Understand unified routing and work distribution

Omnichannel for Customer Service is a paid add-on to Dynamics 365 Customer Service apps that use the Unified Interface. It is available only when you purchase a subscription of Chat for Dynamics 365. For information about pricing, click here.

Unified routing and work distribution ensures that conversations from all the channels are routed to agents efficiently.

Advantages of unified routing and work distribution are as follows:

  • Automate work assignment across channels.
  • Set up work assignment to best available agents based on their capacity and presence.
  • Analyze and manage agents productivity across channels.

Unified routing and work distribution is a two-step process:

  1. Routing dispatches conversations into the right Omnichannel queues.
  2. Work distribution allocates the conversations in a queue to agents in real time, based on capacity and presence.

Scenario walk-through of unified routing and work distribution

Refer the following scenario to understand how unified routing and work distribution works and how conversations are assigned to agents.

A customer initiates a conversation (chat) regarding Billing. Now, unified routing and work distribution help route the conversation to the Billing queue, and assign the conversation to an agent who is a member of the queue with the required presence and capacity. This is shown in the following illustration.

Routing and work distribution scenario

Let us see the steps involved in the scenario walk-through.

  • When a chat conversation originates from the customer, the system identifies the channel, and the routing and work distribution configuration details are applied. These configuration details are defined in the workstreams. Learn more, see Understand and create work streams.

    In this walk-through, the system identifies the work stream as Product & Billing live chat and applies the configuration details of the work stream to the incoming conversation. In this work-stream, the conversation requires a capacity of 50 units. This implies that when the system assigns this conversation to an agent, the system blocks 50 units of agent’s capacity.

  • Next, the routing and work distribution logic starts. With the help of context variables, Routing rules identify that the conversation belongs to the Billing queue, and the system routes to the Billing queue.

  • As the conversation reaches the Billing queue, the system allocates the conversation to one of the agents of the Billing queue, who satisfy the following criteria:

    • Capacity is 50 units or more.
    • Presence status is Available.

As Bert has the required capacity and presence, the system assigns the conversation to Bert. Once Bert starts working on the conversation, the presence changes to Busy and the remaining capacity is updated to 30 units.

Adjusting an agent's capacity based on conversation allocation

An agent's capacity is adjusted when a conversation is allocated. Here are the actions that occur:

  • The conversation is added to the agent's My Items list.
  • The agent's presence status changes to Busy or Busy DND.
  • The agent's utilized capacity increases.
  • The agent's available capacity decreases.

Adjusting an agent's capacity based on closure of allocated conversation

When an agent has finished working on a conversation, the capacity should be added back to the agent's availability. Here are the actions that occur:

  • The conversation is removed from the agent's My Items list.
  • The agent's presence status changes to Available.
  • The agent's utilized capacity decreases.
  • The agent's available capacity increases to the extent of free capacity.

If conversations are waiting to be assigned, they are allocated as soon as the agent becomes available.

To effectively route and distribute work to agents, admins can set up the following items in Omnichannel for Customer Service:

See also

Omnichannel for Customer Service for administrators