Every call center employee has experienced various irritated customers. A call center should ensure a quick and efficient resolution of clients’ concerns to avoid frustrating customers. Such a service is only achievable by training agents with the right skills to address the problems of customers. Here, the skills-based routing is majorly helpful in dealing with customers, so it improves the contact center. As a result, it is essential to create an efficient skills-based routing strategy for the team.
Skill-based distribution or skill-based routing is a strategy, which is used to handle customers’ concerns by assigning skilled agents. Such as, French-speaking customers are routed to agents that speak French. This type of routing system ensures that the customer does not have to deal with unskilled employees. As a result, it reduces the chances of customers getting angry or distressed.
As an element of automatic call distributor systems, skills-based distribution tools filter all the incoming inquiries to the call center agents with the best set of skills. The harmonizing of matching incoming calls to the employees best suited to deal with particular issues. As a result, the callers experience shorter waiting times. In addition, it also reduces average handling time and rapid resolution of issues.
Advantages of Skill-based Routing
Skill-based routing renders the obvious advantage of enhancing internal workforce operations and improving the overall customer experiences. Likewise, there are various other benefits for a business.
- It decreases the average call handle times by assigning agents as per particular criteria. For instance, the choices made by the customer through an IVR. Hence, it helps in getting the right customer to the best available agent on a rapid scale.
- Skills-based routing enhances productivity through minimal training as well. So, the businesses can classify, evaluate, and score employee weaknesses and skills to build certain call assignment rules. As a result, the training programs are simplified and shortened to aim at employees’ particular skills.
- It also protects the valuable customer relationships so the companies ensure business growth through the assignment of the most skilled employees to valuable clients. As a result, every company can enhance its return in an efficient way.
Higher Employee Satisfaction
New agents always get under pressure while dealing with a dissimilar problem not covered during the training. Such employees usually seek a supervisor to deal with the problem. Most supervisors suggest passing the call to a more experienced colleague. However, if this keeps on happening then the agents get frustrated as they do not have the sufficient training and skills to deal with every query. On the other hand, the experienced agents become bored with the basic monotonous queries. So, they are unable to utilize most of their acquired knowledge and skill during such basic calls. As a result, such experienced agents may feel disengaged and may take such skills elsewhere. However, the skills-based distribution allows the best-suited agents to handle the interactions as per their skills and experience. Hence, none of the agents are over-challenged and under-challenged in any way.
Skills-based routing certifies that a customer is aided by skilled employees who have the necessary training and tools to resolve conflicts effectively. Having a specialized team with particular skills enhances customer satisfaction by confirming that issues are tackled only by highly trained agents. On the other hand, it increases the first-call resolution because it is a common call-centric metric. In addition, it ensures an agent’s ability to resolve problems the first time a customer calls. So, it is the best way to avoid a follow-up, and calls are distributed to call center employees with relevant skill sets. As a result, it increases the chances to resolve concerns immediately.
A call center agent always seeks additional training opportunities to foster and acquire new skills. Recognize the appropriate skills they attained from previous programs and create the routing strategy as per the previous programs. As a result, it reduces agent training and enhances performance management. Furthermore, skill-based routing improves the productivity and performance of call center employees. Allowing a particular employee to deal with customers’ issues and queries that are more aligned with their assigned skills. In addition, it decreases the average time with callers and lets them assist more customers more effectively than before.
Higher Customer Satisfaction & Retention
The average handle time measures the normal amount of time it takes an employee to deal with customer interaction. Likewise, skills-based distribution allows interactions to route to the employees well-suited with the situation. An experienced employee takes less time to resolve an issue as it is a familiar problem with a familiar solution. As a result, it directly leads to higher customer satisfaction as an experienced employee resolves an issue rapidly and makes customers get more satisfied. On the other hand, it results in a greater level of customer retention, so it is easy to retain customers by resolving their issues rapidly. When the clients are aware that they will be linked to an expert agent who can deal with their issues faster, they will probably stay with the company. Hence, the customers are happy to stay with the company as they always get a better experience.
Best Practices for Customer-Focused Strategy
To begin with, skills-based distribution is a method to acquire customers to the best-suited agent to address their query. The simple automatic call distributor (ACD) systems may distribute calls to the subsequent accessible employee regardless of that employee’s proficiency. The skills-based routing lets the call center elect agents as specialists in particular issues or products. Likewise, an effective skills-based routing strategy enhances employee productivity by letting agents use their personal knowledge and experience to answer questions quicker. As a result, it enhances the likelihood of first-call resolution, decreases call-handling time, and increases customer satisfaction and confidence. Therefore, it is essential to implement the best practices for creating a customer-focused strategy. Some of such efficient practices are described below.
Improve Call Distribution
If all the customers are directed to a certain agent based on just skills, it may result in frustration due to the long wait time. Hence, it is important to set up the priority rules in regards to the skill list or amalgamate other routing strategies. As a result, it helps evade overwhelming the specialized team with too many calls.
Agent Skills as per Customer Data
It is possible to consolidate the entirety of customer data across various communication channels through CRM integrations for the company’s contact center. As a result, it is easy to build and assign skills based on customer interaction history and information. Then the company can establish an ACD to connect the customers with the best agent for the job.
It is also necessary to monitor the strategy and update rules as per the need. Call center solutions like Xinix generally come with management tools that help determine whether the strategy is working or not. In addition, the usage of call monitoring tools and analytics further aid in tracking the productivity and performance of employees.
Skills-based Routing – A Good Solution
There are many benefits of skills-based routing as discussed above, so it is understandable why it is considered to be one of the most efficient solutions for call centers. Through the skills-based routing, most of the customers get their issues resolved on the first call instead of making follow-up calls about an issue. This is only achievable if the calls to directed to the agents who are the best suited and qualified to handle the respective problem. Apart from this, it also boosts the productivity and occupancy of agents at a great scale. It is difficult to deal with a vast number of queries if there is a lack of skills-based routing and a multi-skilled workforce.
Skills-based routing reduces the idle time of employees between the customers’ interaction of both basic and difficult queries. As a result, it leads to better utilization of multi-skilled agents in the most effective manner. Dedicating agents to a single form of interaction offers no pooling efficiency. With skills-based routing, the main aim on increase the extent of multi-skilling, so few agents are needed to handle the workload. Therefore, skills-based routing assists in using employees in a way that is more efficient than single dedicated teams. New employees are trained on the various call forms one by one. They are progressed after they demonstrate an expert level of skill and gain confidence by handling the interactions routed to them.