Intelligent Call Routing

Intelligent call routing is one of the most common features used by businesses to manage their incoming phone calls. Software with this feature works like a virtual switchboard operator. It gathers information from the caller and then transfers the call to the appropriate department. Some intelligent call routing systems integrate with the corporate database and pull information about incoming calls. All of this is designed to streamline the calling experience for customers by reducing the number of transfers they have to complete to reach the person best suited to help them.

How Intelligent Call Routing Works
When a customer calls a phone number enhanced with intelligent call routing, the system collects different pieces of information to identify the caller and determine the reason for the call. Dialed number identification service (DNIS) or automatic number identification (ANI) can identify which number the caller called and capture the the caller’s phone number to compare it with the company’s customer database. The system may also use speech recognition or offer menu selections for callers to input what services they need.

Call Routing Options
With this information, the system can direct callers to the department or representative who can best help them. There are several ways to route phone numbers to these individuals. Companies with multiple call centers may have location-based routing which directs calls to regional call centers based on the phone number the customer called or the caller’s area code. Another option is to route the call based on information from the caller’s account. In this case, callers can be routed directly to their dedicated representatives or to a specific department like tech support or billing.

It’s also possible to use employee criteria to route calls. One method is to send incoming calls to the representatives with the fewest calls waiting in their queues or those who have received the fewest calls that day. Similarly, the system can direct callers to the representatives with specific skills or highest performance rating in particular metrics like wait time or customer satisfaction. These methods help distribute incoming calls more evenly between representatives, thus reducing wait time for customers.

Benefits of Using Intelligent Call Routing
Both customers and companies benefit from intelligent call routing. It makes it easier for customers to get the assistance they need quickly. When integrated with CRM software, intelligent call routing provides an added layer of security since representatives can verify details from the customer account to ensure they are speaking with authorized individuals.

Companies gain important data from intelligent call routing systems. They know where their calls come from, a useful metric for pay per call campaigns. As new information about customers and phone call trends comes in, it’s possible to continuously improve the system by creating new routing profiles.

Intelligent Call Routing Examples
Although most people are familiar with messages that direct callers to “press one to speak to access our automated payment system” or “press four for sales,” intelligent call routing exists in many different formats. This versatility makes it possible for each company to implement it in the manner that best suits the needs of the business.

For example, a credit card company may match customers’ phone numbers to their accounts when they call the toll-free number. This can eliminate the need for the customer to manually enter the account number when paying a bill through the automated payment system. This is more convenient and safer for the customer who doesn’t have to worry about someone overhearing confidential account information.

A software company may use intelligent call routing in connection with a customer relationship management program that tracks customers’ purchase histories. When a customer calls the support line, the system can detect which software the customer purchased and immediately direct the call to the support team for that product. Similarly, the system can identify calls from priority customers and connect them with their company representative without forcing them to wait.

A retail store can integrate intelligent call routing through a touch key menu that lets the caller provide information. Callers may be greeted by an automated system that prompts the caller to press a number on the keypad to indicate why they are calling. After the caller presses one for sales, two for returns or three for store hours, the system knows where to transfer the call. This is especially useful for stores with a limited number of employees. They don’t have to stop what they’re doing to answer questions about how late the store will be open and how to find it.

How Intelligent Call Routing Can Transform the Call Center
Whether you have a call center manned by two or two hundred people, Intelligent call routing can transform the way it operates. Directing calls to the department or person best suited to assist the caller frees up time for company representatives. They make fewer transfers and deal with fewer frustrated callers. All of this reduces the amount of time customers spending waiting on the line for a solution to their problems.

You can learn more about call center solutions and features like intelligent call routing by browsing the products and services at callerready.com. When you’re ready to transform your call center, speak to a Caller Ready representative at (877) 800-4844.