Skill-based Routing: How Contact Centers Can Benefit from it?
Customer experience has become a key differentiator for companies in the last few years. Customers expect quick solutions to their problems, and contact centers are crucial in meeting these expectations. But with the increasing volume of customer interactions across multiple channels, it becomes challenging for contact centers to ensure that customers relate to the most suitable agent to handle their issues. This is where skill-based routing comes in, allowing contact centers to route calls to the most skilled and available agents, ensuring their performance is optimized with enhanced customer satisfaction.
In this blog post, we will learn more about skill-based routing, how it works, and its benefit to contact centers.
What is Skill-Based Routing?
Skill-based routing is a process that allows contact centers to match customers with the most suitable agents based on the skills required to handle their inquiries or issues. This routing process is typically based on the agent’s skill set and expertise, ensuring that customers relate to agents who can provide them with the best possible solutions.
Skill-based routing is accomplished using Automatic Call Distributors (ACDs) that can identify the skills and availability of agents and then route calls to the most appropriate agent. ACDs can also use customer data such as their history, account type, or even their preferred language to ensure that they relate to the right agent.
How does Skill-based Routing Work?
As we know that skill-based routing is a technology that is designed to work by analyzing incoming queries and leading them to the most suitable available agent. It is essential to know more about the steps involved in skill-based routing. These steps are:
Identification of Agent Skills: efore implementing skill-based routing, the company must identify the skills required to handle different types of customers and their queries. The skills can be related to product knowledge, language proficiency, technical expertise, and soft skills, such as communication and problem-solving.
Routing Rules: Once the skills are identified, the company sets up routing rules in the automated system that match the customer query to the appropriate agent. The routing rules can be based on various criteria, such as customer preferences, query type, agent availability, and priority level.
Incoming Query Analysis: When an incoming query is received, the automated system analyzes the query based on the established routing rules. The system looks at various factors, such as the query type, language, customer preference, and priority level, to determine which agent best handles the query.
Agent Selection: Based on the analysis, the system selects the most appropriate agent for the query and routes the query to that agent. The system can use various methods to determine agent availability, such as queue management, time-based routing, or real-time availability monitoring.
Agent Response: Once the query is routed to the agent, the agent can view the customer details and query information on their screen. The agent can then respond to the query based on their skills and expertise, using various tools such as knowledge bases, scripts, and chatbots.
Query Resolution: The agent resolves the query based on their expertise, using the available resources and tools. If the agent cannot resolve the query, they can transfer the query to another agent with the required skills.
Follow-up: Once the query is resolved, the agent can follow up with the customer to ensure their query has been resolved satisfactorily.
Benefits of Skill-Based Routing
As we have learned some facts about skill-based routing, this technology is essential in the operations of a successful contact center. Skill-based routing can provide numerous benefits for contact centers, including:
Increased First Contact Resolution (FCR)
Customers become agitated when their issues must be resolved at first contact. Therefore, it is essential to resolve the problems quickly. With skill-based routing, customers relate to agents with the skills and expertise to handle their problems, resulting in higher FCR rates. This can improve customer satisfaction, increasing loyalty and dependency on the company.
Improved Agent Efficiency
Skill-based routing ensures that agents are assigned calls based on their skill set, enabling them to handle calls more efficiently, resulting in higher first-call resolution rates and reduced handling times. This can lead to agents handling more calls and improving their overall productivity, ultimately reducing costs for the contact center.
Reduced Agent Turnover
By matching agents with the types of calls they excel at handling, skill-based routing can help reduce the stress and frustration that agents may experience when handling calls that are outside their expertise. This can lead to improved job satisfaction, reduced agent turnover rates, and reduced associated costs of recruitment and training.
Scalability and Flexibility
Skill-based routing is scalable and flexible, making it suitable for all sizes and complexities of contact centers. It can be easily customized to fit the specific needs of the contact center, including the number of agents, channels, and departments. Skill-based routing also enables contact centers to adjust to changing business needs and seasonal demands, such as hiring additional agents during peak periods.
Personalized Customer Service
Nowadays, customers want personalized services which make them feel special. The same is adopted by skill-based routing as it allows contact centers to match customers with agents who speak their language or have specific knowledge about their account or history. This can result in a more personalized and practical customer service experience, ultimately improving the customer satisfaction rate.
Increased Cross-Selling and Up-Selling Opportunities
Contact centers can increase cross-selling and up-selling opportunities by matching customers with agents with the skills and knowledge to offer additional products or services. Cross-selling is a method in which the agents provide information about other products or services, which can add value to the customer experience. Up-selling is when agents suggest upgrades or add-ons to improve customer service.
Real-Time Reporting and Analytics
Skill-based routing provides valuable data insights that can be used to improve contact center performance. By analyzing the routing data, contact centers can identify areas of improvement in agent training, process optimization, and customer experience. This enables contact centers to make data-driven decisions that drive business results.
Skill-based routing can be applied to different communication channels, including voice, email, chat, social media, etc. This enables contact centers to provide a seamless customer experience across multiple channels, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Skill-based routing can increase revenue. Companies can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing customers with faster and more accurate responses to their issues, leading to increased sales and revenue. Additionally, by reducing the overall handling time for each query, agents can handle more queries per hour, which can increase the overall capacity of the customer service team to handle incoming questions.
Better Resource Allocation
Skill-based routing can also help companies to allocate their resources appropriately. By analyzing incoming queries and matching them to agents with the appropriate skills, companies can better understand the most common queries types and the necessary skills to handle them. This can help companies allocate their resources more efficiently, ensuring they have the correct number of agents with the right skills to handle incoming queries.
Reduced Training Costs
Skill-based routing can reduce training costs. By matching agents with queries that suit their skills, companies can reduce the time and money spent on training agents to handle a wide range of questions. This can reduce the training time and costs required for new agents and ongoing training costs for existing agents.
Skill-based routing can increase the Efficiency of customer service operations. By matching incoming queries to agents with the appropriate skills, companies can reduce the number of transfers and callbacks required to resolve issues. This reduces the overall handling time for each query and enables agents to handle more per hour. This, in turn, can help reduce customer wait times, a critical factor in customer satisfaction.
In conclusion, skill-based routing is a powerful tool to help contact centers provide better customer service, increase agent productivity, and optimize call center resources. By skill-based routing, contact centers can ensure incoming calls and requests are routed to the most qualified agent based on their skill set and expertise. The benefits of skill-based routing include faster resolution times, higher customer satisfaction, increased agent productivity, and improved call center efficiency. Overall, implementing skill-based routing is a valuable investment for contact centers looking to improve their operations and deliver better customer service.
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