call routing

Call Routing: What Is It and How Does it Work?

Promptly and efficiently handling incoming calls is critical to the success of your business or charitable organization. But without the proper infrastructure and personnel numbers, your mainline can quickly become a bottleneck. Customers or donors can spend too long waiting for someone to pick up, and your support staff can waste valuable time redirecting calls to other team members. This can negatively impact customer satisfaction, staff engagement, and your bottom line.

But call routing (also known as an Automatic Call Distributor or ACD) can solve your incoming call bottleneck problems. Here’s what to know.

Why Call Routing Is a Game-Changer

Call routing uses “smart” digital solutions to redirect live incoming calls to the correct department or staff member. Customers are routed to the right person before anyone picks up instead of waiting on hold and then being re-routed by an agent. A call is rerouted based on rules such as the customer’s reason for calling or an agent’s availability.

The benefits of call routing for customers are:

  • Reduced hold time
  • Reduced risk of being disconnected during patching
  • Call a single line rather than different lines and extensions
  • Faster connection to the right person
  • 24/7 availability

The benefits of call routing for your staff and organization are:

  • Focus on areas of specialization – not “general” questions
  • More positive customer interactions
  • Reduced call abandonment
  • Fewer voice messages and missed calls
  • More evenly, effectively distributed workload
  • Streamline telephony infrastructure and costs
  • Define greetings and routing menus
  • Prioritize critical customers or donors

Call routing enables your company to define how and when calls are redirected – and when combined with a distributed agent workforce, it can also offer 24/7 uptime.

How Call Routing Works

Call routing involves extensive smart technology – but looks and feels simple. When a customer or donor calls your main business line, the system “picks up” and asks customers to respond to a prompt, usually their reason for calling. Customers might also be asked to input identifying information so that your agents will have key information in their system when they take the call. Once the customer has provided their reason for calling and any essential information, the system places them into a “queue” and then routes them to the appropriate division or agent.

Call routing is “rule-based,” meaning that you can define the prompts that the customer receives, the information they need to provide, and even how and to whom a customer is routed. For example, while routing systems typically route calls to the most skilled or most likely available operator, you can also define rules that identify VIP clients or donors and ensure that they’re promptly routed to senior agents or even account managers. This allows you to ensure that your top customers receive priority treatment.

And because call routing technology is built on VoIP, your system can extend beyond your physical office. Calls can be routed to a distributed network of agents locally or further afield who can answer calls at any time. This team can be on standby to pick up overflow calls during times of high volume or outside of standard office hours. This ensures calls are answered – no matter the time of day or year.

Talk to ACD About Our Smart Routing Solutions

At ACD, we offer smart, turn-key call routing solutions that encompass everything from the design of your call menus to providing trained, skilled virtual agents to take your calls. Whether you’re a high-touch B2C company, a customer-focused B2B business, or a charitable organization, we can help you define an end-to-end call routing solution that will streamline your incoming calls – and improve customer and staff satisfaction.

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