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Customer service organizations depend on incoming service requests getting to the appropriate agent to ensure high customer satisfaction. Improving routing for your organization can seem like a daunting task, but it is not something that needs to be tackled all at once. The new unified routing capabilities in Dynamics 365 Customer Service can help improve parts of your process without disruption to your overall organization.

The recent blog post Increase customer satisfaction and agent productivity with unified routing describes six benefits of unified routing for your organization. Thanks to the composability of the system, you can break down your approach and benefit from incremental improvements without having to completely overhaul your routing and assignment strategy all at once.

Where to start

The unified routing capability reimagines the routing pipeline into two broad stages: assignment and classification. Get started with your routing transformation by assessing your current system and business structure in both of those stages.

Assignment

How are your customer service agents structured? Do you have teams supporting different regions, priority cases, or languages? Is work assigned to agents based on their skills and specifications or on who has the most capacity? Your queue configuration and assignment strategy should be core to your business processes, and it can be hard to change. But this step can have the greatest impact on improving your core support KPIs.

If your organization is ready to completely adopt automated, skills-based assignments, start by building your ideal queue structure, assign the skills and agents, and ensure your workstream rules update the incoming work items with those corresponding skills. If your organization is starting incrementally, identify a smaller group of agents and a subset of work items, and start a pilot program using one workstream (such as live chat or email) and one queue. The rest of the organization can continue to work as they are today, and the pilot will provide insight into what it would take for your organization to fully migrate

Classification

What about the cases, emails, conversations, or other incoming service requests your organization needs to route and distribute? How often do these items include all the information required to get to the appropriate agent? Do you have manual or automated steps to look up related data or extract key concepts before it can be routed? The classification stage in unified routing provides configuration and machine learning rules to help organizations ensure the work item has all the necessary details to route it to the right agent or queue.

If your organization is ready to completely adopt this stage, start by examining your existing process for steps that update the work item either manually or through a plug-in, and translate it into a classification rule. If your organization is looking to start small, identify a subset of the work items or maybe a new set of work items not being routed today such as email, and start a pilot using one workstream and one queue. Once again, the rest of the organization can continue to work as they are currently, and the pilot will provide insight into what it would take for your organization to fully use these capabilities.

Increased visibility

Maybe your current system is working well for your agent structure and the incoming work items. But do you have the visibility into the system to understand what’s going well and what needs to be improved? Unified routing provides diagnostics for any item routed, showing you clearly which rules were evaluated, what the results were, and how it was ultimately assigned to the agent. Continued monitoring will provide insight into how your routing rules are running and highlight areas in both workstream and queue configurations that should be reviewed.

How to get started

If you’re a current customer of Dynamics 365 Customer Service, you can enable unified routing in your organization to start streamlining your routing and assignments. You may already be leveraging the routing rulesets, which can still be used alongside the new unified routing workstreams. By crafting intake rules you can determine which cases and work items go through the unified routing engine and which are still processed by your existing routing rules. Don’t forget to use diagnostics to track a work item through your newly configured classification and assignment rules.

If you’re a current customer of chat or digital messaging for Dynamics 365 Customer Service, the good news is you’re already using the improved assignment capabilities. After migrating your workstreams to the new Omnichannel admin center app, you’ll be able to use the new classification capabilities as well.

If you’re not yet a customer of Dynamics 365 Customer Service, head over to Dynamics365.com to connect with a partner or start your own trial.

We're always looking for feedback and would like to hear from you. Please head to the Dynamics 365 Community to start a discussion, ask questions, and tell us what you think!

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