Omnichannel routing is a highly-configurable routing solution that can route tickets from email, calls, messaging, web form, side conversations, and the API. Omnichannel routing provides the most sophisticated routing logic, which can increase agent efficiency and effectiveness. It works out of the box, but you'll get the most value if you take your time planning out and planning your routing configuration.
Planning your routing configuration
Omnichannel routing works out of the box. As long as you already have a mechanism in place to assign incoming tickets to groups, such as triggers, omnichannel routing can start routing calls and messaging conversations as soon as it's turned on and email tickets as soon as the auto-routing tag is added to them. Therefore, when you turn on omnichannel routing or adjust your configuration routing, it's best to have a detailed plan ahead of time.
To plan out your omnichannel routing configuration
- (Optional) To make the most informed decisions about your routing configuration settings, you might want to consider the questions posed in Best practices: Planning your routing workflow.
- On all plan types, do the following:
- Email tickets (including web form, side conversations, and API) must have a unique routing tag. Decide what your routing tag will be.
- You probably already use triggers to assign tickets to groups. In that case, you just need to ensure one or more triggers have an action to add the routing tag to any email tickets you want routed by omnichannel routing. See Requirements for the routing triggers. Decide if you are going to modify existing triggers to function as routing triggers, or create new ones.
- Before you turn on omnichannel routing, you need to define capacity rules to balance the assigned work between agents. There is a built-in capacity rule that is enabled by default, but you can define alternative rules that better meet your unique needs. Decide what capacity rules you will need. For each rule, decide what the capacities will be for each channel and which agents will be assigned to the rule.
- Review the standard unified agent statuses. When you turn on omnichannel routing, standard agent statuses are automatically available for agents to use across channels. The standard agent statuses can't be edited, but it's important to understand how they're configured.
- On Professional and Enterprise plans, you'll also need to decide the
- What unified agent statuses are you going to use? Just the standard agent statuses or custom statuses, too? For each custom status, what will be the name of the status and what will be the per-channel statuses?
- Are you routing based on ticket priority? If so, what triggers are you going to use to add and manage priority on tickets?
- Are you using skills? If so, what skills are you going to define and which agents have them? What routing rules or triggers are you going to use to add and manage skills on tickets? Do you want to fallback to the routing model if agents with the skills aren't available?
- How do you want to handle it when messaging conversations and calls are routed to agents but they don't accept it? Are you going to turn on messaging reassignment timing, where a messaging ticket is reassigned to a different team member if not addressed within the specified timing? (On Professional plans the reassignment time is 30 seconds; on Enterprise plans, it is customizable.) Are you going to turn on call offering time limits, which acts as a reassignment time threshold for incoming calls?
Editing the routing configuration
After you turn on omnichannel routing and set your routing tag, your final step is to configure how it distributes the messages. An initial routing configuration is supplied with omnichannel routing. You can edit this at any time to suit your needs.
To set up a routing configuration
- In Admin Center, click Objects and rules in the sidebar, then select Omnichannel routing > Routing configuration.
- On the Routing Configuration page, click Edit next to the Initial routing configuration.
- On the Initial routing configuration page, you can see the name and description for the routing configuration.
- On Professional plans and above for Zendesk Suite, Support, Talk, and
Messaging, you can configure the following values:
- Turn on skills-based routing: This routes tickets to agents with
matching skills who also have an eligible status and spare capacity. To
use this feature you must have defined skills for your
account and a way to assign skills to tickets. See
About using skills to route
- Turn on skills timeout : (Recommended) When selected,
work may be assigned to agents without the matching skill if
none of the agents with the skills are available at the time. If
you don't turn on the skills timeout, email and messaging
tickets with skills remain in the queue indefinitely until an
agent with the matching skill becomes available; calls remain in
the queue until the maximum queue wait time is reached and the
call is sent to voicemail.Note: Before agents can be considered for assignment after a skills timeout occurs, one of the following events must occur: agent status changed, agent capacity changed, the agent's group assignment changed, or the agent's maximum capacity changed.
- Email: The skills timeout threshold for email tickets. The default is one hour.
- Messaging: The skills timeout threshold for messaging conversation. The default is 30 seconds. This also applies to chats in some circumstances.
- Talk: The skills timeout threshold for calls. The default is 30 seconds.
- Turn on skills timeout : (Recommended) When selected, work may be assigned to agents without the matching skill if none of the agents with the skills are available at the time. If you don't turn on the skills timeout, email and messaging tickets with skills remain in the queue indefinitely until an agent with the matching skill becomes available; calls remain in the queue until the maximum queue wait time is reached and the call is sent to voicemail.
- Turn on messaging activity routing: Counts all open active and inactive messaging tickets towards an agent's capacity. Additionally, both active and inactive messaging tickets will be offered to agents via the Accept button. When not selected, only active messaging tickets are counted towards capacity and offered via the Accept button.
- Turn on messaging reassignment timing: This reassigns
work to a different team member if it isn’t addressed in the time you
- Messaging timing (seconds): If messaging
reassignment timing is enabled, specifies the time in seconds
before work is reassigned to another agent. The timing is 30
seconds on Professional plans, and customizable on Enterprise
plans. This also applies to chats in some
circumstances.Note: On Enterprise plans, you can also set a reassignment timing threshold for incoming calls with the Call offering time limit setting on the Talk page in Admin Center. See Managing Talk line settings.
- Messaging timing (seconds): If messaging reassignment timing is enabled, specifies the time in seconds before work is reassigned to another agent. The timing is 30 seconds on Professional plans, and customizable on Enterprise plans. This also applies to chats in some circumstances.
- Turn on reassign reopened tickets: This reassigns email and
messaging tickets if the assigned agent has a specified status when the
ticket status changes from Solved, Pending, or On-hold back to Open. If
you are using custom ticket statuses, this
applies to all custom ticket statuses in the Solved, Pending, or On-hold
Note: To configure reassignment of reopened tickets, your account must allow agents to assign tickets back to their groups.
- Email: Select the agent statuses for which you want to reassign email tickets when the ticket status changes. This reassignment behavior applies to all email tickets with the routing tag, even if the ticket wasn't originally assigned via omnichannel routing.
- Messaging: Select the agent statuses for which you want to reassign messaging tickets when the ticket status changes. This applies to all messaging tickets. This also applies to chats in some circumstances.
- Turn on skills-based routing: This routes tickets to agents with matching skills who also have an eligible status and spare capacity. To use this feature you must have defined skills for your account and a way to assign skills to tickets. See About using skills to route tickets.
- When you are finished, click Save.
Configuring omnichannel routing to route tickets based on priority
On Professional and Enterprise plans, omnichannel routing automatically considers ticket priority if it's set. All you have to do is set a ticket's priority before it is assigned to an agent. We recommend using triggers to automatically set the ticket's priority when it enters the queue. This can be done with the same routing triggers you're already using to assign groups and the routing tag, or separate triggers.
Evolving your routing configuration
- Are your reassignment timeouts correct? If your agents often have spare capacity, you could try reducing these thresholds. If they are typically at capacity with a large queue of work waiting for an available agent, reducing the threshold probably isn't a great idea.
- Is your ticket prioritization working for each channel? Are any adjustments needed?
- Are your unified agent statuses still meeting your needs? Have you noticed any trends in agent productivity based on their status usage? If you aren't using custom agent statuses, would they be helpful to you?
- Has anything changed for you organizationally that should be reflected in our routing configuration, triggers, or other business rules?
When you need to adjust your routing configuration, see Editing the routing configuration.