Hello, Is It PESQ You’re Looking For??
Don't worry - I'm not about to burst into song!!
And the short answer is probably "Nope, I'm not. Besides, it sounds obscure". Which is what my friend Julie who runs a global call centre told me when I first asked her. Now this person is a good friend of mine - and is also very busy - so I didn't want to labour the point, but I had just joined Spearline Labs and I was curious to learn why someone at the top of the call centre tree had not come across PESQ.
Julie is a mathematician by education so I put it to her slightly differently. "You know what CX is, right?". "Yep" was the reply. "Average call duration?". "Yeah". "First Call Resolution". "Of course!". "And you measure them all?". "Yes, in real-time, so if one KPI dips we can fix it before it affects our bottom line. You see Matt, it's all a chain of cause and effect (mathematician, remember). Imagine you have a bar stall with 3 legs. Each leg is a KPI like ACD or FCR, and the seat is CX. If one leg gets shorter the stall becomes wobbly until eventually the person falls off. Make all too short, make the stall wobbly, or the seat uncomfortable and no one wants to sit on it."
Makes sense. At this point I got Julie's point, but needed to interject.
"Julie, I agree, but CX isn't the seat, CX is what happens when you combine the legs and the seat together. Right now you have no bar stall."
Julie paused, then after a moment said "OK you've made me curious, so what's PESQ then Matt?"
"I thought you'd never ask" :)
PESQ - Perceptual Evaluation of Speech Quality. Otherwise known as ITUT-862. Effectively, PESQ is a scientific way to measure the audio quality on your phone lines - mobile, toll, and toll-free. As it's an agreed international standard, there's no ambiguity, so you know exactly how your lines are performing. It's not enough to just measure connectivity - a call doesn't have to fail for the call to fail. The call might connect but the line has so much background noise that the customer hangs up. So the call connection didn't fail, but the call failed to generate the service or revenue you need it to.
My conversation with Julie finished with her giving me 20 numbers to test so she could benchmark current PESQ against the 15 million tests Spearline Labs have done to date. We found 11% of Julie's calls were failing everyday that she had no idea about, costing her business thousands. Obviously we fixed that. And because she subsequently chose to become a client (not just because she's a friend!), Spearline didn't charge her for those sample numbers.
I'll let Julie have the last word;
"PESQ is most definitely the whole bar stall and the cushion too. Give someone a stall that isn't put together right and see how long they sit there for!".
So take it away Lionel...