Skills-based routing is a call-assignment strategy used in call centers to assign incoming calls to the most suitable agent, instead of simply choosing the next available agent. By utilizing Interactive Voice Response, phone systems can identify what the callers’ needs are, and direct them to the best-suited agent to handle the inquiry.
Skills-based routing is quickly becoming popular in call centers, as it can increase first-call resolution (and in turn, customer satisfaction) dramatically. Customers get frustrated quickly when they realize that they are on the phone with an agent who is either not knowledgeable enough to solve their problem, or lacks the authority to do so. Skills-based routing can ensure that problems and inquiries are solved by the first agent the customer reaches, thus eliminating the need for frustrating transfers and repeating information.
Skills-based routing is also commonly used based on high priority customers.
The identity of the caller, or the telephone number used to make the call, can trigger the skills-based routing to direct the call to agents with the most skills, or highest customer satisfaction rates.
When implementing skills-based routing in call center, it’s important that multiple factors be taken into account.
The first, and most important, decision that should be made is which skills are needed. If technical support is most commonly requested by callers, the call center must ensure that there are plenty of agents available at any given time to provide this support.
Secondly, call center managers should determine the maximum amount of skills each agent can have. By have one agent on too many queues, it can quickly become both confusing and overwhelming.
Finally, skills-based routing should constantly be monitored and adjusted. There are few things customers find more frustrating that being directed to an unhelpful agent because the call center routing was incorrectly set up.