What IsIntelligent Routing?

Intelligent routing (IR), also known as skills-based routing, is a technology that call centers use to connect customers to the right agent who can address their needs. It helps boost operational efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

The system routes calls based on data from the customer, as well as language, contact channel, and type of query. The query can be in the form of an email, a voice call, or any other chat channel. 

Intelligent Call Routing (ICR) is the act of managing inbound calls and directing them to the most suitable agent. Cloud contact centers use intelligent routing in conjunction with SIP trunking to receive calls over the internet. 

How Does It Work?

Intelligent call routing, like attribute-based, uses various data to determine where to send calls for the best outcome 

Caller Input

An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system allows callers to provide the key information required for proper routing. By using this information, the ICR system routes the call based on several factors. These include caller intent and the company’s priority in handling the call. 

Current Caller Data

The data collection tools that ICR software features include Automatic Number Identification (ANI). It is a system that identifies the phone numbers that the calls are coming from. Another data-gathering tool is the Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS). This determines where to direct the call.

Historical Caller Data

After an ICR system identifies a caller, it automatically extracts information about the caller from the organization’s database. This data can include the caller’s purchase history, account status, and service programs. It can also contain specific details that can be useful for the correct interpretation of the caller’s intent. 

Benefits of Intelligent Call Routing

Less Waiting Times

Intelligent call routing solutions distribute incoming calls to the most suitable agents based on factors like skills, workload, and availability. The system directs calls to specific agents who know how to address the callers’ specific needs. This minimizes the time callers spend on hold, leading to a better customer experience. 

Fewer Abandoned Calls

An effective ICR system reduces the number of abandoned calls, where frustrated callers hang up because of long waiting times. By instantly linking customers to appropriate agents, companies can minimize call abandonment rates. They also boost customer retention and prevent missed opportunities.


Robust call routing plays a major role in cutting costs, and it does so through optimum resource allocation. By transferring callers to the right agents, the system minimizes idle time and maximizes team productivity. It can also help companies avoid understaffing or overstaffing issues, resulting in more cost-effectiveness. 

Easier Access

ICR allows agents to receive incoming calls from anywhere, including the office, home, or a different time zone. This presents better accessibility for both callers and agents, allowing companies to offer 24/7 support and cater to global audiences. 

Faster Outcomes

By directing calls to agents who have the relevant knowledge, customers can receive faster and more accurate answers to their questions. It won't be necessary to transfer callers from one agent to another. This leads to quicker problem-solving and a more positive experience for customers. 

Increased Efficiency

ICR boosts individual agent efficiency as it connects callers to agents whose skills align with the nature of the calls. It also fosters collaboration within the support team. Agents can share insights and information more effectively, improving problem resolution and customer service capabilities. 

When Does a Business Need Intelligent Routing?

There are certain signs that indicate the need for an intelligent call-routing system. It’s common for many businesses to handle large volumes of inbound calls. Customers calling companies can sometimes report one of several issues when trying to contact a support agent. These include:

  • Long waiting times

  • Multiple transfers from department to department

  • Difficulty pinpointing the most appropriate agent who can deal with the specific case

  • Spending too much time trying to understand the issue at hand

In cases like these, it’s easy for businesses to lose track of caller intent. What follows is a decrease in customer satisfaction due to frustration and unresolved cases. The solution is to invest in up-to-date artificial intelligence (AI) call-routing software.

How to Migrate to an Intelligent Routing System

Transitioning from an automatic call distribution (ACD) to an ICR system involves taking a number of key measures. 

1. Set goals for the ICR platform and determine how much you need to improve the customer and agent experience.

2. Segment your audience and choose what services you want to offer each segment. 

3. Develop strategies for your communication channels and network them across the integrated ICR software for a seamless experience.

4. Evaluate your customer support team's skills, find areas to improve, and prioritize proficiency levels for a good customer experience.

5. Match agent skills to suitable resources for each call and have backup resources when the initial agent is unavailable