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Should you use demographics in contact center agent routing?

Demographic-based routing for contact center agents can provide more effective customer service.

Demographic-based routing uses customer analytics to route callers to agents who have the specific skill sets to...

resolve the customer issue and additionally have specific personal attributes to appeal to specific customers. 

An example would be a customer who is a 65-year-old male from the Midwest who is calling customer service with an issue regarding the use of a product. Initially, the call will be presented to a product specialist who can assist in explaining how to use the product to the customer (skill-based routing).  Within that group of specialists, the call would then be routed to agents who have the most success working with 65-year-old males from the Midwest (demographic-based routing).

This strategy can provide both an opportunity to satisfy a customer’s needs and a “wow” experience. 

Current contact center technology can provide the basic infrastructure, using a variety of routing rules, to support this strategy. 

Demographic-based routing is a strategy with great potential, but there are a number of practical challenges that exist including the following:

  • Correlating key customer data demographics with agent attributes that lead to success
  • Determining tradeoffs, such as a customer waiting in queue longer to be routed to agents with specific attributes
  • Prioritizing routing rules based on both agent skills and customer demographics
  • Calculating and justifying the benefit of a demographic-based routing strategy

Demographic-based routing may have a place in the contact center, but at the end of the day, the most critical success factor will be whether the agent resolved the customer’s issue.

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This was last published in August 2015

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