Whilst unsavory scenes of people clambering over one another for the best Black Friday deals seems to have subsided in the UK, an ever growing number of UK retailers are embracing this US imported sales event and one point has become abundantly clear; Christmas shopping officially starts on the last Friday in November.
Whilst some agree, myself included, that kick starting the holiday shopping frenzy actually brings benefits for call centres supporting the influx of sales, without carefully considered preparation a negative snowball affect could roll well into December and forever tarnish a companies reputation.
On Black Friday last year, BT saw the number of calls carried to their customers’ contact centres leap by more than a third compared to 2015 and this trend is set to continue.
Unfortunately, when carrying out peak-load planning, a number of companies still place their focus on the obvious areas of the business and miss the finer details.
For all organisations, it's the contact centre team that are at the forefront of clearing up the debris left in the wake of this annual shopping bonanza and failing to fully test the performance of systems when placed under pressure can have catastrophic consequences.
It’s the little things that count!
Modern contact centre technology is a complex beast that requires regular updates to the underlying infrastructure. As these changes are made throughout the year, they can have very little impact when systems are running at 20% or even 30% of peak traffic.
However once traffic hits peak and continues over a sustained period your infrastructure can become overly stressed and this is when the problems start to appear.
Mitigate the Risk
If risk is calculated by multiplying probability by impact, stress testing your systems with Occam Networks Enterprise Testing Software(ETS) prior to peak allows you to uncover those hidden issues before they generate impact.
This also reduces the probability of issues arising in the first place thus mitigating risk.
ETS can replicate 1000’s of calls being placed across your systems. Each call is recorded and analysed to highlight any problems that are identified.
No one knows your system better than yourself and your Genesys channel partner. Traditional automated testing solutions rely heavily on third party professional services to build and carry out automated testing scenarios. Not only is this costly and time consuming it also inhibits your ability to initiate change and drive improvements.
ETS has the ability to automatically provide interactive mapping of your entire IVR environment and highlights any potential errors such as loops and dead ends.
Not only does this give you the ability to check current performance, it also allows you to easily build your test scenarios from the information available within ETS rather than having to spend time, often working with external parties, manually uploading or importing scripts and audio files.
From the ground up ETS has been designed to be user friendly and intuitive. Our modernly architected infrastructure coupled with our market leading technology ensure ETS can be used by just about anyone within your organisation.
The Super Agent!
When executed properly, IVR will offer a faster and more effective service for customers with a simple or routine enquiry whilst diverting calls away from agents.
However we've all been in the situation where a temporary IVR is setup and quickly tested only for it to have a negative impact further down the call flow which wasn't considered or thoroughly tested.
Incomplete or ineffective IVR's only create more frustration and anxiety for the customer which results in a more challenging call for the agent when they finally connect.
ETS can test an entire IVR path in minutes, giving you the freedom and flexibility to install temporary IVR route as and when required by the business without fear of creating unforeseen issues.
ETS is for life not just for Christmas
An annual ETS licences offers unlimited testing opportunities, so once you’ve carried out you load test and are happy that the functional changes you’ve made to your system are operating correctly ETS can place regular calls, at predetermined intervals to ensure things continue to operate as expected.
Any identified failures are immediately retested by our system to eradicate false negative results and if a genuine problem is identified ETS will alert the relevant teams so the issue can be resolved before it becomes customers and business impacting.
Regardless of how you use automated testing the ultimate goal remains the same, to take a proactive approach in identifying and resolving issues before they impact your customer.
And we all know the benefits of a happy customer!