Why Call Quality Matters: Ensuring Clear Communication

Caller struggles to get through and appears frustrated

Do you ever find yourself struggling to hear clearly during important business calls? 

If so, you’re not alone! Let me share the most common reasons for quality issues and four ways that you can help your business to achieve improved audio quality through call quality testing. Read on for a better understanding of the importance of call quality and how to maintain the high-quality standards that your business requires to thrive.

What is Call Quality?

Good call quality means the audio is clear and free of background noise, and there is minimal delay or interruption during the call. Poor call quality can result in distorted audio, dropped calls, or difficulty hearing the other person.

Why is Quality so Important?

Good call quality is essential in situations where communication is critical because it can have a significant impact on the outcome of the conversation. For example, in business settings, clear and reliable communication is essential to ensure that instructions, agreements, and other important information are communicated effectively. Poor call quality can result in misunderstandings, wasted time, and lost opportunities. All of this leads to frustration and dissatisfaction.

There are few things worse in this life than waiting on hold for long periods to complain about a product or service. Then when you finally get connected, it’s like you’re talking to a robot, who only knows one phrase: “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”  It’s an exasperating experience that often makes you want to scream.

It’s vital you ensure that your call quality is as high as possible.

What Causes Poor Call Quality?

The factors that affect call quality can be broken down into two distinct types -user-related and network-related. Outside of poor quality headsets or poor equipment being used, these are the main culprits that affect the clarity and reliability of a phone call and can be introduced to the call path at any time, intermittently and without warning.

Types of call quality issues:

User related

  • Noise and interference
  • Voice distortion
  • Echo

 

Network related

  • Latency
  • Jitter
  • Packet Loss

 

When introduced on the line, these issues can make it much more challenging to focus on conversations. Thankfully over the years,  testing standards have been created such as MOS, PESQ, and POLQA. These can be implemented to help monitor for user-related audio quality issues on a call. 

The right monitoring tool will provide you with ways of proactively monitoring network-related issues as well as user-related ones and will alert you to any drop in quality before it negatively impacts your customers. More information on defining audio quality in telecoms can be found here.

Monitoring with Spearline’s Voice Assure

Spearline’s suite provides a call testing platform which handles these scenarios by using a set of test types designed and developed collaboratively with our customers. Each was created to monitor for and help resolve a specific issue encountered by our customers. The results of each test are delivered through our Voice Assure platform which is a SaaS-based graphic user interface (GUI) that can be accessed from anywhere in the world using a browser with an internet connection.

Table: Test types and benefits

Test Type Benefits
Inbound audio quality tests Monitor inbound call quality and be the first to know when quality has been degraded.

Use call detail records (CDRs) to raise tickets with carriers and reduce the time taken to resolve issues.

Use data generated to benchmark carrier performance against others and choose the best carriers in-country to handle your traffic.
Outbound audio quality tests

Monitor outbound call quality and be the first to know when quality has been degraded.

Use CDRs to raise tickets with carriers and reduce the time taken to resolve issues.

Use data generated to benchmark carrier performance against others and choose the best carriers in-country to handle your traffic.
CloudPBX Quality Tests (end-to-end) Monitor end-to-end cloud PBX audio quality, and be the first to know when quality has been degraded.

Use CDRs to raise tickets with carriers and reduce the time taken to resolve issues.
Conference inbound and outbound audio quality tests (traditional and web-based) Monitor inbound and outbound call quality and be the first to know when quality has been degraded.

Use CDRs to raise tickets with carriers, reduce the time taken to resolve issues, and force carriers to adhere to Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Audio Latency Tests

Monitor audio latency round trip time and detect where there are variations over time to improve service or detect degradation.

Use CDRs to raise tickets with carriers and reduce the time taken to resolve issues.

Why Choose Spearline Monitoring?

  • Maintain good call quality: By regularly monitoring call quality metrics,  you can provide a high-quality customer experience that meets or even exceeds customer expectations.
  • Improve carrier relationships: Testing with Spearline’s Voice Assure will give you the power to engage with your carriers and have your call quality issues resolved quicker. With the ability to pinpoint when issues occurred and provide all CDRs, you can ensure that they are providing you with the agreed service stated in their SLAs.
  • Reduced MTTR: Mean-time-to-resolution (MTTR) is reduced considerably when using the CDRs provided from each test call because carriers can locate and fix issues faster. This means less downtime for your contact numbers and improved audio quality for your customers.
  • Catch intermittent issues: Regularly monitoring call quality will help you review calls and identify areas for improvement before they can become major problems. It can also be used to catch intermittent issues with carriers and routing that are hard to troubleshoot. Additionally, monitoring can identify trends such as transcoding, which can reduce call quality dramatically and is often initiated by carriers without prior knowledge or warning.

What Now?

Ensuring good call quality doesn’t need to be a challenge. There are many ways in which you can begin to monitor and improve your call quality today. However, these will depend on the severity of the audio quality issues and the resources you have to tackle them.

DIY Monitoring

Here are a few things you can start with to begin improving your call quality. By monitoring these factors alone, you can identify some issues with call quality and take steps to improve them. These could include changing your audio equipment, improving your network connection, or adjusting your call environment.

  1. Check your audio equipment: The first step when monitoring call quality is to ensure that your audio equipment is of good quality and functioning properly. For example, make sure your microphone, speakers, and headset are clean and not damaged.
  1. Test your network connection: Test your network connection to ensure that it is strong and stable. You can use online speed tests to measure your internet speed and check for any issues with your network.
  1. Assess call clarity: During a call, pay attention to the clarity of the audio. Is the sound clear or distorted? Are there any echoes or delays? Are there any background noises or interference?

About Cyara 

Cyara, the leader and creator of the CX Assurance category, empowers enterprises and solution providers to deliver flawless interactions through the most comprehensive platform assuring the widest array of communications channels. With coverage in over 80 countries and 200+ points of presence, Cyara automates testing and eliminates time-consuming and error-prone manual testing of contact centers and unified communications platforms. 

For further information, or if you have any further questions please get in touch.  

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