All Courses

Cross-Channel Routing

As you know, Customers can only have one Conversation at any given time, regardless of the Channel the Customer used to reach out to you. All communications are contained in a single Conversation in the Customer’s Conversation Timeline within their Customer Profile.

Despite 1:1 Customer:Conversation arrangement, the Conversation Timeline is not limited to one Channel. Cross-Channel routing (or multi-Channel routing) refers to one in which the Customer is using multiple Channels to communicate.

Q. Why does Gladly keep all communications, including from different Channels, in one Conversation Timeline?

A Single Conversation Timeline

This gives Agents a centralized place to communicate and respond to Customer requests, regardless of channel, in a single view. Because a Customer’s Conversations are tied to one thread, your Agents never have to ask them to repeat a recent situation that may have occurred through a different channel. They have all the background they need to better help the Customer.

One of the many benefits of containing communications in a single Conversation Timeline is that it allows Gladly to route the Customer’s Conversation and allows only one Agent to be assigned to a Conversation at one time.

Watch this video to see the Agent experience of handling multiple contacts from different channels.

When the Conversation remains with the assigned Agent

One of the benefits of keeping all Customer communications in one Conversation is the ability to keep the same Agent assigned even when multiple Channels are used. If a Customer contacts in via Messaging or Mail, subsequent messages stay with that Agent even if the Customer opts for a different Channel (excluding Voice).

Hover over the icons in the graphic below to see this demonstrated with a visual representation of a routing scenario.

Click on the interactive icons in the image below to learn more.

When a Customer uses Voice and another Channel

One of the common scenarios of cross-channel routing is a Customer calling in while simultaneously using another channel to contact in (Mail or Messaging). In these cases, Gladly continues to contain all the Contacts in a single Conversation, however, the Conversation can be reassigned based on the Messaging or Mail Contact.

Click through the graphic below to see this demonstrated with a visual representation of a routing scenario.

Click on the interactive icons in the image below to learn more.

Training Agents on multiple Channels

As you can see, the Gladly experience focuses on making Customers feel like the support they receive is seamless. Because of this, it’s highly recommended that you train Agents to use multiple Channels. Even if an Agent will dedicate their time to a specific Channel, knowing to transition to a different Channel can be a huge benefit to the Customer.

Consider the example illustrated below. A Customer uses SMS to start a Conversation. In the Conversation, the Agent requests some information be emailed in. The Agent can swiftly transition between Email and SMS all while helping the Customer in a single view. On the Customer end, they receive a smooth, seamless experience.

Seamless experience aside, there are tangential benefits to training Agents on all Channels because of the impact of Routing. Below, you can read about various routing scenarios where an Agent may be confused as to why they’ve received a communication to a particular Channel. It’s recommended that you explore each scenario to become familiar with some of unique parts of multi-Channel routing.

Generally speaking, Gladly routes Customers to Inboxes based on the Channel used and the Channel’s Entry Point setting. In certain situations, if a new inbound email comes in the same email thread as any existing email Conversation, the Conversation will be assigned to the Inbox of the Conversation where the prior email from the thread resided instead of the email’s Entry Point Inbox so that the Conversation could be kept within the same department/team (Inbox) that worked on it last. This is common if a Customer calls first and then sends an email, which is why an email may appear in a Voice Inbox.

Regardless of the Channel you are available in to receive requests from, you cannot be assigned chats or other messaging requests while on a phone call. But, if you are speaking to a Customer and you see an active chat Conversation in their Customer Profile, it’s usually because the Customer chatted in at the same time but another Agent received the chat request. Take note that the chat Conversation is assigned to the Agent that received the request.

This could happen if an email is immediately followed by a chat request from the Customer.

When a Customer first reaches out via email, this communication opens a new Conversation in the Conversation Timeline. This email communication is routable to anyone available for email for the Inbox the communication is in. Customers may often reach out via chat even before their initial email is answered, adding that chat communication to the Conversation Timeline below the initial email. In this case, the new inbound (chat) communication will be a part of the same Conversation as the email but will only be routable to anyone “available” for chat. If an Agent is logged into an ‘Email’ Inbox and is only “available” for email (email, voicemail, and Tasks), then the Conversation will be routed based on the email’s position in the queue to be picked up. If an Agent is in the ‘Email’ Inbox that is also “available” in the chat queue (chat, SMS, FB), then the Conversation will be routed based on the chat’s position in the queue. If the original owner of the email Conversation clicks Close & Next to receive the next email, the Agent may be presented with the chat banner because Gladly considers the Conversation to be an email Conversation, but routes the latest communication, which in this case is chat.

It’s possible to receive a call and a message notification simultaneously, thus seeing two notification banners. This could occur if you are available on both Voice and Messaging and because Voice operates on an independent routing queue, separate from other Channels. 

Incoming call and new message at the same time

If you accept the call, you won’t receive any requests from other Channels while the call is active.

If you accept the messaging request (e.g., chat), your Messaging Channel concurrency settings determine how many Customers you can work with. 

If you don’t plan on training Agents on all Channels
In situations where Agents are trained for only one Channel, you need to ensure that Agents are trained on how to reassign cross-Channel Conversations back to an Inbox so that it can be assigned to an Agent that is trained (or ready for that particular Contact’s Channel.