Call Center Dropped Calls – Who Is to Blame?

By Charlie Bogart

Dropped calls are not new. They happen to small contact centers, large contact centers, and everyone in between. While it may appear to be a common challenge for contact center leaders, the cost associated with dropped calls is significant and real. In our high-tech world, what is the root cause of dropped calls, and who should be held accountable?

Contact centers use both network services from a carrier as well as hardware (including phone equipment) to complete and handle inbound and outbound contacts. Often, when a dropped call occurs, the carrier is notified immediately via a trouble ticket. For many, this is when the finger-pointing begins. The carrier blames the hardware provider. The equipment provider blames the carrier. And in the meantime, clients are frustrated, you are not meeting required performance SLAs (service level agreements), and the cost to re-originate calls is affecting the bottom line.

Deciding whom to hold accountable for the problem depends on the circumstances. The issue can be on the network side, or it can be a hardware issue. To expedite a resolution, the following approach is recommended:

  • First, enter a trouble ticket to your carrier as soon as the problem is identified. The carrier NOC (network operations center) will assign the ticket to a technician. The first step should be to check if the network is terminating calls. The technician will run a test to verify that calls are originated and terminated to the demarc. If not, there is a network problem that your carrier will need to address.
  • If the calls are terminating, it is still possible that you are experiencing a network issue, specifically one related to capacity. Essentially, your call volume could be too large (or greater than planned), thus causing the issue with dropped calls. The technician can review your traffic volumes and patterns to determine if you need additional trunks.
  • If the carrier confirms that all calls are being terminated and your capacity is adequate, then the problem is mostly likely on the hardware side. Your hardware could include anything from the ACD, IVR, router, or LAN. This may involve multiple providers. You should first check for equipment failure. Your on-site technician should be able to validate that each platform is online and working.
  • If all equipment is operational, it is possible that there is a synchronization issue. This can sometimes occur with software upgrades or when migrating from a traditional TDM network to IP. Your on-site technician will need to troubleshoot this discrepancy to resolve the dropped call problem.

As a paying customer, you should not have to experience dropped calls, and it is your right and responsibility to hold the providers accountable.

Charlie Bogart is the president and founder of RealCom Solutions. He is a seasoned telecom executive with twenty-five years of industry experience. Prior to founding RealCom Solutions in 2001, he served in a number of sales executive roles for MCI and Qwest, including regional director of sales and senior manager of strategic accounts. Charlie can be reached at 972-503-0700.

[From Connection Magazine April 2012]

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