Hows and Whys of Skill-based Routing in Zendesk

The more your business grows, the more customer requests you receive. As a result, you need bigger customer service teams. But we won’t discuss the number of your support reps, no. We will talk about their ability to cope with their duties at a high level and the skill-based ticket management.

We’ll start with the number of customer requests. Let’s imagine it’s huge at the moment. You may understand that each customer requires help in his/her particular issue makes your brain blow off. As it’s also true that it’s hard for one person to remember all peculiarities of each question. Especially to be able to help their clients properly and manage with thousands of tickets.

That’s why it would be perfect if there was a tool that can help to sort out unsolved tickets and assign them to people who are masters in their craft. It means they wouldn’t receive every single request to resolve immediately but see the issues they can deal with.

With such a tool, the agent’s productivity would rise substantially and the number of enormous efforts would decrease.

And guess what? Such a thing exists! And it’s called skill-based routing, or shortly, SBR. Now, let’s see what does it imply.

What is skill-based routing?

Skill-based routing is a strategy for assigning incoming customer requests to the most suitable support agent or group. In other words, the tickets will be assigned according to the needed skills for tickets processing, specialization, or status of your support reps or support group during the ticket routing process.

Skill based routing ticket

What are the benefits of skill-based routing best practices?

The skill-based ticket routing benefits are the following:

1. Better agent productivity.

With SBR, support agents can focus on the issues and questions they are most experienced in. It means, that as a result, agents will be able to resolve more tickets. They will work with higher effectiveness, increase the level of customer satisfaction and avoid manual ticket routing.

2. Higher rate of first call/request resolution and shorter ticket routing path.

If customers with unique problems connect to an expert in the field, they want to receive the best solution. Because the more expertise agent has, the better advice he/she can provide. So, the customer doesn’t have to ask specifying questions or explain their problem over and over again.

3. Shorter resolution time.

Since agents are more familiar with the problem, they can provide a helpful solution in less time in comparison to one that has minimum knowledge in that particular area.

4. More flexible workflow.

Skill-based Zendesk routing is that kind of feature which can replace a chain of complicated tools that serve approximately the same purpose. You simply use one single tool to route relevant tickets to the correct agents and it’s really as easy as it is. And moreover, the adjustment of Zendesk ticket routing settings can’t be simpler.

Skill-based simple ticket routing is that kind of feature which alone can replace a chain of complicated tools that serve approximately the same purpose.

5. Decreased expenses.

As soon as you remove the unnecessary manual actions from your agents’ workflow, they will have more time on their hands to work on issues they are most experienced in. You will also stop wasting your brain space to remember who does what best to be able to manually reroute tickets every time and organize your ticket routing workflows without any efforts.

6. Higher customer satisfaction.

Obviously, the faster you provide ticket handling process, the happier the customers are. That’s why with skill-based-routing you get the increased customer satisfaction rate with decreased overall efforts.

How does skill-based routing work in Zendesk?

First, you determine the main criteria for assigning incoming tickets to your support team. Second, select ticket attributes that set them apart from each other. Lastly, combine these two factors and develop an SBR strategy for your company.

When it comes to SBR in Zendesk, you are able to set certain skills to agents, according to things they can handle best, of course. It can be either product attributes, ticket channel or even language the customer speaks. So, the first thing you do is determine the main ticket criteria for assigning incoming tickets to your support team. The second would be the ticket attribute values that set them apart from each other. Lastly, combine these two factors and develop an SBR strategy for your company.

Now let’s move to things Zendesk specifically can offer you.

Route correctly from the very beginning

You don’t have to assign the ticket to a single support rep each time so they have to reroute it if they cannot resolve the issue efficiently. With Zendesk, you can create a group of agents and launch automated ticket routing of the available tickets to several qualified reps. Yes, it means no more worries if one of the agents is available or has enough time! Plus, you get decreased ticket response and resolution time, which obviously has a positive effect on customer experience level.

Display tickets for chosen teams

Initially, Zendesk system was built to assign each incoming ticket to any available agent due to ticket routing structure. So, until you identify the special skills to agents and their groups, the system will think that each agent is knowledgeable in every topic. That’s why you enable SBR for identification of tickets which don’t require special skills and which do.

In the first case, they will be visible for the bigger group of support reps and vice versa. If the ticket needs special attention from experts in the field, it will be hidden from the majority and left for the qualified ones. As a result, the efficiency of the team grows as the reps can concentrate on the issue right away.

Move your team to a new level

In case you still don’t want a complete division, it is also possible to make all the tickets visible as a separate view. For example, when there is a small number of qualified agents available, the support reps from other groups can take over some issues. This way they will also practice their skills in particular areas or gain some new qualities.

And to keep this flow of tickets organized, Zendesk enables a ‘Skills match’ column. Thus, any tickets will be hidden from any agent, however, the team will see marked requests that meet their skills, so they can choose accordingly. Or, you can basically just clone the skill-filtered view, so your agents are able to see all the tickets apart from those that match their skills.

Use skill-based routing for success

Skill-based routing means that customer support tickets are devided between agents according to ticket assignment methods. So, don’t hesitate to use SBR in Zendesk. Easily enable your agents to see specific requests so that they can solve them even more efficiently. As well as eliminate a ton of mundane manual work - just let the system route tickets to right agents each time. This change will certainly increase your support team’s productiveness and develop your customer satisfaction rate which a straight way to your success.

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