Last Christmas, We Gave You Our Heart & You Brought Down Our Systems


As IT departments globally prepare to deliver peak assurance programs to senior management and businesses, it’s a good time to consider what we have to expect ahead. Forbes published an article to advise that around $75 billion is lost every year on poor customer service experiences. As IT departments increase spend on new IVR systems, CRM & ERP systems, webchat, cloud storage, network devices and other systems, the most difficult assurance to provide is on the unknown.

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A happy customer is vital for any successful business, and as expectations grow, a study suggests its costs up to 5 times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing customer. As businesses add more integrations and systems to enhance the customer experience, each additional system brings organizations another potential failure point.

As the saying in IT goes, “the white paper is never right because all systems are unique.” However, below are a few examples that you may have experienced in recent years:

  • Latency in loading customer details
  • Database dips when multiple agents are using applications
  • Poor call quality when the system is at full capacity
  • Call overflow not failing over as per specified criteria


Errors Come in Many Brightly Wrapped Shapes and Sizes

The points mentioned above will all have a significant impact on the customer if not identified before the event. However, along with system outages, customers can also experience failures resulting from human error, such as:

  • Call center opening times incorrectly set
  • Incorrect IVR menus
  • Broken integrations
  • Agents incorrectly configured on wrong queues
  • Call routing incorrectly set up
  • Incorrect announcements


No one plans a recall or a natural disaster. However, businesses can still be prepared for the unknown. Just as someone would purchase insurance for unplanned emergencies or go to the doctor for regular proactive health check-ups, it's imperative to be prepared for the future. 

By being proactive and exercising awareness of what could go wrong, there’s a higher probability of success and a lower chance of impact when a failure does occur.

Automation has proven to help prevent many of the above pitfalls by adding a level of assurance that systems are operating as expected. This might involve:

  • Calling in as a customer and requesting a callback (also known as virtual hold)
  • Dialing an outbound call or waiting to receive an inbound call
  • Verifying that customer journeys are correct in your IVR (Do all prompts get you to the right place?)
  • Ensuring IVR prompt readouts are correct and understandable
  • Checking that self-service journeys within your customer experience are working as expected, no matter what the caller's accent


Fulfilling Customers' CX Wishes

One of the worst experiences a customer can have occurs when a caller is asked to enter their account number into the IVR, and when they finally reach an agent they are asked to repeat their account number so the agent can confirm their ID and cycle back through verification again. Don't let this be your customer journey.

However, it is possible to deliver great customer experiences. I have experienced customer service where I have ordered an item online and received a different item than ordered. It's a terrible feeling. The suspense of your new item arriving, unboxing and then seeing it's completely different is heartbreaking. You're then ready to call the business and tell them all the reasons why you don't want to stay and they can take their item back.

The above happened to me, so I called the business back and organized a return three days later. I did not hear back from the business or a courier to collect. Now I am not happy. I have an incorrect item, called the company to arrange a collection and now the process has just stopped. So I called back, and in the back of my mind I was thinking this would be the last time I ordered from here.

But when I called, I went through to the same agent who dealt with my initial inquiry. When the agent told me this I thought, "Wow, what a good company." And the very next day my courier arrived with the correct item, and the return was collected a few days later.

Keeping Spirits Bright

As we move closer to the festive season, a conversation is bound to arise about how terrible someone's customer experience was with a particular business this Christmas. The financial losses from poor customer experiences can have a significant negative impact on businesses. With some scenarios being due to systems and others being human interactions, being proactive allows you to test possible failure scenarios, minimizing the impact if they do occur and lowering the chance they will.

The last place you would want a family member or friend to experience poor customer service is your own business.

As we come closer to the biggest festive season with the decreasing spread of COVID-19 and our backs to 2021, ensure your success in the customer experience market space using automated CX assurance testing and monitoring.

To learn more about the Cyara platform please visit our website or request a demo to see how automated CX assurance can brighten your customers' holidays.