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Allan Bonner - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

A contact center is not effective if customers can't actually CONTACT it...

You’ve crossed your "t’s" and dotted all your "i’s"…  All your systems are fully redundant and working at full capacity, you have multiple Internet Service Providers, Active/Active failover for all your network devices, the dual power supplies in your Servers are plugged into separate PDU’s. Heck you even have a Natural Gas powered generator to keep your building running at full capacity during those wicked thunderstorms.

The morning starts out great, your business is operating as productively as you expected it to be, dozens of callers are in the queues and your employees are energized and answering the calls with maximum efficiency!!

 

…but then the unthinkable happens…  One of your staff members knocks on your door and she tells you that she hasn’t had a call in the past 10 minutes.  “That’s impossible” you say, surprised, “I was just looking at the queue before I went to my 11 o’clock meeting and there were over 40 callers lined up”.   “Well”, she replies, “that might have been true at that time, but my last call ended over 10 minutes ago”

“Are you telling me our phone lines have been down for 10 minutes?!!” You ask.

“Actually, it’s been longer than that because my last call was over 12 minutes long and that person told me they had been on hold for almost another 8 or 9 minutes on top of that... So we are now probably looking at over half an hour since the last caller got into the queue” She informs you.

This is when panic sets in as you think about the consequences, the upset customers, missed Sales, potential SLA violations, etc… And in addition to lost revenue, you could possibly be looking at stiff penalties or even worse a lawsuit…  You immediately get your IT staff on the phone and explain your problem to them and ask if they are aware of the issue.  They look at the phone system and confirm all systems are powered up and operating properly, they even make some outbound test calls to confirm that the phone lines are in fact working and report back that they cannot see a problem.   Then it dawns on you!  It’s not the phone system that is down but rather your actual phone number is not working correctly!  To confirm this, you pick up your cell phone and call your main business number and your heart drops as you find out it is just ringing busy!!  How could this happen???!!

 

Now your highly trained team have been sitting idle (and by no coincidence there is a spike in social media traffic on your network) while your IT staff calls your Telco to track down the problem.  You hurry over to their department “How long is this going to take?” you ask in desperation.  “We are on hold with the Telco while they look into it.  Wait, they’re back on the phone now” your tech says and goes back to the conversation with the Telco.  You overhear him saying “Really, that’s all it was? Okay thanks for the quick resolution” and then hangs up the phone.  Looking over at you he explains that it was an easy fix and that the outage was the result of a mistake that was made while the Telco was upgrading one of their pieces of equipment, and due to that mistake there were a handful of numbers that were affected, YOURS being one of them…   And while the actual resolution was quick, the outage itself ended up being almost an HOUR long by the time your staff member reported it, and you deduced that it was only your inbound calls that were failing, and finally your IT staff were able to find a resolution.

You have learned a powerful lesson today, even if you have the most advanced technology and a highly trained staff... if your customers can’t get through to you due to something that is out of your control then all your efficiencies and redundant technical masterpieces will have been rendered useless.  

But here’s the good news, you can have your phone number(s) tested at a regular interval to ensure they are always working.  This can be as often as every minute!  So instead of finding out about an outage 30 minutes after it occurred, you can know virtually the minute it happens and help avoid costly and unnecessary downtime.  To find out more, please go online and look at what Tiksoo has to offer, alternatively you can search the Internet for key words such as "phone number failure detection" so that you can get some front line protection.

Publish Date: February 24, 2015 12:31 PM

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