Where would call centers be without Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)?
It helps improve the customer experience.
It keeps agents productive and it optimizes the flow of the workplace.
There’s a reason for all of these benefits. ACD systems have unique features that bring out the best in call center agents and make it easier for call center managers to run a successful organization.
Today, we’re going to cover 3 of the top settings call centers should program their ACD systems to perform.
Let’s dive in.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System
An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system works hand-in-hand with an ACD system. They’re typically bundled together.
It works like this:
Someone dials the number to a call center and the ACD system detects the phone call and sends the caller to the IVR system.
The IVR greets the caller with a preprogrammed message and provides the caller with a set of options.
These can range from paying bills to checking open times to scheduling appointments.
Essentially, IVR allows customers to service themselves – one of the reasons for its tremendous success across businesses worldwide.
Steven Van Belleghem found that 40% of customers prefer self-service over interacting with human agents.
And according to Forrester, customers using some sort of self-service to solve their problems has increased to 76%.
Adding to the appeal of these preferences, IVR systems don’t put customers on hold or make them wait any longer than they need.
This setting is best used for customers with low-level concerns and issues.
With that said, call centers should avoid making IVR setups overly complicated. What at one time may be a convenience can quickly turn into a nuisance, especially if it takes too long to answer their query or resolve their problem.
One of the most important settings on an ACD system is call routing.
After a call has been received and the caller has entered in their options on the IVR menu and they’re ready to speak with an actual agent, the ACD has to determine who to send the caller to.
There are many ways to figure this out:
- Round robin call routing
- Idle agent call routing
- Skills-based call routing
- Programmed call routing
Let’s start with round robin call routing.
With this setting, calls are distributed evenly to agents in a set order.
The first call will be routed to the first agent in line, the second to the second agent, and so on. This helps make sure no agent is overburdened and the calls are taken equally and fairly.
Then there’s idle agent call routing.
This ACD setting routes calls to agents who have taken the fewest calls out of all the other agents. So, if an agent has been idle for a while, just got back from a long break, or has had to take fewer calls for any other reason, they would be first up to take the next call.
After that, we have skills-based call routing.
This setting makes the ACD system route calls to the agents best suited to handle customer needs.
If a particularly irate customer is calling in, and agent Smith is excellent at calming customers and quickly resolving their issues, then the call will be routed to him.
If a customer is calling about changing their service plan and agent Jones is the best closer on the team, the call will be routed to her to service the customer.
Finally, we have programmed call routing.
This is a setting for specific customer needs.
For example, if a customer calls in and tells the IVR system that they speak Spanish, then the ACD system will route them to either an agent who speaks Spanish, or a call center that’s equipped to handle that customer’s particular needs.
Similarly, if someone is calling from Chile, then they’ll be routed to a call center in that area in the hopes of better service through cultural understanding and similar dialect.
Customers hate waiting.
That’s why call queuing is such a great setting for ACD systems.
It makes customers wait, but it doesn’t feel like waiting.
With this setting programmed, callers will be greeted with wait time music, a pleasant greeting, and be regularly told that their call is important and that they’ll be speaking to an agent shortly.
In fact, some call queuing settings will tell the customer the exact time they will continue waiting on hold. “You’ll speak with the next available agent in 15 minutes.”
Call centers can also create call queues for each department.
And if they want to get extra savvy, call queues can run light advertisements telling customers about other products and services they offer that they otherwise wouldn’t know about.
Here’s How to Maximize the Benefits of Automatic Call Distribution
ACD systems are only one tool in the cloud contact center toolbox.
There are so many more ways to improve contact center performance and achieve the following:
- Money saved on hardware, installation, and maintenance fees.
- Scaled adjustments on contact center software usage.
- Improved agents KPIs.
And so much more.
Discover the 6 reasons call center execs are switching from on-premise solutions to cloud-based call center software in our free ebook, today!