A Better Way to Test the Functionality of Your IVR Application

If you have deployed or are about to deploy a hosted or premise-based IVR application, you understand how much time and money go into the design of a really effective application.  It must offer easy to use self-service functionality to customers or users with a wide range of expectations, requirements and experiences with your company and its communications processes.  The design must balance the need to make opting out to an agent simple while still making it easy and desirable for customers to use self-service functionality.  It has to deliver callers to the right routines and agents based on complex business rules.  It must be user-friendly for new customers and power users alike and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

So how can you be sure your complex application is actually developed and functioning according to the design?

Current Methods For Testing Your IVR Application

Businesses understand the need to test IVR application functionality before putting a new application into production.  If selecting option 3 for Make a Payment really takes customers to an agent queue or the Place an Order routine, customers will be frustrated and your contact center will be forced to handle more calls than necessary or desired.

Before a business can select an appropriate IVR application test method, it must consider a variety of general and test method factors:

  • What is your risk tolerance?
    • What will the impact be if something doesn’t work as expected?
    • Do you need to test every application state and every possible input or situation at each state?
    • Are there key test cases or call flows through the application that will clearly indicate whether or not the application is production ready?
  • Is the IVR application revenue generating?
    • Is there revenue on the line if the application doesn’t work as expected?
    • Are there significant productivity gains on the line?
    • Could you frustrate and/or lose customers if the application isn’t developed as designed?
  • How often do you need to test?
    • Is periodic regression testing of the application required or appropriate?

Once a business has considered these basic questions, it should be clear how much of the new, upgraded or fixed application must be tested before it is put into production.  The way a business eventually chooses to test IVR application functionality is as varied as the applications and business requirements being tested.  The options range from not testing at all to hiring loads of temporary testers/callers to purchasing in-house testing products.   Of course there are pros and cons to each test method, which are explored in detail in the benefits matrix below.  But in general, businesses without sufficient time, budget and resources are left with inadequate options for testing their IVR application functionality.

A New Way to Test IVR Applications with Application Feature Testing

There is another way to test IVR functionality that is better and more appropriate for many businesses.  Our clients tell us their developers have never had so much helpful and robust data to help with issue identification and resolution as they have with the following methodology.

Application Feature Testing is a highly flexible managed service approach for testing IVR application functionality.  It is unique in that it can be configured to complement each business’ risk tolerance, resources and other requirements.  The process can:

  • Complement in-house resources or perform all testing
  • Test hosted or premise based applications
  • Perform comprehensive state-based testing as well as testing based on a pre-defined set of test cases/call flows
  • Build test cases from scratch or leverage existing test cases provided by a client
  • Precisely replicate a previous test call
  • Deliver online, real-time results
  • Provide robust test call information including recordings, discrepancy descriptions and evaluations/scores
  • Be available whenever you or your over-worked team need it
  • Change the way your developers think about QA and functionality testing!

Testing can no longer take a back seat.  Customers demand quality interactions from your business including interactions with your IVR application.  If they don’t get what they want, they will go to your competitor.  To learn more about this testing approach and other services for improving the quality of customer communications and interactions, visit here and check out the IVR Functionality Testing matrix below:

IQ-Services Application Feature Testing

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