Call Routing: What Is It? Benefits, Mechanism, and Recommended Practices

Call routing is a function that links callers with qualified, available agents that have the education and skill sets required to help the customer in the most effective way.

To reduce hold times, avoid endless call transfers to many agents, and enhance the customer experience generally, businesses can utilize a variety of call routing techniques.

Let’s look into call routing’s definition, operation, deployment, and best practices.

Call Routing: What Is It?

Why Do We Route Calls?

Call routing is the process of placing incoming live calls in a queue and allocating them to the proper departments or agents in accordance with previously set guidelines and standards.

The purpose of the customer’s call or the length of time an agent has gone without speaking to a caller are examples of frequent routing criteria that can be based on both customer and agent behavior.

ACD (automatic call distribution) is another name for call routing.

Without putting the caller on wait, intelligent call routing enables the system administrator to immediately connect the caller to a particular phone line or extension.

The Operation of Call Routing

Customers who call your business phone number and engage with your IVR system typically offer data that is used in call routing.

The call routing procedure is divided into three steps.

Customers react to questions that have already been recorded using their dial pad or voice during the first stage, called Caller Input, or choose options from the call menu. The IVR system might advise the caller to “Press 2 to speak to the billing department,” for instance. The caller enters the Caller Input phase by pressing 2 or by speaking their account number aloud.

The input is used by the call routing system to go on to the Call Queuing stage. Your phone system will use automatic call distributors during this phase to route calls to the appropriate queues depending on IVR responses.

These calls are held in queues until they are prepared to enter Call Distribution, the last stage of call routing.

Based on established calling rules and client information kept in your CRM solution, calls are directed to agents in this situation. This guarantees that the caller will be put in touch with the best agent for their particular problem.

Numerous Call Routing Types

Numerous Call Routing Types

The pre-set call routing rules and criteria you can select from to more evenly disperse your calls are known as routing strategies.

Instead of using different business phone lines for departments, agents, or special offers, routing strategies were created as a more effective alternative to direct call routing.

Having too many different business phone numbers confuses clients, causes long wait times, and raises the desertion rate of contact centers, even if direct call routing can be helpful if used sparingly. This call management approach is ineffective, especially for medium- to large-sized enterprises.

The call routing techniques listed below expedite customer service, reduce hold times, and frequently eliminate the need for callbacks from customers.

Routing Based on Skills

The IVR system connects customers to agents with the precise skill set they need to help them the best via skills-based virtual phone system routing.

In contrast to an HR person who is unable to check a customer’s account history, it, for instance, links a customer with a query about an unknown account charge to the billing department.

In a sales setting, skills-based routing is also used.

It connects a potential consumer who called after clicking on an advertisement with the agent who is most knowledgeable about that particular product (or the highest sales closure rate.)

Least-Active Routeing

Most idle routing, also known as least occupied routing, routes incoming calls to the agent who has handled the fewest calls or had the least amount of speak time that day.

Since it keeps individual representatives from becoming overworked with calls, this is especially beneficial for customer service and support teams.

Routing via Round Robin

Inbound support or sales calls are distributed equally among agents through round robin routing.

Consider that agent A receives the first call while agents B and C are all ready to answer. After agent A has answered a call, agent B will take the next call, and finally agent C. Agent A will no longer be “first in line” to answer every call as a result of this.

To build a more equitable sales department, system administrators develop a commercial algorithm for managing incoming calls to the sales team.

Routing using Predictive Behavior

The caller is connected to the agent who will be able to deliver the best answer and who the caller is most likely to prefer using predictive behavioral routing, which is also referred to as intelligent routing.

The caller’s chosen method of contact, previous interactions with the company regarding purchases or customer care, and the caller’s personality and behavioral profile are all taken into account by this routing approach, which employs artificial intelligence (AI).

Routing Based on Time

Calls are routed using time-based routing according to the agent’s time zone or office hours.

Since it guarantees that your workers won’t receive customer calls at 2:00 AM their time or whenever they are not scheduled to work, it is especially well-liked by contact centers with a wide geographic and cultural range.

Orderly Routing

Sequential routing, also known as fixed order routing, is a list-based system that maintains a particular agent at the head of the line to take customer calls for a predetermined amount of time.

Agent A, for instance, will accept the first call and be the first responder to the second, third, fourth, etc. calls if agents A, B, and C are all receiving calls at the same time. Only when agent A is unavailable or if agent A places a call to them will agents B and C handle calls.

The VIP Route

When a customer calls your call center, VIP routing, also known as caller ID routing, prioritizes them and moves them to the head of the line.

Advantages of Call Routing

Callers and staff alike can benefit from call routing rules in a number of ways, including:

  • Shorter wait times
  • Reduced rate of dropped calls
  • less missed calls and voicemails
  • Constant communication
  • Increased client satisfaction
  • More rapid resolution
  • Enhanced staff productivity
  • Possibility of higher sales revenue
  • Call availability windows that are specific to each agent
  • The capacity to transmit and transfer calls when agents are busy
  • Balanced work load for employees
  • Individualized greetings and menu choices
  • Better self-service for customers
  • Putting VIP clients first

Optimal Call Routing Techniques

Here are some guidelines for developing a successful call-routing strategy:

  • Make sure the routing system interfaces with your CRM software and keep pre-recorded IVR prompts minimal.
  • While on hold, give callers predicted wait periods and queue position updates.
  • Give callers a choice for an automatic callback
  • Make it simple for users to contact live agents when necessary
  • Create call groups (ring groups) to increase the likelihood that customers will speak with an agent when they call.
  • For departments that are busy, create separate business phone numbers.
  • Tag or color-code caller responses
  • Offer choices for language-based routing
  • Put automated client surveys in place
  • During busy seasons, take into account adding more IVR menu items and routing alternatives (or hire additional agents)
  • Make (at the very least) weekly reports of call center statistics.
  • To assess the effectiveness of the agents and identify recurrent problems, record calls and listen to the recordings.
  • To avoid customers repeating themselves, invest in software that enables agents to maintain and access thorough notes/files on prior client interactions.

Better call routing techniques enhance the client experience

The call routing techniques described here guarantee clients receive prompt, high-quality support while preventing overworked workers.

In order to determine which call routing techniques will be most effective for a certain department or customer issue, undertake in-depth customer research by evaluating call center KPIs and extra client feedback.

Utilize other call center software capabilities like call forwarding, simultaneous ringing, real-time call notifications, and shared voicemail inboxes to enhance your call handling procedure.

Check out our interactive table of the best call center software for more information on additional call management features. It also includes pricing details, client feedback, and comparisons to other well-liked platforms.


How is a telephone call forwarded?

Based on the information the caller gives the auto-attendant, the caller’s identify, the time of their call, or other factors the system administrator has selected, a phone call is routed according to predetermined calling rules.
After providing this information, the caller is sent to a call queue where the system processes it before connecting them with the right agent.

What is specialized call routing?

With custom call routing (CCR), you may replace your automated attendant with a call routing tree that offers considerably more granular options than a typical IVR menu for clients to choose the cause for their call and the assistance they require.
Customers can access multi-level IVR menus and submenus, listen to in-depth, lengthy pre-recorded responses that offer assistance, or be transferred to outside phone numbers using CCR.

What distinguishes call forwarding, call screening, and call routing?

Call routing uses pre-established calling rules to route calls to particular agents or departments.
Without requiring the caller to hang up and dial more numbers, call forwarding routes consumer calls to multiple phone numbers for the same agent. For instance, the call may be automatically routed to the agent’s cell number, then maybe to their home phone line, and eventually to their voicemail box if they don’t answer their desk phone after a certain number of rings (or any other pre-programmed numbers.)
Call screening is the management and handling of phone calls depending on the identification of the caller as seen in the caller ID box.

What KPIs and statistics are offered by call routing tools?

One of the primary features of phone systems is call routing, and the majority of them include sophisticated real-time and historical statistics like:
– average length of a phone call
–  daily number of calls
–  total number of missed or hung up calls
–  statistics specific to agents
–  rates of first-call resolution
–  average call waiting period Customer feedback
– of phone calls that resulted in a sale

What is the price of call routing software?

Depending on the program and other services you select, you can expect to spend anywhere from $75.00 per user per month to $200+ per person per month.

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