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Skill-based ticket assignment allows you to automatically prioritize and route tickets to the right agent based on their skills. For example, consider an agent’s first skill is handling issues from VIP customers. Whenever the agent resolves an issue, tickets matching the VIP skill will be routed to this agent over other tickets in the queue.


Additionally, skill-based assignment, powered by Omniroute, allows you to manage agent load and set the assignment preference for tickets. 


Note: Skill-based routing powered by Omniroute is available for new Freshdesk standalone accounts only. If you're on the Forest/Enterprise plan, please write to support@freshdesk.com. We'll help in having the feature enabled without any disruption to your workflows. The accounts using the older version of skill-based routing with limited features will be upgraded to the latest version in the coming months.


TABLE OF CONTENTS


Understanding skill-based routing

What are skill rules?

Skill rules determine the skill that should be associated with a ticket. For example, you can create conditions to associate the skill “French” with issues from French-speaking customers.

What are agent skills?

You can associate each agent in your team with multiple skills and order them based on their expertise. When a new ticket is received, it is routed to the agent with a matching skill. For example, if a ticket is associated with “French,” it is assigned to the agent with “French” skill.


Benefits of skill-based routing

  • Respond and resolve faster by ensuring issues are always assigned to the best-skilled agents
  • Prioritize certain types of issues over another for assignment. 
  • Ensure agents are not overloaded beyond their capacity.


How does skill-based routing work?

When you enable skill-based routing to a group, tickets will be routed to agents if a matching skill is identified. Let's take an example of an e-commerce business. Agents Marley and Dan in the team have these two skills in the following order


Marley’ skills

Skill 1: Damaged product

Skill 2: Order tracking


Dan’s skills

Skill 1: Order tracking

Skill 2: Damaged product


At the start of the day, Marley and Dan have no tickets assigned. The first ticket that arrives has the skill "order tracking." This ticket is assigned to Dan since his first skill is "Order tracking." Tickets with the skill "Damaged product" are assigned to Marley. This continues until both Marley and Dan reach their load limit. 


Consider the following tickets, waiting in queue to be assigned


Created time
8:00 AM
9:00 AM
10:00 AM
11:00 AM
Ticket A
Ticket B
Ticket C
Ticket D
Skill
Damaged product
Order tracking
Damaged product
Order tracking


Say, Dan resolves two tickets and has the capacity to handle more. Since his first skill is "Order tracking" the router assigns Ticket B, followed by Ticket D. Only when there are no tickets with "Order tracking" skill in the queue, "Damaged product" tickets are assigned to Dan. 


This way, you can ensure that tickets of a certain type that need to be addressed immediately are prioritized for assignment. 


Enabling skill-based ticket assignment to a group

To enable skill-based assignment to a group:

  • Go to Admin  > Groups
  • Click Edit for the group you want to enable skill-based ticket assignment
  • Under Group Properties, enable Automatic ticket assignment and select Skill-based ticket assignment

  • Skill-based ticket assignment has the following options:
    • Manage skills This allows you to create/modify skills and add them to agents. For more details, see the section below
    • Manage agent load using Omniroute This option allows you to set the maximum limit on the number of tickets an agent can handle at a given time. For more details, see Omniroute


Creating skills

Skill rules determine the skills that should be associated with a ticket. For example, you can create a skill to route tickets/conversations from French-speaking customers to agents who are proficient in French. You can create up to 180 skills.


To create a skill:

  • Log in to Freshdesk as an administrator
  • Go to Admin >  Skills > Create Skill


  • Enter an appropriate name and description for the skill.
  • Add the conditions that will define the skill that needs to be mapped. For example, you can create a condition to assign every ticket from a French-speaking customer (the requester language is French) to the skill "French"
  • Choose if you want to match all or any conditions added. You can add multiple conditions based on ticket/contact/company fields and choose if any or all the conditions should match to map the skill to a ticket

  • Click Create skill

  • Proceed to associate agents with the new skill


Adding agents to skill 

You can assign multiple skills to agents. The order in which skills are added determines the tickets picked for routing. This can be done in the following ways. 

  • Add agent skills while creating/updating skills
  • Add agent skills from the Agent List tab
  • Add agent skills from the agent’s profile


Add agent skills while creating/updating skills

When you create or update a skill, you can immediately associate agents with the skill.

  • Go to Admin > Team > Skills


  • Under Skill List, select a skill, and click Add agents


  • Click the drop-down and choose the agents you want to associate with the skill. Alternatively, you can copy-paste any number of email
  • Click Add to skill


Add agent skills from the Agent List tab

The agent list gives the list of agents that are mapped to different skills in your account. You can easily manage the agents and add or update skills for them.

  • Go to Skills and switch to the Agent List tab. You can filter the list of agents by group using the dropdown in the upper-right corner


  • Click on Add Skills or Manage Skills next to an agent’s name


  • Select the skills to associate with the agent. You can also drag and drop skills to reorder them by order of preference
  • Click Save


Add agent skills from the agent’s profile

You can also associate skills when you create a new agent or edit an existing agent in Freshdesk.

  • Go to Admin > Team > Agents
  • Click on New Agent or click Edit next to an existing agent


  • Under the Skills section, click Add Skills/Manage Skills
  • Choose the skills to associate with the agent, reorder them by order of preference, and click Save


Reordering skills

When skill-based assignment is enabled for a group, every new ticket that the group receives goes through the skill rules. The skill corresponding to the first matching rule is added to the ticket. 

  • Go to Skills > Skill List, and click Reorder
  • Select the skill and choose the preferred position, and then click Place here


  • Click Done

If a ticket does not match any skills in the list, it will not be automatically assigned to any agent. These tickets will remain in the unassigned queue until an agent manually picks them. If you want to ensure every ticket to the group is assigned, you can create a dummy skill with the group name as the condition. Assign this skill as the last skill to all your agents.


FAQs:

  1. What happens when the properties of a skilled rule are updated? 
    The skill rule is considered only for new or existing chats that are up for skill recalculation (open, SBRR group, unassigned, not spam/deleted). Existing tickets/chats remain unaffected.

  2. Can a manager have access only to update skills for agents in their own team?
    1. If you are using Freshdesk Support Desk or Freshdesk Omnichannel then yes. If an agent’s role is a supervisor and they have group access, they can only see agents that are a part of their group under Admin > Skills.
    2. If you are using Freshchat, then no. All groups and agents from Freshchat will be displayed under the agent list page.

  3. How to delete an agent skill? 
    You can delete skills from the Skill List tab. Tickets already assigned to agents based on the deleted skill will not be unassigned. However, tickets with the deleted skill that weren’t assigned to any agent will be checked against the remaining skills in the Skill List.

  4. When does a skill for chat gets recalculated? 
    Skill is calculated for a ticket or chat the first time it’s assigned to a group for which SBRR is enabled. Note that the ticket should not be assigned to an agent at this point. Skill is recalculated when the ticket becomes unassigned within the SBRR group, the status is open, and is not marked as spam.

  5. What happens when an admin changes the skill of a ticket? 
    • If the ticket is unassigned and the skill is changed, the router will look for an agent with the updated skill.
    • If the ticket is assigned, the skill change doesn’t change the agent that owns the ticket, as the existing agent will have all the context of that ticket. Once the ticket is unassigned, a new skill is added based on the skill conditions.

  6. What happens when the load of the agent is increased? 
    • If an admin increases the capacity of agents globally or at a group level, the router assigns the unassigned tickets to agents. The router picks the tickets based on created time (even if the Omniroute settings are based on resolution time or resolved time). 
    • The oldest tickets will be assigned to agents that have matching skills. Depending on the agent’s availability, it could be assigned to agents that have the first or the 35th skill as the skill of the ticket. 
    • The router looks for an agent for assignment when agents are added to a group in bulk, skills are added in bulk to agents, or when skill-based routing is enabled for a group
    • This means that if a support team has set up skills to ensure, say, queries on damaged goods are always prioritized over shipment tracking tickets for a set of agents, it will fail when the global capacity is increased until agents reach the new max capacity.