Telephony Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting issues is an art form. Technicians and frontline managers develop this skill over time with exposure to problems, people, processes, and products. But the good news is, you can arm yourself ahead of time with knowledge and the tips in this lesson.

Because problem solving is just a series of educated guesses and testing hypothesis, it’s important to stay patient as you explore and isolate the problem. End users may become frustrated with the testing process so it’s helpful to do the following.

  1. Communicate and educate end users at each step of the troubleshooting process.Now, I’m going to ask you to make another call using a different mobile phone on a different phone carrier so that we can determine if the problem is specific to your phone carrier. That gets us one step closer to resolving the problem for you.”
  2. Load CRM with a few Test/Dummy records. When possible, test call quality on fake records. Pre-loading your CRM with test records is helpful as this cuts down on end user time (vs. creating records on-the-spot), poor data hygiene, and rep frustration. It helps to be prepared.
  3. Enable Call Recording. It is very helpful for technical teams to have call recordings included in support cases. If Call Recording is not already enabled for teams, we strongly recommend requesting special permission for isolated users with ongoing issues. Playbooks does allow Call Recording to be enabled for individual users.

 

Centralized vs. Distributed Networks

While some sellers have been working from home for years, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many sellers to work from home for the first time. This change shifted many teams from a centralized network (everyone uses the same type of phone, same carrier, same PBX, same IP range) to a distributed network (different types of phones, different carriers, different service providers, etc.). As you can imagine, distributed networks introduce greater complexity to troubleshooting because there are thousands of possible combinations of call routes, network configurations, and device settings within a single group of Playbooks users. The good news is that if users have a reliable mobile and internet connection, their Playbooks experience is unlikely to be impacted.

The XANT Support and Telephony teams are committed to helping our customers navigate the technical impact of this changing environment, but we have two suggestions that will mitigate end user pain and frustration.

  1. The most critical factor for successful resolution of a telephony related issue is our ability to partner with our customer’s internal Telephony, Network, IT, and Sales Operations teams. Strong partnerships allow us to perform deeper discovery of the issues, gauge a customer’s appetite for solutions, and educate users on changes and troubleshooting methods.
  2. Perform an audit of end user’s equipment, home, and mobile networks. Due to privacy concerns and volume, XANT is not equipped to host, analyze, or act on this type of user surveying, but we can suggest some questions that would assist an IT or Sales Operations team. Download a template survey from the button below.

Carrier Outages

Phone carriers are a critical component of most calls and occasionally they experience outages. XANT employs bots to regularly ping and test major carrier traffic in order to detect outages as quickly as they happen. Once detected, XANT can triage and scope the problem and in most cases can re-route Playbooks calling traffic to other carriers. But be aware that, in addition to XANT, other telephony applications and services will also be re-routing traffic. It is similar to what happens when there’s an accident on the freeway; some commuters may take the next exit and use side-streets. But then the side-streets clog up because they weren’t built to handle the same volume as the freeway.

Carrier outages usually impact a large geographic location. That could mean that an entire team or company might experience dropped calls and can’t place new calls. Other outages may be more difficult to detect because the outage isn’t in your geographic location. It may only impact the reps calling the East Coast or a specific country. If you suspect a carrier outage you may want to first check Down Detector which provides crowd sourced, real-time status of major services and applications. If that didn’t solve the mystery of why you or your team can’t place calls, contact the XANT Support team by phone or chat.

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