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Unit – Call Quality

In this unit, you’ll learn how to track and improve call quality with the Fastcall softphone. You’ll learn the tools available in Fastcall to help you troubleshoot, and the three main areas to check: your Internet connection, your computer memory, and your headset.

Tools

The call quality indicator

When Fastcall is installed from the Salesforce AppExchange we create a Twilio subaccount. Twilio Call Insights are enabled by default. Using the Twilio Call Insights API Fastcall is monitoring your call in real-time. The results are reported in Salesforce on a custom object with a lookup to the call record.

This can be turned on by your administrator under Fastcall Settings > Devices

Twilio voice-insights
Twilio voice-insights

Fastcall Call Quality Icon

Fastcall Call Quality Icon
Fastcall Call Quality Icon

Your users will see the call quality icon during active calls and will change from green to amber to red depending on the connection quality.

The Twilio Diagnostics tool

Twilio – and others – offer diagnostic tools that measure the capability of the local internet connection. Fastcall gives a shortcut to https://networktest.twilio.com in the application menu. The test runs a set of connectivity tests on Twilio. You want to pass all tests and look for an average capacity 5-10X the number of users. You want more capacity than users.

Twilio Network Test
Twilio Network Results
Twilio Network Results

Fastcall Call Insights Reporting

Fastcall is analyzing Twilio Call Insights in real-time during the call. We report the results in a custom object with a lookup to the call. Call quality events do not always indicate a problem, but they do identify a pattern. If one user has more events than all other users. Or one day has more events than other days.

Fastcall Call Quality Reports
Fastcall Call Quality Events Logged on the Call Record

Troubleshooting the softphone

Your Internet connection

The softphone uses your Internet connection and your browser. A poor Internet connection will lead to poor call performance. This one is easy to check. To see if the problem lies here:

  1. Ask – Does the Internet connection perform poorly for other tasks?
  2. Check – Does Fastcall display a ‘Twilio ICE’ error
  3. Check – Use the Twilio Diagnostics tool. Particularly, look for the results from:
    • The bandwidth test – “During this test, the connection could have supported an average of roughly 14 simultaneous Twilio Client connections, ranging from 4 to 24 throughout the test. Each connection consumes roughly 50kBits/sec of bandwidth.”. You ideally want a bandwidth that supports a multiple of users you actually have.
    • The test call – “Twilio Client disconnected. Overall quality was: Excellent (4.39).”

If the problem is with your Internet connection, try:

  1. Switching from a wireless to a wired network
  2. Turning off high-bandwidth applications on the same network, such as your colleagues watching Netflix!
  3. Checking your firewall configuration.

Your computer’s doing too much

If your computer is doing a lot of things at once, it can start to run slowly and the call quality will suffer. This is more difficult to check, as it might depend on what the user is doing when they make a call. To diagnose:

  1. Is the computer running slowly in general or are the fans making a lot of noise?
  2. Use the Task Manager or Activity Monitor to see what’s using up the memory or CPU time
  3. Use the Twilio Diagnostics tool to see what impact this is having on call quality. You want to look at the result from the test call – “Twilio Client disconnected. Overall quality was: Excellent (4.41)”
  4. Has the same user tried to log into Salesforce from another computer?
  5. Have you logged into another computer as this user?
  6. Are users having issues with other applications, call or video services?

If the problem is that your computer is too busy, try:

  1. Closing the programs that are making it busy
  2. Closing web browser tabs
  3. Turning it off and on again (no, seriously – this can often fix problems caused by crashed programs)

Your phone hardware

Compared to dedicated telephony equipment, most computer audio hardware isn’t very good, especially on laptops. Poor quality speakers and microphones can make your life hard. Fortunately, this is both easy to check and fix. To check:

  1. Place a test call from your computer to anything else and listen from both sides! You don’t even have to use Fastcall for this…

To fix this:

  1. Get a headset. You don’t need to spend a lot of money – even just using a hands-free kit that comes with a mobile phone is better than most laptop microphones. However, you’ll notice huge improvements with high-quality, noise-canceling headsets.

Last updated: Fastcall v7.32, 2021-07-23

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