Call center-based businesses often find themselves investing huge sums of money in technology, especially when it comes to efficient call management, distribution and routing. Either that or they try to cope without the functionality that they require due to the costs involved in deployment. This should no longer be the case due to the rapid development of hosted and ‘private cloud’ based solutions, which provide all of the functionality and user-friendly web interfaces (for management and configuration) but without the need for capital expenditure or new equipment, or any requirement for highly skilled technical personnel.
Here are ten of the most common ways that our clients use our hosted call center functionality to proactively and efficiently manage their call routing.
- CLI-based routing – calling line identity routing enables you to give priority to particular CLIs in your queues. For example you could allow repeat callers to automatically jump any queue more than five minutes long. A little bit of further integration with your CRM system would mean that you could give priority to your VIP customers or route their calls to a specialist team automatically.
- Dialled number priority – this option enables you to give priority to callers who have dialled specific numbers or selected a particular combination of options within your menu system. This means that you could prioritise calls coming in from a particular marketing campaign or advert or calls from customers that you know are interested in particular products or have indicated that they are dissatisfied.
- Skills-based routing – using skills-based routing means that you can automatically direct particular incoming calls to specialist agent groups who have the right expertise. This means that not only can you can organise your agents in multiple skills groups but you can also allocate them into those groups in real-time, depending on the type and volume of incoming calls. Similarly you can allocate agents to different groups for handling different channels such as calls, webchats and e-mails.
- Dynamic-routing based on caller behaviour – this option enables you to route calls automatically to the right agent skills group based on tracking what the caller has been looking at on your website, or by using different numbers for different marketing campaigns, different types of enquiry or different products.
- Agent transfers and three-way conferencing – the ability to transfer from one agent to another or to have three people conferencing on one call means that, for example, if a caller has misdialled then their call can easily and quickly be put through to the right department, even if that’s in another building or at an outsourcer.
- Routing based on real-time database lookups or offline file uploads – this could mean capturing the telephone number of customers who have recently placed an order by phone, so that any repeat calls from the same number are routed to your customer service agents rather than your sales agents in order to speed up the handling of these calls and ensure a good customer experience.
- Geographic mapping – this option enables you to route incoming calls based on the caller’s geographic location, ideal for those businesses with multiple call centers in different geographic locations. For example, a DIY retailer may wish to route inbound calls to their nearest branch based on the geographical location of the caller.
- Ratio distribution – ratio distribution enables you to balance the proportion of calls that are allocated between multiple sites (including outsourcers) according to how many people are available to answer calls at each site. Alternatively you could allocate calls between sites using sequential routing whereby calls are routed between sites or groups of agents in sequence.
- Automated callbacks – a network-level hosted call routing system also allows you to push useful real-time information to your agents as they work so that, for example, they are alerted to abandoned calls in queues and can ring callers back immediately.
- Estimated queue time on hold – a good way of reducing your call abandon rate is to let callers know approximately how long they will have to hold, rather than telling them their position in the queue. Knowing their queue position can put callers off queuing altogether as they have no idea of the size of the call center and therefore how quickly their call will be answered, whereas letting them know approximately how long they’ll have to queue enables them to make an informed decision.
These are just some of the ways that you can use the call routing features of a hosted, cloud-based call management solution to reduce call abandon rates, maximise the chances of callers talking to the right person straight away and balance your incoming calls between multiple sites. This kind of flexibility can help you improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your contact center and customer service substantially.