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Understand Queue-Based Routing

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe how queue-based routing works.
  • Explain how Omni-Channel determines the priority of work items.
  • Set up queue-based routing for Omni-Channel.

How Does It Work?

Maria Jimenez, Ursa Major Solar’s fearless systems admin, gets ready to try out queue-based routing in Omni-Channel. Before she starts, she wants to know how queue-based routing pushes work to agents.

Get the Most Important Work to Agents First

Prioritizing work by importance and quickly resolving the highest priority work is, well, a high priority for contact centers.

Maria learns that Omni-Channel always prioritizes work in the same way regardless of which routing method you use.

Omni-Channel uses three factors to prioritize a work item.
  • First, it considers the priority of the queue from which the work item came.
  • Next, it considers the amount of time the work item has been waiting in the queue.
  • Finally, it considers the members of the queue who are available to receive new work items.
Organize Work and Agents into Queues

When you set up queue-based routing, you create a queue, then set the queue priority, and then assign agents to it. You can think of queues as different buckets that Omni-Channel drops work into. A queue can represent a skill, such as Spanish; or expertise, such as technical troubleshooting; or a company department, such as Billing.

Define Routing Configurations

Next, you create a routing configuration to set the size and priority of different objects and to select the routing model that Omni-Channel uses. The routing configuration determines how Omni-Channel routes work to agents.

For example, a real-time web chat can have a higher priority than a case, because you’ve got a customer on the other side of the chat who wants to talk with an agent right now. A case can have a larger size than a chat, because working on a case can take up more of an agent’s time and energy than responding to a web chat.

In the routing model, you choose whether to push work to agents who are Least Active or Most Available. If you select Least Active, then Omni-Channel routes incoming work items to the agent with the least amount of open work. If you select Most Available, then Omni-Channel routes incoming work items to the agent with the greatest difference between work item capacity and open work items.

Manage Agent Workload

When Omni-Channel routes work items, it considers an agent’s capacity to take on more work and their current availability. So one agent doesn’t get overloaded while others wait for something to do.

Manage Agent Capacity

Agent capacity looks at the number and types of work items that are assigned to an agent, and at the agent’s overall bandwidth. You give each type of work—a case, a chat, and so on—a unit of capacity that represents how much agent bandwidth it takes up. And you give the agent a total capacity that indicates when the agent is working at 100% of capacity.

For example, suppose that cases each take 5 capacity and that chats each take 2 capacity. Let’s say that an agent has a maximum capacity of 10. In this situation, an agent can work on two cases (5+5=10) at a time. Or the agent can work on one case and two chats (5+2+2=9) at the same time. Omni-Channel won’t assign more work than the agent’s total capacity. Agent capacity enables agents to deliver high-quality customer service without getting overloaded.

Know When Agents Are Available for Work

Agent availability looks at the agent’s presence status in the Omni-Channel utility. The presence status indicates whether the agent is able to take on more work on a given service channel. Presence status is like your availability indicator on a messaging app or web chat app. If you’re busy, away at lunch, or offline, then Omni-Channel won’t assign work to you. Omni-Channel assigns work only to agents whose presence status is Available for a given service channel.

With Omni-Channel, agents no longer have to pick and choose work assignments manually from a queue, which saves everyone time, effort, and brainpower. Because it’s easier for agents to work on their assignments, they can assist customers faster and more effectively and close assignments more quickly.

Set Up Queue-Based Routing

Now that Maria knows more about queue-based routing, she’s ready to try it out for Ursa Major Solar. Maria logs in to Salesforce Lightning Experience and navigates to Service Setup. She discovers that there’s an Omni-Channel guided setup flow that walks her through setting up queue-based routing. Sweet! First Maria enables Omni-Channel in Setup, and then she runs the setup flow.
  1. From Setup, enter Omni-Channel Settings in the Quick Find box, then select Omni-Channel Settings.
  2. Select Enable Omni-Channel.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Click the App Launcher (App launcher), then click the Service Console tile.
  5. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner (Setup).
  6. Click Service Setup.
  7. In Recommended Setup, click View All.
  8. Scroll to select Omni-Channel Setup, or you can enter Omni-Channel in the Quick Find box.
  9. Click Start.
  10. Create a queue.
    1. For Queue Name, enter High-Priority Cases
    2. For Name These Agents, enter a name for the permission set. Maria enters Tier1 Agents.
    3. Add agents to the queue. You can click the + sign next to an agent’s name, or search for the agent. Be sure to add your name to the list of agents in the queue.
  11. Click Next.
  12. Prioritize work for your agents. If you don’t have any existing routing configurations, we create one so you won’t see this page. Skip to the next step.
    1. In Create a Routing Configuration for your queue, set the Priority. Priority is a variable used by Omni-Channel to determine which work records are assigned to agents in which order. For example, enter 1 to set this routing configuration have the highest priority. Note that when you set up the first queue, Salesforce automatically assigns it a priority of 1, since it’s the only queue. You can change this priority as you add more queues.
  13. Click Next.
  14. Adjust your agents’ workload.
    1. In Work Item Size, set the amount of an agent’s capacity that one work item consumes. Maria enters 5.
    2. In Agent Capacity, set the agent’s total capacity. Maria enters 20.
  15. Click Next.
  16. Click Finish.
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