Leverage contact center monitoring for world-class customer experiences

February 23 2022

When a customer support call goes well, life is good. With Cisco UCCE and AppDynamics, every support call can be a great customer experience.

Customer service begins long before a call is placed to the call center. In fact, CFI Group, a global leader in customer satisfaction measurement, reports that 66% of customers always or almost always attempt to solve their issue elsewhere before calling in for help. That said, the phone is still by far (76%) the most popular customer support channel. Yet, most people struggle with how unavoidable and burdensome it feels to have to make that support call.

A day in your life as a call center customer

You finally have a ten-minute break to call and arrange a refund on that big couch you ordered and when it finally arrived, after weeks of waiting, it did not live up to your expectations. Prior to making that call, you tried to resolve the issue over email, requesting return forms and policies — but it’s been a while and no response.

Reaching out to a real person feels almost pointless in this day and age but still you do it because real-time communication is the only way to ensure the task is checked off your to-do list. Plus, you’re burned-out, busy; at your wit’s end with this furniture company and all you want is reassurance that your problem will be solved — quickly. Sound familiar?

Smiling and dialing…

Your call is answered with a set of numerical options which require your full attention or you risk going to the wrong department. So, you carefully push the correct number and suddenly everything goes quiet as you’re momentarily put on hold — or so you think. Looking at the clock, time is ticking and two of your available ten minutes have already passed in silence. You know you’re not alone; undoubtedly there’s a queue of other equally frustrated callers waiting. However, at this moment they’re not the recipients of your compassion. Your patience for this company’s customer service support is dwindling fast as your suspicion grows that something is not quite right. There’s no music and you don’t hear anything but dead air and suddenly the call DROPS! The only choice is to keep a couch that doesn’t suit you — or — call back in. You dial, choose the option and wait. Finally, the call is answered but the connection is choppy, making it difficult to communicate and your frustration skyrockets.

Finding the source of poor customer experiences

Of course, as customers, we know this story well. Dropped or choppy calls aren’t the only call center glitch we’ve experienced. Sometimes, the connection is clear and communication is great but systems lag, delaying the agent from inputting information; making the call take longer than necessary. Often, the agent is equally frustrated despite their calm demeanor and apologies — and management is frustrated too.

With agents working remotely it’s that much more difficult to guess where system issues lie. Is it a problem with the ISP, the agent’s computer, the application components of a contact center, or perhaps the technology is working properly and it’s something non-technical slowing the agent down? All viable culprits that require days of investigation to identify.

Full-stack observability can help with challenges like these

Challenge: The dropped call was most likely a media fetch error
A media fetch error happens when the contact center is trying to play a file or when it is configured and supposed to play a file but can’t. For example, a .wav file of a voice telling you, “press the pound sign to hear silence instead of hold music.” Or a voice giving you a new set of menu options — and suddenly for whatever reason that call breaks.

During a fetch media error, the system is trying to find a file that is either misconfigured or doesn’t exist. It could be as simple as a misnamed wave file that isn’t recognized by the server. Whatever the cause, when the wave file can’t play, the customer hears dead air and the system continues to try and locate it until the call drops, which places an extreme load on the system. With AppDynamics, you can find those misconfigured and misnamed files and prevent this issue from happening to begin with and also find and fix errors in real-time so customers don’t experience this.

Challenge: The choppy and slow connection was due to the network
With AppDynamics and ThousandEyes, you can watch the packets progress through the wireless infrastructure and see any issues with latency and packet drops. And then you can hop by half, back through to the facility or data center where the contact center sits.

Challenge: Lack of visibility causes blind spots
Integrating AppDynamics application performance monitoring solution into the contact center helps you integrate those metrics and leverage them to improve customer experiences not only across the call center but across your customer’s entire digital journey. With AppDynamics, call centers can monitor third-party apps, cloud apps and other platforms that agents need to do their jobs well.

If delivering world-class customer service is your call center’s top priority, full-stack observability is key. Go here to learn more about how AppDynamics and Cisco UCCE can help you deliver customer satisfaction.

Sujata Singhal is a channel sales engineer at AppDynamics, providing world-class sales technical support to channel partners, sales teams and customers. A subject matter expert on application performance management, Sujata contributes specific expertise and knowledge around Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise (UCCE). In addition, she loves learning about customer and partner needs and pairing them with solutions that drive the best outcomes.

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