Skills Based Routing in the ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center!

Assuming there is more than one Agent available to service an inbound contact center call, a “skill” level can be applied to route the call to the most suitable agent.   It is important to note that the system will only use this criteria if there is more than one Agent to choose from.  If there is only one Agent available to service the call, the call is routed to that Agent regardless of Skill Set.   Skills are defined in the system to have a value and a preference.   Skills can be assigned to IRN’s for example, in which we want to set a minimum skill level for calls that arrive through this portal.  Skills are also assigned to Agent along with a preference value.

For example you may have a contact center in which you want calls routed to Agents with different technical skills in desktop computers.  You have two skills defined in the system: Mac and Windows and you want calls routed to the most suitable agent based on a minimum skill level or proficiency for each type of desktop computer.  An Agent might have a very high value for MAC and  a lower Value for Windows.   You would want a call from a Windows to prefer and Agent with a high value Window skill, over an Agent with a high value for a MAC skills.

For each skill defined in the system, the system subtracts the product of the Skill value and the preference of the Agent for this skill from the Skill Value required by the Call.   For example assume that a call requires a call requires a skill named WINDOWS with a value of 75%.  Agent A has a 50% skill value and 1–% skill preference.  Agent B has a 75% skill value and a 75% skill preference.  The system calculates it as follows:

Agent A = 75 – 50*100/100 = 25

Agent B = 75-75*75/100 = 18.75

So the call will be routed to the Agent B!  Remember that you assign a skill level requirement to a call and a skill value and preference to an Agent!  The following film clip walks you  through setting up these parameters.   The Contact Center provides for Call Select and Agent Select.  As an Agent and a member of two or more groups, if a call comes in to all groups you are a member of, Call Slection Strategy defines which call you will get first!   The last step in Skill based routing is to set a Primary Call Selection Strategy based on “the best skill fit”.

This is a silent film clip to help you understand how to set this up in the ShoreTel Enterprise Contact Center!

Creating a “Personal Workgroup” to help answer your phone!

One of the great attributes of a Personal Call Manager, is the multiple call appearance functionality.   When you have an active phone call  you  can actually see a new call ring in, on your screen.  I like to think of this as “priority call management”.  Given that I know the value of the call I am on, when I see the Caller ID of the new call, I can make a real time decision about putting my current call on hold to take the new call.   Sometimes, however, this is just not possible without offending someone!  What I really want to do, is let the person ringing in, know that I am aware they are there and I will be right with them as soon as I finish the call I am on.  What combination of ShoreTel features will let me do that?

I created a new Personal Workgroup and put myself in the Workgroup as the only “agent”.   I also used the administrative interface to declare myself “always logged in”.  In this way I do not need an Agent Call Manager, nor do I have  to “log in” and Log out” of the Workgroup and I save the cost of a Workgroup Agent License!   I then recorded a Workgroup Queue Message: “Hi! I see you ringing into my desktop and I just wanted you to know I will be with you in just a minute as I am wrapping up this current call”.     To fully appreciate how this works, you have to understand one of the underlying principles of a ShoreTel Workgroup!   If you are a member of Workgroup, that Workgroup will only present one call at a time.   If you are on a Workgroup call, the Workgroup will queue the caller until an Agent becomes available.

Now when I am on the phone and I see a new phone call ring in that I really want  but can not just put my current call on hold,  I can still answer the new call!   First, as the new call rings in, I right click the new call appearance with my mouse and, while still stalking to the original caller, I  Transfer the call to the extension number of my Personal WorkGroup.  The ShoreTel Workgroup, sees that I am already on the phone and queues the caller.   The caller then hears my Queue message “ please wait and I will be right with you”, followed by music on hold.  When I wrap up my current call, the ShoreTel Workgroup sees me available and takes the caller off hold and routes them directly to my extension.  This is very effective tool for managing a busy desktop and it is also easy to implement!