3.4 - Switch Nodes

In this tutorial, you will learn about the so-called "Switch Nodes" (or "Switches") module.

Switch Nodes are decision points in a call flow. You can imagine them as gatekeepers that use the conditions defined by triggers to know which door to open for a call.

To make it less theoretical, let's look at the example at hand (remember the triggers we set up in the previous article? This is where you will use them:)):

  • The gatekeeper Switch asks the first trigger if there is a special date added to the calendar. If so, the call is forwarded to a sorry audio player.
  • Next, if there are no special dates, the gatekeeper Switch checks in with the next trigger to see if the caller reaches the platform within business hours. If not, it is also forwarded to sorry audio.
  • Finally, if the call was made within business hours, the gatekeeper Switch asks the third trigger if any agents are enabled. If not, the customer is welcomed by the platform and then again forwarded to sorry audio. Only if the reply from the trigger is "YES - an agent is enabled", the caller will be welcomed and forwarded to the Automatic Call Distribution module.

Below you see the extract from the process map showing exactly the same process as described above:




Building Switch Nodes in babelforce manager app

This video shows you how to create Switch Nodes from scratch in the babelforce manager app that takes into consideration holidays, business hours and whether or not agents are enabled.

So what do you need to do to create a Switch node?

  1. Go to IVR call-flows > Call flows and click on the 'Add' button in the upper right corner.
  2. Give your module a name and choose the type 'Switch Node'.
  3. Open the created Switch Node and choose the Settings tab.
  4. Click on the + icon to add a Routing rule.
    1. Set the priority - the higher the number the bigger priority
    2. Select an After-flow
    3. Enable and set Trigger
  5. Set any additional Routing rules.
  6. Add the Switch After-flow.

Now you probably wonder what Routing rule and After-flow are.

⇒ Routing rule

Remember that we said that switch nodes are decision points with a set of rules (defined by triggers) which lead the call into specific directions. Routing rules describe these directions.


On this screenshot you can see 3 routing rules, let's have a closer look at one of them. The priority defines which route is checked first when the call arrives to this point. Next we can see the After-flow and then which trigger is linked there.

In this example, it is the 'Holiday calendar' trigger which checks if any special day is on and therefore the line is closed. If this is true, the call is moved to the After flow '3.0 - Sorry no one available - try later - goodbye' prompt. If this is not true, then the call checks the next routing rule in this Switch Node.


⇒ After- flow

Reading the description of the Routing rule, you probably got an idea of what the After flow is - it's the next stop in your call. So in case of Routing rule it shows the direction if the trigger is right. 

You will see an After-flow also below all your Routing rules in the Switch Node - this is what happens when the last Routing rule was checked (in this case, at least one agent is enabled) and it was not true. 


What happens if you don't add any After-flow at some point? If the call will be redirected there, it will end automatically.

As you can see, Switch Nodes are a bit more complex than the other settings we described so far. But of course, you don't have to create it from scratch. If you open your Call flow manager, you will find one Switch Node which does exactly what the one we created in the video does. Click on the pencil icon to open it. 


Reading the Switch Node setting is easy - you already know about the Routing rules and After-flow, but let's sum it up:

  1. Trigger rules follow their numerical order (which is the same as the order they are listed in the Settings tab).
    In our case: the Switch first checks if the call arrived at a time the holiday calendar applies and only if this trigger returns false, the opening hours will be checked. And only if the caller reaches the platform within opening hours, the Switch checks if agents are enabled.
    The order is important. Because imagine you check Business Hours first instead of your holidays and forward the caller to your line even though none of your agents is working. This is not the greatest kind of customer experience.
  2. If none of the triggers applies the call will always go to the After Flow, in our case the Welcome prompt "no agent enabled".
  3. And lastly, when you add a Trigger, you first enter the Module the call goes to if the trigger applies, then you enter the trigger.


Give it a try!

In the next tutorial, you will learn how the Switch Node is connected to the call flow.


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