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Phone Number Testing: Benefits and How to Do It

An image of our guide to business phone number testing.

Many of the insights for this article came from a breakout session at Cyara Xchange 2024. Global Call Forwarding also uses the Cyara Voice Assure product.

Despite the emergence of complex customer journeys and the omnichannel customer experience, voice and phone numbers remain among the most crucial business communication channels.

Why Are Phone Numbers Important?

Many customers prefer voice channels because conversations over the phone usually deliver immediate, precise, and personalized interactions.

Voice calls allow for more immediate feedback and faster resolution of issues, especially in urgent situations. Phone conversations can also prove more efficient than typing messages, particularly for complex problems and older customer segments.

Speaking to a live person creates a more personal experience, which is especially important in certain situations. Christoph Börner gives an example of an insurance company catering to a client who just had an accident—they don’t want to deal with a chatbot in this urgent and emotional situation.

Phone calls don’t require internet access and are more straightforward for customers of all ages, increasing accessibility.

Many global companies will set up local or toll-free numbers in different countries where they need to establish a line of communication.

Some companies will have dedicated support phone numbers for signature or VIP customers, tier 1 sales hotlines for top markets, and in-country phone numbers for employees to reach internal help desks.

Your business might have a ranking system prioritizing the importance of different phone numbers, but the bottom line is that all should work.

The Problem With Manual Phone Number Testing

In most countries, toll-free numbers can only be dialed from within the country. Additionally, certain toll-free numbers can only be dialed from specific networks or landlines.

One specific example is a UIFN, which has network restrictions and issues related to mobile accessibility in certain countries.

However, you must ensure that the numbers work and that all callers in a country can reach your business. Malfunctioning or partly-reachable phone numbers can frustrate clients and lead to lost revenue.

In our case, we provide international phone numbers in more than 160 countries. Before provisioning phone numbers, we need to ensure their reachability. Additionally, we must periodically check that the numbers we provide work across all networks, especially for ticket resolution.

Voice Assure – A Better Way to Test Phone Numbers

Cyara offers a Voice Assure tool that enables businesses to test phone numbers from different in-country networks. The tool can test phone numbers automatically or in real-time.

Before using Voice Assure, we used unconventional methods to test phone numbers.

Before Voice Assure

We hired freelancers through online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. We would contact people in countries where we needed to test numbers and give them a list of numbers to test. Personally, I’ve even called local hotels and coffee shops and asked them to test my phone numbers.

In the breakout session at Cyara Xchange, another Voice Assure customer, David Conway from Salesforce, told an anecdote about calling local pubs and asking them to test phone numbers. They also talked about asking salespeople in different countries to test phone numbers.

However, these methods all have limitations.

For example, if you rely on testers from hotels, pubs, or coffee shops, you sometimes need to call a few places before someone agrees to help you. This process is time-consuming for whoever manages it and only occasionally effective. The same goes for hiring freelancers.

If you ask salespeople, that takes time away from their other responsibilities.

The most critical limitation, though, is the fact that you’re not getting a complete picture of the phone number performance. We wrote earlier about how certain toll-free numbers can only be reached from specific mobile networks. How would you ensure you test your phone numbers from the right networks?

The second point relates to call quality insights. The phone number connects, sure, but then what? How do you measure call quality quantitatively rather than relying on anecdotal accounts?

After Voice Assure

Voice Assure from Cyara offers one of the most effective ways to test global contact phone numbers, which is through proactive, automated testing from different in-country networks. From automated testing to real-time dialing, businesses can test their phone numbers from in-country networks in over 80 countries.

The Voice Assure tool also gives testers insights into their phone numbers’ performance, including audio quality, DTMF functionality for IVR systems, voice latency, post-dial delays, caller ID transmission, and more.

Benefits of Phone Number Testing

The main benefits of phone number testing relate to revenue and improved customer experience. If your sales and support phone numbers aren’t working, you’ll likely lose revenue and upset your valuable customers.

Let’s dive into some more specific benefits that lead us to more revenue and improved CX:

Diverse network testing for better visibility

Voice Assure enables users to test phone numbers from different in-country networks. One of the expert speakers in the breakout session mentioned that most customer interactions are no longer through landlines, underscoring the need for more robust mobile network testing.

Call quality benchmarks to reassure stakeholders.

Call quality varies among countries. Some have crystal-clear audio connections and highly developed telecom infrastructure, while networks in other countries are still developing. Regardless of your carrier, audio quality will naturally differ across countries.

Cyara’s tool provides benchmarks of average call quality scores in specific countries and call quality scores for your phone numbers.

If you’re on a company’s voice, UC, or infrastructure team, you can present these valuable benchmarks and insights to other stakeholders and show them that your phone numbers outperform average quality scores in specific countries. You can also compare call quality scores for different carriers you may be evaluating.

Improved time-to-resolution

Phone number testing tools allow for faster resolution in the event of issues. You will have insights into which in-country carriers might be failing and the ability to generate call detail records (CDRs) that you can take to your provider to give them specific examples of calls not working. These details will enable your provider to take specific examples to their local partners.

One of the expert speakers also highlighted the benefits of Cyara’s integration with Slack. Voice Assure pushes a notification into the department’s Slack channel when something goes wrong, enabling the expert speaker’s company to notify carriers more quickly during issues.

Value demonstration

Another expert speaker highlighted the benefit of value demonstration within his department. He recommended getting a clear picture of phone number performance before using Voice Assure versus after. This way, you can show the improvements in phone number uptime and compare carrier performance.

Maintaining systems reliability and ensuring network uptime are top priorities for IT leaders, and automated phone number testing enables IT professionals to show actual data to stakeholders.

From Testing to Monitoring and Assurance

Rather than looking at it as one-off testing, this process should be considered as phone number monitoring and assurance. You want to ensure that your critical business phone numbers are working and that you can resolve matters quickly in case of an issue.

Today’s customer experience is not just about a company’s products and services. Businesses need to ensure an outstanding customer experience to thrive, and one way to do that is by remaining available over the phone.

If you have yet to adopt more automated testing and monitoring solutions, consider how Cyara’s tools can help.

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