Preferred Routing

Key Features

Any media type—voice, chat, email, SMS, etc.
Assigns session to specific agent
Timeout reroutes session to general queue
Routing decisions by SCC or external service
Integrated with IVR
Integrated with business applications

How preferred routing works

For companies aiming to deliver first class customer service, personalisation is a key factor for success.

Sytel’s Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) platform, in addition to traditional inbound practices (e.g. dequeing sessions to the agent who has waited longest), offers preferred routing – the ability to route a session to a preferred agent. This personalisation increases customer satisfaction and adds a level of sophistication to the business process.

All routing options are available for all media types – voice, chat, SMS, email, etc.

Preferred routing attaches two pieces of data to incoming sessions:

  • a tag – to indicate which specific agent should handle the session
  • a lifetime – so that if the tagged agent cannot accept the session within the lifetime, another agent from the same team can take the call.


Example one

In figure 1, customer Maria makes contact. Using Maria’s originating address, SCC:

  1. looks through her contact history
  2. considers the skill sets of the available agents

Agent John is chosen as the most appropriate*. Unfortunately, John is busy right now and cannot handle any more sessions, so the session enters the general agent queue and is picked up by the next available agent.

*Note that the routing decision could also be made by a 3rd party service. For more on this, see our page on Advanced Routing.

Preferred routing example showing tag lifetime expiry
Figure 1 – Example showing tag lifetime expiry

How it works

When a contact session is received, before it is sent to an inbound queue, it is assigned with a tag to a specific agent. The session is then sent to the appropriate queue, which contains a mix of tagged and untagged sessions.

When an agent becomes free, SCC will either:

  1. dequeue the first session tagged for that agent (if present), or
  2. dequeue the first untagged session from the queue

However, as SCC runs a sophisticated multi-media blending engine, an agent may not be able to accept any sessions tagged for them. Therefore, tags have a lifetime. If, after the specified time has passed, the agent was not able to accept the session, the tag is removed. The session stays in its position in queue and is then dequeued to the next available agent.

Example two

Figure 2 shows a workflow and the possible outcomes when SCC receives an incoming contact session, identifies the customer, finds their account manager and tags the session.

SCC identifies the customer by using an IVR flow to perform a data lookup in the customer history database. The response indicates that this session should be sent to the customer’s account manager. The IVR applies a tag to the session, identifying the account manager, with a tag lifetime of 5 minutes.

If the account manager is not able to accept this session within 5 minutes, it is assigned to the next available agent.

SCC offers many possible enhancements to the IVR flow, for example by offering the customer an opportunity to:

  • transfer immediately to another agent
  • leave a message for their account manager
  • notify the account manager by email, enabling them to respond to the customer later


Example of a call flow using Personal Routing
Figure 2 – Example of a call flow using Personal Routing

See also ...

Optimised Inbound Routing

Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service

Skills-Based Routing

Choosing the best agent for the session

Softdial Pathfinder™

Simple building blocks to allow the development of any kind of routing rules, for any media, for realtime deployment

Advanced Routing

Highly complex rules and conditions to be applied to session flow for all media types

Advanced Routing Examples

Five use case examples showing how Pathfinder may be used to optimise the customer experience

What We Offer

Sytel Limited develops and supplies Softdial Contact Center® (SCC), offering multimedia, multichannel, fully blended cloud contact center solutions, for quick and easy deployment by partners offering CCaaS or enterprise users. All Sytel cloud components are secure, resilient and scale seamlessly from 10 agents to 10,000+, whether local, mobile or remote.

  • Flexible Contact Center Platform

    Softdial Contact Center™ – tightly integrated modules, designed to deliver at scale

  • Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

    Partners can run a functionally rich and flexible contact center stack in the cloud

  • Blended Media Desktop

    Fully customisable, multi-channel, multi-session workspace

  • Work Anywhere

    Browser-based tools, no software installation required

  • Cloud Or On-Premise, Multi-Tenant

    Scalable, resilient, secure, proven

  • Customise, Localise, White Label

    Design all user interfaces to individual requirements

  • Integration Via APIs

    ‘Swap out’ components and integrate with 3rd party apps

  • World Class Development

    Continuous evolution pushing technical boundaries


Softdial Contact Center™ (SCC) is designed to be flexible, extensible and scalable, integrating with any legacy equipment, and meeting the most complex of requirements.

  • All Media Types

    Voice, chat, email, social, etc – fully integrated and blended

  • Agent Multi-Tasking

    Work with multiple live contact sessions of any media type

  • Dynamic Workforce Management

    Automated, ‘best available’ decisions to manage agents & balance work load, across all media types

  • Predictive Dialing

    Best-of-breed performance under compliance

  • Optimised Inbound Routing

    Smart rules and ‘best-available’ decisions to drive great customer service

  • Agent Scripts

    Help agents achieve and maintain excellence

  • Voice and Screen Recording

    See and hear exactly how agents are interacting

  • Analytics and Data Feeds

    Measure and evaluate performance at every level

  • IVR, Bots & Conversational AI

    Design effective automated flows or integrate with 3rd party providers

  • Customer Journey Tracking

    Stored customer contact history, to aid routing and add context to conversations


A complete suite of tools, with unique flexibility to extend and swap out modules to deliver a tailored contact center solution for any environment

  • Softdial One™

    Highly flexible unified web UI for agents, supervisors and administrators

  • Softdial Scripter™

    Create complex process flow scripts for agents, IVR, chatbots and other applications

  • Sytel AI Dialer™

    Best-of-breed predictive dialer; maximum performance under any compliance rules

  • Softdial Pathfinder™

    Precise routing rules for ‘best available’ connection

  • Softdial Media Server™

    Core telephony functions to manage all inbound/ outbound SIP calls

  • Softdial Reporter™ 5

    Fully customisable performance stats, charts and reports, across all channels

  • Softdial Publisher™

    Comprehensive data output to build your own reports

  • Softdial Recording Monitor™

    Audio and screen recording of agent activity to ensure the highest standards

  • Softdial Campaign Manager™

    Comprehensive configuration and control for outbound campaigns

  • Softdial Repository™

    Central storage and configuration of common resources

  • Sytel Global Compliance™

    Flexible ‘no contact’ rules to protect contact center and consumer


Performance and efficiency for a wide range of business applications

  • Customer Service

    Connect quickly to well equipped agents

  • Sales & Telemarketing

    Maximise agent productivity with best-of-breed predictive dialing

  • Healthcare

    Secure, highly-configurable multichannel communications for excellence in patient care

  • Market Research

    Best-of-breed predictive dialing with CATI integration

  • Collections

    Automated inbound/ outbound blending integrated with any debt management app