With an increase in tech development, the world around us is in a rush and expects solutions to its problems in a jiffy. Businesses have to strive to maintain customer satisfaction standards. Customers demand nothing less than the best. Customers demand fast service anywhere, anytime. Today, customers have more choice: more products to buy, more information to influence purchasing decisions, and more devices and channels over which to seek customer service. What they don’t have is more time. They want their queries to be resolved by the right person in the shortest amount of time be it through any customer engagement channel. This customer to agent mapping in the least possible time is done by ACD in case of incoming queries via calls.
What is ACD and ACD Routing? Customers face two major problems while approaching contact center personnel:
- They have trouble contacting the right agent.
- They have to put in the effort and waste their time to clarify the problem.
An Automatic Call Distributor or ACD is the call center tech that works behind distributing the calls coming into a contact center to the best available agent. The distribution of calls is based on various aspects such as the telephone number of the customer/region of the customer, the customer’s selection on IVR, count of available agents, skills of agents, and many other factors.
But, if we want to talk about the fundamental need for routing, its benefits are two-fold.
- Cost Benefits – A lot of money spent in Contact Centers is towards Agent Salaries and Benefits. Thus the same number of agents handling more queries results in the maximum agent productivity. This is what Routing brought to the table – it increased the time agent would spend on calls. Because every time an agent finished a call, there would be another call waiting for him to handle. Thereby reducing agent idle time and number of agents and salaries/benefits associated with them. Thus Cost Benefits.
- Happy Customers – For Customers it was simple. If they are connected to someone who would answer their query the first time, they won’t have to repeat their queries to multiple people. Thus increasing customer satisfaction as well.
ACD works on the defined routing algorithms like First In First Out (FIFO), Last In First Out (LIFO), Round Robin, Least Recently Used (LRU), and Preferred Agent Routing strategy to handle inbound calls and direct them appropriately. The basic rule is to get a customer to an agent as soon as possible. However, most of the contact centers nowadays add multiple variables for the convenience of customers. For instance, to get a high-priority customer/call to a specific agent in no time.
Now let’s have a look at few of the important concepts in ACD Routing that work in a call routing software:
Interflow in ACD routing
What is interflow? In interflow, the calls are moved to another site that is not a part of that particular ACD environment, such as a voice mail system.
How does it work? In interflow for a queue, time is configured as to how long a call can wait in the queue, and then move it once that time has expired. It happens without any interference from the user. Interflow can be load-based or time-based.In Load-based interflow, a specific count of calls is defined for a particular queue, once that much calls are waiting in the queue, the system will then automatically start redirecting calls to another queue.
What is the key benefit? Interflow helps to reduce the wait time of the callers in a busy queue. When a customer is redirected to a voicemail, he/she can leave a voicemail, and the agents can then look into it and then get back to them with a resolution. This means that the customer does not have to wait in the queue for a long time. This will also prevent the customer from hanging up the phone out of frustration and results in a reduced count of abandoned calls.
Intraflow in ACD routing
What is intraflow? In intraflow, the calls are routed from one agent group to another within the same ACD environment. Unlike interflow, here the calls will not go out of that particular ACD environment.
How does it work? The movement of calls is set based on time or the number of calls landing in a particular queue.
What is the key benefit? The advantage is that the system will find an agent group that is not busy, and will direct the customers to that group. This way the customer calls will be answered quickly and the calls will be distributed evenly. This would ultimately result in a reduced number of abandoned calls and reduced wait time.
Overflow in ACD routing
What is overflow? In overflow, the calls flow between agent groups within the same ACD environment. In overflow, the system can have one primary group with agents having specific skills and may have up to 3 overflow groups.
How does it work? If the calls overflow in the primary group queue, the system will maintain their position in the queue and redirect the calls to the other groups. The time or the maximum number of calls that could wait in the queue can be configured as per the requirement. Once the time expires or the number of calls reaches the maximum limit, the system will automatically divert the calls to the other groups.
What is the key benefit? Overflow helps to balance the workload optimally and thus minimize any delay for the callers. This helps ensure that the service level goals are achieved at the end of the day.
In the Nutshell
The ACD system helps to manage the calls coming into a contact center. Interflow, intraflow, and overflow helps to ensure that the customer wait time is minimal. Ameyo’s call center software serves the best combination of custom made IVR Flows, ACD, and routing algorithms to reduce your customer wait time and abandoned calls and improve customer satisfaction.