There are two important decisions you will make regarding your phone system – deciding what criteria you will use to route your incoming calls and your choice of call routing software. This software process is also known as Automatic Call Distribution (ACD).
“Well, what’s so hard about that? You can simply transfer the call to the next available person.”
That’s one way you can handle an incoming call. These are a few others, which you may find are more efficient for your business.
- Language preference: There is a great benefit to being transferred directly to someone who speaks your native language or in a language you prefer.
- Skills-based routing. If you’re having printer problems, for instance, and the next available agent is an expert in installations, you may be better off waiting an extra minute to talk to someone who is better equipped in helping you.
- Emergency-first call routing: This is a no-brainer, have urgent calls routed directly.
- General department filtering: The calls go to the appropriate department, such as accounting, technical support, sales, and so on.
- For return calls. If a caller does not wish to hold on, but chooses to get a return call, they can be transferred to a voicemail system that will allow them to leave a message.
The best routing solution for your business will vary greatly by your business type, geographic location(s), personnel, and so on.
What else can a call routing software do?
In addition to providing a way to channel your incoming phone calls, a call routing software can do the following:
- Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS): You need a way to identify which phone number the caller dialed. This is conducted by DNIS.
- Graphical User Interface (GUI). The individual interfaces (call routing software package) will each have different interfaces. That’s oftentimes the deciding factor in your choice of software. Your operators and service technicians have to look at these screens all day, so you want to make sure it’s on their eyes.
- Multiple Messages and Customized Agent Screens. Do you need different messages to greet callers to different numbers? If so, your call routing software will help you to do this. You may also need customized screens. This can be handled as well.
- Multimedia Support. This includes e-mail and live chat (those little pop-up boxes that appear on certain websites that offer the opportunity to talk live to an agent).
- Call Queuing: Do you have times where you have more callers than agents to handle them? You can “stack” them. This is called a Call Queue. You can do a few things while the caller is on hold, such as play music or use an IVR for additional (pre-screening) information from the caller, which in turn helps you to route the call more effectively.
So, call routing software is more than just directing an incoming phone call to an available agent. It’s a key part of your overall marketing strategy and a good one will help you to help current and potential customers in a more efficient and effective manner.