Enterprise Communications

The Case for Testing Worldwide Telephone Numbers & IVR Platforms

By Special Guest
Stephen Levenson, vice president of Global Telecom Testing LLC
  |  March 31, 2016

In the current economic climate, global companies are increasingly turning to unified communications solutions to drive collaboration among customers, colleagues, and partners. This technology is an important tool for driving time to market and revenue streams. 

According to the Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) report Meetings Around the World: Charting the Course of Advanced Collaboration, 71 percent of Fortune 500 companies said they use UC solutions to cut the need for business travel. The same report found that more than half of those responding think UC solutions present a powerful alternative to in-person office visits. 

Companies requiring UC entrust their mission-critical worldwide telecommunications to one of a few global companies. There are a plethora of complex issues looming for any company that relies on worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platform installations. These issues negatively impact corporate image, customer retention, customer service, reservations, revenue, and sales. Avoiding them at all costs is essential.

Setting up global sales and customer service telephone numbers and IVR platforms is complicated and costly. They are the business’s lifelines for customers and employees. Being 100 percent sure that they are operational is imperative.

A 1st Financial Training Services survey reported that 96 percent of unhappy customers don’t complain; however, 91 percent of those will simply leave and never come back. A Garter survey showed 85 percent of customers are dissatisfied with their telecommunications experience with 92 percent of all customer interactions occurring via telephone. 

When new worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platforms are delivered to global businesses, they are tested randomly, at best, by providers or their local in-country telco partners. However, they are not verifying all numbers being delivered, and the testing is rudimentary. These companies solely and sporadically test electronically, which permits problematic and/or non-functioning numbers and IVR platforms to be delivered to customers. This testing cannot detect any in-country call quality or quality of service issues, and most importantly, does not simulate the in-country user experience.

It is because of the flawed limited relationships between worldwide UC companies and their in-country local telco partners that global companies are losing clients and compromising sales because their newly delivered worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platforms are faulty. Customers calling to inquire about and/or purchase services, products, and make reservations cannot due to problematic telephone numbers and IVR platforms. The time and money spent to fix faulty worldwide telecommunications is costly and frustrating, but more importantly, negatively affects how a company is perceived in the marketplace, customer experience, and retention.

It is imperative for customer experience, retention, and revenues to simulate the in-country user experience (by in-country quality assurance testing) before delivery to global businesses. This ensures that all worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platforms are functioning properly.

According to Global Telecom Testing’s 2015 Pass/Fail Report of Worldwide Telephone Numbers, more than 33 percent of worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platforms tested are non-operational upon delivery to global businesses, even though the UC company and/or its local in-country telco partner have stated otherwise.

The first step to fixing problems is discovering them. To verify that worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platforms are operational in any worldwide city, in-country, live landline and mobile test calls must be performed in those cities/locations. This type of testing identifies problems before customers and employees begin using the numbers and IVR platforms, which ensures businesses are successful.

In-country live testing not only locates any non-operational worldwide telephone numbers, but also ensures that they are problem-free, the message is correct, language and dialect is correct, voice and DTMF prompts are working, and that IVR platforms are functioning properly. The reliability of worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platforms are enhanced, which in turn drives customer satisfaction, and retention.

In-country live test calls are the most important testing benchmarks because only this type of testing accurately simulates the in-country user experience by detecting call failures, call quality, IVR platform installation errors, and QoS issues. Worldwide in-Country testing performed by human testers guarantees accuracy at a level that cannot be achieved through computerized and/or electronic testing. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle