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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: The accounts using the older version of skill-based routing with limited features will be upgraded to the latest version in the coming months.


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
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
    • If you're using Freshdesk Omnichannel, you'll be able to create a skill for tickets and conversations

  • Enter an appropriate name 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.

Importing Agent Skills

You can also import the set of skills associated with each of your agents in bulk from a CSV into your Freshdesk account using the Import Agent Skills option. If you have a large number of agents, this will save you time when it comes to updating or reordering the skill sets of your agents. 

Before you import skills, please make sure that the .CSV file follows these guidelines:

  1. The maximum length for a skill name is 50 characters.
  2. The skill name cannot contain commas. It can, however, contain  +, &, (, ) or /.
  3. The skill name is case-insensitive. That is, you cannot have a skill named ‘social’ if you already have a skill named ‘SOCIAL’ or ‘Social’.
  4. Each skill/group associated with an agent must be separated using commas.
  5. The skills must be ordered for each agent in the order of preference, based on their level of expertise in the skill.
  6. An agent can be associated with a maximum of 35 skills.

A quick guide to importing skills

  • Go to Admin > Team > Skills > Import Agent Skills
  • You will have the option of downloading your current set of agents, along with their groups and associated skills, as a CSV file
    • You can edit this file and re-upload it to make changes to the current skill settings for your agents.

  • If the CSV file contains a new skill name, a new skill with that name will be created in your helpdesk and mapped to your agents accordingly
  • You will need to create conditions by which the skill is mapped to tickets separately by accessing it in the Skill List
  • If an existing agent is associated with a set of skills in the file, their existing set of skills will be overwritten by the CSV data
    • Note: If an existing agent does not have any skills associated with them in the CSV, their existing set of skills will be erased. To ensure that this does not happen, please remove any agents that you don't want to modify from the file.

  • Once your import is complete, you will be notified via email. You can create conditions for any new skills by accessing them in the Skill List.


Some of these FAQs (mentions of tickets and chats) are only applicable to you if you are using Freshdesk Omnichannel

  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 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.

  7. What happens when an agent under skill-based routing becomes inactive?

    When an agent becomes inactive, all chats that have a response from the customer will be unassigned. This will happen regardless of whether there’s another agent available to handle the chat. A note will be displayed in the conversation that says, 'Chat unassigned by Intelliassign.' Once assigned to the right agent, another note will be displayed as 'Assigned to <agent name> by Intelliassign.'

  8. What happens to the existing chats/tickets when skill-based routing is enabled?
    Nothing. Skill is not calculated for existing chats in routing-enabled groups. When an existing chat is assigned to a group with routing enabled (after skills routing is enabled) skill is calculated.

  9. How do you set a load for chats?
    The current load levels are used to set the chat load for an agent. If an agent is a part of multiple load levels, the highest load they’re assigned is taken into account.