Companies have been trying to route their customers to the right sales or service representatives forever. That took the form of on-premises assistance from strategically located trained personnel in specific departments and then starting in the 1970s via call centers with IVR (Interactive Voice Response) to help callers self-direct themselves to a waiting representative. In fact when IVR came out, computers still relied on floppy disks and archaic phone systems were far from digital.
It’s hard to believe that IVR technology is still in use today! And not only that, but it is still the most widely used customer routing technology for contact centers globally. Yes, IVR technology has improved marginally over the years. However, even with those improvements, somehow, customers still despise calling in and listening to dreaded IVR prompts to [hopefully] get to someone with the knowledge to help. To make matters worse, once a customer gets routed to an agent, that agent often lacks insight into what the customer was asking for during their IVR journey.
What if a customer could be routed to the right place before they ever ask to connect to an agent? What if a company could reach out to a customer at the point of friction or frustration? What about when a prospect is about to abandon a sales funnel? These are not futuristic wishes; this is possible today with Digital Routing.
Digital Routing enables companies to monitor their digital properties, such as websites, portals and apps, and direct customers to the right agent/bot at the right time based on the real-time actions the customer is taking.
For example, let’s say I am a customer filling out an online loan application at my bank. When I click submit, I encounter two errors in the application. Not understanding what to do next, I would probably look for the company’s phone number and place a call. After my dreaded navigation through the IVR, I’d eventually connect with an agent in the loan department. More often than not, the agent would ask me to [re]explain where I am, what I am trying to do, and what issues I’m having, even if the IVR or a prior agent already collected that information. Making me start from the beginning (often multiple times) instead of continuing from where I left off on the digital property is a negative customer experience that wastes time and causes frustration for both customers and agents.
Now let’s rewind and look at the same situation with Digital Routing. I am filling out that same online loan application at my bank and encounter those two errors when I submit, leading me to look for that phone number to call support. However, I don’t find a phone number this time, but instead, I see a button that says contact us. So, I click that button, connect with video, voice or chat and behind the scenes, a system [magically] routes me to a loan application support specialist based on where I was and what I was doing on the site. When we are connected, the specialist already has context to know I’m experiencing errors on the page by observing my session in real time. By offering to CoBrowse with me, the specialist shows me what to do and, to my delight, helps me quickly through the rest of the application. That is digital routing.
Digital Routing, as part of a Digital Customer Service solution, enables companies to offer more intelligent, effective, and faster support at a lower cost while providing a vastly better customer experience.