Setting up skills based routing

Traditionally calls are routed to the longest waiting agent. With skills based routing, the call center routes all types of interactions, including calls, to the agents who are best equipped to handle the interactions. For more information about skills based routing, see Skills based routing.

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How do I set up skills based routing?

Before you set up skills based routing, you can use the Routing Simulator tool to see which interactions will route to agents. You can explore the effect of different settings on routing outcomes. For information about using the Routing Simulator tool, see Using the Routing Simulator.

To use skills based routing, you must perform the following tasks:

  • Create a skill or skills and assign those skills to an agent or agents. For information about creating skills and assigning skills to agents in User Admin, see Configuring skills.
  • Tag incoming interactions with required skills. For information about tagging interactions with skills, see How do I tag an interaction with skills?.

  • Create an ACD applet that behaves as a UCD applet, that is, a skills based router. For information about creating a UCD applet, see How do I create a skills based router?.

When you have set up skills based routing, you can check live routing of interactions to agents and check for any issues using the Live Data Capture (LDC) tool. For information about using the LDC, see Using the Live Data Capture tool.

How do I tag an interaction with skills?

When you have created skills and assigned those skills to agents you can then tag incoming interactions, with the skills that agents require to deal with the interactions. The router can subsequently route interactions to the most appropriate agent.

If you configure a personal queue, while that personal queue is active for an interaction—that is, not timed-out—the personal queue settings override any skills or service groups configured for the same interaction.

Types of skills

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Mandatory skills

If a skill is mandatory, only an agent who has that skill can handle the interaction.

Expiring skills

An expiring skill is initially mandatory and then becomes optional after a configured period of time.

Optional skills

If skill is optional, Vonage Contact Center attempts to route an interaction requiring that skill to an agent with the skill. If no agent has this skill, Vonage Contact Center routes the interaction to the most appropriate available agent in line with other skill requirements.

Dynamic skills

If enabled for your account, you can tag interactions with the required skill or skills dynamically. These skills are contained in data sources. Before you can use dynamic skills, you must create a data source or data sources. These data sources are placeholders for actual values that emerge at run time. 

You can use any applet that stores data in a data source to create the data sources. The following applets create data sources:

You can also use an existing data source; by default, all calls have the following data sources available:

  • Call Guid
  • CLID
  • Dialled Number

    The Dialled Number ($(DialledNumber)) data source contains the ID of the interaction plan rather than its phone number. The ID and the phone number will often be the same, but this is not guaranteed. Therefore you should not use $(DialledNumber) to indicate the number dialed by the caller.

  • Language
  • First Agent ID

    First Agent ID is only populated after Vonage Contact Center has routed the call through an ACD applet to an agent.

  • DisplayName. By default, DisplayName contains the CLID of the inbound caller. For information about using a custom value in the DisplayName data source, see Setting a display name for an inbound call.
  • InteractionOutcome. By default, InteractionOutcome contains the outcome of the interaction. For information about interaction outcomes, see Interaction outcomes.
  • Interaction Start Time. The time, in UTC, that the interaction starts. For callbacks, InteractionStartTime will be the start of the original interaction.

If you use a post-call named route for post-interaction processing, all data sources configured at the time the interaction finishes (including InteractionOutcome) are available to the target named route.

You can then configure the Skill Tagger applet to tag interactions with the values in these data sources at run time.

You can set a dynamic skill to be mandatory, expiring, or optional.

Static (non-dynamic) skills

When you create a Skill Tagger applet, you can tag the interactions routed through the applet with a static skill. A static skill is the same for all interactions and does not vary at run time.

Before you can tag interactions with a static skill, you must have created that skill in the Skill Management area of the VCC Admin Portal. For information about creating skills, see Configuring skills.

You can set a dynamic skill to be mandatory, expiring, or optional.

Static skills take precedence over dynamic skills. For example, you have two skill requirements. One skill is an optional static skill requirement of Italian. The other is a mandatory dynamic skill requirement that is, at run time, also Italian. The resulting requirement is an optional Italian skill.

To tag interactions, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a Skill Tagger applet. For information about creating an applet, see Creating an applet. A new Skill Tagger applet appears.
  2. In the Clear All Skills section, optionally select the Remove all existing skills and personal queue check box. If you select the check box, Vonage Contact Center removes any skill or personal queue settings that the interactions have.
  3. In the Personal Queue Data Sources section, optionally configure personal queue settings. For information about configuring personal queues, see Setting up personal queues.
  4. In the Skill Requirements section, provide the following information to add a new skill requirement:

    Field
    Description
    Dynamic skill

    Determines whether this skill is dynamic or static.

    Select the Dynamic skill check box to add a new dynamic skill. A Data Source field appears.
    Clear the Dynamic skill check box to add a new static skill. A Skill field appears.

    Skill

    The skill that an agent requires to handle the interaction. The Skill list contains skills available in the Skill Management area of the VCC Admin Portal.

    Select the skill to tag the interaction with.

    Data Source

    The data source that contains the skill an agent requires to handle the interaction.

    Select the data source that contains the skill to tag the interaction with.

    Mandatory

    Determines whether this skill is mandatory.

    Click Mandatory to ensure that the interaction is only ever routed to an agent with the required skill.

    Optional

    Determines whether this skill is optional.

    Click Optional to ensure that Vonage Contact Center attempts to route an interaction requiring that skill to an agent with the skill. If no agent has this skill, Vonage Contact Center routes the interaction to the most appropriate available agent in line with other skill requirements.

    Mandatory for:

    Determines whether this skill expires.

    Click Mandatory for: to set this skill to expiring.

    Specify the time for which the skill is mandatory in the adjacent days, hours, minutes, and seconds fields.

    Click Add to add this skill requirement. The skill appears in the appropriate list in the Skill Requirements section and a new set of fields appears.

  5. Repeat step 4 for all the skills that you want to tag relevant interactions with.
  6. In the Next Applet list click the applet that the interaction is routed to next.
  7. To save your changes, click Update.

How do I create a skills based router?

When you have created skills, assigned those skills to agents, and tagged interactions with the skills that agents require to handle the interactions, you can then route interactions to the best possible agents. For information about creating and assigning skills, and tagging interactions, see Configuring skills and How do I tag an interaction with skills?.

To use skills based routing you need an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) applet in skills based routing mode—the ACD applet becomes a Universal Contact Distributor (UCD) applet, or a skills based router. For information about ACD and UCD applets, see Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) or Universal Contact Distributor (UCD) applet. The UCD applet uses all the preceding applets' settings to determine which agent or group of agents to route interactions to.

To create a skills based router, perform the following steps:

  1. Create an ACD applet. For information on creating an applet, see Creating an applet. A new ACD applet appears.
  2. In Behaviour Type in the ACD section, click Skills Based.
    The ACD page refreshes and ACD only sections are unavailable. The ACD applet is now a UCD applet.

  3. Configure the UCD applet as required. For information on the fields in the applet, see Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) or Universal Contact Distributor (UCD) applet.
  4. To save your changes, click Update.

Your UCD applet must be the last applet in a complete interaction plan. Now when an interaction arrives, the interaction is tagged with the skill or skills as configured in the Skill Tagger applet or Salesforce workflow rule and your UCD applet routes the interaction to the agent with the required skills.