Contact Centre

Which Inbound Contact Centre Routing Method is Best For You?

Today’s businesses use technologies that are incredibly sophisticated and capable. From the powerful devices we carry around in our pockets to our watches and software, we have an overwhelming number of functions and features in our grasp. However, that can be a problem.

In an inbound contact centre environment, delivering an exceptional quality of service starts long before your agents begin to speak. The way calls are handled when they enter your environment – the way they’re routed – can be the difference between a positive outcome and a frustrated customer. But with so many options, how do you decide which is best for you?

To help, here’s a short guide to the six key call routing methods in your inbound contact centre solution. For more information on contact centre features take a look at What is a hosted contact centre?

1. Direct routing / hunt groups

The standard model for handling calls, direct routing takes inbound calls to a single line, then distributes it over multiple phone lines. These could be in your office, mobile devices, or a huge global network of agents. Direct routing simply gets the call to an agent – it’s simple, fast, and often used by small businesses.

2. Least idle or occupied

If you’re concerned about the performance of a specific agent, or keen to ensure that calls are distributed fairly across the workforce, least idle or occupied routing can help.

Your inbound contact centre solution simply sends calls to the agent who has been waiting for the longest or used the least throughout the session. However, while this can be effective, it’s important to remember that it helps with a symptom of unmotivated agents – not the underlying cause.

3. Skill-based routing

If you’re prioritising service or the nature of your business means different agents have vastly different areas of expertise, skills-based routing ensures customers always speak to the right person for the job.

You will need to:

  • Assign agents a skill level for different tasks / call types
  • Identify call types (typically through IVR or different inbound numbers)
  • Route the call to the available agent with the highest skill level

4. Priority routing

If you have a strong understanding of your customers, you can give certain callers priority routing over others. For example, you may use priority routing to ensure a customer that is looking to make a big spend is always routed to a senior member of the team.

5. Agent-specific queues

For the most part, an inbound contact centre solution should be configured for speed – to get callers to an agent who can do the job, with a minimum of waiting time. However, there may be instances when you want to give customers the ability to reach specific agents.

This can be achieved in two ways:

  • A simple IVR system where callers can select an agent and, if the agent is busy, be added to a private queue
  • A PIN-based system where callers can be routed to a specific team

6. Nuisance call routing

Finally, there are those rare occasions when you may need to route calls that you don’t want your agents to receive. Every contact centre is sometimes subject to nuisance calls and your inbound contact centre solution should be able to route these to voicemail or a separate queue based on caller ID.

The best inbound routing is blended

While every call routing method has its own strengths and weaknesses, there’s no one-size-fits-all. In fact, even if you decide on a routing strategy that makes sense for your environment today, there’s a good chance it will be less effective as your call centre grows, changes, and responds to shifting customer expectations.

As a result, it’s not just important to find an inbound contact centre solution that includes a choice of routing methods. The best results come from a solution that’s easy to use and quick to configure, allowing you to experiment, change, and choose the best method for the moment. Find out more about the benefits of advanced call routing here.

Explore Hostcomm’s inbound contact centre solution.
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