What is omnichannel routing and how does it work?

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In today’s digital world, businesses must endeavor to keep up with trends in customer needs and behaviors. You can’t limit customer support to phone calls anymore, and support staff need to ensure they’re available to meet customers’ expectations across a plethora of devices.

That’s where omnichannel routing can help.

Contact center on modern cloud architecture

What is omnichannel routing?

Omnichannel routing is a method of intelligently directing customer queries across a diverse range of service channels. When businesses operate on an omnichannel platform, they interact with customers in many ways. Omnichannel routing ensures all work items get assigned to the right agent.

It goes beyond traditional call center capabilities and encompasses channels like email, text messages (SMS), social media, and live chat. Managing numerous support requests from multiple channels can be demanding, and the best contact centers address this challenge with an effective all-in-one solution.

How does it work?

Omnichannel routing uses intelligent routing software to facilitate customer engagement with inbound and outbound voice calls, messaging, live chat, and more.

When new requests come in, machine learning, a facet of artificial intelligence (AI), is used to recognize any message’s intent. Omnichannel routing then ensures customers are directed swiftly to an agent, no matter their chosen service channel. Items assigned to the omnichannel queue can then be automatically routed through an automatic contact distributor that finds the best agent available.

Issues are routed based on how long they’ve been in the queue, to ensure customers’ concerns aren’t left in a backlog. What’s more, AI can prioritize phone calls and other customer messages or contacts according to your own routing rules. It will then push them to the right agents, as soon as possible.

Sample scenarios

When a new or pending call or customer message is in the queue, intelligent omnichannel routing technology directs it to a qualified agent.

Sample scenario and work item procedure when a new or pending call is in the queue
Scenario: New or pending call in the queue Work item procedure
No available agents Remains in the queue
Agents available If an agent can take on the item, omnichannel routing assigns it to a qualified agent automatically. If an agent is available but can’t take on a new item, it will remain in the queue.

When an agent’s ability to work changes (they finish an item, leave a meeting, or start work for the day), omnichannel routing automatically checks to see if there’s any work suitable for the agent to maximize productivity.

Sample scenario and process when agent's availability to work changes
Scenario: Agent availability to work changes Process
Agent is away Omnichannel routing looks for another available agent
Agent is available but can’t work Omnichannel routing looks for another agent
Agent is available and can work Omnichannel routing assigns task to the agent according to priority and their qualifications
Customer calls being routed to a call center agent

How does skill based routing work?

Skill based routing examines the skills required to complete work items and matches them to the skills of an available agent. Companies can outline routing rules and skills like product knowledge, certifications, and language ability, which are then assigned by the contact-center platform API to incoming work items that align with agent experience and skillsets.

The main purpose of skills-based routing is to match the customer to the agent best suited to solve their issue. In an omnichannel context that means ensuring customers get the support they need, no matter which communication channel they interact through.

Benefits of omnichannel routing

Some of the measurable benefits of omnichannel routing include:

  • Improved agent productivity and enhanced workflows: Support team agents can interact with customers across voice and digital channels throughout the customer journey
  • Decreased average wait time and abandon rates: More effective queue management and predictive behavioral routing to ensure customers are always assigned to qualified agents in a service channel
  • Reduced average handle times: Items are always assigned to agents who possess the skill set needed to handle the query

How to choose contact center software for omnichannel customer experiences

Today, customers want to know they can contact companies across multiple channels and devices. You need to find the right contact center software to meet your customer’s needs. To find that ideal solution, take inventory on what channels your customers use or would like to contact you through. That may include Twitter, SMS, WhatsApp, and more. That will tell you which features of a contact center solution are non-negotiable.

Then, you can select the software that incorporates omnichannel routing, CRM integration, chatbots, and everything else that you must have.  By selecting that solution you can improve customer satisfaction rates and streamline each customer interaction across multiple digital channels.

The integrated service cloud contact center solution from RingCentral combines omnichannel routing with self-service automation technology, predictive dialer software, workforce management, and supervisor tools. They all come together to empower customer support teams with the tools they need to provide exceptional agent-based customer service.

Customers being routed to the right agents

What is RingCentral Contact Center?

RingCentral Contact Center is a holistic cloud hosted contact center solution that improves business processes by streamlining real-time customer support operations and enhancing CX.

Why use a cloud contact center?

The future of work is remote. A cloud contact center solution ensures you’re not left behind. It frees your agents to work from anywhere, at times to suit them—and your customers. Not to mention being a scalable tool with a range of useful features.

RingCentral’s all-in-one contact center solution features contact center compliance risk mitigation to help agents run more effective campaigns, as well as efficient outbound dialers, campaign management tools, call blending, and list management.

What is RingCentral Engage Digital?

What’s the difference between RingCentral Engage Digital and RingCentral Contact Center?

RingCentral Engage Digital is an omnichannel digital customer engagement platform. It allows your business to add a personal touch to your customer support by unifying all your customer-facing channels.

Perhaps the best way to understand what RingCentral Engage Digital offers is by looking at its key features:

RingCentral Engage Digital’s Key Features

Advanced omnichannel functionality

RingCentral Engage Digital’s omnichannel routing capabilities support digital channels including messaging, email, social media, and more. What’s more, it features SDKs to adapt to any new channels that capture your customers’ interest. RingCentral Engage Voice, too, offers additional inbound and outbound voice capabilities.

Intelligent routing uses data to understand a customer’s intent and the kind of support they need. This helps the system match the issue with the best-qualified available agent.

Customers are happier when they can get quick solutions to their problems. RingCentral Engage Digital unifies all your digital communications, giving agents the bandwidth to handle more complex queries. The platform allows you to:

  • Merge customer profiles across digital channels
  • Get messages to the right agent every time, with smart routing based on message content and agent skill set
  • Reply instantly to straightforward queries with chatbots for self-service solutions
  • Integrate with your favorite tools, like your CRM system, to improve access to crucial data

Workforce optimization

Businesses spend most of their customer support budgets on labor and support for agents. Unlock the power of your support teams with RingCentral’s quality management tools. RingCentral combines workforce management and optimization in a single administrative environment to increase agent satisfaction and organize effective scheduling.

What’s more, performance management anticipates trends in customer needs and behaviors and allows you to track the data from your CRM. Managers and business owners can use call recording software to track agent performance and provide feedback to help them grow and optimize their skills.

Customer calling a call center
Measure workforce engagement & performance with advanced analytics

Leverage the power of data to inform your business strategies. Prebuilt reports provide the engagement manager with all they need to know about agent performance and the omnichannel experience customers receive. Track interaction analytics, listen to customer stories with customer surveys, and analyze performance reports to inform support strategies.

Real-time and historical report

Omnichannel routing increases operational flexibility and streamlines the customer support service to improve agent productivity, and enhance CX with integrated support across the customer journey.

The future of service is digital. RingCentral Engage Digital will enable you to increase customer satisfaction rates, maximize agent potential, and achieve your business objectives with an operating platform that’s scalable and grows as you grow.

Find out how Engage Digital can propel your business into the future, by viewing a demo.