Cyara Blog

Measure, Compare and Monitor Voice Quality for a Better Customer Experience

Posted by Gary Lam

December 9, 2014

shutterstock_176002241How serious are you about the customer experience? No – really how serious are you? James Allen from the Harvard Business School found that although 80% of businesses state that they offer a great customer experience, only about 8% of customers feel the same about their experience.

You can have the greatest product or most innovative business, but your success often hinges on the customer experience you deliver. In fact, a Forrester 2012 report, “Banks and Retailers: You Cannot Price Your Way Out of Bad Customer Experiences,” found via an online survey of more than 7,500 U.S. individuals that customer experience accounts for about 55 percent of customer loyalty to banks, and about 46 percent to retailers.” And, customer experience is spread over multiple touch points including, among others, interactions associated with pricing, purchasing, servicing, payment/billing, support, and delivery of your organization's actual products or services. One bad experience on any of these touch points can wipe out months or years of excellent customer service with all of the other areas of your company.

To put it another way, imagine you own a restaurant. It’s easy to see that if the food, service and ambiance are not acceptable to your diners, they are less inclined to tip well or leave a good review on Yelp. So how much damage does it do when your restaurant is on the receiving end of a negative online review? Can you afford that?

Let’s extend that concept to call centers. Superior customer service should be a primary goal for all companies, and this is especially true in a call center environment. The customer experience is much more than installing the best technology or focusing on IVR self-service, agent efficiency or first call resolution. To succeed, companies have to pay attention to the end-to-end customer experience.

Voice Quality Can Affect Your Bottom Line

Voice quality is one of the first places to focus to provide an exceptional end-to-end customer experience. Let’s face it; no one is impressed with poor audio quality on a service call. Has this happened to you? Or worse, has it happened to your customer? A friend told me that he called to activate service on a pay-as-you-go cell phone plan. He was able to connect with an agent without delay (one thumb up!), but the voice quality was so bad that he couldn’t hear the agent. He hung up, and he never called back. Instead, he went with a more expensive provider because they delivered better customer service. Sadly, the original company was probably none the wiser.

Measure – Compare – Monitor

To prevent this kind of negative interaction, you must measure, compare and monitor your customer experience. Voice quality is a good place to start. The call center agent landscape has changed dramatically over the last few years. Call center locations have expanded beyond dedicated buildings in centralized locations, and they now include agents working remotely from home. This introduces a large variable because each remote agent or knowledge worker’s branch office/home phone connectivity must be considered. How do you measure voice quality in such a diverse environment?

AGD to the Rescue

Cyara’s Audio Generation Device (AGD) is the solution. Cyara is the world’s fastest growing provider of omni-channel customer experience management software that enables companies to optimize their customer experience on the phone, web and mobile channels utilizing rigorous, automated live and regression testing and monitoring.

Cyara’s AGD is designed to measure voice quality from the agent phone to the Cyara Cloud Platform. How does this work? To test bi-directional voice quality, the Cyara Cloud Platform calls the customer service number and is connected to an agent phone configured with an AGD. The agent phone with the AGD plays a reference audio message, and the Cyara Cloud Platform measures the audio quality using standard industry metrics to produce a Mean Object Score (MOS). This measures the voice quality. The voice quality of the call is simulated when the Cyara Cloud Platform sends a voice message to the same agent phone with the AGD. Once the results are in, Cyara's objective measurements can help you pinpoint where issues exist so that the appropriate adjustments can be made. And, this process can be done to measure voice quality for hundreds or thousands of concurrent calls to test call center capacity as well.

Your customers judge your company by the experience that they receive. And today’s buyers are more educated when it comes to customer service and demand more from businesses. Don’t be on the wrong end of a negative online customer review or lose customers because of a poor customer experience. Be proactive. Measure – Compare – Monitor.