The Power of Call Routing in Improving The Customer Experience

The Power of Call Routing in Improving The Customer Experience

By Lucas Brachet
Published: 3/21/23

An excellent customer service experience is essential in today's competitive business landscape.

One of the most critical aspects of delivering exceptional customer service is ensuring that incoming calls are answered and directed expertly and efficiently. Employing a cost-effective and customer-friendly call routing technology can deliver these advantages for your business and customers.

Call routing is a strategy that handles the distribution of incoming calls to the proper department, agent, or team based on the customer's needs. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of call routing, how it works, the types of call routing, best practices, and strategies for implementation.

Also, we’ve included a helpful FAQ section to answer the most common questions about call routing.

What Is Call Routing?

At its core, call routing directs incoming calls to the most appropriate center, area or person within your business. This result is achievable through a variety of different technologies, including Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automatic Call Distributors (ACDs), Private Branch Exchange (PBX), Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Call routing technology uses precise rules and algorithms to determine the most appropriate destination for incoming calls. The rules rely upon various factors, such as the time of day, the caller's location, the type of product or service requested, or the caller's language. Once established, those rules determine how incoming calls are directed without human intervention.

Major Call Routing Systems

  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems use pre-recorded voice prompts to guide callers through several options. Once selecting the option best describing the purpose of the call, IVR directs it to the appropriate party.
  • Automatic Call Distributors (ACDs) are computer systems that handle large volumes of incoming calls. They use algorithms to identify the most appropriate agent or team to take each call based on availability, skills, and language. While the call directs to a suitable agent, the ACD system will provide that agent with relevant information about the caller and their specific needs. This system aids the agent in providing efficient and effective service.
  • Private Branch Exchange (PBX) systems use a combination of hardware and software to route calls within a business. PBX systems can be located on-premises or hosted in the cloud. They can handle many call routing tasks, such as call forwarding, call waiting, and call queuing.
  • Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) systems integrate telephony technology with computer systems to provide advanced call routing elements such as screen pops and call logging. CTI systems automate call routing tasks and provide agents with relevant customer information to support them in providing timely and helpful service.
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems use the internet to transmit voice calls. VoIP systems can handle many call routing tasks, such as call forwarding and transfer. They can direct calls to specific departments or teams using extension dialing, call queues, and automated attendants based on the caller's needs.

Overall, call routing is a powerful tool for companies that receive a high volume of incoming calls. By directing calls to the most appropriate destination, companies can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their customer service, reduce wait times, and ultimately enhance the overall customer experience.

What Are The Benefits of Call Routing?

Call routing provides numerous benefits for businesses of all sizes, such as:

1. Improved customer experience

By directing phone calls to the most appropriate destination, call routing ensures that customers receive prompt and efficient service. Providing your customers with immediate attention improves their overall experience and satisfaction with your organization.

2. Increased efficiency and productivity

Call routing allows businesses to handle higher volumes of phone calls with fewer resources, improving efficiency and productivity. By directing calls to the appropriate team or agent, companies can reduce wait times, increase call resolution rates, and ultimately save time and resources.

3. Cost savings

By improving efficiency and productivity, call routing can also help businesses save money on staffing and resources. By directing calls to the appropriate destination through automated processes, companies can reduce the need for human-assisted call transfers, which can be costly and time-consuming.

4. Enhanced analytics and reporting

Call routing technology provides valuable data and insights regarding call volumes, wait times, and other metrics. This data is analyzed, and their insights are employed to optimize customer service strategies toward improving overall performance.

5. Flexibility and Customization

Call routing is customized to suit the specific needs of your company and customers. Proper call routing practices use flexible rules and algorithms to ensure customer inquiries route to the most appropriate destination based on the most relevant data. This flexibility ensures that your firm can adapt to changing customer needs and preferences over time. Make sure your call routing is firmly integrated to your other tools with our guide on VoIP integration.

How Does Call Routing Work?

Call routing technology uses predefined rules or algorithms to determine where incoming calls should go. These rules can use numerous factors, such as the time of day, the caller's location, the type of product or service requested, or the caller's language. These rules send calls to the most appropriate destination using one of several industry call routing systems, such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Automatic Call Distributors (ACD), and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Rule-based systems direct calls

When a customer calls a business, the call routing system analyzes the incoming call based on the predetermined rules. For instance, when regulations state that after-hours calls go to voicemail or an after-hours support team, the system automatically forwards the customer.

Companies might create rules directing customer calls to specific departments or teams based on the type of product or service the customer is interested in. For example, a call to the technical support line travels to the IT department. Or, a customer with billing issues is automatically sent to the finance department.

As calls move to the appropriate destination, the call routing system will provide the agent or team with relevant information about the caller and their needs. This information may include the caller's phone number, their previous interactions with the company, or their purchase history, among other things. With this information, agents can provide more efficient and effective customer service, improving overall customer experience.

What are the types of call routing?

Businesses can choose from multiple approaches to call routing to improve their customer service. These include:

  • Skills-based routing. This type of routing directs calls to agents or teams with the appropriate skills and expertise to handle the caller's specific issue or question.
  • Time-based routing. Calls are processed according to the time of day, ensuring they are answered promptly during business hours and referred to a voicemail or alternate destination outside of business hours.
  • Geographic routing. This type of routing funnels calls based on the caller's geographic location, ensuring that the right team or agent receives the call based on their physical location.
  • Multi-level routing. This type of routing uses a combination of the previously identified methods to guarantee that calls proceed to the most appropriate destination based on multiple factors.

What are call routing strategies and best practices?

Implementing call routing systems requires careful planning and strategy to ensure it meets the needs of your company and customers. Here are some best procedures and methods for implementing call routing:

Design effective call routing strategies

When designing your call routing strategy, consider the specific needs of your business and customers. First, identify the most common types of calls you receive. Then develop rules and algorithms to direct those calls to the most appropriate destination.

Provide personalized customer experiences

Personalization is critical to delivering an exceptional customer experience. Consider incorporating caller ID recognition and personalized greetings to make customers feel valued and understood.

Incorporate automation and AI

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) can be powerful tools for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your call routing system. Consider incorporating features like speech recognition and chatbots to enhance the customer experience further and streamline your call routing processes.

Call routing FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about call routing.

Q. What is the difference between call routing and call forwarding?

A. Call routing is a more sophisticated method of directing incoming calls to the most appropriate destination. Call forwarding forwards incoming calls to a predetermined phone number or voicemail without regard to any other input or considerations.

Q. How can I measure the effectiveness of call routing?

A. Call routing technology provides valuable data and insights into call volumes, wait times, and other metrics. These discoveries can help companies optimize customer service strategies and improve overall performance.

Q. How can call routing improve my sales team's performance?

A. Call routing can direct sales calls to the most appropriate sales team or an immediately available agent, increasing the chances of a successful sale and improving overall sales performance.

Q. What is the best way to set up a call routing system?

A. The best way to set up a call routing system is to work with a trusted provider who can help you identify the most appropriate call routing technology for your organization. And then customize it to meet your specific needs.

Q. Can call routing be customized for different departments or teams?

A. Yes, call routing can be highly customized to direct calls to specific departments, teams, or individuals based on the caller's needs.

Q. What kind of hardware or software is required for call routing?

A. Call routing can be implemented by choosing from several technologies, including IVR systems, VoIP, and ACDs. The specific hardware and software required will depend on the exact needs of your business.

Q. How much does call routing typically cost?

A. The cost of call routing technology will vary depending on the specific features and functionality required. However, call routing solutions are available at various price points to suit businesses of all sizes and resources.

Call routing enables exceptional customer service

Call routing is essential for delivering exceptional customer service and improving overall business performance. Businesses can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the customer experience by directing calls to the most appropriate destination. With the right call routing technology and strategies in place, companies can build a strong foundation for long-term success and profitability.

Furthermore, call routing technology provides valuable data and insights into call volumes, wait times, and other metrics. This information can assist your business in optimizing your customer service strategies and improve overall performance. By utilizing call routing technology, your company can save time and resources, increase productivity, and reduce costs.

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