When Is Skill Based Routing Necessary?

Skill based routing attempts to impose a logical routing system in situations where incoming callers have an unpredictable variety of needs. Skill based routing enables automatic sorting of agents in given groups dependant on the requirements of a client. For any dynamic business, there may be callers ringing in with differing preferred languages, callers who require particular technical assistance, and other use cases specific to the nature of a given company. For any business structure where there are telecommunication customers with a diversity of needs, skill based routing is an effective tool for sorting calls to their relevant endpoints in a way that minimizes queue times.

A typical use case for skill based routing would be along the following lines: we have 5 available agents within a group called German support who have a German language skill set rating of Very Good, while the rest of the agents are rated Sufficient at the same skill. In case all agents are available at the time of an incoming call, the agent with the highest level is prioritized to be connected first with the call. In case they are not available, the call will be directed to other agents.

Set Up Skill Based Routing

In order to reap the most efficiency out of skill based routing, we want to be using groups. Ideally, we want to create a specific group for every skill. Keep in mind that each group can only have one skill selected, but that agents can be assigned to multiple groups.

  1. To add available skills, we can navigate to Account from the lefthand sidebar, and from the choices which appear underneath, choose Settings. There are a list of headers at the top of the page, one of which is aptly called Skill based routing. From here, click the green Change button.

  2. We are redirected to the Skill Based Routing Settings page. Here we can see skills which currently exist in our account, what groups they are assigned to, and how many agents are logged as having that skill. Add a new skill by clicking the Add Skill button and entering an appropriate Skill name.

  3. As long as a skill has been generated in Settings, it can start to be added to agent profiles. It is good practice to set both a given skill and an agent's competency level of that skill as new agents are added into CloudTalk. From the lefthand sidebar on the Dashboard, navigate to Agents. Add a new agent by clicking the + icon in the upper righthand corner, or click the blue pencil icon next to an agent's information to edit an existing agent. Under the Skill Based Routing header, you can add a skill by searching the Skill Name and selecting a Skill Level: Insufficient, Sufficient, Good, or Very Good. Try to be as accurate as possible, since the Skill Level will be accounted for by the routing algorithm.

  4. In addition to making sure we are adding skills to agent profiles, we also want to make sure we have specific groups for each skill, as this will make it much easier to design accommodating call flows. From the Groups tab in the lefthand sidebar, click +Add Group to add a new group.

  5. Give the group a name that accurately describes the associated skill and make sure to +Add assigned agents associated with the skill.

    For any new group, we must set a ringing strategy and other preferences. One of the preferences to be assigned for a group will be titled, Assign a skill for Skill based Routing. Here, we will select the skill we want the group to be associated with. Remember to save group settings.

  6. Optional - New agents being added into CloudTalk can also be assigned a group from the Agents tab.

  7. Once an agent has been added to one or more groups, we should be able to see all the assigned groups from their agent preview column within the Agents tab.

With the setup in place, you will be able to start using call flow designs with skill based routing. Check out the linked article to see some basic examples of how to implement skill based routing in our Call Flow Designer (link coming).


-In what order are skilled agents chosen for incoming calls? / What if an agent is in multiple skill groups?

When an inbound call gets routed to a specific skill group, the call will ring based on these conditions (in their respective order):

  1. Availability - the agent who is online and available

  2. Lowest number of assigned skills - agent out of selection with only one skill. This frees up agents with multiple skills to take more complicated calls.

  3. Highest skill level - agents with higher skill levels will be prioritized over agents with lower skill levels.

  4. Lowest number of handled calls - the agent with the lowest number of calls at the given time will be prioritized.

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