First of all, let us understand what is Automatic Call Distribution?
Automatic Call Distribution is the process of routing incoming calls to the most suitable agent who can answer the caller’s need appropriately. It is practiced through a ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) system that distributes call based on pre-defined rules including skill-based call routing, First-In-First-Out, and priority. In addition, it comes pre-integrated with a CTI and an IVR that provides the options of self-service and helps in reaching the appropriate department directly.
Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) is a very crucial component of a contact center and streamlines the communications process. Automatic Call Distribution as a feature is still reletively under used despite its proven benefits. Some of its capabilities include:
- Skill-Based Routing : Incoming Calls can be routed to the specific agent or department based on pre-determined criteria. Agent with appropriate skill-set and who can address the customer’s needs properly is the one to whom the call is routed.
- Immediate Response to High-Value Callers: Callers who are identified as VIPs based on pre-determined info, are immediately routed to the most appropriate agent or in case the none of the agents are available, they are placed first in the waiting queue.
- Integration with CTI Technology: ACD along with CTI integration and skill-based routing, allows agents to view the customer’s information such as past communications history, before they answer the call. This is leads to a very meaningful conversation with the customer.
- Connect Multiple Locations: ACD can easily route calls to agents sitting at different or remote locations. All the agents working in different geographies can function as one single team.
- Call-Back Facility: ACD allows callers to opt for call back instead of waiting in a queue. As soon as an agent is available, he calls back immediately.
- Coaching of Agents through Call Monitoring: ACD enable call center managers to go for call monitoring, whispering and call barging. With this, managers or supervisors can upgrade their agent coaching processes.
Now that we know for what all can be achieved using Automatic Call Distributior. Let’s discuss some its benefits:
1. Sound and Smooth Call Routing
ACD increases the efficiency and productivity of the agents. Based on pre-defined algorithms, calls are transferred to the most appropriate agent, hence reducing call transferring time. It captures the caller’s information like phone number and area code etc and based on IVR system configurations and agent availability, it routes the call.
2. Immediate Response
ACD allows faster response to incoming calls by routing it to the best available agent. It increases call response and call handling time, thereby increasing customer satisfaction. During high call volume phase, callers can opt for call back option instead of waiting in the queue. High-Value callers or VIP callers are routed to the assigned contact center agents, without any delay.
3. Streamlined Operating Environment
Integration with CRM and other communication platforms such as social media and Live Chat, allows the agents to have a smarter conversation with the customer by understanding their needs thoroughly. The entire team can view all the past communications and history of the customer on a single interface which is easy to update. This enables call conferencing and transferring to different departments with customer’s data on their tips. This makes the team more efficient and effective.
4. Increased Agent Productivity
With the help of an ACD, call center agents will have to handle calls for which they are trained. They have expertise and the required subject knowledge to handle a customer. This will increase their confidence in dealing with a call and will also improve their productivity. Along with this, they have access to the caller’s information before answering the call, helping them to have meaningful discussion that leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Responding fast to a call by transferring it to the most appropriate agent, will definitely improve the chances of first call resolution and the customer can get his query resolved without transferring him to other agents or departments. This will reduce the time taken to answer a call and hence reduce cost-per-call of the call center.
6. Resource Optimization
With efficient routing of incoming calls, agents can use their expertise in solving the problems of a caller rather than indulging in activities that are outside their scope. ACD acquires usage data such as total number of calls, time spent on each call, waiting time etc which is used for reporting purposes. This will enable managers to assess KPIs and optimize resources more effectively.
7. Improved Customer Satisfaction
Routing caller to an agent who is best suited to handle his query is what the customer needs today. They hate it when their call is transferred to N number of agents with none of them having the solution to his/her problem. Therefore, an ACD improves customer satisfaction to a great extent. The option to receive an agent call back reduces their pain of waiting in the queue. Pre-built messages are sent to callers with estimated wait times based on the length of the queue and agent availability. ACD helps in delivering highly responsive customer service that channels each contact to the right queue and agent resource and create better business outcomes–and happier customers.