to the February 2019 issue of the NACC In Queue newsletter!
Generational Call Routing: Predictive Behavioral Routing And The NextGen Customer
Stockford, Research Director, NACC & Chief Analyst, Saddletree
Research, [email protected]
If there’s one thing of which I am
certain, it is that dramatic, unprecedented changes are coming to
customer service and, by extension, to the contact center
industry. The difference this time, though, is that the changes
will not be mandated by new technologies or new management strategies
based upon the latest buzz words or starry-eyed theories to capture the
imagination of the industry. This time, the changes will be based
upon the unstoppable, unchangeable expectations, preferences, and
demands of the next generations of customers.
As Baby Boomers, and to some extent Generation X’ers, fade not only in
the percentage of the overall population but as the majority of
consumers, the contact center will be faced with understanding and
meeting the demands of the NextGen consumer. Figure 1 below
illustrates the current U.S. population breakdown of the various living
1: U.S. Population by Generations
the Millennial generation along with Generation Z represent nearly 49
percent of the U.S. population with Generation Z still growing.
These generations bring with them new attitudes and a different set of
expectations when it comes to communications, information access,
technology support and brand loyalty. All this adds up to what we
believe will be a seismic shift in customer experience practices that
cannot be ignored or excused as a “fad” that will eventually
disappear. These changes will be here to stay.
We know through various secondary research sources that Millennials
simply don’t have the patience of previous generations. This
generation grew up with having information at their fingertips and
expect a speedy response to inquiries, such as customer service.
They are open to new customer services experiences and are not burdened
by the skeptical attitudes toward something new that characterizes
older generations. They expect customer service to be as
intuitive as every other application on their smartphones, meaning they
likely won’t be as understanding of transfers between representatives
during a customer service call.
Generation Z is the first truly digital native generation, meaning that
they have never lived in a world without the internet. They were
born operating at digital speed and expect to get access to the right
information the first time, every time. This expectation will
most certainly extend to their experience as customers and the
efficiency of customer service they receive.
Common to both generations is their propensity to share their
experiences on social media, including their service experiences both
good and bad. Brand loyalty among both of these generations is
almost non-existent and the will not hesitate to take their business to
another company after one bad service experience.
One of the last bastions of old-fashioned customer service technology
in the contact center is incoming customer call routing. In a previous analysis in this newsletter,
I outlined the slow and minimal advances in customer call routing over
the years. In most contact centers today, call routing hasn’t
changed in the last 40 years. In basic terms, the incoming call
is routed to the first available agent regardless of that agent’s
particular skills, experience, or ability to handle the unique
requirements of an individual caller or service issue.
Not only does this old-school way of routing customer calls need to
change, it must change in order to meet the requirements and
expectations of the NextGen customer as defined in this article.
The next generation of call routing, poised to radically redefine call
routing in the contemporary contact center, is Predictive Behavioral
In 2018, NICE (www.nice.com)
acquired call routing solutions leader Mattersight. Mattersight
introduced Predictive Behavioral Routing in 2014, essentially
revolutionizing the concept of the customer experience when it comes to
incoming customer call routing. Rather than simply routing the
call to the first available agent, the Predictive Behavioral Routing
server communicates with the ACD to intelligently route calls to the
best available agent based upon customer personality, behavioral data,
and communications preferences.
With a foundation in analytics and the use of proprietary behavioral
modeling along with the industry’s largest database of customer
behavioral profiles, Predictive Behavioral Routing sends the call to
the agent whose skills and ability best match the profile of the
customer initiating the incoming call. Figure 2 below provides a
graphical representation of how Predictive Behavioral Routing works.
2: The Predictive Behavioral Routing Process
Along with digital customer communications channels such as
web chat, e-mail, texting, and social media, Predictive Behavioral
Routing is the final piece of the customer support channel puzzle that
must be assembled in order to meet the customer experience requirements
and expectations of the NextGen customer. Rather than being
routed to the first agent to pick up the call, the call is routed to
the available agent who is most likely to succeed with the caller’s
personality and behavioral profile.
The net result of Predictive Behavioral Routing is a significant
reduction in customer effort combined with the cost savings that come
with increased first call resolution (FCR), decreased average handle
time (AHT), and the boost in employee morale and job satisfaction that
comes with having the technology that can deliver callers to them that
they are more likely to have success with.
Grounded in data science, analytics, and the years of research required
to create customer behavioral profiling, Predictive Behavioral Routing
is the NextGen call routing revolution that is perfectly matched with
the needs of an evolving population of customers in the future.
It sets a new standard in customer service and is a timely solution for
the generational customer experience challenges that undoubtedly lie
In This Issue...
Generational Call Routing
"Looking at things from other people's point of view is practically the secret of success."
~ Paul Graham
NACC has been burning
the midnight oil and typing until our fingers are sore to bring out
reports to our members. Each is listed below. If you are interested to
see what we are writing about, click on the links
below and download the executive summary of each. If you like
what you see, join the NACC so that you can view these reports and
others that will be coming out soon on our website. These reports will
you know the latest trends in the industry.