As the digitization of industry operations proliferates and as events like the pandemic and increasingly severe natural disasters hinder the ability of companies to effectively engage with customers using traditional methods, omnichannel customer communications have become critical to brands’ ability to connect with consumers in meaningful ways.
These days, e-commerce customer experiences (CX) are molding the expectations customers have for real-world experiences. Customers demand the ability to quickly access order updates, delivery statuses and near-real time resolution of any customer service issues. Legacy contact center solutions can no longer keep pace with the demands of modern commerce.
Assuring positive CX through automated testing
Along with the transition to a new, more sophisticated contact center, forward-thinking companies understand that they need a way of automating the testing of all their interactive voice responses (IVRs). In addition, load tests need to be conducted to ensure new systems can handle the increased volume of customer inquiries stemming from omnichannel communications. Manually performing these tests would be too time-intensive and resource costly, so automation is the only solution to ensuring quality contact center capabilities.
Automated testing can be enabled by leveraging an intuitive testing platform to develop test cases based on existing customer journeys. Contact centers can use automated testing to track various paths through IVRs, and base test scripts on those journeys to ensure the migration to a cloud-based contact center solution didn’t impact the flow or functionality of customer journeys. Using this strategy, contact centers can create thousands of automated test cases that cover the full range of customer journeys, shortening testing operations to half the time of equivalent manual tests.
The shift of testing strategies from manual dialing to automated testing accelerates project timelines for contact centers due to the reduced time needed to execute tests. This gives back time to IVR team members who can focus on more critical projects and initiatives rather than running the same monotonous tests repeatedly to ensure contact center capabilities are functional.
Leveraging automated testing for real-time insights
A tangential, but significant, benefit of automated testing is the amount of data and documentation on contact center performance that can now be collected. This influx of data provides contact center leaders with a reliable way to make data-informed decisions.
For example, automated testing helps contact center IT teams to quantify issues with latency that were previously too subjective to address. When manually testing IVRs and customer journeys, testing teams must manually count the amount of time it takes to connect. However, automated test documentation provided accurate real-time insights into the latency issues and how prevalent they were. Possessing this level of granular data allows IVR teams to easily communicate these issues to decision makers so they could be addressed.
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Lessons learned from automated testing implementation
While automated testing provides easily measurable benefits to contact center capabilities, certain alerts flagged by automated testing are more critical than others. Distinguishing a true failure that requires immediate action as opposed to failures that can be addressed in time is essential to achieving the true ROI of test automation.
Any organizations interested in pursuing test automation would be wise to work with a vendor that is willing to spend the time tailoring test automation to meet the needs of their enterprise. In addition, ongoing training and support is foundational to the long-term success of automated testing initiatives. As systems are modified over time to better suit the specific needs of an organization, testing team members will need to be further educated on the information they need to navigate system adjustments.
Following automated testing implementation, the next step for many contact centers will likely be upgrading their current IVR system with the goal of implementing a cloud-based visual IVR or natural language IVR that promotes omnichannel capabilities and enables customers to engage with self-service channels. Automated testing will ensure that the transition to this new IVR system and any subsequent migrations are seamlessly executed.