Flying Blind: How Automated Testing Can Reveal Hidden CX Issues

It’s early Monday morning. Alex and Lilli tap an access card before pushing through the door of the contact center. They head directly to the server room where the on-premise integrated voice response (IVR) server hums noisily amongst its fellow neighbours as their cooling fans sing the collective song of digital activity. The sea of green blinking lights inform Alex and Lilli that everything is functioning. They head to their office—one of the only private ones in the customer service department—and place a few quick test calls into the system to verify the greeting, language options and ensure the correct menu is being presented. They hear a murmur as the first contact center agents arrive in preparation for fielding today’s horde of customer calls.

They dig up last week’s reports to check performance levels and call records, and notice there seems to be a sudden jump in dropped calls. Alex quickly reviews call notes taken during interactions to see if any customers reported issues. Nothing. Puzzling over what is causing the dropped calls, they both begin to add new questions to the automated survey customers are asked to complete after every call, hoping to gain some insight before having to arrange yet another slew of manual systems checks.

The skeleton in the CX closet

When you peer beyond the human aspect of customer experience (CX), one of the challenges facing system admins is technical assurance. In most cases, technology and infrastructure issues lie in wait behind the scenes, revealing themselves only to customers at the worst possible time in their journey, especially if that time is in the midst of high-volume business cycles where extended wait times are common. Some of these issues include dropped calls, incorrect call paths, poor audio quality, erroneous prompts, or menu options that send customers off into never-never land—that place which traps customers in loops through your system or routes them to the wrong agent—sometimes causing them to never-ever want to do business with your organization again.

In their 2021 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report (GCXBR), NTT Ltd. shares that 52% of consumers experience technology-related CX issues. That’s a substantial number when you consider how quickly a customer will jump ship after even a single negative interaction. When you consider Zendesk’s findings that 48% of consumers who encounter a poor customer experience will think twice before making another purchase from a company, you can see how important it is to optimize all aspects of the customer journey through your systems.

Strengthen your chain

They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and the saying holds true for any organization or system. Even with the most robust, up-to-date contact center systems, all it takes is one point of weakness to cascade into a critical CX issue. Even if you believe everything is copacetic, there is a chance that 52% of your customers have a differing opinion on that point. After all, without detailed data on what’s happening behind the veil of equipment chassis, processors and insulated wire, most technology-related CX problems will remain hidden.

The most effective way to ensure that your systems are functioning as expected is to institute a plan for ongoing automated CX testing and monitoring of your production systems and infrastructure, and when executing software updates, infrastructure upgrades and production migrations.

Putting the focus on your contact center technology can greatly boost your returns simply by assuring a more streamlined, trouble-free customer journey through your voice and digital systems.