How does skill based routing work?

What Is Skill Based Routing And How Does It Work?


27 January 2023

Nothing irritates customers more than being routed to the wrong agent who is not skilled enough to handle the request. Haven’t you too gone through such frustrating situations? So here’s where skill based routing steps in.

To increase first-call resolution rates and guarantee a positive customer experience, there's nothing better than skill based routing.



1. What is skill based routing in a contact center?

2. How Does Routing Based on Skills Work in a Contact center?

3. Omnichannel skill based routing - What is it? 

4. Why should you use skill based routing for your contact center?

5. How to implement skill based routing in your contact center?


What is skill based routing in a contact center?

Skill based routing is the ability of the contact center platform to automatically route inbound calls to the most efficient contact center agent based on his or her skills and proficiency.

The skill based routing system will request the caller to select one or more categories to describe their issue and preferred language. The system will now choose the best agent for the job and connect them with the consumer using the information it has gathered.

Basically, skill based routing routes inbound calls to the agent or group of agents whose abilities are best suited to address the caller's specific requirements based on various parameters like language, location, product and other knowledge. 

Effective call center solutions store the agent's skills according to their level of expertise. This is done from admin dashboard -> Agents -> Skill. The skills can be provided a weightage. You can choose between 1 to 100 when assigning agents skill levels. The metrics then distributes incoming calls to available agents according to their level of competence. 

For instance, if your customer needs assistance in Arabic language, your brightest English-speaking agent will be of zero value in that particular case. What they need is what must be provided. A study by MarketsandMarkets estimates that the call routing market will grow at a CAGR of 12.5% from 2020 to 2025, reaching a market size of $7.9 billion by 2025. This growth is attributed to the increasing adoption of cloud-based solutions, the growing demand for customer service automation, and the need for efficient call routing in the healthcare and financial services industries.

So with this skill based routing method, the customer won't have to interact with agents who are unable to help them. This lowers the likelihood of your customers becoming irate and improves the chances of better and faster customer support.

How Does Routing Based on Skills Work in a Contact center?

Automatic call distribution (ACD) is a core call routing and diverting system that analyzes the needs and details of an incoming call to determine which agent has the best set of abilities to handle it. Incoming calls are thus routed to the first agent on the list who is available via an ACD-powered contact center solution and this process is known as skills-based routing (SBR). It significantly improves your resolution time and enhances customer experience by efficiently matching cases to agents.

IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is a term used frequently to describe an automated call system in which users are shown a pre-configured phone menu to better understand their needs. Users navigate through particular sets of questions and enter their answers using the keypad on their phone. Before connecting the call with the user, the system can gather all the information an agent could require to address the user's issue.

IVR then transfers the call to the ACD and the call is routed to the agent who is available with the right skill and highest weightage.

Skill based routing may easily streamline your inflow of calls and provide a better resolution experience for your customers by simply assigning the incoming call to the right skill and sending them to suitable agents in your team.

ACD collects call context and information using a variety of techniques, Call tracking details like the phone number and location(in some regions), the self-service IVR determines the call reason, the CRM system defines purchase history and customer journey, and the customer's profile offers insights like language preferences. So with the gathered data, an automated call distributor (ACD) queues up the incoming calls. Based on the IVR responses from the consumer and the agent's skills and expertise, the ACD will then assign the call to the right agent.


Omnichannel skill based routing - What is it? 

With Omnichannel, customers can now contact support and sales representatives in a variety of ways, including chat, video call, SMS, email, social media, and messengers. In order to satisfy consumer needs, contact centers and customer service divisions must provide different channels of communication. In this situation, skill based routing involves not just calls. Using this method, all kinds of client contacts are possible. These routing tactics can be set up for emails, social media posts and other digital interactions. Setting up a omnichannel routing will be quite helpful for businesses to provide a consistent client experience across the board.

Why should you use skill based routing for your contact center?


Reason 1:  First call resolution

A customer’s ability to connect with the correct agent on their first attempt is the best advantage of skill based routing.  In this competitive world, nobody wants to waste their time or energy on an inefficient agent. Getting connected with the right agent speeds up and improves the efficiency of the process for both customers and agents. Most importantly, customers have a far better probability of having their issues resolved within the first engagement when they are directed to the right agent with the right skills. 


Reason 2: Improved Customer Experience 

As skill based routing streamlines the support process, your customers' interactions with you will be significantly improved. Frustrating hold times and call transfer have remained the two things that bother customers the most when they approach a customer service department. The complexities of such issues are reduced with the use of skill based routing. Since the caller is connected with the most qualified agent right away, who is significantly more likely to be able to resolve their issue at the first point of contact, skill based routing often results in shorter call wait times and higher first-time resolution rates. Call queues also tend to go shorter since the correct personnel are answering calls the first time, which improves the customer experience.

Reason 3: An increase in agent performance

Your team's productivity will naturally increase when there are better chances for call resolutions. The effective performance will boost staff satisfaction and engagement even more, which is crucial for every contact center. An increased return on investment is the best outcome of greater employee engagement.

Reason 4: Agent Training 

Each call center agent does not need to be an expert in every area when using a skills-based routing method. The channels, languages, and subject areas that agents are most familiar with or have experience with can be used. A new agent may choose to focus just on a few specific items and build skills. Due to the quick exposure to similar requests, training and learning on the job proceed more quickly.

Reason 5: Increases Contact Center Efficiency

Many KPIs, including average handle time, first contact resolution, brief waiting periods, etc., can be improved via skills-based routing. In addition, it helps raise contact center productivity and overall customer happiness. Thus improvement in the efficiency of contact center can be ensured.


How to implement skill based routing in your contact center?

To implement skill based routing, all you have to do is connect with C-Zentrix. With our top-notch cloud contact center solution we will make your contact center's journey smoother. With CZ ACD together with skill based routing, you can accomplish a lot. It automatically routes calls to the agents, reducing the time lost in manual call transfers. The CZ CCaaS Platform offers this as a basic offering. The CZ ACD controls all call routing. Whether a call comes through a VoIP network, PRI or Time-division Multiplex (TDM) network, this is one of the most reliable call controllers that manage each and every call. Thus ensuring enhanced customer experience.


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