Customer Journeys RomeHaving just returned from a three-week tour of the Mediterranean that spanned the width of the Roman Empire, I had a lot of opportunities to reflect on the foundations of civilization and the impact of process and technology advancements. Among the most significant Roman achievements was its development of a vast network of roads that all led back to the ruling city. While the goal was certainly to facilitate trade and ensure outlying provinces remained under the watchful eye of the empire, the idiom “all roads lead to Rome” is still used today to poetically communicate when different methods of doing something lead to the same result.

Today, contact centers have an average of nine communication channels, making customer journeys increasingly complex. Although there are still many customers who rely primarily on a single preferred digital or voice channel, an increasing number are using multiple channels, often concurrently, to get the assistance they need. Meanwhile, the overriding goal remains to provide consistent, personalized service regardless of the journey the customer takes. In other words, all roads must lead to exceptional service. Taking an orchestrated and contextually aware approach to routing is necessary to make this happen.

The Limitations of Queue-Based Routing

Routing is a key component to delivering today’s omnichannel customer experience. However, the queue-based routing approach still used by most contact centers is static, siloed, and unable to support end-to-end journeys as customers move across channels. Simply put, it’s ignorant of customer journeys across interactions, touchpoints, channels, and locations. This approach cannot meet rising expectations for consistency and personalization.

Queue-based routing sends customers to queues, typically on a next-available-agent basis. Contact center managers assign agents to work these queues, and customers in each queue receive similar levels of service. There is little context for the interactions and no personalization to improve the customer experience.

Some vendors have tried to overcome this challenge with skills-based routing using predefined, virtual queues that utilize skill definition to determine agent assignment. While this partially enables work to be directed to resources based on skills, it exacerbates the challenge of managing a growing set of siloed queues, especially as new channels are deployed.

Queue-based routing also isn’t contextually aware of what happens in advance of each routing decision. When you consider that three-quarters of customers start with self-service, their journeys have started long before they pick up the phone. Without awareness of these digital interactions, it’s a challenge to identify intent, segment customers, and prioritize their interactions. The result is missed opportunities and diminished service levels.

A Better Approach

Orchestrated routing enables contact centers to overcome the limitations of queue-based solutions with a data-driven, rules-based approach that goes far beyond single interactions to manage every customer interaction. Rather than simply placing customers in queues to wait for the next available agent, orchestrated routing dynamically matches each customer interaction from any touchpoint over any channel with the optimal agent. All interactions are universally captured, assessed, and prioritized to consistently identify the best resource while still meeting service levels for every interaction type. The outcome is personalized engagement for every customer while maximizing the potential value of each interaction.

Ensuring All Roads Lead to Happier Customers

Considering that customer experience is definitively a competitive differentiator, persisting outdated queue-based routing approaches that don’t support today’s customer journeys is a costly business decision with potential brand-tarnishing results. Taking an orchestrated routing approach, powered by the Genesys Customer Experience Platform, is the answer for delivering the personalized, low-effort customer experience that exceeds the expectations of customers now and in the future.

Learn more about orchestrated routing by reading the white paper Is Queue-Based Routing Sabotaging Your Contact Center?

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Chris Horne

Chris Horne

Chris Horne has been in the software industry for more than 20 years, building and marketing products for enterprise content management, business process automation, cloud management and enterprise customer engagement. Serving in various roles within startup ventures such as RightScale...