skills-based routing

What is Skills-Based Routing?

In this post:

Skills-based routing matches agents – who specialize in a particular area – to callers who are most likely to benefit from their expertise.

Speaking another language, dealing with angry phone calls, and handling vulnerable customers are all examples of agent specialisms.

By detecting which customers require specialist support and routing them accordingly – without the need for an IVR – the contact center provides better service to critical groups of customers.  

How does Skills-Based Routing Work?

Skills-based routing is a function that is available within most ACD systems. The software recognizes a caller ID and detects whether the customer falls into a certain category.

If so, the customer then joins a queue designated for that group. There, customers will reach the agent who is most likely to fulfill their needs.

Such a function is becoming more beneficial, as self-service and automation eliminate simple, transactional contacts from the call center. The complexity of the agent role is, therefore, increasing. 

To overcome this issue, contact centers are coaching groups of subject matter experts (SMEs). By routing the more challenging calls to these SMEs, they lower complexity across the rest of the operation.

However, this is only one benefit of skills-based routing…

Three Benefits of Skills-Based Routing

Skills-based routing cuts “IVR confusion!”

IVR system are a vital part of how virtually every contact center operates.

Still, it’s a bad idea to over-rely on IVR to serve customers and have them determine their own path to an agent.

Skills-based routing lowers the dependence on IVR. Many customers, who struggle to navigate IVR systems, will find this beneficial. Non-native speakers and vulnerable customers are excellent examples of such customers.

Skills-based routing gets customer to the right resource

Another benefit is reducing transfer rates as customers automatically pass through to the most appropriate agent. As such, handling times will fall too.

When handling time falls, workload decreases. Planners may then bolster operational effectiveness and optimize service levels

Skills-based routing leads to better outcomes

Finally, a successful routing strategy will improve first call resolution (FCR). With the right solutions and quicker service, customer satisfaction (CSAT) is also likely to rise. 

Three Winning Skills-Based Routing Strategies

Skills-based routing strategies flex around how the contact center chooses to skill its agents. Nonetheless, here are three classic examples.

  1. Multilingual Routing – Conversations in which customers speak broken English are tricky for both parties to navigate. To avoid this, detect the first language of customers, add that to the caller ID, and route accordingly. Agents may then build better rapport.  
  2. Retention Routing – Unhappy customers leave signs, which indicate that they may soon switch to a competitor. An unfavorable review is such an example. By routing these callers to retention specialists, the contact center lowers customer churn. 
  3. High-Value Routing – Segmenting customers by their potential expenditure forms the basis of this routing strategy. Contact centers can then route high-value callers to high-performing agents, as well as a shorter call queue. As a result, companies can safeguard the most critical members of their customer base. 

Itching to implement any of these strategies in your contact center? Our contact center platform enables companies to transform their call routing experience.

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