Call Routing: The Definitive Guide for 2024

Call Routing Blog Post Cover - Methods, Best Practices, Setup

Customer expectations are steadily trending upwards.

one are the days where they would patiently sit and wait on the phone, while the agent had a chat with their manager about the customer’s issue. No, the modern customer needs customers and needs them fast. For this reason, an effective call routing strategy is important.

The bottom line? Routing calls efficiently is essential in 2024.


Because every customer interaction matters. Poor call management can lead to missed opportunities and frustrated clients. The best systems ensure callers reach the right person quickly, improving satisfaction and efficiency.

This guide covers everything you need to know about modern call routing. Discover strategies, tools, and best practices that can transform your communication processes. Whether you’re new to call routing or upgrading your system, we’ve got you covered.

What is Call Routing?

Call routing is the process that determines the direction of an incoming call. Like a smart switchboard, call routing distributes calls around agents, departments or voicemail according to predetermined factors. Establishing those factors and the route is the tricky part. You want the routing to be simple and smooth, yet effective and comprehensive. And we are going to help you do exactly that with this article.

Regular vs Intelligent Routing: Core differencies

Regular and Intelligent Call Routing are both methods used to direct incoming calls, but they differ significantly in complexity and capability:

Regular Call Routing:

  1. Directs calls based on simple, pre-established rules.
  2. Routes calls to specific departments or individuals based on fixed criteria, such as the caller’s selection from a menu or the time of day.
  3. Does not adapt to changes in call volume, agent availability, or caller information.
  4. Suitable for basic call management needs.

Intelligent Call Routing:

  • Uses advanced algorithms and real-time data to direct calls.
  • Takes into account a wider range of criteria, such as agent skills, caller history, call context, and current call center conditions.
  • Adapts dynamically to changing conditions, ensuring optimal call distribution.
  • Enhances customer experience by connecting callers to the most suitable agents more efficiently.

In summary, while regular call routing relies on static rules, intelligent call routing leverages dynamic data and complex algorithms to improve call management and customer service.

How Call Routing Works

Before we talk about the call routing methods, you need to know how you choose to apply them. As we said above, call routing requires a well-studied strategy to bear results. Otherwise, you might end up frustrating your customers, team or both. 

Call Routing Determining Factors

Call Routing Methods & Call flow Addons
  1. Time of Day: Few businesses experience the same call volume throughout the day. Even less operate on a 24-hour or 7-day per week basis. Observe the fluctuations in the amount of calls your business receives, and set up routing accordingly. For example, you can choose to forward calls directly to voicemail during after-hours or weekends. Or in peak-hours you can choose between a multiple or sequential call routing method. We will talk more extensively about them, further down the article.
  1. Caller ID: If you have VIP customers or loyalty program members, then you can route them to designated agents and departments, using their Call ID. You can program call routing to recognise specific phone numbers and direct those calls accordingly.
  1. Department: Many businesses assign different cases to different departments. Technical support or after-sales support for example. You can configure call routing to direct calls based on the nature of the inquiry, as indicated by the caller either by selecting a menu option or entering a department code with their keypad.
  1. Agent Availability: To ensure excellent call handling, you must make sure that only available agents will handle incoming calls. Call routing can track which agents are busy, on a break or generally unavailable and direct calls only to available ones. You can thus minimize wait times.
  1. Agent Skills: Your team might have a skill diversity. You can configure call routing considering each agent’s skill set and assign them with specific inquiries.
  1. Call History: There are call routing systems that can access a caller’s communication history with you. This way, if a particular agent has already helped them, they can receive their call again and continue from the same touchpoint.
  1. Language: If your business operates in a multilingual environment, you can have call routing assign calls based on the caller’s preferred language. You can achieve this with a caller selection menu.
  1. Campaign or Promotion: Businesses running marketing campaigns or promotions can use call routing to direct calls generated by those campaigns to specific agents or queues with relevant information.

Call Routing Methods

  1. Dial: This is a fairly simple one. Every call you get, gets directed to a different phone number. Useful if you need to take calls while out of office, on weekends or holidays.
  1. Multiple: With multiple, all calls ring simultaneously to all available agents. The first one to answer, handles the call. Ideal for simple inquiries or if you don’t need to provide specialized customer service.
  1. Sequential: In sequential call routing, an incoming call gets delivered down to a list of predetermined phone numbers. If the first one doesn’t answer, then the call routing system will keep moving down the call until someone does.
  1. Weighted: Weighted call routing allows you to assign specific call volumes to agents. If for example you want Agent A to handle more calls, then you can configure call routing to direct 60% of the calls to them and the remaining to someone else.
  1. IVR Routing: In some cases, you might not need humans to handle a call. This is where IVR Routing comes in. IVR means Interactive Voice Response. It’s essentially pre recorded messages with which the caller interacts by voice or keypad. IVR routing can expedite calls, route callers when necessary or even schedule a call-back. They can reduce operating costs if employed correctly and increase customer satisfaction.

Benefits of Effective Call Routing

With a fine-tuned call routing strategy, your business can enjoy happier customers, more productive agents and an overall smoother operation. Here are some of the major benefits of an effective call routing strategy.

Improved Customer Satisfaction: By connecting customers with the appropriate agents and doing that in a fast and smooth manner, you can reduce wait times and frustration. Customers will see their issues addressed promptly and this will lead to a more positive experience.

Increased Agent Productivity: Customer service can be a pretty thankless job. Making sure to route calls to agents that can handle them quickly and effectively, will minimize wasted time and your agents will be able to focus on providing quality service.

Reduced Costs: Efficient call routing will help optimize your business resources. By minimizing hold times and agent transfers, you can potentially decrease call duration and overall call volume, leading to cost savings.

Improved Data Collection: With most call routing systems, you can also track various metrics such as call volume, wait times and agent performance. This data can help you optimize your customer service process.

Enhanced Brand Image: Satisfied customers will help your brand image grow. There is no better advertisement for a business than a happy and loyal customer.

Increased Sales & Lead Generation: Optimised call routing will ensure that sales calls will reach the appropriate agents that can convert those sales into customers. Additionally, routing high-value customer calls to dedicated agents can lead to increased sales opportunities.

Improved Employee Morale: When agents know that they are equipped to handle cases and inquiries they are trained for, it reduces stress and leads to higher job satisfaction. In turn, this will produce a more positive and productive work environment.

Greater Flexibility: Call routing systems allow you a greater degree of flexibility. You can adjust them according to your needs, such as peak hours, holidays or specific campaigns.

Setting Up Your Call Routing Strategy

Simply designing a call routing system is not enough. If you want it to work properly and produce results, you need to plan it through.

  1. Define Your Business Needs & Goals

Before you start, you must make sure you know what your business needs and why. You must study and understand the types of inquiries your customers typically have, group them and assign them to the appropriate agents. 

Analyze call volume and identify seasonal or promotional fluctuations.

Determine your desired customer experience KPIs. For example wait time, resolution time, etc.

  1. Choose the Right Call Routing Software

Research the options available. Take their features into consideration, in accordance with your business needs. Don’t forget, a successful call routing strategy needs data. Make sure that the software you choose, will provide you with enough to do your work effectively. 

Take scalability into account. Every business’ ultimate goal is to grow and for that, the software you choose must allow you the bandwidth to succeed. 

Lastly, ensure there is compatibility with other software you are working with, such as CRM.

  1. Design Clear & Efficient Call Flows

Start by visually designing the call flow. Like a map, it should show the direction each call should take. Include VR prompts, routing options, and destinations (departments, agents, voicemail).

Add as few steps as possible. Call routing should be user friendly, not frustrate the customer and waste their time. According to research, 83% of customers expect to talk to a human immediately. So, don’t keep them waiting.

Refine, refine, refine. Test your call flow with a small group of customers before you roll it out. Make adjustments and then keep tweaking it. Examine the data you receive for better optimization. 

  1. Train Your Agents

Ensure that your agents will understand the call flow system. There is no point in having a sophisticated flow if your agents can’t make proper use of it. Invest in training programs and choose software that is easy to use. Emphasize active listening, clear communication, and problem-solving skills for a positive customer experience.

Call Routing With Nimbata

As we said above, you need the proper tools to implement an effective call routing system. With Nimbata you get that, and much more.

You will have a robust call analytics platform. You will be able to extract all the necessary data that will help you improve your call routing system.

Nimbata’s call flow builder includes a wide range of add-ons and an easy to use drag and drop builder. You can visualize your call flow, add text to speech messages or audio files and call whispers and greetings. You will improve that call experience for both the customer and the agent.

You can also integrate Nimbata with a multitude of platforms, apps and software. This way you will have a unified picture of all your marketing efforts and sharpen your marketing campaigns.

Here’s a sneak peek of how Call flow Builder works ⬇️

You can test it now by trying Nimbata for free for 14 Days – No CC Required


By implementing an effective call routing strategy, you’ve equipped your business to handle customer interactions efficiently and professionally. This translates to a multitude of benefits, including:

  • Happier Customers: Reduced wait times and prompt issue resolution lead to a more positive customer experience.
  • More Productive Agents: Matching calls to skilled agents maximizes efficiency and minimizes wasted time.
  • Cost Savings: Optimized call routing helps streamline operations, potentially reducing call duration and overall volume.
  • Improved Data Collection: Valuable call metrics allow you to continuously refine your strategy for optimal performance.

Remember, call routing is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor your system, analyze data, and adapt your strategy to accommodate changing needs and customer behavior. By continuously optimizing your call routing, you can ensure a seamless customer experience that fosters loyalty and drives business success.