In its simplest form, a call flow is a step-by-step process that an inbound caller is moved through from the time he/she places the call, to the time the call is matched and connected with a call recipient or buyer. This can be as simple as routing inbound calls directly to a group of recipients or as complex as a multi-step IVR coupled with advanced call distribution logic.
In this post, we break down the call flow to its two bedrock components: information gathering and call distribution to give you a more clear idea of how you can and should assemble the best call flow possible.
Call Flow Part 1: Information Gathering
If you are building a call flow, that probably means that you do not want to send every single call to the exact same place. This is smart. Not every caller is identical, nor is every call recipient, so it is in both your best interest as well as the caller's to treat each call uniquely and find the right recipient each time.
In order to do this, you need to gather as much information about the caller as possible in order to properly service their needs. The information gathering step of your call flow can come with two components: source tracking and interactive voice response (IVR) usage.
1. Source Tracking: The second a call is placed, you can learn the caller’s area code as well as the origin of the call. Although your call routing software can capture every caller’s area code, the area code is not a perfect representation of the caller’s location and should be used cautiously as a filtering mechanism in your call flow.
Upon the call placement, you can also learn where the caller found your phone number if you have unique phone source tracking configured. In more simple terms, if you advertise different phone numbers in different locations (billboards, online ads, landing pages) you can recognize the origin of the call based on the number the caller dialed.
2. Interactive Voice Response: Along with the source tracking information you can collect from every caller, you can implement an IVR to automatically gather additional information about each caller. If you are not familiar with IVRs, be sure to read our brief synopsis on IVRs and how to use them. In short, an IVR automatically asks callers questions, records their answers (via voice response or number input) and uses this information to intelligently move a caller through a call flow.
An IVR is a large part of your call flow and should be utilized to gather all information about a caller that you need in order to match the caller with the best possible recipient.
Call Flow Part 2: Call Distribution
Used together, the source tracking and IVR components represent part one of your call flow. The second part utilizes the information gathered to unite the caller with the right recipient. To do this, you need to build and configure custom business rules for each of your individual call recipients or call buyers. For example, you might have one call recipient that only accepts calls from the state of Illinois. You might have another call recipient that does not accept calls on weekends. You may have another recipient that will accept any call you send them. Because of the unique requirements and specializations of each call recipient, you must create custom business rules for each to allow for automated call matching and distribution.
Once this is done, each inbound call and its corresponding information is used to automatically identify the best call recipient in real-time and route the call accordingly. Of course, along with this call matching process, there are numerous distribution logic decisions that you can make to build a distribution process that meets your exact needs. Feel free to explore your call distribution logic options here.
In summary, it is easiest to think about call flows as two separate parts with specific rules embedded in each. The first part collects information about the caller while the second part uses that information to match the caller with the best recipient. When broken down in this way, you can build an incredibly sophisticated, yet easy to assemble call flow that both meets your needs while servicing the caller’s needs in the best way possible.
If you have any additional questions about setting up a call flow or are interested in exploring additional call routing features and tools, you’re already in the right place. We have been helping lead generation companies route and sell calls for well over a decade. Just fill out the form below or give us a call at 800-776-5646 to learn more.