At present times, there are multiple routing techniques available. Therefore, evidently it is quite easy to get swayed and be confused while picking one for your call center. One very relevant question at this juncture is – which intelligent routing technique is the most apt for your call center?
To make decision making easier for you, we have compiled a good description of 9 intelligent routing techniques. Each one of them has a vital role to play that depends totally on the maturity and complexity of your customer contact operation.
1. Least Idle
This routing type uses an ACD or Automatic Call Distributor and changes the configurations from basic ‘hunt groups’ to more sophisticated routing methods like least idle routing. In this technique, calls are routed to an agent who is waiting the longest time for a call.
2. Direct Routing
This routing type is used by call centers who are just trying to establish themselves and have a basic approach for customer service delivery. Such call centers simply want that their customer calls should get connected with the proper department.
For example, if a customer wants to talk to the sales department, he/she can call up the sales number, but if the number is busy, one has to wait. With the help of Direct Routing, customers have to call at a different number for service. Thus, customers’ call always gets connected to the first agent’s name on the list. If the agent is busy, it will be routed to the next agent on the list.
3. Skills-based Routing
A call center may go for a Skill-based Routing technique to ensure its resources get utilized in an appropriate manner. This method also helps in avoiding long queues for service calls. Thereby, customer experience can be improved by matching the caller’s query with an effectively skilled agent.
4. Least Occupied Routing
In this routing method, the next incoming call gets routed to the call center agent who was employed least during the entire day. This technique ensures that all agents work uniformly during a workday and reduces idle time.
5. Service-level & Dynamic Routing
If an agent is selected to attend calls only on the basis of his/her skills, there is no assurance of a happy customer. You need to find out whether your agent actually possesses all the necessary skills or not. Has the agent been adequately empowered for answering the query of a customer? Does he/she have to pass a call to his supervisor for completion of a query/addressal of an issue?
Along with Skill-based Routing, call centers are now keeping an eye on predicted and expected wait times for providing excellent customer experience within the threshold of service level. In such scenarios, Dynamic Routing can help a call center management to make appropriate choices. When this technique is used, in an event when there is any risk of a breach in the expected wait time, ‘reserve’ or ‘back up’ agents can be put in queue so that the service level is not compromised. This form of intelligent routing is called Service-level Routing.
6. Data-directed Routing
Call centers can now use intelligent routing to make sharp choices and take customer experience to greater heights. For example, a call may be made by a credit card customer for an inquiry but in case their account is shown as ‘overdue’, it can be flagged during an initial ID. The contact in such a scenario will be routed to the payment collections department, with the use of Data-directed Routing.
When the initial ID process for an IVR is integrated with existing customer data, businesses can get powerful solutions. If customers get identified quicker on the call, there is an increase in the possibility for several opportunities to open up.
7. Business Rules Routing
Are your routing engines and ACD in place? If yes, then your call center can begin to configure its call routing technique to support particular business goals.
These instances can be – routing higher value customers to a specialist or premier agent, connecting a caller to a retention team, who mentioned that he/she is closing account, or providing an option to a caller to get connected to the same agent he/she spoke to the last time.
8. Outbound Routing
A recent development in the field of routing strategies is that all decisions related to routing need not necessarily occur only on inbound customer interactions.
Though some acknowledge the merits of traditional contact center metrics like average handling time or average call length, many call centers are focusing on newer metrics like Net Promoter Scores to tackle the number of customers who recommended their service to their friends or families.
9. Value-based Routing
This intelligent routing strategy uses a mix of customer ID with comprehensive CRM information, so that new opportunities are uncovered for Value-based Routing. Such routing decisions go a step beyond quality and cost and introduce a revenue or value-based element in the equation. For example – a customer of a mobile company calling 90 days prior to the date for renewal of their contract to check some details.