This article answers some of the more frequently asked questions about using skills-based routing in Zendesk Chat. It addresses the following topics:
- What is skills-based routing?
- What are "skills"?
- Who is it for?
- How does skills-based routing work?
- How does skills-based routing work with multiple skills in the chat?
- What is wait time?
- How do skills work with departments?
- How does skills-based routing work with hybrid assignment, reassignment, and chat limits?
- Can I change the required skills once the chat has started?
- How do I verify skills setup?
- How do I know which skills are being requested and whether they are assigned to agents with the right skills?
- Can I assign skills using triggers?
- How many skills can I give an agent?
- How many skills can I add to a chat?
- What if the chat has more than five skills?
- What if the chat has no skills , but skills-based routing is switched on?
For more detailed instructions on working with skills-based routing in Zendesk Chat, see Setting up notification routing for live chat and messaging and Routing chats based on agent skills.
What is skills-based routing?
Skills-based routing provides a way to identify and assign chats based on agent capabilities.
What are "skills"?
A “skill” is one or more characteristics you assign to an agent. Skills can be languages that your agent understands, knowledge areas or products that your agent is trained on, types of customers that they serve, or the region they are in.
Who is it for?
Skills-based routing can be useful to your teams in the following scenarios:
- Different languages: You receive chats from visitors based in multiple countries or who speak different languages.
- Agent specialization: Your agents are trained in specific knowledge areas and you want them to only answer questions on those topics. This ensures your customers are paired with the agent most skilled to handle their request.
- Auto-escalation: You normally distribute chats to front-line agents, but when they are away or busy you want the chats to be escalated.
How does skills-based routing work?
To illustrate how skills-based routing works, consider the workflow for an incoming chat with Department: Billing and Skill: Swedish.
- The chat would first be assigned to an agent in the Billing department and Swedish as an assigned skill.
- If all agents in the Billing department with Swedish as a skill are busy/not available and the wait time has elapsed, the chat would be assigned to any agent who is online, serving lowest number of chats in the Billing Department.
How does skills-based routing work with multiple skills in the chat?
Let's say there is an incoming chat with two required skills: English and Billing.
In this scenario, the chat will be assigned to an agent with both the skills, English and Billing.
It would not consider an agent who has only one of the skills (only English or only Billing).
After the wait time, the chat would be assigned to any agent within the department based on number of concurrent chats being served.
What is wait time?
When there is an incoming chat with skills required and no available agent with those skills, there are two options for handling the chat:
- Wait for the agent with the required skills
- Assign it to any available agent
Wait time (in seconds) specifies the maximum amount of time a chat will wait for an agent with an exact set of skills. Once the wait time has elapsed, the chat would be assigned to any other agent.
How do skills work with departments?
A chat will always be assigned to an agent with skills within the department. The agent's department takes precedence over their skills.
If the agent with the required skills is not online or is Away/Invisible or has reached their chat limit, the chat waits in the queue until the wait time is reached, at which point it is assigned to another online agent.
If there is no department set up, the chat will be assigned based on skills.
How does skills-based routing work with hybrid assignment, reassignment and chat limits?
Skill based routing would work within the Assignment mode. The chats would be assigned based on the skills requested with the incoming chat.
- Chat limits: Chats would be assigned to agents based on the concurrent chat limit.
- Hybrid assignment: If hybrid assignment is enabled, incoming chats would be broadcasted to every agent in the department (if departments are enabled), not based on skills.
- Reassignment: Chats would be reassigned to an agent with a requested set of skills if the wait time is yet to elapse.
Once the wait time has elapsed, the chat would be routed to any available agent within the department, based on the number of concurrent chats being served.
Can I change the required skills once the chat has started?
How do I verify skills setup?
When your skills are created, assigned to agents, and skills-based routing has been switched on, you can verify whether chats are being assigned to agents with skills:
- Check if the skills you assigned are highlighted in Orange in the Visitor List.
- Follow the chat to the Chat Panel with ‘skills identified’ and ‘Agent with skills found’.
- After the chat has ended, use the Chat Transcript and the CSV (steps in the next questions) to verify how skills-based routing is working for you.
How do I know which skills are being requested and whether they are assigned to agents with the right skills?
When skills-based routing has been switched on, you can determine which skills were requested today and whether the chats went to the correct agent.
There are two ways to do this:
- View the skills requested as well as whether the chat was assigned to skilled agents in the Chat Transcript.
- Look at the transcript for each chat. We can check out this information in Chat Details CSV:
- Go to History.
- Select the chats we are interested in or select all chats.
- From Actions, choose Export chat details and provide email.
- Download the CSV using the link in the email. The information is present in skills and skills match column.
Use this data to identify volume of chats and train/deploy your agents for highly requested skills.
Can I assign skills using triggers?
Skills would be identified only based on tags assigned on Event - ‘When a visitor has loaded the chat widget’.
How many skills can I give an agent?
Each agent can have a maximum of five skills.
How many skills can I add to a chat?
You can add as many skills as you like to a chat. However, only the most recently-added five skills will be considered for routing.
What if the chat has more than 5 skills?
If a chat has more than 5 skills, the 5 most recently added skills would be considered for routing.
What if the chat has no skills , but skills-based routing is switched on?
The chat would be assigned to an agent within the department. The assignment would consider the number of concurrent chat served by agent and assign it to the agent with the lowest chats.