Queue Prioritization and Skills based routing for contact centers using Asterisk

Inbound contact centers demand sophistication in managing the call routing. Skills based routing, queue prioritization and balanced queues are a few key requirements for every call center software.

In new generation Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) design, the call center software has the ability to setup many queues, each of which will require one or many skills to handle the incoming calls. The contact center management would identify and rate each agent for the skill-sets. Typically the skill level variation is recorded numerically by of a scale of 1 to 10 or 1 to 5, where 1 might indicate top skill and 5 or 10 might indicate the lowest skill level. When an agent logs into the call center software, it will associate the agent with all the queues for which the agent has the required skill-set. Inbound calls are routed by the dialed DID/DNIS numbers setup for each inbound service. The calls in the queue will be routed to the agent with the highest rating or priority for the group of skills associated with the queue. This is skills based routing. Queue prioritization is when one queue has priority over other queues. There are circumstances when two queues may require the same skill-sets but one queue might have to be answered ahead of the other queue.

Let us review how inbound calls get routed by the ACD of a call center software with skills based routing and queue prioritization:

Scenario 1: If calls are waiting in queues and an agent gets free, the ACD will route the oldest call from the queue where the agent has higher skill level. If the agent has same skill level for all queues, the ACD will route the longest waiting call to the agent.

Scenario 2: If multiple agents are waiting and a call comes into a queue, the ACD will route the call to the agent with the higher skill level on the queue. If the agent skill levels are same, the agent waiting the longest will get the call from the ACD. The queue prioritization can impact this. Any queue with higher priority will impact the way ACD will route the calls. Calls in a queue with higher priority will get to the agents ahead of the calls in other queues. Here the skills based routing and queue prioritization can be adjusted to achieve the required call routing rules.