Customers Already Dislike Call Centers—Don't Make It Worse
by Joe Michalowski on

There are two sides to the modern call center argument. You’re either lamenting the decline of phone calls as a means of communication or you’re excited that chat and other types of messaging are taking hold.

But regardless where you stand in the conversation, there’s one thing both sides can agree on: It’s best to avoid call centers at all costs.

As much as we’d like to think artificial intelligence, chatbots and messaging applications will eliminate the need for phone calls to contact centers, they’ll never truly disappear.

It’s clear that your customers already aren’t happy when they’re getting in touch with your call center, but the only thing that can make the experience worse for them is to have sub-par call quality. Maintaining customer satisfaction and maximizing call center productivity means having a solid handle on your common call quality problems and considering the call center technology that could help.

3 Call Quality Issues Plaguing the Call Center Experience

For many distributed enterprises, IT teams are located in different offices than call center employees. Without IT workers on site, real-time call quality assurance can be a serious challenge.

Even if you aren’t hearing complaints from call center agents about call quality, your customers may be experiencing problems without you ever knowing about it. And if they’re already upset about the need for a support call, the following three problems will just make matters worse (and potentially push customers toward competitors or bad reviews):

  • Jitter: Because call centers are quickly moving to VoIP as the primary means of communication, you have to understand how voice packets travel across the data network. Individual calls are made up of many individual packets, which are broken up and sent across various paths between the sender and the receiver. Unfortunately, this leaves room for variability when the packets are pieced together on the other end. When the VoIP system puts packets together in the wrong order, you get jitter—the sound of scrambled audio. One answer to this problem is having a buffer solution in place to minimize variation.
  • Choppy Audio: The difference between scrambled audio from jitter and choppy audio may seem negligible. However, choppy audio is more the result of poor internet connection than voice packet variations. Your network is already loaded with high-bandwidth applications, but moving voice traffic from its dedicated network to the data network can result in significant challenges if you aren’t prepared. A poor internet connection within your call center (coupled with bandwidth exhaustion) will lead to intermittent drops within calls that degrade end-user experience.
  • Latency: Have you ever heard an echo on a VoIP call? When your customers call support, they want to get off as soon as possible. Any echoes that could result in misinterpretation will only drag the call out longer. Latency is the time it takes for your speech to reach the other end of the call. With VoIP systems, latency issues are often due to bandwidth constraints and an overload of packets on your call.

How are you going to keep these problems from ruining an already strained relationship between customers and your call center? When you introduce the added challenge of a remote call center, these quality issues seem even more daunting.

The one thing that can keep you from falling victim to call quality issues within the contact center is total visibility into the complex network running it. With packet-level data at your fingertips, you can maintain high-quality call center experiences.

If you want to learn more about getting better visibility into your remote locations (even beyond the call center), download our free whitepaper, How to Solve the Top IT Issues at Remote Locations.

Filed Under: Networking Technology, Performance Monitoring

Tags: call center , end user experience , voip