If you’re a call center, you likely be fielding hundreds of calls in a single day. Customers will be calling in with all sorts of problems and expecting the person on the other end of the phone to help. It’s why many call centers use call routing to control which incoming calls go to which representative. However, simply directing the calls to a random employee isn’t enough. You need to make sure the person answering to the customer is knowledgeable in the topic your customer is calling about. This is where skills-based routing comes in. A key call center strategy, skills-based routing will improve your customer service while boosting the efficiency of your call center.
What is skills-based routing?
Imagine you just opened up a credit card with your bank. You go to the store only for your card to be declined. You want to get to the bottom of things, so you call your bank. Once you’ve defined what your problem is, you’re then routed to a representative that specifically handles declined credit cards. The person on the other end of the phone knows exactly what the problem is, fixes it, and you hang up the phone satisfied.
Now imagine that when you call your bank, you’re not routed to that specific credit card representative. Instead, you’re sent to a representative who only has a general knowledge of credit card problems. Because they’re not as familiar with the topic, you sit on the phone longer than you’d like until they finally figure it out. When you hang up the phone, you’re far more frustrated than you were in the first scenario.
In the first scenario, the bank’s call center is using skills-based routing. A customer calls, they identify their problem, and they’re routed to a representative who is best able to solve that customer’s problem. Through skills-based routing, customers get the help they need from someone with specific knowledge about their problem.
Why should businesses use skills-based routing?
As the scenarios posed above prove, using skills-based routing can ensure that a customer’s problem is dealt with quickly and efficiently by putting them in front of someone who is best suited to solve their problem. This can also help with other issues, such as:
If a customer is talking with the person with the most knowledge on their specific subject, then it’s more likely that their problem will be solved. They won’t be calling in again and again because the people they keep talking to aren’t able to properly help them.
If you have customers who call in frequently, then they likely will have developed a relationship with a specific person in your call center. If that’s the case, you’ll want to use skills-based routing to connect them to that person who can help them the best.
How to use skills-based routing
Now that you know why you should use skills-based routing, the next thing you’re likely wondering is how you should use it. Thankfully, implementing skills-based routing can be relatively simple by using a few of these steps:
Determine customer patterns
Look through your CRM, call recordings, and transcripts to determine what customers are calling about and how often. If you have customers frequently calling about one topic, then you’ll want to make sure you have a team of experts on that very topic. This also means identifying the particular strengths of your employees to best determine who should handle what problems.
Identify training opportunities
In order to handle your customer’s problems, you need to make sure there’s someone on your staff who can answer them. As you’re implementing skills-based routing, you’ll likely need to fill in the gaps to ensure that every possible topic is covered.
Balance call distribution
Having specialized teams will make sure that your customers are talking to experts. However, as important as skills-based routing is, you shouldn’t be ranking your calls on skills alone. This can cause specific teams to become overwhelmed with work, while others are just sitting there twiddling their thumbs. One way to handle this is to properly staff each team with the right number of people. You should also train members of other teams to be able to answer questions on other topics in case another team becomes overwhelmed.