Call routing is a call management procedure wherein a call is sent to a specific queue after being qualified by the telephony system. Any number of reasons can cause a call to be routed to a queue: call volume, time of day, language preference of the caller, or specific department requested, among others.
Benefits of a Good Call Routing System
Call routing systems are alternatively known as Automatic Call Distributors (ACD). Similar to how auto-dialers work for outbound calls, ACDs automatically queue inbound calls for agents to increase utilization and reduce dead-air periods between calls. If the ACD is integrated via CTI with a good CRM software, agents can also anticipate the incoming calls while the routing is not yet complete.
Advanced ACDs can also implement and follow complex rules when routing calls, like considering how many skilled agents to leave open to receive highly specialized calls (i.e. reserving a highly-knowledgeable Spanish sales agent when demand for the Spanish queue is higher than average, etc), or even the efficiency score of sales agent groups.
Types of Call Routing
One of the most common reasons for routing a call is location and time. Depending on the proximity and availability of a specific contact center, calls can be routed to another city or state. In other instances, because of offshore outsourcing, some calls are even routed to other countries. The benefit of routing in these instances is to be able to standardize if not normalize business hours for customers from multiple locations and time zones.
Another type of call routing is specific to sales: skills-based routing. Calls routed this way are often pre-screened before reaching the agent. For example, a user might have dialed a number in the IVR that corresponds to the department that handles phone plan upgrades. The system will then look for an available or soon-to-be available sales representative who belongs to the existing customer sales department. Additionally, the system will review the agent’s proficiency in the product, efficiency in taking a call, and even his overall sales score before completing the match and placing the call directly in his queue.
In rarer instances, a call might even be routed to an interactive voice response (IVR) system to alleviate the network strain caused by high call volume.