DTMF issues have nowhere to hide with toll free and local number testing

Contact centers and unified communications services that rely on DTMF need to know that their calls are connecting properly and that their customers are getting through to the correct departments. The best way to ensure that your DTMF transmission is working as it needs to is through comprehensive toll-free number testing and local number testing. Let’s take a look at the best method of testing your DTMF transmission, but first, let’s get back to basics.

What is DTMF?

Dual-tone multi-frequency tones, or DTMF, is a nearly 60-year telecommunications mainstay recognized worldwide. Often referred to by its 1963 Bell System commercial name, ‘touch tone’, you interact with DTMF every time you’ press 1 for Sales’ on a telephone keypad. 

DTMF tones are produced when someone presses the numbers of a  telephone keypad. Each number key has two tones, one high and one low frequency. The columns on the keypad are assigned the high-frequency signals, while the rows are assigned the low-frequency signals. These in-band signals are combined to create a unique signal pair and then transmitted through voice channels. 

DTMF is present across a multitude of services and facilities, from telephone banking and bill payment services to Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menus and conferencing services like Zoom.


What can go wrong with DTMF?

Like so many other information-transmitting technologies, packet loss and jitter are common problems that affect DTMF fidelity. Often caused by poorly terminated physical connections or overloaded equipment, these issues can cause clipped speech and disconnections and even prevent connection altogether. Disruption to the sequencing of the tones, or distortion may result in calls becoming completely unintelligible. Because DTMF tones use analogue audio signals, any interference on voice channels can cause distortion.

Despite the emergence of newer technologies, most businesses still rely to some degree on touch-tone interactions. Problems of transmission or distortion have cost implications and are damaging to customer experience (CX) and brand loyalty. 

So, let’s see how toll-free and local number testing can remedy the problem.


Tackling the issues

The best way to ensure that your customers’ calls are transmitting correctly and completely is to travel their call journey yourself. This is where toll-free number testing and local number testing come in. At Spearline, we generate in-country calls that connect to your IVR menu and enter a conference call or connect to a contact center. Replicating call flows like this will reveal DTMF transmission problems and help you to isolate areas for improvement. 

You can verify DTMF functionality across our entire Voice Assure product platform. Working every time, from everywhere, Spearline’s Voice Assure Platform helps to ensure that all outbound calls and inbound toll and toll-free services connect as they are meant to. Our Voice Assure suite helps to establish acceptable levels of post-dial delay and functional DTMF transmission while measuring voice channel quality and alerting you in real-time to potential outages and failures. 

How do we do it? Here’s the play by play;

  • A Spearline in-country or in-state server dials your toll and toll-free contact numbers.
  • The Spearline server sends a series of DTMF tones, which your IVR recognizes.
  • Call flow is monitored to determine if the call connects to the correct department or conference call. 
  • If a DTMF-related issue is identified, we validate the problem and alert you immediately.


The end of the line

Spearline’s Voice Assure toll-free number testing and local number testing suite represent the end of the line for DTMF problems. 

The Voice Assure platform covers all the bases; not just DTMF in isolation, it measures telecommunications key performance indicators (KPIs) like connection success or failure, Post Dial Delay, and CLI Presentation. With both always-on and on-demand DTMF functionality verification, you have the power to determine if your DTMF functionality is up to your standards and the time to do something about it before it affects your customers’ experience with your service. 

No matter what the future holds, customer experience (CX) will always be vital to a flourishing business. Increasingly, business managers are turning to Spearline for support in maintaining optimal CX through proactive toll-free and local number testing. So why don’t you give us a call today and see how easy it is to get started with Voice Assure? 

New to Spearline?

Spearline provides quality assurance tools for business communication services, allowing you to proactively manage your inbound and outbound voice, SMS and fax services. Our latest WebRTC products offer testing, monitoring and support for web-based communications.

We work globally across business sectors, supporting contact centers, conferencing services, and more to successfully connect with their customers and employees. For further information, or if you have any further questions please get in touch.  

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