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Virtual Assistant Value Streams: Misrouted Calls

Brad Stein
30 Mar 2020 - 5 minutes read

This is part one of a four part article series which will demonstrate how to identify value streams a virtual assistant can deliver through automating “customer-to-business” voice interactions. This series will look at how to measure quantifiable cost savings and track qualitative benefits that a virtual assistant can deliver in a contact center environment.

In this article we will investigate the “misroute” value stream. A misroute occurs when an inbound caller is routed to an agent or self-service application which cannot resolve the caller’s request. In this case the caller must be transferred to someone who can help. This can happen in 2 ways:

  • Blind Transfer – when a receiving agent transfers the caller without briefing the destination agent on the caller’s request
  • Consult Transfer – when a receiving agent transfers the caller, but informs the destination agent of the inbound caller’s intent or that the caller has already been identified and verified before departing from the call.

In either case, there is a significant amount of time wasted which impacts workforce management staffing calculations, customer experience & satisfaction, and ultimately call center cost.

If we look at all the steps required to transfer a caller, we can quantify the actual cost of a misroute.

Blind Transfer

  • Agent 1: Understand the intent of the caller: 25 seconds
  • Find destination workgroup for callers intent: 10 seconds
  • Agent 1: After call work / wrap-up time 30 seconds
  • Total: 65 seconds

Consult Transfer

  • Agent 1: Understand the intent of the caller: 25 seconds
  • Find destination workgroup for callers intent: 10 seconds
  • Destination workgroup : average speed of answer: 10 seconds
  • Agent 1 & 2 consult: 25 seconds
  • Agent 1: After call work / wrap-up time: 30 seconds
  • Total: 100 seconds

Although the misroute rate can vary per industry, an average across all DTMF (Dual Tone Multi Frequency) IVR (Interactive Voice Response) deployments is roughly 15%. So in a call center with 5 million calls there are 750,000 calls every year that need to be transferred resulting in 812,000 minutes lost for blind transfers and 1,250,000 minutes for consult transfers.

If you use the standard fully loaded agent cost in the UK, 25 pence per minute, the cost quickly adds up!

  • Misroute, Blind Transfer Cost: £203,000
  • Misroute, Consult Transfer Cost: £313,000

Typically a PolyAI virtual assistant can get in the realm of 95% success when it comes to routing a call to the correct agent, due to the patented pre-trained Encoder Machine Learning model. This means that just capturing the caller’s intent and routing it to a self service application or live agent can generate a gross saving of £135,000 for blind transfers and £208,000 for consult transfers in a call center with 1m calls.

Depending on the size and scope of an automation project, the “misroute” value stream can make a significant impact in delivering ROI in less than 12 months and drive a completely self-funding project in terms of OpEx reduction.

In articles to come, we will look at additional quantifiable virtual assistant value streams such as identification & verification and vertical-specific self service transactions, as well as qualitative value streams such as customer satisfaction, retainment, and effort.

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