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Things Everyone Should Know About Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

Vindaloo Softtech Pvt. Ltd.

When managing a contact center or handling the customer service department, you are not unknown to the sheer volume of calls coming in and going out in a single instance. As soon as an agent completes a call, the next call in waiting is automatically routed to them, and this is all thanks to the automatic call distribution mechanism. The primary purpose of an automatic call distributor is to route incoming calls to contact center agents or employees with specific skills. However, contact center owners and admins can make necessary changes to the distribution logic to increase the call processing efficiency of their teams.
Here is everything you need to know about Automatic Call Distribution.
How does Automatic Call Distribution Work?
The Automatic Call Distribution is designed to eliminate unnecessary call transfers, prevent extended customer hold times, and increase first-call resolution rates by automatically connecting customers to the agent most qualified to assist them with their specific issue. It relies on a routing engine that screens incoming calls based on pre-determined parameters. Based on the skills, customer data, real-time contact center performance, customer sentiment, and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered behavioral profiles, the engine automatically matches the customer to the correct agent in the least amount of time.
You may confuse ACD with another integral call center tool, i.e., the Intelligent Voice Response (IVR). While both are integral to business telecommunications and connect the users to the right department or contact center agent, the intent and mechanism is different. IVR uses guided responses from the user to connect them to the correct agent and allows the callers to solve their own issues over the phone. However, an ACD system can make use of inputs from an IVR to collect necessary information for the redirection.
Read more about the basics of IVR and its Importance in VoIP Communications.
The different factors on which an Automatic Call Distribution routes incoming calls are:
• The dialed extension number (the caller is calling sales, support, or feedback extension)
• Area code
• Caller ID
• Time of day
• Client status (VIP, Premium, Regular)
• Any IVR option selected
• Database entry
• Queue Statistics
• Agent Availability
• Agent Skills
The Call Distribution can be any of the following ways:
1. Sequential Call Distribution: The calls are distributed in a pre-defined order to all agents for every new call. If the first agent is busy, the call is forwarded to the next in sequence until an available agent attends to the call. This routing method is effective when the top agents are busy, and the callers need to be kept engaged.
2. Round-robin (Circular) Call Distribution: The next call is routed to the next in sequence after a previous call is attended. The call is directly connected to the available agent in this routing method as per the sequence. Only after the last agent has taken a call is the sequence repeated.
3. Uniform Call Distribution: The least active agent is forwarded the next call. This way, the workload is divided among the call agents and allows the calls to be distributed uniformly.
4. Simultaneous Call Distribution: The call is sent to all the agents, and the first one to answer handles the call. This is, however, effective when all your call agents are of the same skill level.
5. Time-based Call Distribution: The ACD in the contact center system uses the pre-input time availability of each call agent to determine the right call route. This is a great way to manage business calls when you have users calling from different geographical locations.
6. Score-based Call Distribution: Every call agent receives a score based on their call performance. These scores become the deciding factors and add weight to routing purposes. This way, lesser experienced agents and those starting out are exempted from attending high-priority calls.
7. Data-based Call Distribution: The ACD taps into the caller information from the CRM or other tools to determine which agent can better assist a specific caller. This call distribution method is profitable as the experienced call agents can easily manage to upsell or offer upgrades to the callers.
What are the Features to look for in an Automatic Call Distribution system?
Callback Scheduling
In a scenario where no call agents are currently available to take the call immediately, you can’t have your callers stay on hold for any longer than a minute without taking a chance of losing them forever. With automated callbacks, a caller doesn’t need to wait to get the best quality help. They often are presented with an option to select a preferred date and time for their callback.

Sandip Patel
New York, USA