Most business operational tools can be damaged or are vulnerable to attacks. This could include something as simple as the front door to something as complicated as the software used to run a big business. Testing protocols are essential for ensuring that the tools your business needs to operate are in good working order. This includes your phone systems, landlines and communication channels. Having international test numbers is an essential part of a test protocol that ensures your business is running as it should.
If your business has international offices, customers or operations, testing all elements of the infrastructure can be a time consuming task, but it remains essential to ensure compliance, and optimization. When your phone lines are the channels of communication between customers, clients, colleagues and offices, having international test numbers means that you are always monitoring your communications to stay one step ahead of trouble.
If your customers are the ones to tell you that there is trouble in your communications, you have already lost business. They have found a bug, your business looks unprofessional and your prospective customers have gone elsewhere. By simply adding international test numbers to your phone numbers and having someone, or a computer program, calling them every morning, you know if your international test numbers are working, and you are testing bugs in your communications. Having crystal clear communications is essential for businesses, especially those with an international presence and communications in different countries, where protocols and internet lines are different!
How to use international test numbers
Firstly, how do you test them? International test numbers can be tested by simply making a call to them. If the call connects, you know that the lines are open and working. Is it really that simple though? Nothing ever is!
Calling the number is one element of the testing protocol. Using international test numbers properly also involves testing the latency, and the voice quality. International test numbers should be called from multiple locations too. Just because it works calling from the UK, does not necessarily mean that it works calling from Australia, or America.
Secondly, what are you testing for? Speed, latency, call quality and call connectivity.
Make the call, wait for the call to be answered, this could be by a human, or by a computer programed voice. Speak down the line and see how long it takes for the voice packet to reach the other end. If there are latency issues, the voice packet will take a long time, or will be received in a distorted manner. Get a voice response from the receiver, and test that voice response. If it is clear, fast, and connected, then you know that your international test numbers are working well, and your customers can still get in touch with you.
Why check your international test numbers?
Surveys say that between 30% and 50% of people visiting a website will not purchase from it if there are no phone numbers to call. Having a phone number and an email address on your website increases customers and improves sales.
The percentages of failed customer engagement increases if the numbers on the website used to contact the business do not work. If a customer spends time on a website, reads the FAQ page and learns about the product, then takes the time to make a call and speak to the team about their questions, they expect that call to be answered professionally and to have their questions answered. If the call goes unanswered, or the phone line is down, the customer will be frustrated, and will go elsewhere. International test numbers help to reduce customer complaints and ensure communication is working well.
Additional checks on your international test numbers.
Once you have checked your international test numbers for latency, connection and call quality, you can rest assured that they are working. There are additional checks that you might carry out on your international test numbers such as checking if the IVR is working, ensuring integration to the CRM is aligned with protocols and ensuring the voice recording messages for your voicemail are correct.
Further checks for international test numbers include testing the staff who answer the phone. Checking the scripted responses are correct and the information given is accurate is essential to training your team. If the voicemail is still the voicemail that you recorded for your Christmas break, obviously it is out of date.
Your staff use your CRM solution to make sure that they are leaving accurate notes and to improve customer engagement. So checking that the CRM identifies your international test numbers and the notes from calls are accurate means that operations and communications are working well.
When testing your international test numbers and their IVR Routing you should ensure that the most popular IVR route is under option 1. The faster that a customer can speak to the correct person, the less likely they are to make a complaint, or to be frustrated by the time delay between calling and answering. The importance of checking your international test numbers and your IVR Routing is emphasized by the statistics which show that over 90% of customers try to bypass the IVR and speak to a human, it is common for customers to just press the first number so they can speak to a human even faster.
When checking your international test numbers you are also checking the customer service received. If there are questions that customers ask that are answered differently depending on who the customer is speaking to, that could cause confusion with customers. Checking that the international test numbers and the scripts used are connected to the CRM and the content for training is easily accessible within the CRM is an important test to carry out.
Intuitive international test numbers check.
There are services that you can employ to check for you, just as there are mystery shopping services, there are international test numbers checkers. This is a simple service that you could employ someone to do, or you could write the code for a machine to do it for you. Having a service or a technology to do your international test numbers checking means that you are spending less money on staff, and you are having professionals test your service and provide great feedback that can be used to improve your teams.
These services also compare your services to those of one or more of your competitors. They can call from multiple locations around the world, they can test your customer service and your IVR programming and messaging, and they can test your connectivity and professionalism. They give a report at the end of each testing cycle and offer advice on how to improve your international test numbers and customer service. Once the recommended improvements have been finished, they run another test to ensure compliance and to check the difference.
In IT there are ethical hackers, who test and stress-test websites and services, in retail and hospitality there are mystery shoppers who go into the stores of restaurants to check on the staff, this is the same process for your communications for your business.
Checking your international test numbers against competitors also gives you the options to compete with the customer service your competitors are offering and to learn from others to improve your own.
These services are often carried out by an offshore contact center that has access to overseas numbers and to cost effective staff who specialize in offering the best customer service. It is sometimes used as a sales tool to identify gaps in customer service that they could fill themselves. However you check your international test numbers make sure that you are checking thoroughly and regularly, so your customer service constantly improves.