What is intelligent call routing?

Dan Marshall • 17 Apr 2024 • 3 min read

Intelligent call routing (ICR) is a type of call routing system which uses technology to sort incoming calls into a queue or assigns them to a particular agent based on specific criteria input by the system owners. Many systems like this present options to callers, which help direct them to the right person or filter them into a queue. If they select the option for a particular agent and they are busy, the system then determines the next best route and directs the caller accordingly. Call routing is just one of the many features that can support a live answering service

How does intelligent call routing work?

Intelligent call routing sounds great. But, how does it actually work? By using all the data at its disposal, the system is able to determine the best course of action for each caller – which benefits the customer, the agent and the business. There are a few different ways intelligent call routing works, so let’s jump straight into it!

Caller input – This type of intelligent routing works by allowing the customer to input information so the call is directed correctly. This could be details such as their account number, phone number or the department they want to reach. The caller can input their answer through either an IVR menu (press 1 for sales, press 2 for finance etc.) or verbally saying it through the phone. 

Current caller data – This works by electronically gathering data, whereby the system recognizes the number dialed and then directs the caller to the right place. For instance, let’s say the caller dials a company’s recruitment number, the system recognizes this and diverts the call to the recruitment department for them to deal with the inquiry.

Historical caller data – This system identifies the returning caller’s number and gathers their history, including historical purchases, account status, and who they have contacted previously within the business. This information is then used to guide them to the most appropriate person or department to handle their inquiry.

The benefits of intelligent call routing

There are many benefits to intelligent call routing. For the callers, not only are they far more likely to be connected to the most appropriate person, but there’s a much higher chance their inquiry will be resolved and they’ve been given a positive experience. This kind of routing also reduces caller waiting times, leaving the tech to do the heavy lifting by routing calls instantly and avoiding having them waiting in a queue and or being directed to the wrong person. 

For businesses, intelligent call routing helps with a multitude of issues. It’s particularly ideal for companies with high call volumes, as an intelligent call routing system sorts calls quickly and saves precious time by making sure the caller gets to the right person the first time, using the preprogrammed rules and identified caller information. 

The drawbacks of intelligent call routing

Intelligent call routing is very reliant on the quality of data it operates from. The data has to always be kept up to date, which can be a time-consuming job, and needs to be consistently monitored for the ICR to perform at its best. Incomplete or messy data can cause real problems, not just for you and your agents, but your customers too and could impact their overall experience with your business. Another drawback, sticking with the theme of time-consuming work, is that an intelligent call routing system can take a while to set up. You have to set up rules, input criteria and enter data, for it to do its job well and often businesses are put off before they even begin.

How to set-up call routing

Setting up your intelligent call routing all depends on your current telephony system and the type of routing you have chosen. A good start is to get in touch with your telecoms provider, who can share advice and instructions on how to get started. 

To find out more about VoiceNation and how our live answering service can support you and your business, call our team on 866-766-5050.