In a perfect world, every call made by a customer to a call center would be answered on the second ring by a knowledgeable and qualified representative with the skills to handle any inquiry the customer may have. But as we know, that’s rarely the case—and the more your business grows and expands, the less likely it becomes. That’s why you need to set up call routing systems for your inbound call center, which determine how and to whom incoming calls are sent. Here, we are breaking down five of the most common call routing systems to help you decide which one is best for your business.

Set Order


The most basic form of call routing (in that you aren’t really routing any calls at all), using a set order means that calls are answered in the order they are received and customers wait on hold in the interim. Using a set order is best if you are not fielding tons of calls, most customers are calling for the same reason, or the most common inquiries don’t take very long to resolve. If you are using a set order, it’s smart to have a system that tells customers their place in line or the approximate wait time or gives them the option to receive a call back if the line gets too long.




In a skills-based routing model, you would collect some information from the caller at the start of the call, usually with help from an IVR, and then use that information to route the call to the department best equipped to handle the issue. Skills-based routing provides the highest chance that the first person the customer speaks to will be able to solve their problem without consulting with a supervisor or transferring them to a different agent, which will always increase customer satisfaction.




Depending on the nature of your business and where your customers live, you may need to have your call center staffed 24 hours a day. While that could mean employing people to work the night shift, it could also mean employing agents who live in different time zones to be on at different times of the day. In this case, if you have agents in different places, your first step of call routing may be based on day and time so that calls are always directed to live agents as opposed to going to a voicemail box at an office where the agents have already clocked out for the day.




Team-based routing is almost a combination of skills-based and time-based. If you have teams based in different places that are equipped to handle a variety of customer issues, you can use this system, taking into account the volume of calls different teams are receiving and/or the number of agents working on any given day.


Direct Extensions


This call routing system is more frequently used for internal-facing call centers or businesses in which customers are calling with hopes of speaking to a specific person. With direct extension, callers would have the opportunity to enter an extension early in the call that would send them straight to the person they are trying to reach.

If there are multiple call routing systems on this list that you think would work for your business, you don’t have to pick just one. With the right call center software, like that offered by CallShaper, you will have the ability to switch between routing options depending on the time of day, day of the week or other factors that are more specific to your business model. To learn more about how, contact us today.