Contact center managers know that call routing — while often a hidden process to the consumer — is a key driver of the customer experience. By balancing calls across your workforce and matching caller needs with agent expertise, you can reduce hold times and call transfers, improve agent effectiveness, and more. In short, it’s a key lever in determining profitability.
However, call centers are all over the place when it comes to call routing. Some use cloud-based automatic call distributors (ACDs) to match agents and callers based on a cornucopia of dimensions. Others are basically funneling every caller into the same team and letting agents decide where the call should go. Most are somewhere in the middle.
But what most are missing is the bigger picture — especially when it comes to new customer acquisition. They treat the contact center as a siloed customer engagement, as if a new lead unexpectedly appears at the door and it’s up to whoever answers to close the sale. Not only is this jarring for the consumer, it’s hurting your bottom line. Rather than this siloed view, you should view the call experience as just one leg (albeit a very important one) of a larger buying experience, one that’s usually preceded by a number of digital touchpoints.
What Happens When You Treat the Human Experience as a Silo
There are real CX and profitability consequences if your visibility into the customer journey starts when the customer reaches out over the phone. Here are a few of the challenges we’ve found companies frequently encounter:
Guessing about caller intent: How confident are you about your callers’ intent when they pick up the phone? Many marketers and contact center managers will assume a lot about intent based on the number the consumer has dialed. In reality, consumers will often call whatever number they can find, as long as it’s for the company they’re trying to contact. We see this with sales leads ending up in customer support, existing customers seeking support ending up in the sales department, and more. What contact center managers end up with is wasted agent time, excessive call transfers, and poor CX.
Treating all inbound calls the same way: It’s almost cliche at this point to say that consumer expectations are constantly changing. But it doesn’t mean it’s not true. Thanks to things like next-day delivery and rapid improvements in digital experiences, consumer expectations are higher than ever, especially around personalization. If you don’t have an understanding of a caller’s intent, then you’ll have a tough time offering anything but a standard, depersonalized buying experience. And that doesn’t help your business stand out from the crowd.
Driving customers crazy: It’s very hard to delight customers. It’s much, much easier to disappoint. And we all know what it’s like to have a bad contact center experience: getting lost in an IVR, long hold times, being routed to an agent that can’t assist you, and repeating the same information over and over (and over and over). This isn’t an experience you want to put anyone through, especially buyers that want to give you their money! Understanding your callers’ intent before they call can help callers bypass the IVR and get connected to the right agent the first time around, so they’ll be most likely to show you the money.
How Digital Intent Data can be Used to Route Calls with Invoca
Okay, so how can you begin viewing the call center experience in a larger context? In other words, how can you eliminate the disconnect in the buying experience, when consumers are finding and discovering your products and services online, but ultimately calling in to convert?
With Invoca, marketers and contact center leaders can join forces to use all the first-party intent data captured during a consumer’s digital journey — things like Google search keywords, website clickstream data, and unique digital identifiers — and use that to inform call routing in real time.
How does this magic happen you say? I’m happy to say it’s quite straightforward (and dare I say, ingenious).
Invoca’s website tag captures dozens of privacy-friendly digital intent data points as consumers search for and explore your website. As this is happening, our dynamic number insertion (DNI) code is presenting unique Invoca phone numbers to individual consumers for their specific sessions. What this means is that whenever a consumer decides to call, Invoca can use all of those digital data points to dynamically route the call to different destinations — either by directly forwarding the call or by passing data to an ACD. Smart, right?
Well, it’s more than a neat trick. Truist (formerly SunTrust Bank) took advantage of this technology to increase call center efficiency by 60%, while maintaining the same staffing levels. And according to a commissioned Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Invoca, using the platform to route calls results in 90% fewer calls being transferred away from sales departments.
High-Impact Scenarios for Using Intent-Based Call Routing
The high-intent buyer: Let’s say you’ve got a visitor on your site that’s very engaged. They’ve visited your product pages and are adding items to their cart. Now they have a question about available product options and decide to call. You can use this shopping cart data to route the caller to a high-priority queue so that their call gets answered immediately by a sales agent. No waiting, no time to get distracted online and abandon their purchase. Just immediate satisfaction. Result for your business? Higher close rates! (just ask DISH.)
The high-value buyer: In this scenario, let’s say you sell a number of different product types, some of which have bigger margins and are much more profitable to your business. Now you’ve got a consumer who is visiting one of these high-margin product pages and decides to call. With Invoca, you can use data on the page they’re currently browsing to route this caller to agents that excel at selling these high-value products. Now the caller gets all those product-specific questions answered AND they purchased the extended warranty. Result for your business? More revenue!
The dissatisfied customer: Last but not least, let’s say you’ve got a consumer that’s intent on cancelling their service. They’re on your website searching for “cancel my service,” and they make a call to the number displayed in the header. With Invoca, you can use search keyword data to dynamically route the caller directly to your retention department, which is able to save this customer from churning. So rather than becoming increasingly frustrated as they navigate your IVR, you’re able to exceed their expectations and retain that revenue. Result for your business? Improved sales growth and profitability!
Other Ways to Create Connected Buying Experiences
Dynamic call routing is only one of the ways that Invoca enables revenue teams to create connected, online-to-offline buying experiences. Challenged with a drop in sales agent productivity following a massive influx of inbound calls, Viasat — the global leader in satellite broadband — used Invoca's cloud-based IVR to deflect unqualified sales calls and route existing customers to the care department, resulting in a savings of 452 contact center agent hours per week and a 74% increase in handled call conversion rate.
CX leaders can also drive experience personalization and improved customer satisfaction by enabling agents to tailor their conversations with real-time screen pops that display the same digital intent data that can be used to inform routing. Imagine showing each agent the Google search keyword that the caller typed in, or the website URL that they were on when they called. With this information, agents can immediately begin addressing caller needs, saving time and saving the caller from repeating their information yet again.
Improving digital ad targeting and improving lead quality are just some of the ways that Invoca can help drive revenue acceleration and profitability for your business. Learn more about Invoca for Sales here.