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From Assignment Rules to Einstein: A Comprehensive Guide to Case Routing with Salesforce

Written by Madhura B Bapat


Customer Service is easier, faster and better with automation tools. Case management means organizing customer cases into one place and making sure they go to the right person, get the right answer, by the right time. Any delay in customer response or incorrect answers can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Service Cloud provides automation tools to ensure right service agents to work on the cases to avoid such errors.Previous knowledge about the various service channels that are present to create cases was described. When the cases are created through various channels in salesforce, how they are routed the to the correct service agents is an important question that needs to be answered.

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There are several service channels through which cases are generated, handling them in an efficient way is a critical decision. Service agents and managers find it difficult to handle, prioritize and distribute work and spend a lot of time in sorting this rather than solving the cases. Besides, few agents who are upskilled can solve a particular type of case faster than the other agents. However, to recognize such agents and assign them such cases can be time consuming. If the process converts into an automated process, then it results in a win-win situation. Right skills of right agent will help in achieving quick resolution and attain customer satisfaction.

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Salesforce provides the following tools to help us in routing the cases to the right agent:

  • Channel Routing

  • Assignment Rules

Additionally, Salesforce provides the following automation tools to enhance the case routing functionality:

  • Escalation Rules

  • Einstein Case Classification & Routing

Omni-Channel Routing

Omni-Channel is a flexible and customizable feature to manage the priority of work items among the Service team. It seems simple enough, but it is a wildly powerful tool that can reconstruct outdated and inefficient systems. Without Omni-Channel Routing, agents often rely on the list views to find new cases to work. From the list view, the agent selects a case, reassigns ownership, and then works on it. This can result in lower priority cases being handled before those with higher priority. Moreover, as agents can choose their cases, the same agents may consistently work on the simpler cases while others struggle on the complex ones. This leads to inefficient use of agents and mismanagement of cases. Omni-Channel routes cases to the available and qualified service agents in the console. Thus, indirectly it manages the agents’ capacity to take on work items so that they’re given only the number of assignments that they can handle. Agents no longer have to pick and choose work assignments manually from a queue or list view, which saves the time, effort, and work of every-one in the team. Because it’s easier for agents to work on their cases, they can assist the customers faster and more effectively and close cases quicker. Omni-Channel integrates seamlessly into the console of both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience. During the development of Omni-Channel, one should be specific about the routing technique that the businesses have to use. Figure 3 provides an overview of the different Omni-Channel based routing techniques that are available in Salesforce.

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Queue based routing is ideal for a smaller organization or simple product offerings and skill-based routing is suitable for complex service issues that require different set of skills to be assessed. If already a third-party application that already has routing logic and businesses wish to keep the same, then external routing helps in executing the Omni-Channel services.

Assignment Rules

The simplest way to help the small business to accomplish case routing can be achieved by Case assignment rules. Assignment Rules are valid and applicable to both Leads and Cases in Salesforce. Business can determine which type of specific users or queues have to assigned as case owners to specific cases. Additionally, cases from any origin can be pulled in case assignment flow. Cases created from various service channels like web-to-case, email-to-case, phone-to-case, chat-to-case, and many more. All these cases irrespective of origin, can be assigned with users or queues based on assignment rules. However, only one case assignment rule can be active at a time. Businesses usually have one assignment rule with various entry criterias described. Entry criteria specifies when to assign specific user or queue to a case. When defining a case assignment rule entry, order of the rule plays an important role. Adding the criteria or formula to select the case and assigning the case to user or a specific queue is mandatory. An email template can be added to send automatic email notification to the new case owner. Moreover, one can make sure that the current case owner is not reassigned if any of the case fields are updated. Figure 4 shows an example of a case assignment rule with three entry criterias.

Figure 4 - CM II

Escalation Rules

Escalation rule is the automation tool that can be specifically used to escalate cases. They reassign the case owner to specific user or team and optionally notify them. Escalating a case plays an important role in the case management process which helps to identify such cases that are not resolved within a specific time. Thus, these rules help in efficient working on unresolve customer requests that overall improve the service team’s productivity. Along with resolving the pending cases, it ensures the service level agreement (SLA) targets are not missed and prioritize importance of customers. Simmilar to assignment rules, only one escalation rule can be active. Simmilarly, one escalation rule can have multiple escalation criteria to escalate the case. When the escalation criteria are met, escalation actions are executed. Escalation rules work when order of execution, escalation criteria and business hours are described in the rule. Business Hours specifies the available timings that the service team can help the customers. Businessess can set the hours based on different locations and different time zones as well. Business Hours make it easy to calculate the age over time of the case after which the case should be escalated. Additionally, one can ignore the business hours and calculate the age over time irrespective of the business hours.

Moreover, every escalation criteria can have its own business hours set to vary accordingly. Furthermore, calculation of the age over time of a case after which it should be escalated has three options. Time can be considered from when the case is created or based on the last modified date of the case. Besides time can be considered from when the case is created and disable it after the first modification on the case. Figure 5 depecits a sample escalation entry criteria that escalates a case. Escalation Actions define the time criteria for the rule, user or queue to whom the case should be reassigned, user or queue who should receive the case escalation notification and email templates to notify the user or queue.

Figure 5 - CM II

Einstein Case Classification & Routing

In machine learning, classification refers to the ability to predict labels based on underlying data and data patterns. Salesforce’s Einstein Case Classification tool utilizes machine learning to suggest or automatically populate Case record fields that reduces agents time in searching the required fields. Here Einstein learns from the closed-cases data and “classifies” field values based on the org data. This removes the guesswork and saves time for agents, So they can work more on customer relationship development.

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It uses an org’s last six months of closed cases data to recommend or populate picklist or check-box field values. As an org grows and cases close further, it will automatically adjust the prediction model to account for potential new patterns. Recommendations will be accessible from specific case records, where the agent will be prompted to select a field value from a list of top 3 suggestions. Some common fields to predict with this tool are case reason, language, escalated, and priority. Currently, Einstein Case Classification only uses the subject and description fields on closed cases to build a prediction model. Along with Case Classification, Einstein Case Routing technique uses existing case assignment rules, skills-based routing rules, or both to route the case to the right agent. It requires the Service Cloud Einstein add-on license.


Automated case record fields suggestions save the agents time instead of searching for values in a lenghtly picklist. Add on, Cases are assigned to right agent that leads to quick resolution. The predictive model for routing cases is more accurate than humans. Also, customer satisfaction score improves as in free time service agents can focus on building stronger relationships. 


Based on these case routing techniques to assign cases to suitable agents, Business can achieve more productivity and efficientcy by the agents that will inturn result in faster resolution of cases and customer satisfaction. Omni channel routing is the best way to handle case routing. Although Escalation rules and assignment rules also play an important role by satisfying smaller applications and business needs.

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