What do your customers think about your call routing?
Hearing a robotic voice on the other end of the line. Repeating their instructions until the robot gets it or pressing buttons to get their point across. Being put on hold. At worst, getting transferred from agent to agent till they get the right one.
You’ve probably been in their shoes before. How did it make you feel?
Some companies are trying to redefine the experience by implementing intelligent call routing (ICR).
ICR solutions use the information you provide on the call along with the information stored in the database to make sure you get redirected to the right service rep right away.
Let’s dig a bit deeper into the kinds of information an ICR system needs:
Current caller data includes the number you’re calling from, your account number, account status, the department you want to reach, the reason why you’re calling etc. Oh, and if you’re wondering how you’re going to communicate this information, it either by good old button-pressing (aka dual-tone multi-frequency signaling) or by speaking it into the receiver.
Historical caller data is drawn automatically from the company’s database. It can include your history of purchases, account status, service programs, account status, customers support history – in other words, everything the system deems necessary to solve your issue quickly.
Upon collecting the information about the customer, the system starts looking for the best fitting agent, taking into account their field and level of expertise. Once done, ICR will pass on all the relevant details.
So you know how ICR works. Now let’s answer the big question: why should you use it? Here are three main reasons:
Empower your agents
Needless to say, having all the relevant information at hand enables your agents to provide proactive and efficient customer service.
Pro tip: while integrating AI solutions, make sure to invest in voice and speech analytics. These tools can determine a set of personality traits based on what a person says and how they say it. This helps determine the behavioral patterns of both customers and agents. For example, if a customer likes to interrupt or raise their voice, AI will make a note and transfer their call to an agent with higher stress tolerance.
Help your customers
Great news is, with ICR implemented some of your customers won’t even have to speak to a service rep. For instance, if the system finds out that the caller’s problem requires their physical presence, it might direct them to the nearest office or store. Or, if the question they want to ask is one of the most frequent and easily addressed ones, the ICR can give instructions or perform certain actions by itself, saving the client a load of time.
If a customer does need human help, ICR can make sure to connect the customer with the agent they already spoke with to ensure support continuity.
Make your bottom line happy
ICR might serve as a data analytics tool to give you great insight into your call volumes and duration, handle and resolution times, resolution times, agent performance and KPIs, so that you learn how to manage these better.
Besided, such a system can reduce wasted payroll time by cutting down the number of cases where customers have to repeat their problem multiple times. It will also enable you to cut customer service costs by implementing an intelligent auto-attendant that handles call routing, which is especially important if you’re running a high volume contact center.
As you can see, implementing ICR might mean that everyone involved wins – your agents, your clients and you as a business.
Don’t get your hopes up too high though. Here are three important things that most ICRs lack:
Reliable data. Your ICR can be as good as the data you feed into the system. If it’s unclean, poorly structured or inconsistent, you will doom your customers and agents to suffering from the most useless, time-consuming and ineffective matches.
Accurate speech recognition. Most of us have some sort of PTSD after dealing with IVRs that simply don’t understand what you’re saying. “Could you repeat that?” And you have to explain it over and over desperately trying to get through to someone human. Let’s put it that way: in most ICR systems, speech-to-text recognition sucks.
Human-like voice. There’s arguably only one thing customers hate more than repeating the request to a IVR – their robotic voice that, after a while, seems to be mocking you. Nobody likes talking to a robot, and no matter how great your ICR might be, people don’t really enjoy it. “Let’s just hope we make it through alive” is what they think.
Eliminating these drawbacks is key to superior customer service.
This is how you make call routing great again. If you’re curious what else AI (specifically, voice AI) can do for your contact center, check out our latest report here.