Call quality is one of the key factors affecting customer experiences with your contact center. Technical difficulties with audio quality, such as dropouts, garbled words, freezing, chopping, intermittent delays, and crackling and popping sounds, can be annoying and make it challenging to communicate with callers. From poor connections and network congestion to outdated infrastructure and inadequate device configuration, even the most advanced VoIP contact center solutions are susceptible to numerous problems that can cause poor call quality audio.
Issues Impacting Call Quality
VoIP calls require a lot of technologies to work together effectively to deliver voice-based conversations over the internet. Analog audio has to be digitized, compressed, and broken into packets that can be transmitted over the internet, and when the packets reach their destination, they have to be decompressed, decoded and delivered in the proper order – all in real-time.
Several common issues that affect VoIP call quality, including:
- Latency: Latency, occurs when packets take longer than expected to reach their destination
- Jitter: Jitter occurs when packets arrive at an uneven rate.
- Packet Loss: Packet loss occurs when packets fail to reach their destination due to transmission errors or are discarded by the system if they arrive late or contain errors.
Excessive latency, jitter, and packet loss can quickly frustrate callers and negatively impact customer satisfaction. For example, it only takes a few milliseconds of delay between the time someone speaks and the time it is heard to derail a conversation. Additionally, beyond just being an annoyance, latency, jitter, and packet loss can cause confusion and increase the likelihood of a misunderstanding between callers and contact center agents.
Causes of Latency, Jitter, and Packet Loss
A number of network factors can cause packets to get delayed, lost, or corrupted and contribute to latency, jitter, and packet loss, including:
- Network Configuration: Configuration settings, such as packet size and buffer size, on hardware and software across your enterprise network can affect VoIP traffic.
- Prioritization: Quality of service (QoS) settings across the entire path of the call can determine whether voice traffic is prioritized over non-real-time traffic packet.
- Bandwidth: Insufficient network capacity and poorly performing infrastructure can contribute to bandwidth constraints that severely impact call quality.
Call Quality Analytics
Advanced call center solutions provide comprehensive call quality statistics in call data records (CDR). They feature tools for analyzing status and error codes in CDRs to identify poor call quality based on acceptable ranges of latency, jitter, and packet loss. Most of these contact center solutions offer help for interpreting the codes and understanding call flows to troubleshoot call quality issues.
Some contact center solutions also offer online dashboards for monitoring call quality in real-time. Real-time dashboards enable a proactive approach for identifying and resolving issues and improving quality quicker and staying ahead of customer complaints.
Improving Contact Center Call Quality
Even the most advanced contact centers rely on network capacity and performance to deliver high-quality audio experiences on every call. However, with modern infrastructure, proper network configuration poor call quality can be all but eliminated.
If you are experiencing call quality issues with your current contact center or considering investing in a new contact center solution, Cerium can help with:
- Consulting to help you interpret CDR quality statistics, troubleshoot problems, and provide actionable recommendations for mitigating latency, jitter, and packet loss.
- A real-time media assessment that simulates high levels of voice traffic across your network to pinpoint potential chokepoints and ensure your network is capable of delivering quality VoIP experiences.
- A network assessment to validate configuration settings and ensure QoS is being enforced across all devices and systems in your enterprise network.
- Managed services that offer proactive, ongoing monitoring, configuration, and optimization for a predictable monthly cost.