Understanding skills-based routing
Skills-based routing is a popular phone system feature that utilizes customer data to automatically assign them to agents with skills suited to solving their specific concerns.
This feature avoids the need for transferring, which can be frustrating for the caller and result in excessive wait times. It’s designed to ensure customers receive the response they need during their first call and this, in turn, ensures improved customer experience and satisfaction.
Call transfers are one of the elements of calling a contact center that most frustrate and annoy callers. Being passed on from agent to agent with no one seeming to have the right answer is understandably annoying, and call abandonment at this stage is also significantly higher.
Skills-based routing often utilizes automated voice prompts to direct calls efficiently. The system is able to connect the skills the customer needs with their query with the agents currently available and connects them. This ensures the customer’s needs are met quickly and without several long waiting periods. Many organizations are also implementing cross-training to ensure agents have multiple skill sets to satisfy the customer’s requirements.
Skills-based routing isn’t limited to a single channel and works effectively in omnichannel contact centers too.
How does omnichannel routing work?
Omnichannel routing can work on the same principles as skills-based call routing. It includes the additional communications channels your business offers, such as SMS, chat, email, and WhatsApp messaging.
Firstly, the routing process begins with an incoming call going through the interactive voice response (IVR). Your IVR will help to ascertain the customer’s concerns through a series of automated responses from set menus. Fully optimizing your IVR to your customer’s common problems and pain points is essential for skills-based routing to work.
Once the IVR has processed the call, it’s passed through to the automated call distributor, which places the caller in the correct queue. The customer’s responses to the IVR will ensure the automated call distributor creates a call assignment based upon the skills required to satisfy the caller’s needs and finds an agent to match them.
There are alternative routing strategies such as fixed-order, which simply sends callers to the first available agent, and rotary, ensuring all agents deal with some customer calls. These strategies have their benefits, but the growth in popularity in skills-based routing is closely linked to the benefits it brings your organization.
The benefits of skills-based routing
There are any significant benefits to implementing skills-based routing in your organization:
1. Agents can work with more intent and focus
Agents are only met with calls that they’re able to provide solutions for. This creates a much more motivating work environment and allows agents to focus on their skillsets and provide the highest level of customer service. Every call they receive is focused on their area of expertise, allowing them to finetune their specialist skillset while delivering better customer experiences.
2. Increased first-call resolution
When analyzing the effectiveness of a contact center, first-call resolution is a regularly called-upon statistic. Customers don’t want to wait for call-backs or require multiple calls to get the resolution they need. With skills-based routing, callers should receive the right information during their first call to solve their problem. As they’re connected with the appropriately qualified agent, there should usually be no need for further calls.
3. Simplifying your ticketing system
Support tickets can easily get out of hand without the right system to help manage them. Skills-based routing makes ticketing simpler as it’s much easier to categorize and assign tickets in line with the skills available and the best qualified agents. The software tracks employees’ skillsets, so assigning tasks and calls is straightforward.
4. Improved customer satisfaction
With skills-based routing, customers are immediately met with a qualified individual able to solve their concern. Their call handler has the skills and training in the specific area they need support, which leads to quicker resolutions and significantly improved customer satisfaction. Skills-based routing also allows for a more personalized service as customers feel they’re being listened to and offered relevant solutions.
5. Streamline agent training
Training your call agents is part of their continued professional development, and as they develop their specialist skills, you can hone their training in these areas. You can utilize their skillsets to help inform your routing strategy, too.
Maximize your contact center agents’ talents and skills
The priority of all contact centers is to satisfy customer queries as quickly and efficiently as possible, delivering high levels of customer service and satisfaction. Skills-based routing utilizes the latest technologies to tap into the skills within your team and ensures customers only have to deal with the best qualified agent for their query.
RingCentral’s Inbound Contact Center can easily be used to deliver a skills-based routing strategy. Our tools include IVR, analytics and workforce management that can be customized to satisfy the needs of your business.
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