At Aircall, we’re always working on new features to help you get the most out of our cloud-based communication platform. Sometimes, instead of creating a brand-new feature, though, we turn to a classic feature and brainstorm ways we can make it better.
We knew we wanted to create a more dynamic and interactive call routing experience, and we knew customers relied on IVR, but we thought: How could we make it better?
Meet Smartflows, a more intuitive way to build and manage call flows.
How It Works
With Smartflows, you simply go to the numbers section in your Aircall Dashboard, select the number you want to edit, and click on the “Call Distribution” tab. From there, you can start building your new call flow.
As you go, you can add widgets like audio messages, voicemails, time rules, and waiting music so you can build a flow that makes sense for your customers. To dive deeper into how Smartflows works on a technical level, you can get your questions answered in our Knowledge Base.
In an effort to paint an even clearer picture of how this new feature can help customer-facing teams, we created a case study based on a fake company. Keep reading to learn more!
Case Study: Meet Voyage Ventures
Let’s imagine you’ve started your first day as a Global Support Manager at a company called Voyage Ventures. Congratulations! Voyage Ventures sells a software solution that allows employees to easily expense corporate travel while collecting credit card points on purchases.
Voyage Ventures is a global company with a New York headquarters, but it also has offices and support agents based out of Berlin, Paris, and Madrid. After your first week in the new role, you’ve seen some clear issues facing the global support team.
The main pain points Voyage Ventures experienced
Higher customer expectations contributed to low CSAT scores
Customers expect fast, reliable, and personalized service, and Voyage Ventures’ support team has been struggling to keep up. Agents pick up calls on a random basis, which leads to many customers being transferred from one agent to another until they reach a resolution. It’s frustrating for customers, and it causes a lot of confusion for the support team too.
Customers have to wait a long time for support (especially on Tuesdays!)
Voyage Ventures receives an unusually high number of calls on Tuesday related to flight bookings, and while they have enough support agents staffed every other day of the week, they find themselves overwhelmed on Tuesdays.
Long average resolution time leaves customers frustrated, and a backlog of support tickets is starting to accumulate
The support team is changing all the time with new agents coming on board, and everyone has a different level of skill and expertise when it comes to Voyage Ventures’ product and services. It often takes newer agents a long time to resolve customers’ issues, since agents have needed to become experts on all parts of Voyage Ventures’ business in the past.
The Solution: Smartflows
With Smartflows Call Routing, Voyage Ventures is able to build inbound call distributions that are tailored to their business needs. Let’s help Voyage Ventures build its first call flow.
Step 1: Implementing an IVR
Voyage Ventures has customers calling from all over the world, with varying levels of fluency in different languages. Most customers want to speak to an agent in their native language, so the first thing we’ll do is implement an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) widget that allows customers to select a number on the keypad to speak to an agent in their preferred language.
You can see we’ve set up different branches for English, Spanish, German, and French, which correlates to all our different offices.
Step 2: Configuring Audio Messages
Next, we want to configure Audio Messages to help customers who fall outside of our language scope. With Audio Messages, we’re able to choose a text-to-speech message, which converts your text into voice or a pre-recorded audio message that we’ve recorded ourselves. Better yet, we can even record a message straight from the Aircall Dashboard.
Step 3: Setting Up Time-Based Routing
Now, what do we want to happen after a customer selects either English, Spanish, German, or French? Let’s hone in on our Spanish office to start.
We want to make sure that customers are reaching the Spanish team during their working hours. With time-based routing, we can customize our call distributions based on the day of the week and the time of day, perfectly suiting the schedule of our team.
Due to working hours in Spain, our Spanish support team signs off at 3 p.m. on Fridays, so we’ll set up three different branches: one for regular working hours, one for Spanish working hours, and one for any other time.
Step 4: Managing High Call Volume
As we said, one of the main challenges the team is seeing is high call volume on Tuesdays, so we’ll add a fourth branch specifically for Tuesdays.
Once we have all these branches set up, we want to assign agents and teams to actually receive the calls based on the time. We’ll assign our Spanish team to each branch, and then we’ll also assign a backup call center on Tuesdays to help us tackle the spike in inbound calls.
Step 5: Copy and Pasting Widgets
With Smartflows, we’re able to copy and paste widgets. This saves valuable time as we build out our call flow and allows us to replicate certain caller experiences across different branches.
If we select the time-based routing widget that we’ve set up for our Spanish team, we can now copy and paste it for our French and German teams. Then we’ll remove the branches for Friday hours since our French and German teams work the same business hours on Friday.
Step 6: Routing Callers to Specialized Teams
Now let’s focus on our New York office. 85% of our callers are U.S.-based and English-speaking, and we have the largest support team based out of the U.S.
Because we have more resources for this team, we want to train them based on some of the most common support inquiries we receive. Our top three most common questions are about core services (the basics of our business), points and credit, and flight cancellations.
Let’s see how we can route customers to specialized teams based on their reason for calling.
Under our English-language branch, we’re going to add another IVR. Creating multi-level IVRs allows us to further specify the reason why customers are calling so we can provide even more personalized support.
Step 7: Fine-Tuning Account Management
Let’s zoom in on our first IVR option for “Account Management”. Here, we’ll set up another time-based routing widget to match our U.S. business hours.
On Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., our support team receives additional support from our Customer Success team for two hours in a session called “Call Blitz”. We’ll configure two branches for Tuesday, one for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and another for all other times on Tuesday.
Then we’ll assign the relevant teams and backup call centers to each branch.
Step 8: Changing the Assigned Teams
And to use that same structure for our other IVR options, all we have to do is copy and paste the time-based routing widget and change the assigned teams!
Step 9: Setting Up Voicemail
In case any customer did not manage to connect with an agent, we want to give them the option to leave a voicemail. At the very end of our call flow, we’ll use the voicemail widget and let customers know that we will reach out to them within 24 hours.
Step 10: Ready to Publish!
Once we’re ready to publish our new call flow, we can check for any errors or warnings that have been automatically flagged by the feature. Maybe there is an audio message that we forgot to configure or maybe we forgot to assign a team to one of our branches.
If we click the error, it will automatically direct us to the moment in the call flow where we’ve made a mistake.
Then, once we’ve tied up our loose ends, we can click publish and set the call flow live for real traffic.
In a few steps, we’ve created a call routing solution perfectly tailored to our business needs. It may look complex, but it’s made up of simple building blocks that can be customized, edited, added, and deleted in just a few clicks.
Voyage Ventures has been using this new call flow for a few weeks now, and they’ve seen a number of improvements.
First, customer satisfaction scores have started to increase. Customers love speaking with an agent in their preferred language. They don’t need to request to speak to another agent or wait while the agent transfers them. As a result, the average handling time for your support team has decreased, tickets are no longer occurring in a backlog, and customers are appreciating efficient, reliable support.
In the U.S., customers feel that the support agents working with them are experts in their field. Agents have a deep knowledge of the exact issues that customers raise, and they’re able to offer tailored, informed solutions as a result.
Finally, with custom call flows on Tuesdays, teams globally are able to manage high call volume by leveraging backup call centers and additional teams. Customers no longer face long, frustrating wait times, and support agents are reporting greater employee satisfaction, as they’re able to better manage their workflows throughout the week.
Smartflows is an intuitive, dynamic call routing solution, which means it can be tailored to a business’s specific and complex needs.
To learn more about the feature and to start building your first Smartflow, learn more about Aircall’s new call-routing solution today!
Published on May 1, 2023.