The process of call routing in call centres is where an incoming call is directed to a specified call centre agent and the respective queue they are placed into. When done correctly, inbound call routing can improve customer service and increase sales. Here are three methods to consider when implementing call routing in your call centre.
Get the Basics Right
Getting the basics of inbound call routing right sets the precedent for your service and sales levels. A basic call routing strategy is sending the caller to the correct department. An efficient routing method is sending the call to the agent who has been waiting the longest.
This could be achieved in a couple of ways. You can either publish a separate number for each department or publish a single telephone number and ask the inbound caller to select a number for the department or service that they require.
This creates both call centre efficiency and improves customer service by immediately directing the call to the correct destination or queue.
Skills Based and Service Level Routing
Skills based routing is when calls are directed to specific agents dependent on their skills.
For example, a Spanish speaking caller is directed to a Spanish speaking call centre agent. If a caller has a better rapport with the agent and they have the right skills to resolve their enquiry then this creates a better outcome for the caller.
If the agent that best matches the caller’s needs is unavailable (on another call for example), rather than keep the caller on hold until that agent is available and risk longer wait times, abandoned calls and lower service levels, it is beneficial to implement a service optimisation strategy.
If callers have been waiting too long, or there are too many callers, they can be moved to another backup queue.
This backup queue would take priority over existing queues and if these are overloaded, then the caller could be directed to voicemail, an external answering service or offer an automated call back when an agent becomes available.
These strategies create better caller outcomes and reduce the risk of your service levels being impacted.
Call routing done intelligently can lead to increased sales. Using a caller’s telephone number (Caller Line Identifier) it is possible to identify if a caller is an important or frequent caller, therefore bypassing IVR (Interactive Voice Response) straight to the relevant department or agent.
It has long been documented that improved customer satisfaction levels increases an organisation’s sales. Mitigating the chance of important or frequently calling customers being placed in long queues, can create a better service for them and increase loyalty levels.
If combined with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, it is possible to tell if a caller is for example, due for a contract renewal in the next three months, they can then be offered a “special offer” to entice them to renew their contract. This will impact sales levels.
This is also true if a customer is in danger of leaving. Their call can be escalated to a relevant or more sensitive department, thereby minimising their chance of leaving.
If done correctly, inbound call routing can improve the customer experience by getting callers to the most appropriate agent as quickly as possible, helping to identify VIP customers and offer solutions for long wait times. Additional benefits include the increased sales from contract renewal, as well as creating a more efficient call centre.
For more information and a demonstration on call routing, check out ipSCAPE’s latest webinar. Or if you would like to find out how inbound call routing can benefit your business, speak to an ipSCAPE representative today.