Poor call quality could cost your business

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia user Uberprutser

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia user Uberprutser

A survey done by the Customer Experience Foundation (CEF) on the behalf of Empirix Inc., found that 79 percent of consumers have experienced poor VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) call quality while speaking with a business. CEF Chairman, Professor Morris Pentel says, “Consumers are quickly losing patience with companies that suffer from poor voice quality—truth is it’s a consumer’s market, they have choices in today’s market.” The survey also found that poor call quality drives down sales and sends customers to competitors.

Some common call quality problems include choppiness, delay and echo. The following troubleshooting tips come Software Advice’s telecom researcher Craig Borowski in his recent article.

Choppiness

What is it?
People usually say the call is “breaking up” when they hear choppy audio. It sounds like words, or parts of words, are missing.

1. How you can fix it

  • Make sure your firewall is properly configured to allow for and prioritize VoIP traffic.
  • If your office uses the same LAN (Local Area Network) for computers and VoIP, then make sure that no computers on the LAN are using more bandwidth than normal.

2. Delay

What is it?
Call audio is heard after a significant delay, often causing parties to interrupt one another or to start speaking at the same time.

How you can fix it
It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of audio delays. In some cases, such as very long-distance calls or calls relying on satellite relays, some minor delays are inevitable. Look into running a “ping” or “traceroute” test from a computer on the same network used for VoIP calls. There is an explanation of these tests in the following section.

3. Echo

What is it?
One or both parties hear one (or both) voices repeated, often faintly, with a slight delay.

How you can fix it
Have both parties turn down their handset volume. If using a softphone without a headset, turn down the volume, or better yet use a headset. This will keep the mic from picking up sound from the speaker.

There is one solution that will fix all of these problems for customers: TDS’ VoIP business solution managedIP Hosted with dedicated Internet access. Because managedIP is a hosted and managed solution you don’t have to worry about issues like choppiness, delay or echo. TDS takes care of those problems and does much more for customers just like the City of Kenosha.

About Barclay Pollak

Barclay Pollak is an award winning journalist and proud to be a member of the Corporate Communications team at TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) in Madison, Wis. Barclay joined the team in April of 2013. Before that Barclay worked as an Anchor/ Reporter for the NBC affiliate in Madison. While at NBC-15 Barclay was recognized by several organizations for his contributions to the television news industry. They include the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow Regional Award) and the Chicago/Midwest National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (2012 Emmy Nominee). When he’s not working Barclay enjoys cheering for all the sports teams in Wisconsin. Barclay’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and a huge fan of Badger athletics. Barclay is fascinated by the ever changing world of technology and spends a fair amount of his free time reading about the latest and greatest developments online. When Barclay’s not learning about technology he’s scouring the Internet in search of freeware. Barclay has an 8-year-old daughter and lives with his girlfriend of almost five years on Madison’s southwest side. Follow on G+.

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