April 17, 2024

Benefits of Automatic Call Distribution for Inbound Call Centers

Benefits of Automatic Call Distribution for Inbound Call Centers

Inbound contact centers must balance operating efficiency while resolving customer requests as promptly as possible. Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) tools can make it much easier for your contact center to strike this balance, even during peak times when queues tend to grow long.

However, how you use ACD will partially determine its effectiveness. Keep reading to learn more about how automatic call distribution can improve every aspect of your contact center, from customer service to workforce management.

What Is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)?

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) software decides how to route inbound calls. As an automated tool, it requires little oversight from managers, although it might need someone to set parameters that ensure callers are directed to the correct agents.

When executed properly, automatic call distribution makes contact centers more efficient so they can serve more customers without tiring agents.​

Types of Call Distribution

Contact centers have unique needs, so it makes sense for them to choose call distribution strategies that fit their customer bases and workflows. Becoming familiar with the following options should help you choose a call routing solution that helps your contact center improve customer experiences.

Skill-Based Routing

Skill-based routing directs callers to agents with the training and experience to resolve their issues. For example, a customer who needs help with an inaccurate charge would get directed to an agent trained to review bills and make changes as necessary.

Fixed-Order Routing

Fixed-order routing assigns an order to agents and directs calls to the available agent with the highest rank. For example, if a call center has agents assigned to positions one, two, and three, fixed-order routing will send the customer to agent one. If Agent One is busy, the call will go to Agent Two. If Agent Two is busy, the call goes to Agent Three.

This strategy helps ensure that your most experienced agents handle more requests than agents with less experience.

Round-Robin Routing

Round-robin call distribution routing keeps track of which agents have handled calls so it can distribute incoming requests as evenly as possible. For example, if Agent One has just finished helping a customer, an incoming call would go to another representative even if Agent One is available. This gives Agent One a short break to prevent them from feeling overwhelmed.

Time-Based Routing

Companies that adopt time-based routing usually have agents working in several time zones. The ACD system directs callers to agents in their time zones—or at least the time zone closest to them. You can also set time-based routing to send customers to voicemail when they call outside of business hours.

Smart Routing

Smart routing uses artificial intelligence to review a customer’s history and determine which agent can handle their needs best. For example, the AI might look at a caller’s purchase history and geographic location. It could then send the call to a local agent familiar with recently purchased products.

How ACD Works

Automatic call distribution uses three primary steps to improve efficiency and customer experiences.

1. Caller Identification

The ACD system looks at all available information about the customer. The software can review CRM data to see the purchasing and customer service histories of known callers.

Even unknown callers provide some information when they reach out to contact centers, though. At the very least, ACD caller identification can look at the number’s area code to determine the customer’s general location.

2. Call Queuing

Contact center agents can’t always answer calls immediately. When this happens, automatic call distribution software puts inbound callers into a queue that acts like a virtual waiting line. When an agent becomes available, the software connects the customer to that person.

Call queuing doesn’t always prioritize customers by wait time—although that’s a popular option. You can also prioritize inbound calls based on factors like the customer’s importance and the issue they want handled.

3. Call Routing

Call routing is the final step that decides which agent receives a call. Contact centers can use any of the call distribution strategies listed above or create custom rules that direct calls to preferred agents.

Benefits of Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

When done well, automatic call distribution can improve all aspects of a contact center, including customer experience, agent performance, and workforce management.

Customer Experience

No one wants to feel like they wasted time calling a contact center. Automatic call distribution helps ensure that customers get the services they need as quickly as possible.

If you want to transfer callers to agents trained to handle unique situations, skill-based training will improve the customer’s experience. If you want to keep queues as short as possible, you might use time-based or round-robin routing.

Agent Performance

Contact centers can set automatic call distribution software to distribute inbound calls as equally and fairly. Let’s say you don’t want your top agent to feel overburdened just because they resolve problems quickly. Round-robin routing will direct calls to other agents instead of bombarding your most talented agent with relentless requests.

ACD can also help prevent agent stress and burnout. Getting asked to perform a task you don’t know how to do can create a lot of stress. Skill-based and smart routing prevent this by directing calls to agents trained to handle specific issues.

Ultimately, automatic call distribution can improve agent performance while boosting customer service experiences.

Workforce Management

Managers shouldn’t spend all of their time monitoring queues and redirecting calls. ACD does that work for them to reduce agent idle time, distribute calls fairly, and resolve customer requests quickly.

Does your inbound contact center need reliable tools that improve agent performance and customer experiences?

Request a demo to experience how Call Tools can help your company thrive.

See how Call Tools can support your enterprise today!

How Predictive Dialing Improves Political Phone Banking

Trends to Improve Your Contact Center in 2024

Want More From Your Dialer?

Let our platform experts show you on a live demo!