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Top Reasons You Need Skills-based Routing in Your Omnichannel Customer Service

by Anastasia Micic | Published On October 12, 2023

Enhance your contact center performance with skills-based routing. Uncover the significance of directing your customers to the appropriate customer service representative.

In the modern, interconnected marketplace, consumers increasingly seek seamless and personalized service across diverse communication platforms—be it via phone, chat, email, or social media. Skills-based routing is crucial for businesses striving to meet this high standard. This approach systematically directs customer inquiries to agents most equipped to handle them based on their specific skills and knowledge. As a cornerstone of omnichannel customer service, this intelligent routing aims to unify the customer journey across all touchpoints, ensuring a consistent, high-quality experience. 

However, this is no small feat: 43% of organizational leaders cite creating omnichannel experiences as one of the most challenging tasks in improving customer experience, and an equal percentage report that customer demands for such experiences have surged.

Implementing skills-based routing demands a blend of human expertise, operational adjustments, technological capabilities, and strategic vision. Now is the time to delve deeper into intelligent routing and its pivotal role in shaping exceptional omnichannel customer service experiences.

Benefits of Skills-Based Routing in Omnichannel Customer Service

Skills-based routing in omnichannel customer service offers a plethora of benefits that enhance both customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

  • Unified Customer Experience: Regardless of the channel they choose—phone, chat, email, or social media—customers receive consistent and reliable support, fostering trust and loyalty.

  • Context Preservation: Agents are equipped with access to previous customer interactions, enabling more informed and efficient issue resolution.

  • Agent Specialization: By routing inquiries based on agents' specific skills, resolution times are optimized, ensuring that customers are assisted by the most competent and knowledgeable individuals. 

  • Reduced Agent Overload: Skills-based routing ensures that customer inquiries are directed to agents best suited to handle them, spreading the workload evenly. This not only prevents agent burnout but also optimizes response times, enhancing overall performance.

  • Personalization: Skills-based routing matches customers with agents who have specialized expertise relevant to the inquiry. These agents can provide recommendations and guidance tailored to the customer's specific needs and preferences, elevating the quality of each interaction to a more personalized level.

  • Reduced Wait Times: Skills-based routing facilitates quick access to the most suitable agent, minimizing customer frustration and abandoned calls.

How to Ensure Successful Implementation of Intelligent Routing?

Skills Identification and Mapping

Implementing skills-based routing starts by identifying the specialized skills each agent possesses. These skills are essential for handling various types of inquiries and serve as the foundation for the next step - skills mapping. The process of skills mapping involves meticulously associating individual agents with appropriate skill categories, ensuring a seamless and precise match between agent expertise and customer needs, which is central to delivering a high-level service.

Meeting Customer Expectations

73% of customers anticipate that businesses will have an understanding of their needs and expectations. 

Omnichannel data integration is one method that gathers information from various customer touchpoints into one unified system, often using CRM tools. This consolidated data provides insights into customer behavior and past interactions. Skills-based routing can also assign customers to agents based on their menu selections. By understanding these customer attributes or selections, the system can effectively match customers with agents best suited to address their needs.

Efficient Workload Management

Workload distribution and prioritizing agent availability should not be overlooked as these focus on operational efficiency. It is vital to balance agent workloads effectively to prevent bottlenecks and undue stress on specialized teams. This may involve setting priority rules within skill lists or combining other distribution strategies. The routing strategy is designed to account for agent availability and readiness, ensuring that customers are swiftly connected to capable agents, thus avoiding excessive wait times and contributing to an overall exceptional, unified customer experience.

Driving Revenue Through Enhanced Customer Service and Efficiency

Skills-based routing is a key driver in improving customer satisfaction (CSAT) levels. 39% of customers indicate that an agent's lack of knowledge is the most frustrating element of subpar customer service. By ensuring that only the most highly trained agents handle specific problems, customer satisfaction is likely to increase. Enhanced satisfaction often translates to repeat business, customer loyalty, and positive referrals, all of which directly contribute to revenue growth.  

Additionally, the increase in first-call resolution rates, a critical metric in customer service efficiency, by directing calls to agents with the relevant skill sets can result in reduced operational costs and increased customer trust, further fueling revenue.

From an operational standpoint, this approach is central to workforce optimization. It reduces the need for extensive cross-training of agents, as they can focus on developing expertise in specific areas. Moreover, performance management is enhanced; by aligning queries with an agent's skill set, average handling times can be reduced, allowing agents to assist more customers effectively and efficiently.

Charting the Future of Customer Engagement

With the right strategy in place, businesses are well-equipped to navigate through the inherent challenges of modern customer service. They can turn customer interactions into personalized and seamless journeys that not only meet but exceed expectations. The future is indeed remarkably promising and abundantly rich with opportunities for organizations that are ready to embrace this transformative approach to customer engagement.

Ready to pioneer the next generation of unified customer service? Explore the innovative solutions ComputerTalk offers and transform your contact center into a powerhouse of efficiency and satisfaction.


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