Skills-Based Routing

Improve first call resolution with a skills-based call routing (SBR) system

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Automate agent allocation based on skills

Rather than simply choosing the next available call center agent, the skills-based routing call-assignment strategy assigns inbound inquiries to the agent most suitably trained for that particular issue. Easily create rules to queue up similar queries to the agent groups that have the appropriate skills for resolution. When customers’ problems are solved during the first call, they won’t have to contact sales, marketing, and other teams again and again because no one can seem to help them.

Reduce average handle time with callers

Assign callers to agents based on specific criteria, such as the phone number of the caller, previous tickets, or choices made on the interactive voice response (IVR) system. Instead of awaiting transfer to the right agent, intelligently place callers into a dedicated queue and match with the first available agent with the right skill set.
reduce time to handle callers
increase productivity

Increase productivity with less training required

Identify, evaluate, and score agent skills and weaknesses to create call assignment rules. Shorten and simplify training programs to educate only in areas where agents excel.

Route high-value customers to highly skilled agents

Ensure customer-centric business growth by assigning highly skilled agents to important clients, allocating resources to calls that provide the most return.
intelligent routing to skilled customers
Customer examples

What is skills-based routing?

Skills-based routing is a call routing strategy used to match callers to the agent with the specific skills needed to address their concerns. With agents drawing on their personal experience and knowledge base to answer inquiries, SBR increases agent productivity and customer satisfaction.

How does skills-based routing work?

With skills-based routing, organizations come up with the specific skills or attributes the company needs. For example, they may place emphasis on language proficiency (which might be divided into English, Spanish, and Chinese) and product knowledge (which might be divided into hardware and software).

Call center managers evaluate each agent based on the said attributes. So when a customer calls, the system routes them to the first available agent who is the best fit for handling client concerns based on his or her proficiency levels.

What is skills-based routing in a call center?

Skills-based routing ensures all customer calls go to the right agents, depending on the kind of service the customer requested. For a contact center, this means enhanced customer experiences, reduced wait times and training costs, and more.

SBR has given the modern call center manager a powerful tool for routing every incoming call to a specific agent, one that is most equipped to address the customer’s concern. The manager can set up routing rules based on agent performance, experience, and expertise.

For instance, credit unions would probably train specific agents to handle new business accounts and another set of agents to tackle loan processing. In cases where an agent has more than one expertise, he or she can simultaneously be placed in different agent groups. So in the example above, a multiskilled agent can belong both to the new account application and loan processing groups.

World-class, wide-reaching customer service: It doesn't matter whether you have a global office or a contact center in a predominantly English-speaking region like the United Kingdom or in multilingual countries in Asia or North America. As long as you have a skills-based routing system in place, you'll be able to accommodate more customers.

Let’s say a customer reaches out to your customer care team for help regarding their newly purchased security system. You don’t want to upset them by fielding in someone who isn’t too well-versed in the particular product they bought. Of course, this won’t happen with a well-executed SBR strategy.

Four steps to properly implementing a skills-based routing plan

  1. Classify contacts Why do customers contact your organization? Classifying interactions allows the manager to define the required skill sets.
  2. Identify agent skills Determine where each agent excels and train them as needed.
  3. Review (and upgrade) existing technologies If your call center supports text, email, and social media interactions, make sure your phone system and overall contact center solutions enable skills-based routing in a multichannel environment.
  4. Conduct a gap analysis Evaluate how your business environment will change once you implement an SBR system.

Develop a customer-focused skills-based routing strategy with these tips:

Use customer data to define your routing rules

Integrate CRM into your IP phone system to gain access to customer information. This way, your automated call distribution and interactive voice response systems will intuitively connect all incoming interactions to the right agent based on customer data and interaction history.

Regularly monitor the effectiveness of your routing rules

It’s important that you review your routing rules on a regular basis. If you discover that it’s causing long wait times, it’s probably time to make some changes. Make sure your rules are well-defined and updated as necessary.

Balance call distribution

Don’t go routing calls based on skill alone. You don’t want to overwork a specialized team of agents while others don’t have much to do. The best way to go about it is to staff each group with the right number of people.

Identify training opportunities for your contact center agents

Idle time can mean coaching opportunities to an efficient call center manager. You want to build a team of flexible agents so when your top agents call in sick or your specialized team gets swamped, customers can get support from other agents.

A sound skills-based routing strategy should be able to drive flexibility into your teams. You will benefit greatly from supervisor tools that align with your performance management, quality management, workforce management, and workforce optimization goals.

Top-tier call routing solutions from the global leader in cloud communications

Skills-based routing is a highly effective routing strategy, but its practical implementation needs careful planning to meet optimal contact center service levels. Keep in mind that poor call routing strategies often compromise customer engagement.

As such, it’s important that you get your cloud call center solutions from a reputable company like RingCentral. The RingCentral Contact Center software ensures you increase customer satisfaction as you constantly weave pleasant customer stories and improve agent efficiency. You may request demo videos to get a feel for RingCentral Contact Center.

RingCentral leads the way in unified communications, with its string of capabilities that include video meetings, team messaging, and online fax. You may check out our resource library for press releases, white papers, and other materials for more information. If you want to be one of our channel partners, you can contact us to learn about our partner program.

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