extend the value to both Wireless and Wireline Service Providers. Our solutions will continue to place emphasis on Customer Experience and Empirix will offer holistic insight into those key entities that reveals unnecessary Opex and Churn.