Cyara Crawler Helps Businesses Discover New Paths to Improving IVR Service
Presented By: Cyara
With connected consumers becoming increasingly aware of the quality of the voice self-service applications offered by the organizations with which they interact, having an outmoded, unresponsive IVR is a liability that should no longer be tolerated.
But many companies find the process of interactive voice response testing a complex, manually-intensive and time-consuming task that can also involve significant risks. “You can’t be sure what will happen when you try to modify legacy applications with no documentation, particularly where you don’t know everything about how they were designed and the people who made the last set of changes have already moved on,” said Ian Ng, VP, Solutions Engineering for Cyara, a global provider of a comprehensive customer experience testing and monitoring platform.
The Cyara Platform automates comprehensive development and post-production testing of the customer experience across all conversational channels, including the IVR. The company recently introduced a new extension of the solution that they consider a “game changer.” Cyara Crawler is an automated IVR ‘discovery’ tool that has the capability to explore, map and document IVR applications and create its own test cases. It can repeatedly dial into an existing IVR application, listen to menu prompts, using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and speech-to-text to transcribe them into text, extract all possible “calls to action” at each level of the IVR, and then plot all of the possible outcomes of caller-IVR interactions.
“The Crawler makes phone calls that enable companies to reverse engineer their IVR,” said Ng. “It automatically detects what’s going on at each level, then ‘crawls’ deeper to map out the flow of the IVR. Companies who use it can create their own test cases to define how they want to interact with their application. But instead of having to test each step manually as they had to do previously they can test everything at the touch of a button. It eliminates up to 90% of the effort needed for manual test creation.”
Crawler tests IVRs to make sure that all steps are working and consistently presented in the right order. It checks such elements as time to comment, greeting, main menu and all other options. It also can evaluate call quality and verify that calls are being completed properly.
Crawler is an outgrowth of Cyara’s regression testing capability that took shape when the company saw a market need for a SaaS product which could transform a process that often took two years to complete into one that can now be accomplished within three months. Crawler can conduct regression testing, testing all functionalities when changes are made to an existing application. “it makes it easy to ensure that when you make changes to a portion of the application, the other functions haven’t regressed,” said Ng.
The visual map Crawler creates replicates the way an actual caller would transverse an IVR’s paths and options, making it an accurate reading of the customer experience This interactive, ‘tree-like’ map can go as deep as a company wishes to go, enabling users to drill down into call paths and options, and can validate everything that has been deployed, using color-coded boxes to indicate what has been verified. This map can be navigated within the Cyara platform. Beyond the visual map, Crawler also produces design documentation. Test cases are in Cyara XML format and can be exported into Microsoft Excel or with help from Cyara’s Professional Services group, be converted into a Word or Visio format.
In addition to testing capabilities, Crawler can be used to monitor critical functions on an ongoing basis. Its Pulse monitoring product can run continuing checks on selected functions and proactively send alerts to notify the client company of any failures in real time.
Users can also research issues by drilling down to specific steps in the audio recording of a ‘crawl’ and listen to responses from the IVR. Simple menus make it easy for non-technical users to edit IVR prompts.
Crawler can be easily configured without any need for programming, using Cyara’s intuitive web interface. Once its decided what areas to focus on, a company can reuse individual test cases for months, scheduling ‘crawls’ based on the date and time it wants them to be done. Crawler is platform-independent, supporting most leading IVR platforms and is available as a hosted solution on the Cyara Cloud.