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Whenever you try to make a call to a customer service hotline of a medium or large business or enterprise, you probably already have experienced the benefits of Call Routing. It is one of the processes that allow businesses to quickly respond to customer queries.
The technology that makes the Call Routing system possible is the Automatic Call Distributor or ACD. It acts as a middleman between the customer and the service agent, and it employs the right automation processes and criteria to make call routing possible.
The most basic form of call routing is Direct Routing. It is very straightforward as it simply creates a queue for customers that will directly connect them to an agent. Think of it like customers falling in line. If an agent is busy, customers will have to wait for the ones who make it to the line first.
This leads to an obvious problem with efficiency. Imagine if there are lots of agents with less busy queues, but you are already in line for an agent with a busy queue. This affects not only the customer’s experience but also the business since agents have to spend their time as efficiently as possible.
Respond to Customers on Demand
One way to solve this inefficiency problem is to take a Round-Robin strategy. In Round-Robin Routing, service agents share customer requests equally so the calling customers will not be unnecessarily queued in a busy line.
This routing strategy ensures that calls from customers are immediately relayed to the right department and a less busy or idle agent. In this way, customers can wait less, and they can quickly have someone to respond to their requests.
Optimise Your Resources
A smart call routing strategy can make a huge impact not only on customer experience and the performance of a department but also on the revenue of the business and efficiency of its service.
By simply having calls immediately relayed to the less busy agent, call routing helps businesses become much more efficient as it ensures that service agents are always active and fewer resources are being wasted.
Call routing is also effective when distinct types of requests are expected. If a request is a sales concern, that request will be routed to the sales department. If it is a tech support concern, it goes to the tech support department. In this way, employees do not have to face requests that are not relevant to their role.
Such requests can also be categorised according to the services they are concerned with. This is when Skills-Based Routing can be used. In Skills-Based Routing, a customer request that concerns a particular service will be routed to agents that are well-versed with that service.
Scalability and Availability
Call routing can be implemented in a scalable manner. This means you can only have the right amount of agents at a time, depending on how often you receive customer requests. You can only call for more agents if there is a sudden growth or spike in the frequency and amount of customer requests.
So, once the business grows large enough and it reaches a point where there is very high demand, call routing makes it easy for the business to serve huge amounts of requests from customers around the clock.
Call Routing implementation can also be scaled not only in terms of customer demand but also geographically for less latency. This means you can have agents in different parts of the country, and call routing will automatically lead customers to the best route.
Another noticeable benefit of call routing is internationalisation. If the business decides to expand its reach to other regions with different dialects, or foreign countries who use different languages, agents who use those dialects or languages can be employed.
For example, if a business provides services in countries like Finland, agents who speak Finnish can be employed. With call routing, Finnish customers will be automatically routed to agents who speak the same language.
According to a 2017 Customer Communications Report by Twilio, many businesses often underestimate the relevance of good communication with customers. If a business considers looking the other way, customers will be more likely to purchase and recommend their services to others.
By supplementing an effective call routing implementation with good customer service and experience, customers will be less likely to switch to other competing brands, and businesses can expect significant revenue growth.
There are technologies like CTI that provide additional functions that make it easier for agents to perform their tasks, and Interactive Voice Response or IVR, which allows customers to get the assistance they need without human agents.
Technologies like these can improve based on the data they receive. Given the current developments in predictive behavioural analytics, we can expect Call Routing technology to become more sophisticated in the future.