Use advanced call routing features like an automatic call distribution (ACD) system to manage your business call flow and distribute calls in an organized manner.
What is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)?
An automatic call distributor system is a cloud telephony feature that receives incoming calls and routes them to different individuals based on custom, preset distribution rules. With this feature, you can route calls based on the caller’s location, time of day, distribution of agents or teams, and so on. Simply set and adjust these rules as needed from your provider’s application or control panel.
How Does ACD Work?
There are a few different ways you can set up an automatic call distributor with rules that fit your business communication needs. For instance, you may need to route calls from one location to another to support global customers calling from different time zones. Or, you may need an IVR menu that lets callers choose which department they need. All of this can be calibrated with an ACD system.
Generally, an ACD system works in three key steps:
1. Collect caller information
Here, the ACD system will determine who the caller is and where they are calling from. This can help determine what language, time zone, and location preferences will be helpful to assist the caller well.
2. Identify the purpose of the call
The system, along with IVR capabilities, will determine the reason for the call. For example, the customer needs to speak with customer support or the billing department. Or, someone interested in promotion and partnerships wants to speak with the advertising department.
3. Route calls effectively
With the information collected, the ACD system will use preset rules to route the call to the most appropriate agent or employee.
10 Benefits of Using an ACD System
So, how can your business use automatic call distribution? ACD systems are customizable, and you can work with different call routing and distribution strategies to find one that helps your agents do their jobs effectively.
With an automatic call distributor system, your business can:
- Manage call volume during low and high traffic periods.
- Route calls automatically to different employees, agents, and offices.
- Connect local, in-office, remote, and global agents through one centralized communication system.
- Send calls to outsourcing services during off-hours
- Use an automated voice response system to offer company information, troubleshooting help, answers to common FAQs, etc.
- Reduce wait times and missed calls, and increase first call resolution rates by sending callers to the right agent or department.
- Offer 24/7 customer service using a follow the sun support model.
- Provide customer support with special holiday schedules.
- Customize call routing and management to optimize agent and employee productivity.
- Set up failover mechanisms during maintenance, upgrades, and outages.
8 Ways to Route Calls with an ACD System
The best part about an automatic call distribution system for call management is that you can set it up to work for your business specifically. Here are 8 rules you can use to route calls with your automatic call distributor system:
1. Round robin call routing
Distribute incoming calls equally across all agents and reps with round robin routing. This kind of circular routing distributed calls in a continuous loop, starting with agent A, then B, then C, and so on.
2. Sequential routing
Send incoming calls down a predetermined list of agents with sequential forwarding starting with the same agents each time. This way, a free agent can instantly answer the call and assist the caller.
3. Least-occupied agent
Also known as uniform call distribution, this routing technique sends calls to the agent least occupied and with a low call handling time to distribute calls equally.
4. Simultaneous ring
Ring multiple phones with one number simultaneously so that a free agent can quickly answer the call and assist the caller.
5. Advanced call routing
Route calls from one number/location to another based on these advanced call routing strategies:
6. Time-based routing — Route calls based on the time of day the call comes in.
7. Geographic routing — Route calls based on the caller’s location.
8. Holiday routing — Route calls during specific holiday or holiday seasons, as determined by your holiday schedules.
Difference Between ACD and IVR
An interactive voice response (IVR) system is an automated voice response that answers incoming calls, interacts with the callers, determines the purpose of the call, and transfers the caller to the right agent or department.
The main difference between ACD and IVR is that IVR is a part of an automatic call distribution system. As such, these two routing systems work together to distribute incoming calls efficiently and help you manage your call volume effectively.