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Why your Contact Center needs a stress test

Sandie Simms
Feb. 14 2023
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Independent research commissioned by Hammer identified that just three out of ten contact center leaders express total confidence in their ability to handle unexpected surges in contact volumes. Only 35% strongly agreed that their most recent technology upgrades delivered satisfactory Return on Investment. Similarly, just 35% of those who moved to the cloud could confidently say they achieved all the goals they identified for the migration project.

As we head into tough economic times and increasing global volatility, is your contact center equipped to swim, or is it doomed to sink?

Some sectors are more prepared than others for the unexpected; 41% of Health Insurance companies expressed total confidence in their ability to handle surges, followed by 39% of Healthcare providers and 38% of Utilities, compared to just 21% of Financial Services companies.

Whatever your sector, the success of your organization depends upon providing your customers with a smooth and comfortable experience. Interacting with your contact center is a crucial part of the service you offer, yet unfortunately many customers are derailed during this stretch of the journey.

Can you identify critical factors affecting performance?

Worryingly, 66% of contact center leaders around the globe report that call abandonment rates have continued to increase during the post pandemic area. Often the cause is not the lack of agents ready to take calls, but connection, routing, and other technology issues of which the call center is simply unaware.

Similarly, 67% reported that the frequency of outages has increased over the last 12 months. This figure may be shocking but is perhaps not so surprising when you consider that two thirds of contact centre leads do not have the visibility they need to ensure their contact center infrastructure is performing as intended.

Are your technology improvement projects delivering the anticipated benefits?

Looking back at technology projects in 2021-22, only 28% of contact center leaders strongly agree that changes made in technology were thoroughly tested before they went live.

All the statistics quoted so far are all worrying, but the last should raise serious alarm bells.  A vehicle manufacturer categorically could not sell a product which has not been thoroughly tested. The quality of these products, and the assurance that they perform under stress, are tantamount to the success of their company. Of course, vehicles are painstakingly tested to account for any conceivable threat.

So, why would this not translate to other sectors? Customer service may be lacking the potentially fatal component involved in a vehicle malfunction, but, in times of economic uncertainty the stakes are higher than ever. Almost without exception every sector faces seasonal peaks of incoming inquiries; how these are handled can make or break their business.

Yet, all too often, customer journeys terminate with the contact center, with $83B being lost a year to poor customer service. This is frankly unnecessary, especially when the whole issue can be circumnavigated by a stress test, whose role is parallel to that of the vigorous testing any vehicle must undergo.

Can your CCaaS provider be trusted?

Many organisations have moved their contact center to the cloud over the last few years, embracing the opportunity to redesign their contact center in the process, but is the cloud really a panacea for all contact center failings? 

Your CCaaS provider may guarantee “improved scalability and flexibility,” and a reduced need for expensive infrastructure, but how can you truly verify this? Is your trust in them worth the potential losses, of profit, customers, and brand image?

A failure in the connection provided by your CcaaS provider may lead to your contact agents simply not receiving the calls that are made. This is one of the drivers of call abandonment. The only way to verify claims made by your CcaaS about uptime reliability of your CcaaS provider is an independent stress test; without which you just will not know.  

Why you need Hammer

Hammer recognizes that every business, and that every contact center, is unique. The turnkey performance and stress test offered by Hammer will highlight any pitfall in your contact service, showing your business the exact ways in which it will fall short, not just during unexpected surges in call volumes, but also as routine upgrades of key telephony components including Session Border Controllers (SBCs), IVR, dialer, workforce management, CTI and the agent desktop.

Hammer’s service will allow you unlimited test scripts and executions, and the ability to create, maintain and execute your test scripts. This will ensure that, regardless of how frequently your business is upgrading its technology and infrastructure, you will be able to assess your contact service consistently and easily. This will validate the seamless customer journey that you are plotting for any potential consumer.

96% of business plan to upgrade their contact center technology in the next two years. You do not need to be like the many whose contact centers fly into these changes blindly, running the risk of falling victim to laughably manageable issues, which with good testing, could easily have been avoided.

It has never been easier to road test your contact center to ensure frictionless and successful journeys. Can your business afford not to do it?

 

All data is taken from The State of Contact Center Testing 2023

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