Spearline’s Heather Scrooby explains how phone number testing is arguably one of the most important aspects to ensure an excellent customer experience. No matter what business you operate, your phone numbers are one of your most important assets.
Studies show that phone calls are the most used channel for customer service. While other contact channes such as email, online chat and FAQs etc. are important, when a customer takes the time to actually phone you, it is generally for something important.
Customer Contact – a Golden Opportunity
In addition, this touchpoint provides an opportunity to have a conversation with a customer and if done correctly will create brand loyalty.
This is especially important when you take into consideration that, according to research done by SalesForce, 78% of customers will forgive a company for a mistake after receiving excellent customer service, and 71% have made the decision to buy a product based on the quality of customer service they received.
But, perhaps the most important takeaway from the Salesforce research is that 91% of customers are more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive customer service experience.
When you take into account that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain a current one , making sure you are in a position to provide great customer service on all communication avenues becomes essential.
Why It Is Important to Test Phone Numbers
With telephones being the most utilized channel for customer service, you quickly realize phone number testing is critical.
If your phone numbers are not functioning, or the line quality is poor, you simply cannot provide a quality customer service. In fact, a poor quality line can make the interaction result in a bad customer experience.
Instead of gaining a loyal customer or facilitating further sales, you could lose the customer altogether.
With it getting harder and harder to acquire customers, organizations cannot afford to lose a customer through a non-functional or bad quality phone call; especially since phone lines can be pro-actively monitored and issues detected and sorted out before they affect a customer.
With Phone Number Testing What Type of Phone Lines Can Be Tested?
All types of phone lines can be tested and monitored, regardless of the type of line or network they are on. But phone number testing is not only about determining if a phone line is up and operational. When you test telephone numbers you should be looking at various different aspects and performance points depending on the type of line being tested. Some of the aspects of a phone or communication line to monitor are:
- Connectivity. Detect that a phone line is working by test dialing the phone number from an in-country server. And receive an alert if there is a connection-related issue.
- Audio/ Voice Quality. Utilize reliable indicators such as Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality (PESQ) to determine that both sides can hear each other clearly.
- Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) Functionality. Ensure the phone line’s touch tone functionality is working correctly, every time, from everywhere.
- Post Dial Delay (PDD). Monitor the time that elapses between dialing a number and it starting to ring or provide a busy signal.
- Latency. Monitor the time it takes from speaking to when the other side hears the voice.
- Standard Conference Functionality. Replicate a conference call and test all conference functionality.
- Conference Call Forward Functionality. Test access to your conferencing platform via your customer’s call pathing.
- SIP Route/Dial Out Performance. Test your Dial Out quality by evaluating a specific carrier’s performance when dialing out from your network, in real-time.
- Agent Response Test. Replicate and measure the time it takes to reach your customer service representatives.
You can also monitor other types of communication lines, such as ensuring:
- Fax numbers are receiving and sending correctly.
- SMSes are sending and receiving correctly.
The Power of a Benchmark Comparison in Phone Number Testing
When you receive an alert that your phone number is not functioning, you know immediately that there is a problem. What’s more, if you have the correct monitoring tools, you will have an idea where to start to fix the issue.
But when it comes to things like post dial delay or agent response times of your own business, the line between what is working and what needs to be fixed is not so easily determined.
For example, without realizing it, you might have complex DTMF functionality that might make sense to you but is giving a bad customer experience to your callers.
Being able to benchmark your results against other organizations helps point out where issues might be, and provides guidelines to help you fix any hidden issues.
Without being able to benchmark this information, you might never discover issues that could result in a bad customer experience. While monitoring is essential, benchmarking provides insights that can highlight these hidden issues.
Where, and How, Do You Start to Test Phone Numbers?
You can test telephone numbers manually; but this takes time and effort and does not produce consistent reporting and results. The alternative is to use Spearline’s proactive platform that will do all the above checks (and much more).