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Jul 1, 2020 | Read time 3 min

How voice technology enables effective call routing to improve customer experience

Voice technology enables contact centers to effectively route calls based on keywords or sentiment to improve the customer experience.

Download our Smart Guide to discover 10 ways using voice technology can improve your contact center customer experience.

Why customer satisfaction is crucial for contact centers

Customer satisfaction is crucial for any contact center – no matter how high the call volumes or how challenging the customer issues. The impact of bad customer experience costs UK brands £234 billion a year in lost sales. And one in three customers is prepared to consider leaving a brand they love after just one poor experience, according to a PwC study.

Depending on which study you believe and which industry you are in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It's no surprise that research done by Bain & Company found that increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by at least 25% and – in some cases – up to 95%.

The key role of call center call routing

Contact center agents are on the front line of keeping customers happy. Yet they are under increasing pressure to deal with a range of customer scenarios – with little warning as to what mood the customer might be in. Some agents are naturally more empathetic than others or better at dealing with certain scenarios. It makes sense to direct challenging calls to the contact center agents most likely to be able to help.

That's where voice technology is key – enabling contact center call routing to connect callers with specific agents or specialized teams who are better equipped to deal with certain situations. With organizations making it easier to onboard new customers, it has never been more important to ensure there are no reasons for customers to churn.

Effective call routing based on matching a call reason with a specific agent skill is the number one method of increasing FCR (first contact resolution) which provides the most direct increase in customer satisfaction along with dramatic reductions in the cost per interaction.

Advanced analytics for effective call routing

With an accurate real-time transcription of customer calls, companies can make informed decisions within their interactive voice response (IVR) systems – based on words, speech acoustics and sentiment. Contact center call routing means callers can be routed from a virtual assistant to a human agent, for example, based on sentiment and word-based triggers. This helps to mitigate the frustration that customers feel when dealing with a bot.

Using keywords to inform effective call routing

Real-time transcription using voice technology also helps with call center call routing based on keywords – turning a potentially negative interaction into a positive customer experience. If a customer starts getting angry, for example, this can trigger recommended actions to appear on the agent's screen to help diffuse the situation. Alternatively, the call could be routed to a colleague better equipped to deal with the situation.

Effective call routing doesn't have to involve busy contact center agents. Callers can be routed to synthetic agents to deal with sensitive information such as password resets or payments. This type of contact center call routing helps to keep agents engaged and fulfilled as it frees them up from many low-skilled, high-volume tasks. Removing low value, mundane tasks and having these served by automated systems positively impact the debilitating issue of poor agent retention, an area of huge cost for every contact center.

Conclusion: A better customer experience with call center call routing

At a time when customer experience and engagement are more important than ever, machine learning and artificial intelligence are enabling contact centers to make data-driven decisions to provide a quality customer experience. Underpinning this activity is voice technology – enabling accurate analysis of the voice of the customer and effective contact center call routing.