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Introduction

Some would argue that anything to do with call center technology is boring. That is until existing technology incorporated into a business’s call center is no longer adequate and drives customers away. This attitude can be avoided from the start by seeing call center technology as a vital touchstone for customers to interact with the company. Such an attitude can revitalize customer service. While attitude is important, technology serves as the vehicle for positive change and call routing is one of those technologies.

Working Definition

Call routing can be defined as a system that queues calls then distributes and sends the call to the best representative to handle the call. From this perspective, call routing systems are a tool that drastically reduces call holding times and makes use of the agent’s time far more efficient. Another advantage is they promote first call resolution when implemented correctly. What follows is some top tips to maximize call routing efficiency.

Direct Routing Foundation

For companies that are starting out or have simple customer service needs, a simple approach lacking over-complication is best. The simplest routing system is direct routing where the caller is directly routed to the department required, be that sales, service, or billing. Once the call is directed to the correct department it then goes to the first agent, if not available, to the second and so on. For larger companies with higher call volumes, this solution will be inadequate.

Least Idle or Least Occupied

Some are already proclaiming that self-service is the end of the call center, however, such proclamations ignore current realities with call centers still being a pivotal communication method for customers to get in contact. True, it is a nightmare to be on hold for an extended period of time. Call routing systems have a number of solutions for this. By redirecting customers to agents who have been waiting for a call the longest a more efficient system can be developed. This is known as least idle.

Like with least idle, least occupied also serves to improve efficiency by sending calls to agents who on average spend less time daily on calls. Both these measures can be seen as efficiency improvements to reduce queue and hold times.

Skills Based Routing

This is a method to help ensure company resources are used as well as improving customer service. Such a system will redirect calls to agents best suited to meet the needs of the customer. For example, for an international call center that expects to deal with customers across the globe speaking a variety of languages, customers need to be directed to agents that are able to speak a language the customer is comfortable with.

Business Rule Routing

This can be seen as a high-level routing system as it is designed to cater to specific objectives determined by the business. Such a routing system does require a well-developed call center with technologies in place that can handle the added level of complexity. If these are in place a business rules routing system is able to direct to high-value customers to specific agents or customers with gripes to those best suited to help them.

Conclusion

A well-developed call routing system that meets the needs of both the business and the customer is an asset. That the technology is scalable depending on the size of the business and call volumes means that such systems become valuable partners helping company growth.

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