We all use tools to monitor important elements of our personal world in ways that we never did before: GPS and text messaging on the kids’ phones, home security systems with remote notification and control, apps to follow activity with your favorite sports teams or stocks, and updates about your flights or financial accounts. Now you can – and need to – do the same things with your contact center technology.
Monitoring contact center technology first and foremost means having real-time visibility into availability, functionality, and performance. Through monitoring, companies can detect issues and ensure the appropriate resources can react to any current or pending situation. The result is quick resolution and impact mitigation or prevention. Here are some examples of monitoring to keep the “finger on the pulse” for the contact center:
- System elements are working – network connections are live, systems or processes respond when pinged.
- Functions are working properly, achieving the expected outcome – routing paths deliver contacts, integration interfaces ensure systems are talking to each other.
- Specific performance elements are within “acceptable” range – for things like VOIP (packet loss, delay, jitter, Mean Opinion Score), servers (utilization of key elements, such as memory, processor, disk), and integration (response time on lookup from the IVR or desktop).
Engaged, proactive monitoring, such as health checks, makes sure things are working right each day or hour, and increase the likelihood of reliable, “normal” operation. For example, best-in-class companies will routinely test calls on all critical toll free numbers, dialing into IVRs or menus. Some manually dial, some use in-house tools (e.g., Empirix Hammer), some use third party services (e.g., IQ Services). They monitor trunk group and IVR port utilization. They test transactions on the web site, submit test email or chat inquiries, or simulate application inquiries to assess response times.
Monitoring also enables effective planning and optimizing to prevent issues. For example, capacity planners can keep a close watch on utilization reports for trunks and processors to trigger budget requests when certain thresholds are met.
I wrote an article for Contact Center Pipeline that gives some pointers on What to Monitor, Who Should Monitor, and How to Monitor. It also includes best practices for effective monitoring. Download the article now.
You probably don’t ignore where your kids are or what they’re doing, and likely feel like you can’t live without your “monitoring” tools and processes. (Ever forget or lose your phone?!) While your contact center technology is not nearly as dear as your kids, it shouldn’t be ignored either. Today, there are great tools and services – affordable and well suited to fit into your enterprise and contact center technology strategies – to help you make monitoring a routine part of your daily work life.