One of the most important aspects to a call center is the Automatic Call Distribution System, or ACD. This technology works with other computerized integrations to deliver a method that distributes calls intelligently to the most qualified individuals. Many people have already had similar experiences as voice recognition helps determine which agent or department a caller needs to contact.
A lot of improvement strategies include the use of ACD as part of call center technology solutions. However, there is more involved in the ACD than just a routing device. It’s a platform that has potential to impact various aspects of the contact center including expenses.
About Automatic Call Distribution System
An Automatic Call Distribution System is a network of software and hardware that handles how calls are sent to agents. It analyzes various aspects of the caller to send him or her to the correct agent. Earlier versions of this technology often involved the use of pressing a number to reach certain departments within a large organization.
The ACD systems of today have developed with technology and can now perform many of those same functions without the use of buttons. In many instances, all that is needed to route a call is the computer recognizing the voice of the caller.
Using ACD in Call Centers
An ACD works by rapidly analyzing the attributes of a call and then sending it to respective agents. For example, a banking caller who is identified as needing tech support will not be routed to someone who handles loan applications. This system can work with manual inputs, customer telephone number, specific incoming lines, certain times of the day or even geographic locations.
Many ACD networks are also set up to record data concerning the call. Aspects such as handle and hold times, agent response and other metrics are gathered for analysis. This information greatly offers insight into call center improvements.
Key Features of the ACD System
Automatic Call Distribution systems have advanced a great deal over the years. With each new technological improvement, the ACD becomes more versatile as a call center solution.
Routing Calls to Specific Agents
Perhaps one of the most important key feature is that of making sure calls get to the correct party. Thanks to various methods of identification, routing these calls has never been more accurate. Based on various inputs such as those of the caller, location and various other measures, callers have access to the exact individuals who can help solve their problems.
One valuable method for call center improvement is that of training. The more efficient an agent is at his or her job, the better the experience is for all involved. Many ACD systems are rolled into monitoring platforms and reporting methods to provide input for this training. Coaching, conference calling and barging are all key elements of ACD to help managers teach agents.
Collecting Data for Insights
The collection and use of data is important for virtually any business dynamic. For the call center, it can be influential to plan out improvements and create strategies. Automatic Call Distribution networks are often linked to data systems to deliver detailed reports regarding interactions between caller and agent. This information can include elements such as the time each agent spends on a call, the number of calls handled in a month and the amount of time callers wait before agents respond.
Integrates with Other Pertinent Systems
Being able to integrate with other technology is how systems stay relevant in an ever-changing world. Things like CRM software, live chat, social media interactions and help desk apps can all be connected with the ACD. This gives the contact center a much more broad base for engaging individuals as contact can be made outside of the telephone environment. For instance, a large portion of people prefer to use live chat on a website as opposed to actual phone calls.
During peak business hours, no one wants to sit on hold for extended periods of time. From a consumer viewpoint, sitting on hold is a drain on mobile unit batteries as well as talking minutes on certain phone plans. ACDs are often set up for automatic call-back features. Instead of sitting in a long queue, an agent calls back the individual when he or she becomes available. This feature frees up the line for both parties while improving satisfaction from the caller.
Being able to identify callers based on geographic location can be monumental for directing to proper agents. This is especially true if the call center handles communications from various parts of the world. For example, a caller from Mexico can be quickly directed to a Spanish-speaking agent simply because of his or her location. This can greatly cut down on consumer frustration while making sure each call is addressed accordingly.
ACD and Call Center Improvements
Improving Productivity of Agents
The ACD helps to enhance agent productivity. Because of immediate response times and calls directed to agents with specific skill sets, problems and concerns can be dealt with quickly. This means agents will address more callers throughout the day while offering superior assistance.
Reducing Overhead Costs
Improving efficiency and optimizing call center resources are excellent ways to cut costs within the business. By directing contact data and callers to the correct parties the first time around, the cost-per-call ratio decreases. Data collected by the ACD also helps managers control resources more efficiently which also reduces operational costs.
Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Callers want to spend less time on hold and speak with someone who can address their concerns. The ACD contributes to both of those points, which improves the experience of the caller. As a result, the reputation of the brand increases.
The Automatic Call Distribution system is an important part of any contact center. It routes communications to the correct agents while offering a solution for planning future improvements. By integrating with various systems, the ACD can add to a collection of tools that work to enhance business practices of any facility. After all, a call center is only as effective as the agents and technology it utilizes.
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