artificial intelligence contact center

Queue and Route Callers to the Most Qualified Agent with the Nexmo Voice API

Published March 12, 2018 by Kyle Riordan

As anyone who has tried to set up automatic lighting in their home can attest, a device employing a simple if/then action is usually pretty easy to implement. For example, “If I enter the house after 7 pm, turn on my connected lighting in the kitchen.” Straightforward, easy, and at the end of the day a rather simplistic branching set of options.

If you’re planning a call center, this sort of simplistic approach can apply as well. For instance, when a customer calls and is greeted by a prompt asking if they would like to continue the call in English or Spanish, you can use a simple IVR script to route them accordingly. Like the home lighting scenario, this is pretty easy and straightforward. But what happens when the option tree you need starts to look less like a fork in the road and more like a century-old oak with more branches than you can count? What if the list of options extends beyond “press 2 for Spanish” and has to account for not only language preference but product of interest, relevant department, a caller’s geography, what they would like to discuss, and more? How do you account for all the options and seamlessly route callers in an accurate and efficient manner?

When planning your callers’ routes, you can further enrich those customer inputs by tying a caller’s identity to the incoming phone number and then integrating relevant information contained within your CRM system into the call flow. If you opt to do this, you need to account for not only what the caller wants to do, but crucially who he or she is. Are they a premium member? Are they representative of a big account? Have they recently signed up or shown any pattern indicating that they may want to move away from your services? There are a lot of items to consider here. Now you need to account for not only the branching of your option tree but the underlying root structure as well.

Used correctly, all of these elements can be combined to initiate a smooth start to any conversation, where the agent knows who the caller is and what he or she would like to do.

As simple or as complicated as any of these scenarios may end up being, its objective almost invariably is the same: route your callers to the appropriate person in the quickest manner possible. All of this information is there to facilitate a superior customer/caller experience; the key is being able to leverage it effectively.

Enter Comms Router

That is where Comms Router comes in, a new open source building block designed to more easily implement skills-based routing applications using the Nexmo Voice API. Instead of manually coding in all of these scenarios, you can deploy the Comms Router building block, and offload a lot of the heavy lifting. By integrating Comms Router’s code into your application, you can enable a skills-based routing system in your call center (see diagram below). Instead of spending hours building line after line of code to account for a gargantuan number of variable combinations, you can leverage this building block to reduce call transfers, route calls to the right agent the first time, and keep your customers happy with a smooth call-in experience.

This improved experience is one that can benefit any type of call center. In the context of a large IT support organization, customers can be effectively routed to professionals trained to address their specific technical problem. For large sales organizations, customers can be routed to agents with specific product expertise or knowledge. Virtually any call center that needs to support a multiple tasks or functions stands to benefit.

More to the point, because the Comms Router is offered as an open source project that is easily integrated into your Nexmo Voice API application, the experience you build around it is highly customizable. You can build it into your CRM system so when an agent is connected to a caller, the agent will have the full context of that caller’s previous interaction in front of them. You can extend routing into new channels like SMS and communicate as efficiently as possible with customers on their preferred medium. Additionally, if you often experience long call queues and want to offer your callers the option to have a representative call them back, you can easily add callback requests to the queue to have your most suitable agent call back as soon as he or she becomes available.

From the caller’s perspective, this means getting connected to the right person right away (or as close to right away as possible) without being handed off to multiple agents, which forces them to reiterate time and again the purpose of the call, and they can engage on the channel of their choosing.

For the caller, this is a better, more enjoyable experience. For you, it means real savings as you improve the overall efficiency of your call center and reduce the costs associated with agents having to run through the same information multiple times with a single caller.

Further enhancing the experience is the fact that the first agent a caller speaks with is going to be the one who is best equipped to handle their situation. You can safely assume that the overall time to resolution within the confines of that singular conversation will also be reduced. Expand this pattern across your call center and it doesn’t take long for the real savings to quickly start piling up.

Adding Comms Router to your call center toolset can be that connecting piece that removes headaches across the board, reducing development time, improving your customers’ overall experience, and significantly improving your call center efficiency and ROI.

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