This workflow example shows how you can leverage omnichannel routing route calls to the best agent based on their availability and capacity. On Professional and Enterprise plans, omnichannel routing also routes based on priority. You can use this example as a starting point for managing calls in your own account.
This recipe uses triggers, tags, and ticket fields to prioritize calls for VIP customers and transfer them to the billing group.
Your company has important customers who provide a significant portion of your business and pay extra to receive support over the phone rather than only messaging and tickets. You call these your "VIP" customers. You can use omnichannel routing to help expedite, prioritize, and route requests from these customers to make sure they stay happy.
Using omnichannel routing for calls
Before deciding how to route calls, it's important to understand the ticket creation process. When you use omnichannel routing, a ticket is created for the call as soon as it enters the queue. That means you can run triggers on incoming calls before it is answered. If you choose not to use omnichannel routing, tickets are created for calls after the call is answered by an agent, and triggers can't be run against the incoming calls until the ticket is created. That means omnichannel routing is the only way you can use triggers to influence call routing.
Creating a group of agents to handle VIP customers
Groups collect agents together, allowing admins to manage agent ticket assignments based on an agent's skills and experience. For VIP customers, it's a good idea to identify senior agents on your team who are best-suited to help these customers promptly and efficiently.
- In Admin Center, click People in the sidebar, then select Team > Groups.
- Click Create group.
- Enter a group name. In this example, we'll use VIP Triage.
- Select the agents you want to add to the group.
- (Enterprise only) If you want to make this group private, click Make this group private.
- Click Create group.
Identifying your important customers
- Mark each individual end user you consider an important customer with a
VIP tag. To do this, add a VIP tag to the end
- Use Organizations to group users from the same company or department and identify which organizations you consider to be VIP customers. To do this, create a custom VIP Customer checkbox field that adds a VIP tag when selected. Then select VIP Customer on any organizations you consider to be important customers.
After the organization or end users are tagged as VIP, any tickets created by them will contain the VIP tag, too.
Activating and configuring omnichannel routing
After identifying and tagging your important customers, you must turn on omnichannel routing.
To turn on omnichannel routing
- In Admin Center, click Objects and rules in the sidebar, then select Omnichannel routing > Routing configuration.
- On the Manage settings page, select Turn on omnichannel routing.
- Enter the other required information and click Save.
Creating a routing trigger
When activating omnichannel routing, you're asked to create at least one routing trigger. The routing trigger is required for email, web form, and API tickets, but optional for calls. For more details about routing triggers, see Requirements for the routing trigger.
In this example, we're using a trigger to prioritize and route calls from VIP customers.
To create a routing trigger for VIP calls
- In Admin Center, click Objects and rules in the sidebar, then select Business rules > Triggers.
- Enter a Name for the trigger. For example, VIP calls routing.
- Select a Category for the trigger.
- Under Meet ALL of the following conditions, add the following
- Channel > is >Phone call (incoming)
- Tags>Contains at least one of the following>VIP
- Add the following actions:
- Groups>VIP Triage
- Click Create.
Now, tickets created by calls from end users with the tag VIP are assigned to the VIP Triage group of agents with an urgent priority. Omnichannel routing will assign the calls in order of priority and time it was received to an agent in the VIP Triage with an eligible status and spare capacity.
First, this omnichannel routing has some great features! My company would love to be able to prioritize tickets in the queue, and we miss not being able to control calls when they are in the queue like we could with our old system so we look forward to having tickets created for all calls in the queue. Custom statuses are another thing we have missed having and look forward to activating! Last but not least we are happy calls will route to the same agent more than once if they miss the call. But... There are one big thing and two smaller but still significant problems I want to ask about:
"The ability to set up multiple fallback groups in Talk settings won’t exist. Calls can only be routed to a single group, meaning there can’t be a fallback group. This applies to both group routing and IVR routing. When onboarding, the primary group that is set up in Talk settings will be the only group for call routing. We recognize that this might not suit everyone."
We are one of the many companies this does not suit, we use this for a large portion of our Talk numbers (we have different groups who back up each other, and we have our tier 2 support group back up our tier 1 if they are all on calls, etc, etc.). Any viable workarounds so any company larger than 2 employees with more than 1 group can use omnichannel routing? Is this going to implemented any time soon?
Also, this discusses an "Omni-queue." That (and the screenshot above) leads me to believe that everything we put in the Omni-queue would run through one queue (emails, messages, talk together). So they would come in the order we receive them no matter the channel, with priorities adjusting the order. Reading other articles about omnichannel routing it seems they are actually separate queues, so our agents could end up with emails, messages, and calls at the same time. If this is the case are there plans to implement focus mode?
Last question - Any plans to allow admins to change our agent's status? To make them offline if they forget, etc.
Thank you for the work! I hope these concerns can/will be addressed so we can use these amazing features.
Thanks for holistic feedback!
Addressing some of the points:
The ability to configure different groups for different phone lines (non-IVR) and different groups with different keypresses (with IVR) will still exist. The ability to configure multiple fallback groups on a single IVR keypress or on a single phone line (non IVR) won't be available.
When assigning items to the agents, agent's capacity will be taken into account, capacities are defined per channel. Emails, messages and calls can be assigned at the same time if the agent has capacity to deal with them. If preference has to be given to a particular channel, custom statuses can be created which makes agent Online only for certain channels and offline for others.
With the release, if an agent forgets to set their status to offline, the status of the agent is automatically set to offline when one of the following events is detected:
Here are more details
Let me know if further clarification is needed on any of the above points.
Ability similar to focus mode, multiple fallback groups and changing agent status by admin are in discussion. Feedback like yours helps to prioritise. Keep them flowing thanks!
I wanted to clarify the following:
My understanding was that if an agent's capacity is on a call, then messages will not be assigned. The loss of focus mode when implementing messages was a HUGE loss for our team and I have been looking forward to the omnichannel routing with the understanding that this would address the loss of focus mode for those teams in agent workspace who had lost focus mode.
We haven't implemented email routing as it's not necessary for our use case, but anyone who has ever handled messages and calls or chats and calls is well aware that you cannot simultaneously talk to someone on the phone while replying to someone in a message.
Please clarify whether omnichannel routing will route calls to agents engaged in active chats or messages to agents who are on a call or in wrap-up time. Thank you.
Will the option for fallback groups be added at a later stage? At the moment our lines are configured to go to engineers fully trained in the product first, but fallback to all engineers if none of them are available. We would really miss this fallback on certain lines.
We turned on omnichannel routing but the moment we turned it on all the calls were rejected with the message of "outside of business hours". Is there any additional set up that I need to do for omnichannel routing to work with calls? (I did not add any trigger yet, I only turned it on).
Hi Trudy Slaght,
Apologies for late reply here, we understand the pain you are feeling with the loss of focus mode in Omnichannel routing. We have the focus mode use case on our roadmap to tackle for omnichannel routing. Can't commit on any timeline yet until, will share when we have more details.
For the moment, to accomplish a similar behaviour if agent should not be routed a message when they are on calls. A custom status can be created turning the agent just online for calls or messaging separately.
Thanks for the feedback!
Hi Rohan Gupta,
Thank you for the response. We disabled omnichannel routing as it was causing a workload imbalance and was not functional for our team. The great benefit of focus mode is that small teams can have members online for all channels at the same time and agents only receive a call on one channel at a time. This provides for maximum flexibility in scheduling and adaptation to changes in customer contact channels. For this reason it's not practical to have to have agents change their status from one channel online to another - it defeats the whole purpose of having them online for all channels if they have to manually manage their status at any given time.
I will look forward to the addition of focus mode. We likely will not implement omnichannel again unless the offline message routing is changed to be handled like an email ticket as well because having the first online agent of the day get all the overnight messaging tickets dropped on them is not practical or sustainable. (It dis-incentivizes agents from being the first to login in the morning.)
I hope that future beta processes use a larger variety of use-cases to identify significant deal-breaker issues prior to an update being released.
Hi Ola Timpson,
Yes, tackling the fallback group use case is on our roadmap. We are also constantly thinking of improving the queues and call flow experience, part of which will be ability to provide fallback for calls. At the moment, I don't have further details on specifications and timing of it, but will share when we have them.
Thanks for the feedback!
Hi Sacbe Alfonsina Ibarra E,
There should be no additional set-up required. On front face does not look to be expected behaviour, but we will be needing more information to understand the root cause of the issue you are facing.
As troubleshooting is involved, the best way would be to have one of your Zendesk admins contact our support team using Option 2 in Contacting Zendesk Customer Support.
Hi Rohan Gupta,
Can you clarify the custom status mentioned in one of your earlier replies?
Does this mean that a custom status can be created that allows messaging tickets to be assigned only when an agent is not on a call (or vice versa)?
I'm confused about how with omnichannel routing, we are to use triggers to route calls but there is no capability to add tags or ticket types based on the talk number the call was received on. We have several specialized lines that we cannot risk going to other groups and no way to route them to the correct group unless we exclude calls from all triggers. Will this functionality be added to the roadmap? We cannot add user tags to the profiles since the lines are used for specific incidents and not specific users who might need more generalized help at other times.
Apologies for a delayed response - No, the exact functionality of focus mode is not achievable. When the agent sets her custom status to calls only, then only calls will be routed. After the call, if the agent sets her status to Messaging only, only messages will be assigned next. But, no automatic ability is there.
It is on the roadmap but as the discovery is yet to happen cannot comment on any timelines.
Hi Ally Elliott,
You can add tags based on the phone number the call is received on. Call routing behavior can also be influenced on phone number basis.
A trigger condition can be set to run on comment text contains a particular incoming phone number, and an action can be configured in the triggers - see the below screenshot:
Hope this helps, there are other functionalities on the roadmap to add tags on IVR keypresses, they are in discovery mode will post about them when I have more information.
With omnichannel routing, setting of group in the Talk settings is still available. A group can be easily configured in the phone number routing settings, and call will always flow into this group, if not influenced by triggers.
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