Why is ACD Software Important for Contact Centers?
October 09, 2012
An efficient automatic call distributor (ACD) is essential to the overall productivity of contact centers these days. An ACD is a system that can recognize, answer and route incoming calls within a business. ACD's can be small systems of only a few lines up to larger systems with hundreds of lines.
The main functions of an ACD include recognizing and answering incoming calls, determining where to send each call according to instructions in the database, instructing the caller via recorded message to wait for next available agent, as well as sending the call to the next available agent.
In the contact center, ACD routes inbound and outbound calls on predetermined criteria, which streamlines the communication process. A traditional ACD processes incoming calls on a first-come, first-serve basis. Now, it answers calls immediately and, if necessary, holds the call in a queue until it can route it to the next available agent. ACD can easily manage multiple queues, keep a log of group activities, analyze queues, agents, and hold time. It can also route calls to a representative depending on business rules creating unique processing paths for different callers.
When the ACD receives an incoming call, it finds specific instructions as to how the call is to be handled. The ACD can route the call to an agent or operator, a recorded message or Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, or place it on hold until a live person can receive it. ACD can route calls to agents or specific IVR menus based on factors including recognizing the number called into Direct Number Identification Service (DNIS), recognizing the number dialed from Automatic Number Identification (ANI), country of origin, agent availability and expertise and time of day.
Almost any business can benefit from ACD, but it is particularly useful to customer service centers and inbound service bureaus that may be handling infomercials or direct marketing campaigns and government agencies.
ACD is especially vital to management because it provides reports with statistical information that allows the supervisor to determine the peak periods during which calls wait to be answered, evaluate agent performance, determine the amount of calls lost and estimate the length of time the average caller will hold before hanging up.
Today, the best ACD systems do a lot more than their past counterparts. Features like digital recording, conferencing, silent observation, agent coaching and outbound call blending should be standard in any product.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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