Communications Blog • 3 MIN READ

Differences Between Project-Based and Strategic IVR Testing

Cheryl Fortier

Written by Cheryl Fortier

A project-based test is performed when implementing a new application on an IVR, changing carriers, or something else along those lines. It's a compelling event driving you to test your system one time. The test may take place over a month in which you're testing in stages (which is what we suggest). Once completed, you'll be confident that the system is working as intended. Strategic testing, on the other hand, involves different tests that a team can use over the span of a 12 or 36 month time frame (whichever works best), including compelling event tests. 
 
View our webinar about bulletproofing your contact center customer experience. 
 

When Should You Perform Strategic IVR Testing? 

Strategic testing is similar to a maintenance plan or home insurance for your appliances. It's there to help you make sure that the system is going to run as expected, all the time. If you changed from TDM/T1 to SIP, it's important to test the system under full load. Perhaps you have a disaster recovery plan and you want to make sure the hot sites are actually hot and not warm. Application teams are rolling out new applications and making them generally available every quarter, if not every month, and they should be tested as well. On top of that, you would want active testing to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on your key applications and phone numbers to make sure they are working properly. 
 

Protect your Communications Investment 

If your new car was working properly, would you decide not to take it for its 100,000 mile scheduled maintenance? Probably not, especially because it will be extremely expensive to fix once it eventually breaks down. The same thing applies to contact center solutions—even though they are likely to work, you still want to know if there are any unexpected blips that need to be addressed early instead of when the system comes crashing down. Testing as part of a strategic plan allows you to work with a consultant to ensure the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars you've spent on a communication system are well-invested. The system will work as intended and you will get the most value for your money. 
 

Spot Trends and Patterns through Online IVR Testing Dashboard 

For a project-based test, you'll probably obtain a single written report with the results. You'll have access to an online testing dashboard with the relevant data for that test. With a strategic plan, you'll get the same types of reports, but you'll also be able to do an apples-to-apples comparison from month to month or from testing event to testing event. Once you start looking at the data this way, you'll be able to spot trends and patterns leading up to what could become a catastrophic collapse. 
 

Fix Issues Proactively 

By being able to spot patterns, you can proactively fix issues while they are still small inconveniences. One customer that uses our active testing and alerting knows that a crash is imminent once his back-end response times exceed 12 seconds. He set up the system to send a notification once our lookup times and response times exceed 7 seconds. Now, his team can get started fixing the issue early. Whenever they receive a notification, they know it's time to take action. 
 
To learn more about staying proactive with your contact center, view our webinar on bulletproofing CX. 

Topics: Communications

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