Let’s take a look at how different call routing features can come together to create call flows that deliver a greater experience than the sum of their parts.
Why is a call flow important?
Call flows and call center agents are two elements that sit at the very frontline, heavily governing the experience offered by a contact center.
A great call center agent has ‘built-in’ empathy, patience, and other qualities that come with being human. Or, they have spent time and effort in developing these. Agents can also be trained in communication and knowledge of the product or service to give an elevated customer experience.
Similarly, a call flow comes with building blocks like call queues and automated routing to improve a phone team’s operational efficiency. However, just like its human counterpart, a call flow can be made to perform better and deliver ‘wow’ moments if thoughtfully designed.
You can derive the very best call center experience when agents and call flows work together, with their key strengths harnessed.
What is a call flow?
But first, we must be on the same page about what a call flow is. A call flow is popularly defined as a workflow that determines an incoming call’s journey, from its initiation to completion, in a call center. This journey has to be uninterrupted, and it needs to meet its purpose or, at the least, take a step towards fulfilling it. Your call flow essentially has to ensure that no caller has a bad trip.
Note: In call center parlance, call scripts are also sometimes referred to as call flows. You can read more about call center scripts here.
4 key call flow templates to follow
These are some of the tactical ways to employ call flows that ensure a great call experience.
1) The simple yet powerful Call Queue with Wait Queue call flow
A call queue routes your inbound calls effectively to the right agent or department. To set up a queue-based call flow, you can get started by assigning a call queue to a single number or multiple numbers. For example, if you have local numbers in seven cities and one team to answer all your inbound calls, you can assign a single call queue to all the local numbers.
Call queues become powerful when we combine them with fallback options or a wait queue. If your agents are busy or not answering a call, as you can see in the below template, you can send a call to
- Voicemail and offer a callback
- An agent extension if the caller knows the extension number
- Another call queue where agents are available to answer the call
- An automated routing call flow (more on this later)
You can also send them to a wait queue where the caller can opt for a callback or wait until an agent is available.
2) The classic IVR call flow
Since it has been around for more than half a century, IVR can elicit strong reactions from customers. However, if they are set up well and combined with other call routing features, they can be a powerful tool to expedite resolutions and also manage the volume of incoming calls in an organized manner.
As you can see from the call flow diagram above, you can create call flows by pairing IVR with –
- Call queues to route to the right department
- Another IVR menu to collect more granular information
- An agent extension if the caller knows the extension number and wants to connect with a specific call center agent immediately
- Automated routing if you’d like to apply a custom routing condition based on the real-time information available on your CRM, helpdesk, or any tool integrated with your phone system
These combinations of call workflows make IVR a far more effective call routing solution than using it as a standalone means to segment your calls.
3) The data-driven call flow with Routing Automation
Routing automation or automated routing allows you to route your callers based on dynamic real-time inputs from external systems or software used by your business and integrated with your phone system.
As you have seen from the examples above, Routing Automation can be used in conjunction with call queues and IVR.
First, you need to select the app from which the data needs to flow. Then by creating call routing conditions based on the said app’s inputs, you can build a completely versatile call flow with routing automation. Imagine you need to create a separate call flow for VIP customers or priority callers. Or, you are running a helpline where some calls need to be connected with a respondent at the earliest. It’s in situations like these that routing automation shines. You can identify whether a caller needs to be routed to an agent faster by using their phone number or location.
4) The Voicebot-first call flow aka the call flow of the future
Voicebots are a great way to ensure that your business’s voice is online 24×7, especially after business hours or on holidays. They are also a great way to deflect commonly asked queries and tackle a high volume of calls. Voicebots give instant answers to callers without having to engage a live agent. On occasions where they cannot answer a question, they can route the call to a fallback option. For example, voicemail routing if it’s outside business hours or routing to an agent during working hours. And, the best thing about voicebots is that they get better with training. With more inputs from you, a voicebot can grow to face a wider array of queries and share your call center agents’ load.
The major takeaway from all these templates is understanding that the best experience can be created using a combination of different capabilities. No routing feature is exceptional on its own. An IVR becomes better when we pair it with routing automation. Routing automation becomes better when it is paired with good fallback options. But most importantly, a call flow becomes infinitely better when paired with a great call center agent. Here’s to humans and technology working in synergy to deliver the best of customer experience.
Made keeping conventional teams and virtual teams in mind, Freshcaller is a modern-day reimagining of our everyday call center software for customer support, sales, IT, and remote work. It brings together the best legacy features like IVR and advanced capabilities like Smart Escalations and Call Center Analytics. Freshcaller offers phone numbers in 90+ countries, requires zero phone hardware, and is extremely easy to use.
If you want to find out more about what we do, visit our website.
Illustrations by Mahalakshmi Anantharaman. Animation by Vinoth Krishnan.