Engage Digital | Configuring routing strategies

As an administrator, you can create a new routing strategy and modify the steps in a routing strategy. When modifying steps, you can create custom names for each step, adjust how long an interaction stays in each step, and instruct the platform to consider only business hours for some or all steps.

Enabling Routing mode

You must enable Routing mode before the platform creates the default routing strategy. As an administrator, you can enable Routing mode in the account settings if it is not already enabled. You must also give the administrator role — i.e. the credentials that you’re using — the ability to modify the routing strategy. 
1. Navigate to Settings > Account settings in the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Under General Configuration, check the Enable routing mode box.
3. Click Save.
4. Navigate to Users > Roles & permissions in the left-hand navigation bar.
5. Hover over the administrator account name, then click the Edit pencil icon that appears at the far right.
6. Under Admin - Chat and routing mode, check the Manage routing mode configuration box.
7. Click Save.

Forcing agents to accept interactions automatically

By default, when the platform finds an agent that can process an interaction, the customer’s message will appear on the agent’s screen and a ringing sound effect will alert the agent. If the agent does not click on the message to accept the interaction within 30 seconds (for example, the agent is busy with their current interactions), the platform will either try to transfer the interaction to another agent, or mark the interaction as undelivered if there is no other qualified agent available.
1. Navigate to Settings > Account settings.
2. Under General configuration, check Accept interactions automatically.
3. Click Save.   

Adding a routing strategy

1. Navigate to Routing > Routing strategies in the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Click Add on the top-right corner of the Routing strategies page.
3. In Name, edit the default routing strategy name. (optional)
4. Check External routing only. (optional)
5. Click Save.
Enable External routing only if you are going to use a different method of routing interactions to agents instead of the platform’s routing strategy. In that case, the platform will create a triage strategy that needs no further configuration.

While you can create and save multiple routing strategies, only one routing strategy can be active at any given time. In the Routing strategies configuration page, the routing strategy that is currently active has the word ACTIVE in red highlight displayed beside its name. To activate a different routing strategy, hover over the routing strategy you want to activate then click the Activate arrow icon that appears at the far right. Click Yes in the confirmation prompt that appears.

To delete a routing strategy, hover over the routing strategy you want to delete then click the Delete trash icon that appears at the far right. Click OK in the confirmation prompt that appears. Please note that you can delete only a routing strategy that is not currently active.

Editing a routing strategy

Editing a routing strategy
1. Navigate to Routing > Routing strategies in the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Hover over the routing strategy and click the Edit pencil icon that appears at the far right.
3. Edit the Name of the routing strategy. (optional)
4. For each step, edit the Name. (optional) 
5. For each step, edit the Waiting duration.
6. For each step, check the Waiting duration in BH? box. (optional)
7. For async_intervention_target and realtime_intervention_target, check the Check agent presence box. (optional) 
8. Click Save.

Routing strategies configuration settings

Depending on how we configured your platform, some of these steps and options may not be present in your routing strategy.
  • import_step: The initial step of a routing strategy. This is simply when a new interaction enters the platform after the customer sends a message.
  • transfer_step: An interaction enters this phase when an agent tries to transfer it at any other step. An agent can transfer an interaction to another agent, or to a team or a category if those two options are configured. The platform will keep trying to transfer the message within the specified waiting duration. 

    If no agent accepts the message within the waiting duration, the message automatically goes back to import_step. This phase has only one step, but as we discussed in the Intro, that step has two variants: Async_transfer is for interactions from asynchronous channels, while realtime_transfer is for interactions from real-time channels.
  • intervention_target: The step in which the platform will attempt to route an interaction to the agent that last replied in the conversation to which the interaction belongs. It has two variants: async_intervention_target for asynchronous channels and realtime_intervention_target for real-time channels. If the interaction is brand new and therefore not related to existing conversations, it will skip this step.
  • thread_target: The step in which the platform will attempt to route an interaction to any agent that replied in the thread to which the message belongs. It has two variants: thread_target for asynchronous channels and realtime_thread_target for real-time channels. If the message is from a customer who is reaching out for the first time and is therefore not part of a previous thread, it will skip this step.
  • default_target: The step in which the platform will attempt to route an interaction to a qualified agent based on skill and language indicated in the agent profiles. It has two variants: default_target for asynchronous channels and realtime_default_target for real-time channels.
  • any_target: The step in which the platform will attempt to route an interaction to any available agent. It has two variants: any_target for asynchronous channels and realtime_anyone for real-time channels.
  • undelivered: The final step in a routing strategy. If no agent accepts an interaction after it has passed through all the preceding steps, the interaction is considered undelivered and will not go back to import_step or transfer_step. A supervisor must manually assign an undelivered interaction to an agent to address the customer’s concern.
  • Name: Your custom name for the step. You can use this to make the routing strategy easier to identify. The platform also uses custom step names instead of the default names when generating Interactions per routing strategy step reports in Analytics. Note that the flowchart that visualizes the routing strategy is a static image and won’t show custom names.
  • Waiting duration: The period within which the platform will keep trying to route an interaction to an agent that meets a step’s criterion. If no agent accepts the interaction within the waiting duration, it will proceed to the next step.

    This field must be filled with an integer followed immediately by one of the following letters: h for hours, m for minutes, or s for seconds. For example, 1h means 1 hour, 2m means 2 minutes, and 30s means 30 seconds. Enter 0s to instruct the platform to skip the step. When Waiting duration in BH? is enabled, this field’s name becomes Waiting duration BH. 
  • Waiting duration in BH?: When enabled, the platform will pause the waiting duration timer outside of the configured business hours. This option prevents the platform from trying to route interactions when there’s no agent on shift. For example, suppose you enable this option and your business hours are only until 5:00 pm. In that case, the platform will pause the waiting duration timer at 5:00 pm and will resume only at the start of the next business day. This prevents customer messages sent near the end of or outside business hours from becoming undelivered. Enabling this option can also help keep reports and agent metrics accurate.
  • Check agent presence: Available only in intervention_target. When this option is enabled, the platform will immediately check if the agent that last replied to the conversation is available. If the agent is not available at that moment, the message skips intervention_target and proceeds to the next step.
If multiple agents fit the requirement of a step and some or all of them are working on an interaction, the platform will route the interaction to the agent that has not accepted an interaction for the longest period. If multiple agents fit the requirement of a step and none of them are working on an interaction, the platform will route the interaction randomly to one of those agents.

Deferred messages

If an agent defers an interaction, it will automatically proceed to the transfer_step on the next (business) hour unless the agent replies within the hour. The interaction will then go back to intervention_step when the waiting duration of the transfer_step expires, or when the customer sends an additional message, whichever comes first.
 
When the platform sends a deferred interaction back to intervention_step, the deferred interaction will have the same priority as new interactions.
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