How Can You Assure Voice Quality When You Move your contact centre to the Cloud?
David Inglis | Principal Solutions Architect | Cyara
The contact centre has become the turning point for digital transformation in the enterprise. Companies must now compete by delivering innovative, flawless customer experiences. To accomplish this, the vast majority of enterprises, including many of Cyara’s customers, are moving their contact centres to the cloud, for benefits including reduced cost to serve and a more personalized and responsive customer experience.
But as I covered in an earlier blog post, there are several considerations to address when you’re making this move. One of these considerations is that today, most cloud-based contact centres are based on Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC), which may have an impact on voice quality.
What is WebRTC?
A few years back, cloud-based contact centres were underpinned by SIP technology. But increasingly, we are seeing these solutions based on WebRTC.
WebRTC is a free, open-source project that provides web browsers and mobile applications with real-time communication (RTC) via application programming interfaces (APIs). It allows audio and video communication to work inside web pages by allowing direct peer-to-peer communication, eliminating the need to install plugins or download native apps.
WebRTC-based cloud contact centres can help you decrease your costs by eliminating infrastructure, hardware and software maintenance, and other operational expenses. Unlike solutions that require permanent SIP Trunking, cloud-based contact centres also provide more flexible scalability, allowing companies and providers to operate purely on consumption. And when providers introduce new features and functionality, organizations can just flip a switch to enable them, rather than going through a costly and time-consuming upgrade. This increases CX agility.
But, there are inherit risks to voice quality in moving agent communications to the cloud. Changes anywhere along the chain, such as to the internal network and firewalls, can cause defects that have a ripple effect on voice quality.
Poor voice quality will increase Agent Handle Time (AHT), cause customer frustration, and often results in customers having to make multiple calls to resolve a single issue. Ultimately, this impacts your CX and your bottom line.
Overcoming the Risks
So how can you mitigate these risks?
1. Baseline your current environment
We’ve all been on projects where the perception is that “it’s not as good as it was before”. You can avoid that resulting state of paralysis based on subjective opinion by conducting a simple voice quality baseline. This will provide all stakeholders with objective metrics such as Mean Opinion Scores (MOS), Answer Seizure Ratio, and Call Disconnects. These can be used as minimum success criteria against which to benchmark any new solution.
2. Pressure test before moving to production
Before you move live customers and agents to your new WebRTC-based solution, you need to ensure that the solution can handle the volume of concurrent calls and agents, as well as avalanche and soak scenarios, without having adverse effects on voice quality.
3. Monitor in production
Now you’ve operationalised your cloud contact centre, what’s next? Ideally, becoming more agile has enabled you to roll out new CX initiatives on a more regular basis. With this constant change, you need to assure that the CX being delivered by your production platform is not degraded. Real-time monitoring from the outside-in provides the capability to measure audio quality from the customer’s and agent’s perspectives using true audio.
David Inglis is Principal Solutions Architect at Cyara
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As the world’s leading CX Assurance platform provider, Cyara accelerates the delivery of flawless customer journeys across digital and voice channels while reducing the risk of customer-facing defects. Every day, the most recognizable brands in the world trust the Cyara Platform to deliver customer smiles at scale.