If you want your business’ customer service experience to run as efficiently as possible, you absolutely must get your omni-channel routing right.
“Why is that important?” I hear you ask.
The answer is simple: The need to have an omnichannel customer service strategy is at its peak. Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies see 91% higher year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t.
Customers nowadays expect omni-channel, it’s the new normal. They expect to interact with your business via multiple service channels – email, chat, calls, texts, and social media.
However managing customer requests from multiple channels can be a fine science …
Salesforce Omni-Channel Routing connects the customer to the most qualified available agent in a real-time seamless way on any channel.
But first: What is omni-channel customer service?
Today’s customers interact with your company across more channels and more devices than ever.
Omni-channel (meaning “all channels”) revolves around your customer and puts their experience at the core. Omni-channel customer service creates a unified experience across all different channels, no matter how or where the customer reaches out.
Customers should be able to access service in the channels that are most convenient for them.
The problem with cherry picking and work overload
How does it happen that customer requests end up at agents?
Without omni-channel routing, agents would manually select and prioritise incoming customer requests from a list.
The problem is that agents often spend too much time on the list and assign cases to themselves. This selective choosing of tickets is called “cherry picking”. They pick the simplest cases with the least amount of effort, while high priority issues remain in the queue.
Another common issue is the never-ending flow of support requests that are piling up. Work isn’t always evenly distributed and some agents are fully loaded with work while others are free.
So how exactly can omni-channel routing help avoid that?
Salesforce Omni-Channel Routing can be configured in three ways:
- Queue-based → Assign agents to the queue
- Skill-based → Assign skills to the agents
- External routing → Third Party routing configuration
How does queue-based Omni-Channel Routing work?
When a support request comes in, it gets assigned to a queue. Omni-Channel routes work items by the priority of the queue that they’re assigned to, so the most important work items are pushed to agents first.
Next, items are routed based on how long they’ve been sitting in the queue. The oldest work items are pushed to agents before more recent ones.
Omni-Channel determines which agents are available and how many work items each agent is currently working on.
Omni-Channel will recognize when an agent is free and automatically assign the work item to this person. Based on an agent's current capacity – whether they are highly available or only working on a few cases – work items will get assigned directly from the queue of incoming requests.
If there is no agent available, Omni-Channel adds the case to the list of pending items. It assigns that item when an agent is available again and has capacity to take on more work.
How does skills-based Omni-Channel routing work?
Imagine your business sells three different products in three different countries.
In this case your service agents need to have certain skills and abilities, like product knowledge and speaking a certain language.
Skills-based routing looks at the skills required to complete a work item and routes the incoming customer request to the agent that matches these skills.
Omni-Channel routes the work to the first agent who has all requested skills and who is available. When a work item requires multiple skills, it’s routed to an agent who has all of the required skills.
Skills-based Routing for Omni-Channel allows work items to be routed using more sophisticated and dynamic criteria than queue-based routing.
External Routing for Omni-Channel
You can also implement third-party routing with partner applications by integrating an external routing implementation with Omni-Channel.
How to set up Salesforce Omni-Channel Routing
There are only a few steps to get your basic Omni-Channel implementation up and running in Salesforce Service Cloud. The Salesforce trailhead online training resources will help you master Omni-Channel Routing.
- Enable Omni-Channel
- Create Service Channels
Create Service Channels for the objects you want Omni-Channel to work in (Cases, Chats, Social, etc…)
- Create Routing Configurations
This is where you configure how work items are routed. You can prioritize based on the queue the record comes from, set certain work items to take up more of your agents capacity (covered below), and decide which routing model you want to use, Least Active or Most Available.
- Associate Routing Configurations and Agents with Queues
Associate your above configured Routing Configurations with their respective Queue.
- Create Presence Configurations
These allow you to decide how much capacity your agents should have, as well as whether they should be able to decline incoming requests.
- Create Presence Statuses
These allow your agents to set themselves as inactive during off hours or breaks.
Seamlessly integrate voice calls with BeneVoice for Salesforce
BeneVoice for Salesforce is a telephony and call center integration for Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.
With all customer data and service tools in one place it improves both customer experience and workforce efficiency.
It seamlessly integrates into the Salesforce Omni-Channel framework by bringing in voice calls, callback handling and call queue management.
Intelligent Routing – using customer data – optimally routes calls and helps avoid IVR when possible. Most customers don’t like having to deal with interactive voice response systems and would much rather be directly connected to the right agent.
When a call ends, the call is logged automatically to Salesforce as a task. Call details and a link to the recording are available right after the call. Dashboards with all the statistics and trends are updated in real time and can be viewed by service reps and all relevant people in your company.
BeneVoice for Salesforce makes it easier not only to leverage the omni-channel experience but to understand in more depth how to deliver a better customer experience.
How BeneVoice for Salesforce routes incoming calls to the best available agent
Here’s an example of how this might look:
Marc calls the customer service of his streaming service provider.
When the call comes in, Marc is recognized by his phone number. His preferred language is Spanish and his loyalty level is Gold.
Based on his loyalty level, Marc is routed to the Gold queue.
Based on Marc’s language, a welcome message about the call recording is played in Spanish.
Alice picks up the call. She is a customer service agent who focuses on Gold level customers and speaks Spanish.
Final thoughts on Salesforce Omni-Channel Routing
As you can see, omni-channel routing is a fantastic way to connect the customer to the right agent – while also leveraging the full capacity of your customer service teams.
It breaks down channel silos using context and data. And it turns what were once random, one off customer interactions into personalized and seamlessly designed customer journeys.
It’s the best way to keep your team – and customer service goals – on track.
Get in touch and schedule a free demo to see how your business can benefit from omni-channel routing!