Automatically Route & Assign Issues with smart routing


At Helpshift, we’re always focused on creating the optimal experience when it comes to customer care for your users and Support Team. Today we are adding Smart Routing, a new feature to improve your operational efficiency and help your Agents respond to Issues better and faster.

With Smart Routing, you’ll be able to automatically route and assign Issues to either Groups or individual Agents. You can even establish working days/hours for Groups and Agents and add multiple layers of assignment. This guarantees new Issues are always assigned appropriately, no matter the time of day.

When you use Smart Routing with Agent Groups, the assignment rules are based off of Round Robin.

A Round Robin is where new Issues are assigned evenly to all Agents in a group. Issues are assigned based on Issue Creation timestamp.

This helps your Agents focus on resolving Issues instead of deciding which Issue they should pull out of a Shared Smart View. Smart Routing gives you that extra layer of security knowing that all incoming Issues will be assigned to any qualified Agent.

How are other customers using Smart Routing?

Internationally Located Support Teams

  • Provide 24/7 support with Support Teams located across multiple time zones.
  • New Issues are routed and assigned to Agents based on their working hours.
  • If Agents in specific time zone are away, then Smart Routing assigns to backup Agent Group’s location or time zone.

Commerce Companies with Specialized Departments

  • Agents are specialized to handle types of inquiries (Refunds/Returns, Shipping, General Questions, Technical Bugs, Feedback).
  • Shipping related Issues automatically assigned to Agents trained in Shipping, while technical/app issues routed directly to Product or Developer.
  • Low priority inquiries, like Feedback, are auto-replied and resolved without the need to involve an Agent.

VIP Level of Support for Top Spenders/Customers

  • For top 1% of spenders (gaming), your most tenured Agent will be assigned all new Issues from VIP during his/her working hours.
  • If VIP Issues come in during off hours, then they’ll be routed and assigned to your best group of Agents.
  • Incorporate “String Match” to assign Issues that contain certain words (“cheating” “I’m quitting”) so they are escalated and assigned to a Supervisor instead of an Agent.

How do I get started?

In order to use Smart Routing, you’ll need to have Automations enabled. Automations are included with Pro Plans and Custom Plans, and they can only be accessed by an Admin.

Go to Settings–>Automations–>New Issue Automations and click the “+Add Automation” button.


In the example below, we’ll be setting up how new Issues related to “refunds” will be routed and assigned.

In the pop-up window, you’ll want to identify what kind of new Issues you’d like to route. Below, you’ll find that we are identifying “Refund Issues” to be those coming from Web, Email, iOS, and Android that include the “refund” Tag. This Tag can be passed through via the SDK (HS-Tag) or applied via customizing the Web Form.


Now that we’ve defined the type of Issue, let’s go ahead and decide how it gets routed and assigned.

In the lower half of the pop-up, you will define the order of assignment for these New Issues. You’ll want to decide whether you want “Refund Issues” to be assigned to a specific Agent or Group by clicking “Add Agents” or “Add Groups.”


We have a group of four Agents who are part of our Refund Group, so we’ll add that Group as the first ones to be assigned these types of Issues.

The four Refund Agents have working hours of 8am to 5pm PST, every Monday through Friday. We will also want to configure their working hours in this section:


Here’s how the Issues will appear–notice how they are already assigned in Round Robin order for the four Refund Agents:



Factor in Weekend Shifts

After factoring in the normal working hours of your Refund Group, you need to decide what happens during the weekend and off hours.

The app users submit Refund Issues all the time, but there are fewer Issues on the weekend. This is why only one Support Agent, Parul, is staffed to work the weekend shift. Her hours are 10am to 4pm PST on Saturdays and Sundays, so when new Issues come over the weekend, we want Smart Routing to only assign Refund Issues to Parul.

By clicking on “Add Agents,” I can now add Parul as a backup to this Smart Routing rule.


Smart Routing Rule Logic

Based on my configuration, here is what Helpshift’s Smart Routing will do automatically when any New Issue comes in about a Refund:

  1. iPhone user submits a New Issue on Tuesday 10:32am PST then Issue will be assigned via Round Robin to one of the four Refund Agents.
  2. Web user submits a New Issue on Saturday at 2:00pm PST then Issue will be assigned to Parul:

Pro Tip: Create Off Hours Automation & Process

It’s very expensive to offer true 24/7 support for all of your users. You’ll want to identify the new Issues that come in when you don’t have coverage, so your Agents can respond back during normal business hours.

In our example above, you’ll notice that there are gaps in coverage on Mondays through Fridays (12am-8am and 5pm-12am) and Saturdays and Sundays (12am-10am and 4pm-12am). We can create an Automation to respond to users who write in during these off hours.

Enhancement: Duplicate Automations

You can now duplicate Automations, which makes it easier to create similar and multiple Smart Routing rules. For our example, we are going to duplicate the Refund Routing Rule and make changes so it becomes our Refund Off Hours Rule.

In the main Automations section, there is a duplicate icon. This takes us to a pop-up that we can modify the routing rules (bottom section) without having to define the Issue (top section) again.


In the above tutorial, we inserted an auto-reply and add the “ooo” (out of office) Tag as actions for this New Issue Automation. Since no one will be working and responding to Issues, we will remove the Routing and Assignment rules. Now when a Refund Issue comes in during off hours, the user will get an auto-reply letting them know that it’s off hours.

On the Dashboard, you can create a Shared Smart View to look for “ooo” Tags so you can measure and respond to Issues that came in during off hours.

Important: Remember to toggle your Out of Office Automation to OFF during Working Hours and ON when your team is offline for the day.

See example below:

During Off Hours


During Working Hours



Smart Routing helps solve the following problems:

  1. Agents get assigned Issues based on configured segmentation rules, including tags, user’s language, app, platform and other meta-data. This helps route Issues to the Agents that are the most skilled to respond and resolve the Issue.
  2. Eliminates Agents having to pull Issues from a queue and promotes an even distribution of Issues across team members.
  3. Eliminates the need for a CS Manager to manually assign new Issues to Agents.
  4. Smart Routing can route issues to agents/groups based on time of day and time zone to cover shift based operations.

Refresh Your Helpshift Knowledge

If you are confused on what Agent Groups are or how to set up Shared Smart Views, here are some links that cover these features and other ones to improve your team efficiency when using Helpshift:

The Helpshift Success Team will be doing some webinars coming up to go over Smart Routing and two new features related to the Dashboard. Stay tuned for updates and feel free to email any questions to

Want to learn more?

Published September 14, 2016
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