Outbound calling, also referred to as outbound dialing, is experiencing slow but steady growth. Outbound calling is predicted to have a 4.8% CAGR from 2017-20211, spurred on by the growth in the number of mobile phones.
An outbound call is defined as a call initiated from a call center agent to a customer on behalf of a client. The calls are typically made from an outbound call center and allows agents to proactively communicate with customers to drive sales and improve customer service. Typical calls are for sales and proactive customer service, such as, delivery and appointment reminders.
Outbound calling is enabled through technologies such as, an outbound dialer, PBX, PSTN, and endpoint server, that must all work together. The more technically complex use of outbound dialing is when it is initiated from “callback.” Callback is the feature where customers in a call queue for an agent, are given the option to maintain their place in the queue and have the system call them back. Callback can be initiated from the web as well. Seventy six percent of customers feel that offering a callback or virtual hold alternative is “very or somewhat important,” according to the CFI Group.
Similar to inbound calls, outbound calls for “callback” have spikes during peak times. A high volume of inbound calls or enquiries on the website can trigger a high volume of callback requests. The contact center must suddenly handle a flood of inbound calls, web interactions, and outbound calls. Companies are challenged to load test outbound call spikes in conjunction with other channels.
Actively Perform Functional, Regression, and Load Testing for Outbound Calls
Companies need a solution to load test outbound dialing whether the calls are initiated by the company for sales and proactive service or initiated through the callback feature. For outbound calls initiated by a company, load testing needs to ensure that calls get through to customers.
Calls initiated by customer callback requests are more complex to test as callback technology is provided by different vendors. Functional and regression testing must be done to ensure that the business rules that trigger outbound calls are working as designed. Outbound calling at customer-committed times must be tested as well. Load testing is needed to ensure that callback will perform during peak times with other channel interactions and that latency, voice quality, and speech recognition meet quality thresholds. Production monitoring needs to be run on a continuous basis to ensure the day-by-day operations of the callback feature.
Outbound Testing Reveals Issues with Immature Call Progress Detection Software
The National Australia Bank (NAB) regularly made outbound collection calls for one of the bank’s business units. The call progress detection (answering machine detection) software version was new. It was causing problems which affected the success of the outbound calls.
NAB used the Cyara Automated CX Assurance Platform to test the dialing system including voice quality, caller identification (answering machine pickup), outbound IVR scenarios, and system performance under stress. Using the testing solution, NAB was able to catch problems in the tuning of the call progress detection software.
Learn about the Cyara Automated CX Assurance Platform.