On Friday, I picked up the phone to contact a company that I regularly do business with. It was a simple transaction: I needed to reorder a product, but the company doesn’t offer auto-shipping and I couldn’t use my preferred payment option online.

The first thing that frustrated me was that I spent an inordinate amount of time waiting to connect to an agent for what is, in my opinion, a simple revenue-generating operation. The interactive voice response system (IVR) robot attendant informed me several times that the business was experiencing a higher-than-expected call volume and that I may be able to complete my transaction online.

It struck me as odd that I was sitting in a queue for what can easily be described as the simplest service request: to buy something. I didn’t need to ask difficult questions or get into an argument about some service problem. I wanted to give the company money in exchange for a product. Pretty basic stuff.

This is where enterprise call routing could have helped. In periods of high unforeseen demand on the contact center, enterprise routing allows other employees in the company to answer calls to help reduce response time and potentially improve customer satisfaction.

Enterprise call routing

Flowchart showing enterprise routing

Our report Creating Human Connections in the Call Center: Innovations in Call Routing takes a forward look at how utilities can implement different call-routing options, and it presents the possible advantages and disadvantages of each type. Instead of handling calls on a first-come, first-served basis, contact centers can use new technology to route a repeat caller to the same agent over a period of time; to auto-escalate or prioritize contacts from angry customers; to match customers with agents based on complementary personalities; to send callers to agents who have particular skill sets; or to route overflow calls across the organization, which, as mentioned, probably would have solved my problem.

There’s still much to be shared on this topic, so we’re hosting the Call-Routing Options Leaders Group Call on July 14 at 2 p.m. EDT. I hope you’ll be able to join us to discuss how you’re routing calls, and to offer your thoughts about the technology examined in our report. You can also get the conversation started early by leaving a comment below!

Contributing Authors

Associate Director, Customer Experience

Jeffrey Daigle is an expert on contact center operations, customer experience, channel design, operations, digital engagement, and journey mapping....