How to Build Effective Call Center Routing Strategies: Use Logic & Actions for Omnichannel Routing to Reduce Effort in Your Customer Experience
When I call my doctor’s office, I’m immediately greeted by a self-service menu with a host of options. I can press one to connect to someone in the scheduling department. I can press two to speak with billing. Or, I can press three to talk to a nurse. They even give me the option to press zero and immediately connect with a live agent, regardless of the reason for my call. (The last time I tried that I got transferred six times, though.)
But when I reach out via email, my experience isn’t the same. It’s nowhere close, really. I send an email to the main office, and a week or so later, I get a response. In that response, someone at the front desk asks me for more info so they can connect me to the right department. Then… get this… I wait even longer for someone from the correct department to reach back out.
What I could’ve accomplished in a 15-minute phone call took me two weeks with email.
The big problem?
I much prefer to email vs. call. But if I want fast help, I’m forced to call. I’m funneled into an experience that doesn’t fit my preferences. You can bet I take a mental note of that while frustration slowly festers with every call I have to make. And, you can bet again that I now choose doctors who let me schedule online – no phone call needed.
Omnichannel call center routing strategies fix broken experiences.
Traditional routing strategies and IVRs mirror that of my doctor’s office. A customer calls in, an IVR serves up a few options to punch through with DTMF tones, and the IVR sends them off to the right agent.
While sending an email is extraneous – it uses a separate routing strategy. More often, though, email doesn’t have a routing strategy at all. Instead, customer interactions sit in inbox wasteland until someone manually weeds through the requests.
But many of your customers are like me. Only 19% of modern customers reach for the phone to call customer service. And another 70% expect self-service from the companies they do business with. Customers today don’t want to pick up the phone. And they don’t want to barter with you and hand over two weeks of their time in exchange for the ability to send an email.
Instead, they want to reach out how they prefer and get the same experience (and a fast response) regardless of channel.
With omnichannel routing using Sharpen Logic – a decision-making, omnichannel workflow built to replace your IVR, your call center routing strategies aren’t limited to phone calls. Whether your customers reach out via web chat, SMS, video, or social media, they have the same experience reaching an agent or getting a quick answer from a bot (with the help of Sharpen Actions).
We’re walking through how to use Sharpen Logic & Actions for omnichannel routing in your contact center. Read on to learn how to configure interaction flows that fit your customer (and agent) needs to improve efficiency and accuracy in your customer experience.
Choose your routing rules
To build out your interaction flows with Logic & Actions, first you have to set the ground rules.
What’s important to your customers when you route their interactions? Do your agents all have the same skill set, or are some more technical than others? Do callers need to enter information (and authenticate it) in your IVR, like a bank account number? Or, do you need to route interactions based on priority – for those customers who need extra attention?
Shortlist the factors that matter most to your customer journey, then determine what to account for as you set your routing rules.
In an omnichannel IVR, like Logic, you can configure queues and interaction flows based on tons of factors, like: priority, agent skills, time controls, channel type, customer needs, urgency, or ring strategies (to send interactions to agents who’ve gone the longest without getting one). You can even define interaction flows to pull data from your CRM or ticketing systems, then make a decision based on that information.
Decide what rules are required, and which are preferred.
Say you have a customer who needs technical help, but your tier 3 agents have backloaded queues. Is it more important to send the customer through to an agent qualified to help them? Or, is it more important to keep their wait time low?
Give priority to the rules that matter most to your specific customer journey (like keeping the agents who say LOL off chat).
As you set your rules, also think through how to give customers more autonomy in the journey. Letting your customers press 0 and barge through the auto-attendant to reach a live agent is an option. And, so is being mindful of your customers’ time and assigning them to callback queues.
Pro Tip: Your data will tell you what matters to customers. If customer history shows customers abandon calls while waiting on the line, wait times matter. If customers fume in frustration when getting transferred to a different agent, agent expertise matters. Look to your data to inform your decisions. More on that, over here.
Put routing rules into action
The ultimate goal of your routing is to reduce friction and effort as you connect customers with agents. After all, we know high-effort experiences cause 96% of consumers to jump ship.
To do so, you have to build interaction flows using the rules that match best with your customer journey.
With Sharpen Logic, you can build interaction flows in a visual, drag-and-drop interface. You use different panels to route your interactions based on the criteria and rules you set.
Here are a few of the panels you can use to build out your workflows:
- Match panels. Route interactions based on customer responses to a specific question. Like if a customer says “password,” the request matches with the routing rules you set for getting help with passwords.
- Capture panels. This option lets you route interactions based on info customers enter during your IVR, like a bank account number.
- Time Controls. Route interactions differently based on your operating hours.
To learn how else you can build custom interaction flows, reach out to us – we’d love to help you develop your call center routing strategies.
Automate pieces of your routing to improve efficiency (and accuracy) in the customer experience.
As Logic works in the background to get customers’ interactions into the right hands, you can automate pieces of the journey to make them happen faster.
Enter, Sharpen Actions. Action Bots are automations that perform actions based on triggers set in your interaction flows.
Using Action Bots within your Logic workflows lets you automate pieces of the customer journey to help customers with simple tasks, like checking an order status or an account balance. Or, you can trigger an Action Bot to go find data in your CRM or ticketing system and bring it back to an agent to inform their customer call.
Action Bots work behind the scenes to crawl your databases and connected systems. On their own, Action Bots are intelligent enough to handle simple requests, complete tasks, or trigger follow-up actions without tagging in a live agent. And once a task gets too detailed for the bot (or history proves the customer would prefer a live agent), the bot will route the customer to an agent with the skillset to handle the interaction.
Since more than 60% of customers like to problem-solve on their own without talking to a human, this low-effort experience breeds customer happiness and loyalty.
Whatever the use case, Action bots follow your pre-determined workflows and help your agents serve customers faster. And they eliminate inconsistencies in your customer journey and improve the accuracy of resolutions by using data from across your systems to personalize the customer experience.
Iterate and improve your interaction flows as your customer journey evolves.
The best part? Logic & Actions is core to your system, so you can get detailed data to help forecast customer needs and train your agents.
Then, you can use the data to update and change your Logic workflows on the fly. With drag and drop tools, managers of all skill levels can change interaction paths and optimize the customer journey without bugging IT or calling in a vendor (and waiting weeks) to update workflows crucial to a better customer experience.