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Global Telecom Testing Release: Global Clinical Trial Data Collection: a Minefield or a Walk in the Park for Doctors and Participants?

3/20/2013 3:26:36 PM

March 20, 2013 -- In a recent survey, 1st Financial Training Services reported that 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, however 91% of those will simply leave and never come back. A Garter Survey showed 85% of customers are dissatisfied with their telecommunications experience, with 92% of all customer interactions occurring via telephone.

Global clinical trial, pharma, CRO, Biotech, and life science companies are losing clients and compromising their global clinical trials because the worldwide telephone numbers assigned to these trials are flawed. Participants and doctors calling to report critical trial data often cannot due to non-operational telephone numbers. The time and money spent to fix these faulty telephone numbers is costly, frustrating, and compromises the clinical trial and its success.

All companies who engage in global clinical trials entrust their mission critical worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platforms to telecom companies. Although it is not widely disclosed, these telecom companies rely heavily on computerized and/or electronic testing to verify that telephone numbers are operational.

Faulty clinical trial telephone numbers negatively affect how a company is perceived in the marketplace and return on investment. When preparing clinical trials, making sure all the logistics are aligned is the only way to ensure that a clinical trial will be successful. Employing the best doctors, participants, and finding the most reliable data collection and IT methods are essential.

Setting up global clinical trials is complicated and costly. The worldwide telephone numbers assigned to each clinical trial are the life line for the participants and doctors. Being 100% sure that these telephone numbers are operational is a life or death matter. In-Country quality assurance testing the telephone numbers and IVR Platforms In-Country before the clinical trial begins is the only way to ensure that they are operational.

Companies who need worldwide telephone numbers rely on one of a few global telecom providers. These telecom companies in turn rely solely on local carrier partners located in cities worldwide. The risk of relying on global telecom companies and their local carrier partners to ensure that the clinical trial’s telephone numbers are operational is much like playing Russian Roulette with incredibly high stakes. 33% or more of the time, even though the local carrier partner confirms that the telephone numbers are operational, the numbers don’t work.

There are a number of pitfalls looming for any company that relies on worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platform installations. These pitfalls negatively impact customer retention, the clinical trial, and revenue. Avoiding them at all costs is essential. In-Country quality assurance testing provides solutions so these costly mistakes can be avoided.

When new telephone numbers are delivered for global clinical trials they are tested randomly by the telecom companies and their local carrier partners. However, they are not verifying all numbers being delivered, and the testing is rudimentary. The telecom providers and their local carrier partners solely test electronically which only ensures that a switch to switch connection can be made which is NOT indicative of properly functioning telephone numbers. They are not in-country quality assurance testing that the numbers are operational, the quality of the connection, and if the IVR platform is functioning properly. The In-Country caller experience must be simulated prior to the global clinical trial’s telephone numbers being delivered to participants and doctors.

While computer and/or electronic testing may be able to detect a connection from switch to switch in a far removed campus environment by making inbound test calls, they cannot simulate the in-country caller experience, or if other call quality issues are present. Computer and/or electronic testing fails to identify IVR platform and quality of service issues. As a result of the minimal and rudimentary testing performed by the telecom companies and their local carrier partners, clinical trials are faced with service issues, failed calls, destroyed sales efforts, wasted employee time, and lost revenues.

Computerized and/or electronic testing of worldwide telephone numbers is only applicable for landline networks. These landline test results are inaccurate. Despite the ever growing global dependency of mobile phones, mobile networks cannot be tested by computers outside of the originating country. The limitation of computerized and/or electronic testing severely impacts the reliability of worldwide telephone numbers and the success of clinical trials.

Completed calls and the in-country caller experience needs to be the priority; not the cost of testing - you get what you pay for. For global clinical trial companies whose day-to-day business operations depends on successful worldwide collaboration (conferencing, calls, faxes, etc.), it is imperative that their worldwide telephone numbers are fully operational and can deliver consistent positive results.

Computer and/or electronic testing can only make inbound test calls and cannot make in-country, live, outbound test calls using local landline and mobile networks. In-Country, live, outbound test calls are the most important testing benchmarks because only this type of testing simulates the in-country caller experience by detecting call quality, IVR platform installation errors, and/or quality of service issues.

The only way to 100% verify that worldwide telephone numbers are operational in any city is to perform in-country, live, outbound test calls in those cities/locations. This testing identifies problems before clinical trial employees, doctors, and participants begin using the faulty telephone numbers, which ensures that the clinical trial is successful.

The first step to fixing problems is discovering them. The advantage of having human technicians making live, in-country, outbound quality assurance test calls from within the country where the telephone numbers were recently delivered ensures that these telephone numbers and IVR platforms are fully operational, and that the clinical trial can receive the vital data that it needs.

Global Telecom Testing’s (GTT) in-country, live (human) testing ensures the robustness, integrity and reliability of worldwide clinical trials telephone numbers and IVR platforms. This testing enhances accuracy, customer satisfaction, and retention. GTT performs in-country, live telephone number and IVR platform testing in 190 countries by making live, outbound originating test calls from worldwide cities verifying that newly delivered telephone numbers and IVR platforms are operational before being put into service. GTT also provides rapid in-country service ticket resolution for service faults.

In-Country, live testing from within the countries where the telephone numbers are delivered provides immediate feedback on a number by number basis. Live (human) testing discovers where and what any problems are, if there are any telecom problems within that country, and prevents quality of service issues.

Live testing not only locates any problematic telephone numbers, but also ensures that the line is clear, message is correct, and that IVR platforms are functioning properly.

GTT was founded specifically to address the lack of worldwide in-country, live telephone number and IVR platform quality assurance testing for global companies. Only humans – not computers can perform these comprehensive tests by making live, in-country, outbound originating test calls to the exact phone numbers that the global company’s clients will be calling.

Detailed Call Display Records (CDRs) are generated for each test call made by GTT’s technicians which explains whether any service issue(s) are a carrier related problem or are a problem within the country. Common quality of service issues discovered by GTTs in-country, live testing are improper carrier provisioning, improper passcode designation, improper message authentication, echo, static, post dial delay, network inaccessibility, and carrier activation failures.

The testing provided by GTT is performed by humans guaranteeing accuracy at a level that cannot be achieved through computerized and/or electronic testing. We use humans to test, NOT machines!

For global companies whose day-to-day business operations depend on successful customer experiences, it is imperative that their newly delivered worldwide telephone numbers and IVR platforms are in-country quality assurance tested by humans in order to avoid negative customer experiences and lost revenues.

About Global Telecom Testing, LLC

Global Telecom Testing LLC, was founded in 2007 to provide reliable testing services for toll, toll-free, VoIP, DID, VoIP on Mobile, IVR, and international telephone networks by providing worldwide, in-country, live quality assurance testing.

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