The business guide to using automated call distribution (ACD)

Automated call distribution (ACD) is a powerful tool that can help your business improve customer service. Learn how to route calls more efficiently, reduce wait times, and improve customer satisfaction.

Julian Dawkins

Senior Product Marketing Manager

The modern-day customer expects 24/7 access to customer service, and they communicate via multiple channels, including email, online chat, social media, SMS, and voice calls. The latter, while often the preferred method of communication, comes with cost-effectiveness and productivity challenges.

That’s why businesses need to have a reliable voice solution in place. And one of the best ways to do that is to use an automated call distribution (ACD) system.

ACD is a software system that helps businesses manage incoming calls. It can route calls to suitable agents, handle overflow calls, and even provide customers with self-service options.

ACD systems can be a huge help for businesses of all sizes. It can improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs, and allow agents to focus on more complex tasks.

This article will explore the ACD concept, its benefits, and the difference between ACD and Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

What is automated call distribution?

A telephone system called ACD automatically directs incoming calls to the agents or divisions of an organization that are most suited to handle them. In particular, it is an essential part of enterprise voice communication systems for companies that manage a high volume of incoming calls. Every call is routed to the appropriate party thanks to ACD, which boosts the efficacy and efficiency of customer interactions.

How does ACD work?

ACD is a process that involves numerous crucial elements operating in unison. When a customer phones a company, the ACD system picks up the phone and collects pertinent data, such as the reason for the call or the customer’s account information. Based on this information, the ACD system selects the best agent or department to handle the call.

Two routing systems, skills-based or round-robin routing, may be used by the ACD system.

With skills-based routing, calls are routed to agents qualified to handle particular client inquiries. This would be ideal for bank call centers, as certain agents would be better equipped to handle various customer inquiries, from debt repayment and loan renewal to credit card applications and new account openings.

Round-robin routing, on the other hand, uniformly distributes calls across available agents to prevent overload on a single agent or department. This would be great for businesses like travel agencies that book holidays, as any agent can resolve that query.

Round-robin routingSkill-based routing
Call distributionInbound calls are distributed evenly among agentsInbound calls are directed to agents based on their skill set and expertise
Workload balanceWorkloads are distributed equally among all agentsWorkloads are distributed based on the complexity of the issue
Agent expertiseAgents don’t need a particular set of skills to answer customer queriesAgents specialize in particular tasks or departments to better assist callers
Customer experienceCustomers are connected to any available agentCustomers are matched with agents best suited to address their needs
Call priorityCalls are taken on a first-come first-serve basisCalls are prioritized based on urgency or importance

Businesses can track call metrics, agent performance, and customer satisfaction using real-time monitoring and reporting services that ACD systems can offer. These insights help companies pinpoint areas where their customer service initiatives need to be improved.

What are the benefits of automated call distribution?

ACD is far more sophisticated and less prone to errors in effectively distributing calls to the most appropriate agent than doing so manually.

ACD systems will help businesses improve their voice solution for customer service in several ways, including reducing wait times, improving customer satisfaction, and increasing agent productivity.

Improved customer satisfaction

First, by ensuring that calls are quickly routed to the most qualified agents or departments, ACD increases call routing and efficiency. Customers no longer need to be moved more than once, which decreases annoyance and wait times.

Reduce waiting times

Customers have shorter hold times thanks to effective call distribution, which boosts customer satisfaction and creates a favorable impression of the company. Customer experience is further enhanced by ACD’s intelligent call queuing, which enables callers to be informed of expected wait times or to request a callback.

Increase agent efficiency

Agents take calls relevant to their experience and skill set, allowing them to assist consumers more effectively and individually. Incorporating ACD systems with customer relationship management (CRM) software enables agents to swiftly give customized answers by arming them with pertinent client data.

What is the difference between interactive voice response and automated call distribution?

While ACD automatically routes calls to the proper department or agent, IVR systems are automated telephone systems that communicate with callers using touch-tone keypads and voice prompts. They are frequently employed in call routing and self-service options, enabling users to choose the objective of their call or carry out particular actions without speaking to an agent. IVR systems let organizations automate their call-handling procedures and lessen the need to employ agents for specific questions.

Although IVR systems provide call routing and self-service choices, ACD systems prioritize effective call routing and agent distribution, ultimately enhancing client happiness and loyalty.

ACD improves omnichannel communication efficiencies

For companies of all sizes, ACD is essential to enhance customer service considerably. Enterprises have more complex routing and calling needs, so it’s best suited for these organization types. However, SMBs can utilize it for higher productivity, especially with smaller agent teams.

The effectiveness of ACD improves customer satisfaction by minimizing wait times, efficiently routing incoming calls, and allocating agents. Businesses can improve agent productivity, automate call-handling procedures, and give clients individualized support by implementing an ACD system.

Given the growing necessity of providing excellent customer service, organizations should consider utilizing ACD as part of their omnichannel customer communication strategy.

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Jul 14th, 2023
5 min read

Julian Dawkins

Senior Product Marketing Manager