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 to Chat for Dynamics 365 Customer Service or Dynamics 365 for Digital Messaging. For information about pricing, see the Customer Service page.

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.

Routing and work distribution scenario

Overview of routing system

A customer initiates a conversation from the portal, and the conversation reaches the Omnichannel system. Now, based on the routing rules condition defined in the routing system, it starts routing the conversation to the appropriate queues.

The routing rules condition is based on the channel, CRM, and customer context that you, as an administrator, define in the Omnichannel Administration app.

When the conversation reaches to the queues, the work distribution system distributes the conversation based on certain triggers. To learn more, see Overview of work distribution system

Overview of work distribution system

The work distribution system distributes/assigns the conversation (work item) to an agent based on the following triggers:

  • Work item available trigger
  • Agent available trigger

Work item available trigger

When a conversation is present in a queue, the work distribution system searches for the best available agent based on the capacity and presence if there are no other conversations present in the queue.

If there are other conversations present in the queues, then the conversation will be added to the end of the queue and will be assigned to the agents after other conversations are assigned.

If there are one or more agents available, then the work distribution system takes a course of action based on the following scenarios.

Sl no Scenario Work distribution system action
1 One or more agent is available Assigns the conversation to an agent with the highest available capacity
2 One or more agent is available with same capacity Assigns the conversation to an agent who has a lesser number of active sessions for the current workstream
3 One or more agent is available with same capacity and number of active sessions Assigns the conversation to an agent who is waiting for a longer duration for a conversation

Note

  • The work distribution system gives higher priority to the agents who have worked and got disconnected from a conversation in the past.

  • The work distribution system gives lower to the agents who have rejected, transferred, or timed out the conversation.

Agent available trigger

The work distribution system assigns one of the existing conversations that is in the queues when an agent is available.

An agent is available in the following scenarios:

  • When an agent signs in to the Omnichannel for Customer Service app.
  • When an agent presence status changes from one state to another such as Away to Available, Away to Busy, and Away to DND.
  • When an agent capacity changes due to the closure of a conversation or assignment of a conversation.

Whenever an agent are available, the work distribution system always retrieves the oldest conversations (longer duration) that is present in the highest priority queue and assigns the conversation to an agent who satisfies the capacity condition.

When there is more than one conversation that satisfies the capacity, then the work distribution system takes a course of action based on the following scenarios.

Sl no Scenario Work distribution system action
1 More than one conversation Assigns the conversation from the high priority queue
2 More than one conversation in the high priority queue Assigns the conversation that is oldest (longer duration) in the high priority queue

Note

If an agent has rejected, transferred, timed out a conversation, then the work distribution system gives lower priority to these conversations over other existing conversations in the queue.

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