July 12, 2023

Does My Contact Center Need Intelligent Call Routing (ICR)?

Does My Contact Center Need Intelligent Call Routing (ICR)?

Contact centers face the ongoing task of finding new ways to enhance customer experience. Optimizing your contact center will help your customers experience better interactions with your agents, leading to greater customer satisfaction, higher retention rates, and improved brand recognition. One way to do this is through an intelligent call routing (ICR) system, which can be helpful for certain types of call centers.

Wondering if your contact center needs an ICR? Learn how to use intelligent call routing to improve customer interactions and determine if an ICR is right for your contact center’s needs.

What Is Intelligent Call Routing (ICR)?

Intelligent call routing is a modern call routing technology designed to help call centers increase efficiency. This technology works by placing incoming phone calls into a sorting queue and then routing each call to the best available agent.

First, the customer moves through a series of automated prompts when calling in. Then, an interactive automotive response system (IVR) directs calls where they need to go. Meanwhile, ICR gathers both current and historical caller data to channel the call to the best available agent to address their concerns.

An ICR system allows contact centers to customize the personal experience. By inputting the desired rules and prompts, centers have more control over the call process.

Identifying the Need for an ICR

Although an intelligent call routing system is a powerful tool, not all contact centers need ICR. An ICR system benefits larger contact centers with high call volumes or multiple departments. If your call center is experiencing excessive hold times, multiple department transfers, or difficulty identifying the best agent to address a concern, an intelligent call routing system ICR may be for you. 

Call centers experiencing these common concerns may experience a decrease in customer satisfaction rates as customers become stressed, frustrated, or feel their problem is unresolved.

KPI Benefits From ICR

When used properly, an ICR system can improve key performance metrics for your contact center. Some KPI metrics that typically improve from using an ICR include:

Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average Handle Time (AHT) is a KPI that measures the time needed to resolve a customer request. This metric includes the time spent on hold, with an agent, during transfers, and with follow-up actions. 

Transfer Rate

Using intelligent call routing ICR can help reduce AHT by reducing time spent transferring the customer and directing the call to the most qualified agent from the start. Your contact center’s transfer rate measures the percentage of inbound calls that ultimately get transferred to another department.

Average Hold Time

Average hold time metrics measure the average length of time callers are on hold. An ICR system can provide contact center agents with current and historical data during the call, which helps reduce the time customers are on hold. Furthermore, ICRs can integrate with other information systems and databases to help agents save time and have access to all required information in one place.

Abandonment Rate

A contact center’s abandonment rate refers to the percentage of callers who end the call before speaking to an agent. Using an ICR can help improve abandonment rates by allowing customers to find simple answers and information without a call center agent.

When using an ICR to improve these KPIs, the following metrics also see an increase:

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is a general measurement that describes how your customers feel about the interaction with your agents. With improvements in average handle time, transfer rate, and hold times, your contact center should see an increase in customer satisfaction.

Retention Rate

Happy customers are customers who will return! Keeping your customer satisfaction rates high means a higher retention rate and fewer lost customers. Customers are more likely to return to a company using these innovative technologies that improve the customer experience than a company with an outdated, difficult-to-reach contact center.

First Contact Resolution

First Contact Resolution (FCR) measures the number of customers whose needs are addressed at the first point of contact. An ICR channels customers to the appropriate agent to address their needs, eliminating the need to repeat the problem over and over again to several agents who are unable to assist.

Improving Customer Satisfaction in Contact Centers

With ever-changing technology in today’s modern world, contact centers must take advantage of new technologies to stay relevant. Customers may experience one type of interaction with a company and then experience a vastly different interaction from another due to major differences in technology use.

To improve customer satisfaction, contact centers should prioritize new technology, tools, and software required to effectively meet customer needs. By implementing new technology and focusing on the customer experience, your contact center can retain more customers. Using an intelligent call routing ICR properly will improve your key performance indicators, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Looking for more ways to improve contact center workflow and enhance customer satisfaction? Using Call Tools software offers many benefits for contact centers. Learn more today and request your free demo to experience the CallTools difference for yourself!

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