See all features

Call Routing

Call routing  is critical in improving call center operations and customer experience. If your business’s call volume increases, having an efficient call routing software can effectively reduce call wait time and prevent multiple transfers before your customer reaches the right individual or department. In this page, we’ll dive into how call routing systems work, different types of routing methods, benefits, and best practices for effective routing strategies.

What is call routing

What Is Call Routing?

Call routing is a business phone system feature that manages incoming calls by queuing and directing them to the right destination. It involves determining where a call should be sent based on a pre-defined set of rules and criteria, which might include the time of day (or time zones), language preferences of the caller, agent availability, caller requests, etc.

As the call routing process is fully automated, the feature is sometimes referred to as Automatic Call Distribution (ACD).

Call routing functionality doesn’t only apply to high-volume scenarios like contact centers. Companies of all sizes can use the feature to make sure customers can easily reach the right person or department whenever they call.

How Does Call Routing Work?

Different business phone systems or call centers may route calls differently. In most cases, when a person calls a business, the automated call routing accepts the call, provides an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu, and then connects callers with the most appropriate resources, whether it be a specific individual, a queue, a voicemail box, etc. Factors used to determine how calls are handled include:

Time of Day: Whether it’s during business hours or holidays.

Caller ID: The phone number of the incoming call, which also provides info on the caller’s location and sometimes, the call priority.

Called Number: The number that the customer called. For example, the sales hotline and support hotline.

IVR Menu Selections: Input from the caller in an IVR menu of choices.

Call Waiting Time: The caller’s current wait time in a call center queue.

Agent Skill: Connect the callers to the best-suited agents to handle their queries using skill-based routing.

Agent Status & Presence: The real-time availability & presence status of the called person or agent, such as busy, on holiday, etc.

How Does Call Routing Work

Types of Call Routing Methods and Strategies

Effective call routing strategies often employ a combined set of criteria to direct calls to agents consistently. These call routing rules help small businesses to large enterprise provide a better customer experience. The most common strategies include:

Simultaneous Routing

Once a call comes in, all available agents will be rung up simultaneously until one answers it. This is the preferred method to reduce customer waiting time.


Rings agents in a fixed order and calls will be distributed to the first agent available. This is the best solution for customers calling with more minor issues that don't require extensive answers, preventing your call center representatives from having to deal with too many calls.

Round Robin

Also known as “Rrmemory”, Round-robin routing routes callers evenly throughout your team. For example, if there are three agents in your call center, the first call will go to the first agent available. Once they accept it, the next call will be distributed to the second representative and the next to the third. After the third agent accepts the call, the process starts again.

Time-Based Routing

A time-based routing solution is perfect for businesses with an international clientele. This distribution method will assign calls based on business hours.

Skill-based Routing

Skill-based routing connects callers to the best-suited agents to handle their queries based on predefined agent skill level. This ensures that customers are routed to agents who can provide the most effective assistance.

Other Types of Call Routing

The full number of call routing strategies goes far beyond the mentioned four. For example, route calls to the agent who was least recently called, to the agent with the fewest completed calls, or to a random agent.

call routing

The Benefits of Call Routing

Reduced Wait Time

By automatically distributing inbound calls to the right queues, a call routing system ensures your customers are directed to the most appropriate available agents much faster, thus you can lower call abandonment rates effectively.

Speedy Resolution

Better agent matching greatly reduces delays caused by back-and-forth transfers, allowing customers to go directly to the person with the most qualified capabilities to address their issues, which translate into faster resolution and improved customer satisfaction.

Fewer Missed Calls

Your agents will become more reachable when armed with efficient call routing strategies. Rather than leaving a voicemail or even walking away without a response, this increases the likelihood that customers get in touch with a real person.

Increased Productivity

Call routing system allows agents to focus on serving customers. Based on certain routing rules, they generally have the appropriate skills to respond more confidently to customer needs and establish more meaningful communication.

Balanced Workload

Call routing can help balance the workload among agents, allowing incoming calls to be distributed relatively evenly to individual agents, avoiding some getting overwhelmed with numerous customer issues and affecting the overall efficiency of your call center.

call routing-FQA

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Yeastar business phone system include call routing?

Yes.Like most business telephony features, automated call routing is included in Yeastar PBX systems at no additional costs.

The difference between call routing and call forwarding?

The call forwarding feature forwards inbound calls to the device or number that the callee is currently using. For instance, if your employee can't answer their desk phone, the call can be forwarded to their cell phone.

Call routing queues and routes calls to the team of agents based on the specific rules. It is a tool that call centers usually employ to handle a high number of incoming calls.

Why is automated call routing important?

83% of customers expect to engage with someone immediately when contacting a company. (Source: Salesforce)

Consumers rank speed to issue resolution as top priority and knowledgeable service teams as #3. (Source: Northridge Group)

Nearly two-thirds (58%) of consumers will sever a relationship with a business due to poor customer service. (Source: Microsoft)

In short, gets customers to the right agents on their first attempts which leads to a better customer experience.

How to establish an effective call routing strategy?

Although choosing the right strategy for routing calls will vary from one business to another, there are some good practices you should follow when establishing how you manage incoming calls.

Understand your customer needs and call volume

Offer your callers an automated callback feature

Pre-record IVR prompts to present options

Create data reports that run periodically

Figure out your average resolution efficiency

Besides the above, you can also implement additional call management features, such as call recording, call monitoring, and call analytics, to help your agent handle customer calls more efficiently.

How to avoid common call routing mistakes?

Streamline your menu options

If you give customers seemingly endless IVR menu options, they are likely to press the button to go directly to human customer service and speak with a less-specialized agent.

Ensure your queues are sufficient

Customers will get annoyed when they are told to "please continue holding" after a long wait. Observe your call volume trends and allocate more staff or take special measures to respond at times with high predicted call volumes. For example, enable the queue callback feature to free customers from waiting forever yet help them get connected as soon as an agent is available.

Update Your System Regularly

A call management and routing system that works must continue to grow to suit customer needs. Call center supervisors usually use analytics and reports to spot potential problems and adjust accordingly before they hurt the bottom line.

Easy-first Business Phone System

Available in the Appliance, Software, and Cloud Edition, Yeastar Phone System provides flexible deployment options,
allowing you to have your PBX system sited on-premises or in the cloud.

Appliance Edition

If you prefer a plug-and-play system deployed within your company to ensure complete control, the Appliance Edition is the perfect fit.

See Specifications

Cloud Edition

Want to eliminate the workload of hardware installation while having your phone system up & running immediately? This is the option for you.

Learn More

Software Edition

You make the call whether to install the PBX system on a hardware server, a virtual machine, or even in the cloud.

Learn More

You might also interest in these features