Could an omnichannel strategy improve your team’s productivity?

As technology improves, ways of working have evolved. This has led to productivity improvements that would be unimaginable in low-tech environments. One area that has benefited dramatically from technology is customer services, and specifically the call center. Omnichannel routing has revolutionized how call center employees work, and leaders could learn much from omnichannel routing methodology.

What is omnichannel routing?

Omnichannel routing works by pushing tasks to call center agents in a priority order. It ensures that the most urgent work is given to the most appropriate agent with the least amount of open work – therefore increasing productivity by using the power of peak performance. Typically, tasks are pushed to agents based upon:

  • The complexity of the task and the experience of the agent. For example, if a customer is querying the interest charged on a loan, it will be added to the queue for agents with experience handling loans. To route it to an agent with no loans experience would be a waste of that agent’s time, result in the customer being placed on hold again, and deliver an unsatisfactory experience to the customer.

  • The availability of agents. This is often based upon the amount of work that the agent has backlogged, whether they are ‘away’, or free to accept more work.

How does omnichannel routing work?

In a call center, when a call is received (from whatever channel – be it phone, email, social media, etc.) it is assigned to a queue. How it is assigned depends upon the omnichannel configuration. This ensures that the task is routed to a set of appropriate agents.

Within that group of agents, omnichannel routing then determines which agents are most appropriate for the complexity of the call. If the call can be routed immediately, an omnichannel routing system will do so.

If there is no agent available, the call will sit in the queue until one does become available. 

When there is more than one agent available, omnichannel routing will route the call to the agent who is most likely to deal with the query most effectively and efficiently.

The benefits of omnichannel routing

Instead of agents deciding which calls to take, their skill set, experience and availability is matched to calls waiting in the queue. This ensures that:

  • The customer receives the best possible advice

  • The agent takes the least time needed to give that advice

  • The agent is using the skills they have and working at an appropriate level

The customer is happier, and satisfaction scores rise. Agents are more productive, and job satisfaction rises.

What can leaders learn from omnichannel routing?

Call center processes are automated, but embedding the methodology behind them in your leadership mindset can propel your team’s productivity. This encompasses managing people first and process second.

It is essential that leaders understand their employees. People work more effectively when they are doing things that they enjoy and at which they have expertise. This combination ignites personal productivity.

Once you have identified the strengths of individuals within your team, you can ensure that appropriate work is provided to those individuals. This is where process kicks in. Developing systems that monitor work in progress enables supervisors and managers to maintain the flow of work, rather than relying on employees to ‘pull’ work. 

When creating an omnichannel approach to managing workflow in your workplace, it is essential that you engage your people in developing strategy. Explain the benefits, develop understanding of their strengths and preferred work, and involve them in designing the process that puts people first.

To help your leaders and managers learn the strategies and techniques that will boost your organization’s performance, contact us today

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