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Keeping An Eye on VoIP Call Quality in the Contact Center

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November 15, 2012

Keeping An Eye on VoIP Call Quality in the Contact Center

By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor

While many call centers strive to achieve quality – quality of the customer service provided, training of the agent, first-call resolution and warm transfers – not as many call centers worry about the most basic measure of quality: the clarity of the call.

This, of course, is a function of your network and your VoIP phone system. Heavy traffic is one of the biggest foes of VoIP call quality. Bud Lee, Quality Assurance Manager for VoIP communications solutions provider 8x8 (News - Alert) Inc., likens it to driving on the highway at 2:00 AM when you’re one of the only cars on the road.

“You could pick any lane, go the speed limit (or maybe even higher), and zip to your destination without any delays,” writes Lee in a blog. “Now jump ahead five hours later to 7 a.m., the peak of the morning commute. You probably have to wait in a line just to get on the freeway, you’re jockeying for space with lots of other cars, and traffic is stop-and-go.”

Using this example, it helps to think of your network as a freeway, Lee suggests. When demand is low, calls can speed through networks and quality remains high. When VoIP networks are clogged, however, call quality can take a nosedive, which is hardly likely to impress your customers.

Lee says there are things call centers can do to ensure that the networks flow freely and the calls remain at the highest possible quality. One way is to use a QoS-enabled router to help you manage traffic and even give priority to certain data, like voice. (You probably won’t care as much if your outgoing e-mails are slightly delayed, since e-mail isn’t a very high priority contact media.)

A QoS-enabled router, says Lee, is like the process in an airport that allows first-class passengers to board first, and then allows passengers to board by groups. The high priority passengers go first, and then the other passengers are boarded in a logical order that helps the process go smoothly. Without this process, all passengers would make a mad dash for the plane all at once, causing bottlenecks and chaos.

In the same manner, the packets of data that make up your contact center’s phone traffic must be given priority over other, less urgent customer contact media, because voice calls require a higher level of service, says Lee.

For more information about 8X8’s QoS-enabled routers, click here.

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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo

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