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Today’s customers are demanding better customer service.

They call your business expecting that you’d be able to offer a timely response, solve their problems, and give them personalized interactions. According to a Microsoft report, 22% of US consumers find being passed between

agents as the most frustrating aspect of a customer service experience. Meanwhile, 21% think that it’s frustrating to call a business multiple times for the same issue.

When a customer calls you, it’s an opportunity for direct contact, which can influence their buyer’s journey. Furthermore, they connect with you to help resolve their issues. Being able to address their concerns effectively and efficiently is one of the hallmarks of excellent customer service. Consequently, poor customer service experience can drive away customers and affect your profits.

Modern call centres are leveraging new technologies and strategies to improve both customer service and sales performance. One such strategy is call routing. When done correctly, call routing can reduce hold time, deliver a better customer service experience, help you avoid any missed opportunities, and increase your sales.

What is Call Routing?

Call routing, also known as call centre routing or automatic call distributor, is a system that helps call centres better manage incoming call. It organizes calls into a queue and then distributes them to the appropriate agents or departments, like your sales team.

Generally, a call routing system uses a routing engine that delivers or distributes the caller to the appropriate agent. This queueing and distribution model is based on your predetermined rules and criteria.  It’s automatic and happens even before your customers interact with your agents.

Having a call routing strategy can help businesses keep up with high call volumes and resolve different issues without compromising your operation’s efficiency and effectiveness. It helps mitigate factors to customer frustration, such as language barriers, long hold times, and long resolution. It enables you to send a caller quickly and efficiently to the right agent or department.

There are different call routing strategies that you can use, such as direct call routing and skills-based call routing, and the right choice depends on what your needs are.

The Advantages of Call Routing for Businesses

Call routing brings several benefits, including:

·      Lower customer waiting times

Call routing helps ensure that customers are connected to the right agent or department faster—their calls are immediately delivered to an agent, giving them a better opportunity of having their problems or queries resolved. Lower hold times also let your customers know that you value their time.

·      Better customer experiences

Your customers will be directed to the right person who can help resolve their questions, inquiries, or concerns. This lets you improve not only your first-call resolution rates but also other customer service Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Moreover, better customer service experience can help generate more revenue for your company.

·      Optimize operations

Your agents can take on calls that are best suited to their expertise. They won’t have to constantly redirect callers to the right department or agent, helping them save time so they can focus on other important tasks, as well as on the customer who’s on the line. For example, if you’re using skills-based call routing, your agents can handle calls for issues that are under their expertise. This also helps give your agents more balanced workloads, preventing them from getting too overworked.

·      Lower call abandonment rates and missed phone calls

By placing callers in the right queue, you’re essentially gathering relevant information, which can help minimize dropped calls. For example, your call routing system can ask callers to dial a certain number to talk to a French-speaking agent or press a different number to access a portal for product sales inquiries. Also, with call routing, you’ll be able to reduce missed phone calls, allowing you to tap more opportunities for growing your business.

Types of Call Routing Strategies

There are several types of call routing strategies. Below, we’re listing some of the more common ones:

·      Direct call routing

With direct call routing, a customer dials a specific number that connects them to the right department. It’s also a basic customer service approach. For example, if a customer wants to reach your sales department, they need to dial the specific number for that department. If it happens to be busy, then the customer will have to wait or redial the number to talk to an available agent.

·      Automated call routing

Unlike direct call routing, where you have a different number for each department, automated call routing uses the same number for all departments. However, it uses an IVR or an interactive voice response system that gathers information about the customer in order for them to be directed to the right department, even without having to speak to an agent.

Let’s say a customer calls your office. They’re greeted by pre-recorded messages that collect information and will instruct them the number to dial to access a specific department or service. If they want to access your customer service department, they need to press “1”. To be redirected to your sales department, they’ll have to press “2”. Once an agent becomes available, they’ll then be connected to that agent. Moreover, an IVR can help reduce hold times and allow customers to get answers for basic queries.

·      Skills-based call routing

Skills-based call routing connects callers to the right agent by matching their needs and directing their call to an available specialist or to the most qualified agent. This call routing strategy also enables organizations to optimally utilize their human resources.

·      Dynamic and service level routing


Sometimes, even when you match a customer with the best agent for their needs, this doesn’t always translate to satisfied customers. Dynamic and service level routing lets you utilize “reserve” agents in cases where your predetermined wait times are about to be breached, instead of prolonging their hold times while waiting for an expert to be available. It helps maintain your customer service levels without compromising the quality of your response.

Improving Customer Service and Sales Levels with Call Routing

As we’ve previously mentioned, when done correctly, call routing is an invaluable solution that can increase your sales. By working on improving customer service. you’re giving customers plenty of reasons to keep coming back to your business.

It reduces churn, improves customer lifetime value, helps with branding, and encourages customer loyalty. Loyal customers are a great source of revenue, as they’re likely to spend more than new customers do.

On Call Centre can equip your business with a call routing system that can greatly improve your operations. We are a full-service bilingual call centre that offers answering services, virtual reception, message management, and more. Transform the way you do business with a call routing system. Let us know how we can help you grow.

At On Call Centre , we deliver exceptional customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year—sometimes 366. On Call Centre has been providing tailored, fluently French/English bilingual answering services and call centre services to small business owners (professionals, trades) and customer support departments (government, high tech, property management, healthcare, emergency clients) serving Ottawa , Montreal and Toronto —and all over Canada —for almost 50 years.