Article week 12 – 2024

Load tests ensure the performance of customer service

These days, many companies are working on the further development of their own customer service organization. The possibilities of automation and the use of AI, in particular, are a major concern for many managers and are resulting in measures to adapt the IT infrastructure. The technical options are diverse – from implementing/integrating AI technology into the existing customer service architecture using APIs to introducing fully integrated software tools, many things are possible in principle, but the option of optimizing the existing technical infrastructure is often chosen.

For example, an AI function can be implemented in an existing TC/ACD infrastructure with a connected CRM system, which suggests the next actions and possible next steps in the solution of the service case to be processed to the employee and, if necessary, executes them independently.  However, the performance of the entire (customized) customer service system must not be lost out of sight. Once the integration of new tools/functions has been completed, it must be ensured that the performance of the entire system remains high despite fluctuating volumes of incoming customer interactions.

For this purpose, a structured load test should be carried out after the architecture has been adapted. For example, a defined number of test calls and customer service cases are automatically generated at intervals by an (external) system and sent to the infrastructure to be tested. The customer service systems are deliberately stressed and the behavior of the systems involved is observed.

Due to its complexity, the implementation must be prepared and carried out like a (small) project. The structure of the test project varies depending on the constellation of tools in the customer service architecture (TC/ACD, CRM, voice dialog system, text processing, etc.) and should include all elements of the entire architecture that are relevant to customer service.

What are the goals of a load test?

  • User experience: An important aspect of the load test is to ensure that the system provides an acceptable user experience during various load scenarios and that the applications therefore offer the shortest possible response time. This applies both from the customer’s perspective and from the user’s perspective.
  • Performance: The performance of the system under normal, increased and unusual peak loads must be evaluated to ensure that it meets defined requirements.
  • Reliability: The stability of the system under high load should be checked to ensure that it works reliably under pressure and does not break down or become too slow.
  • Scalability: To determine how well the system scales under increasing load. It checks whether the system uses resources such as processor power, memory and network bandwidth efficiently and effectively.
  • Optimizations: The test can identify potential improvements and optimization opportunities in the configuration of the system.

What issues need to be considered when preparing a load test?

  • The scope of the system to be tested – Which components of the customer service architecture are critical elements in terms of system performance?
  • The selection of an (external) system or service provider through which the system loads are generated.
  • The division into test complexes with load on the architecture in subsequent test sections in order to be able to better assign any errors or defects that occur to the system components.
  • Determining the technical and human resources required for the test.
  • The definition of the common timeline and the obligation of internal and external persons/departments/areas to make a defined contribution to the test.
  • Scheduling the test depending on the availability of human and technical resources.
  • Defining the success criteria for evaluating the test – the values and results within which the load test would be considered successful had to be agreed in advance.
  • Identifying the source systems for the key figures to be generated – Which key figures are generated from which systems in order to be able to evaluate the test?

What needs to be considered when carrying out a stress test?

  • The specific schedule on the test day with test intervals and quantities – How does the test actually run? Which test activities are generated in which order and by whom?
  • The communication and cooperation of all internal and, if applicable, external persons and stakeholders involved – How will communication take place during the test? Who leads? Who is involved in real time or only in preparation and follow-up?
  • Logging the test procedure – All incidents are logged precisely so that a reference to the corresponding recorded technical values can be made in the analysis.

Which topics characterize the important post-processing of the test?

  • Evaluation of the test results – how are the results aggregated?
  • Deriving measures – how are the results used?
  • Determining repetitions of the stress test – what further test activities do the results and measures require?


When implementing new possibilities for automation through AI or other technologies, it is important to keep an eye on the performance of the overall system for customer service. There is no point in building system architectures that offer a poorer user experience for both customers and employees.

A structured load test should be carried out like a small project after the systems have been optimized/adapted. It may make sense to commission a specialized service provider to do this in order to obtain a truly neutral picture of the performance of your own systems.

Michael Fürst – Senior Consultant


To subscribe to the article of the week, click here.