I wish to share with you all some major areas in testing of call center software which mainly includes Performance & Load Testing of a Call Centre application. Call Centre performance often refers to how quickly call center staff answers a call or the sound quality of the call. It is related to how the software and infrastructure performs, how quickly a telephone call is routed and how much capacity can your call Centre application can handle.
A Call Centre comprises of a multifaceted blend of technologies and protocols. A typical Call Centre communicates with its customers via phone calls, emails, Texts (SMS), online and faxes. Here the Call Centre needs to route these communications to and from the most suitable and available person (Agent). Call Centers also collect the data about the customer interactions and providing contact information to the Agents by simultaneously providing reports and analysis.
While testing a call center application we need to consider the following areas for load testing:
- Creating inbound phone call traffic
- Creating outbound phone call traffic
- Agent interactions with the Call Centre application
- Agent interactions with the customer via the multiple media that may be supported
- Routing of phone calls to appropriate Agents
- Generating a multiplicity of reports such as Agent, Supervisor and System
- Deployment of new or modified Contact Centre configurations
- Management and maintenance of the hierarchical structure of Agents, Supervisors, Groups and Queues through the call center application
For performance testing we need to understand the volumetric of call center being tested.Call center applications are heavily used hence they should be thoroughly tested for understanding the performance of the application for huge volume of call data.
We can determine these volumetric by considering the following:
- The number of Agents that will be simultaneously logged on
- The ratio at which Agents log on at
- The ratio at which phone calls are made to the Call Centre
- The ratio at which phone calls are made from the Call Centre
- The amount of concurrent phone calls
- The number of calls that should be handled per hour by each Agent
- The ratio at which emails are made to the Call Centre
- The ratio at which emails are made from the Call Centre
- The traffic of concurrent emails
- The number of emails that should be handled per hour by each Agent
There are number of protocols used in Contact Centres, the most popular being SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) which handles the phone calls, Virtual PABX’s, Web Services, HTTP/HTML and SMTP. LoadRunner does not directly support SIP. This means that a number of tools are required for one to handle the SIP traffic and LoadRunner for most of the other traffic
Performance testing of Contact Centers is very challenging, yet very satisfying and rewarding.