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Onecom blog post

The New Rules For Skills-Based Routing

Colin Campbell , , ,

If you’re looking to improve your customer experience, skills-based routing is a must-have in your contact centre − but the concept has changed in recent years. Digital transformation has had a massive impact on today’s customer experience, expanding the application and efficacy of skills-based routing, and creating a new range of considerations for businesses to take into account before implementing.

Skills-based routing has been around for a really long time. As long as we've been talking about call centres, the concept of skills-based routing has been there the whole time. The importance in thinking about it today is how you can actually use it to break down the barriers of the traditional contact centre environment to become what we're calling the customer-centric organisation. Historically, when people thought about skills-based routing, they typically would organise their groups and their skills based on maybe the line of business that the agent would be answering for, or maybe the product line that the agent was best skilled to handle.

But, in fact, there's a wide variety of skills that could be considered, such as:

  • Business skills, like ordering, fulfillment, support and services
  • Industry skills, like specialized training or certifications
  • Language skills
  • Passive soft skills
  • Authority for escalations.

All of these things need to be considered when you're implementing skills-based routing within your business.

Furthermore, if you think about the way that skills-based routing was implemented in the past, it was traditionally used primarily within the inbound call centre-type environments where agents who were within specific silos within the business were responsible for answering whatever those calls were that they were most skilled to handle.

But with the emergence of new digital and modern technologies, everyone needs to be rethinking the way that they implement skills-based routing.  Businesses are now adopting more technology into their customer experience strategy, including email interactions, web chat interactions, SMS, social media messaging, and even the Internet of Things.

But how should you define skills-based routing in your organization?

First and foremost, focus on customer needs over internally defined roles. Second, remember that there's a very fine balance between oversimplifying and overcomplicating your skills-based routing. Next, it's really important that you plan ahead and you have a good definition of the skills that you'll use before you actually start programming your routing workflows.

Finally, use skills to empower your agents and improve their morale. For example, you can use skills to ensure that agents have a career path that's best suited to their needs and they have something to strive for in the future. In this environment, all of your employees are essentially agents and all of these employees can have skills, so you can ensure that you're best serving the customers, whether internal or external, that you're working with.

Thanks to our partner Mitel for their insight.

Contact us on 0203 675 3300 or info@onecom.co.uk or visit our website and we’ll show you how we can help you with Skills-based routing in your call centre today.