Skills Based Routing

Concept

Skills Based Routing is an Automated Call Distribution strategy often deployed in Call Centers to route inbound callers to the agent(s) who are best qualified (skilled) to fulfill the callers requirements.

Functions:

  • Skills of agents within a team
  • Queues which support Skills Based Routing
  • Inline Scripts (Single lined scripts which can be added and respectively integrated into an action before/after)
  • Generic Labels (Labels which can be set for a caller, e.g. as information for the agents, prioritizing a caller, VIP customer etc…)
  • Call Router (checked whether a condition triggers any actions)

Example 1

Overview

The caller selects their preferred language using an IVR menu and will then be forwarded onto the support team. With skill based routing, only phones belonging to support agents with the associated language skill will ring. Illustration - Skill Based Routing

Configuration

  1. The first step is to define the required skills, which in the example above is languages. To do this, select ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) > Call Labels > Add -> Skill. Screenshot - Skill Based Routing Labels

  2. Next the skills must be assigned to your users which can be done by following: Users > User List > Select required user(s) > Edit > Skills Tab. Screenshot - editing skills

  3. In order to ensure that skills are taken in account when distributing calls within a team, the team must be configured to use the script “Skill Based Routing”, which can be done using the following menus: Users > Teams > selected desired Team / Queue > Edit > Basic Data Tab, and then selecting skill based routing from the drop down menu under Script.

Using skills has numerous benefits such as only needing one queue, even though your callers require different skills for example different languages. Through using skill based routing only the phones of those agents that fulfill the required skills will ring, ensuring improved customer care etc.

  1. In order to be able to select the callers required language, we need to set up an IVR menu which can be done via ACD > IVR > Add Once the IVR menu has been added, you will now need to add the required option entries. To do this select the IVR you just created and then click on the Entries button.

Screenshot - Skill Based Routing IVR menu

Now the actions for your IVR options (entries) need to be configured, such as our example below, which outlines how the entry “english” could be configured by selecting the required entry and clicking on edit which will allow you to configure the call flow for internal and external calls. In our case we are demonstrating the call flow for external calls.

Screenshot - configuring IVR actions entries

Firstly, we need to set a label using Add -> Set Label - > select “english” as the skill under the Name column -> under expression add the required minimum skill proficiency level that a user / agent must have to fulfill this skill. You can also set the channel language here, meaning your callers will only hear prompts / announcements in the language they have selected. The last step in this example scenario is to define where the call will be distributed to, which in this case is onto the support queue which is defined by using the “Add Dropping” button and select on queue and double clicking on the field in the Name column and selecting the desired queue.

Should a label be set for a caller, this label applies until the call is ended.

The labels will then be displayed within the queue agent’s pascom client as additional caller information. Any number of labels can be set per caller.

Example 2

Overview

This example scenario expands on the example above. After the language IVR, the customer number will also be requested which will be used to distinguish between VIP and non VIP customers. VIP customers will be connected directly to the support team, while calls from non VIP customers must be checked to see whether they are calling inside of normal business hours before being connected to the support team. Illustration - Skill Based Routing

Configuration

  1. After selecting their language, a caller must be prompted to enter their customer number. This is achieved by using a Generic Label which can be configured under ACD > Call Labels > Add > Generic Label. Screenshot - Generic Label The generic label has a Channel Variable (in this case MDC_LABEL-9) which we need to make note off for further configurations. The variable name can be found by selecting the label in the overview and clicking on Edit: Screenshot - variable names

  2. To differentiate between VIP and non VIP customers, we need to use a Generic Label with Action Conditions: ACD > Call Labels > Add > Generic Label and set the Create Action Condition to yes. Screenshot - action condition

  3. Now the IVR options will no longer distribute calls directly to the Support queue, as we want to also ask for the customer number. This functionality is performed by using a Call Router: Screenshot - IVR with Skill based Routing

  4. In general, the Call Router is used in order to determine whether conditions and actions have been fulfilled. The first step is to use an Inline Script in which the customer number can be requested. An Inline Script allows a single line Asterisk script to be simultaneously integrated into actions. With help from, for example a script, it is possible to verify the entered customer number in order to apply either the VIP or non VIP customer label to the call. A caller which has the VIP call label ( and associated action conditions) attached, will then be connected directly to the support team, while calls which have the non VIP customer label attached will then be submitted to out of business hours time checks before being connected / not connected to the support team. Screenshot - action condition The checking of business hours will also be performed using a Call Router as shown below: Screenshot - business hours check