ACD or Automatic Call Distribution – Everything you need to know

Ramakrishnan CL | PUBLISHED ON Nov 16, 2022

ACD or Automatic Call Distribution - Everything you need to know

ACD is the short form for an automatic call distribution system. It is a highly sought-after mechanism that helps businesses handle incoming calls efficiently. 

As a business, sooner or later, your customer service agents will have to deal with a high volume of calls daily. If you do not manage the situation properly with the right tools and technologies, it will exhaust the agents and create more unsatisfied customers. 

So if you want to handle thousands of calls without draining your agents or wasting time, consider getting a robust Automatic Call Distribution system! 

Besides helping you manage large volumes of calls, an Automatic Call Distribution system can benefit your business in several ways. 

Of course, we’ll discuss the benefits in detail. But before that, let’s understand the concept behind automatic call distribution in-depth. 

What is Automatic Call Distribution(ACD)?

Automatic call distribution is a telecommunications technology that receives incoming calls and routes them to the right agent or team based on predefined routing rules. 

The primary purpose of this system is to help businesses manage large volumes of calls and improve their customer experience. The customers will also feel valued when they’re connected to the right agent and get their issues solved quickly. 

You might think ACD and IVR are the same, but that’s not true! If you wish to learn more about ACD and IVR, read the following section carefully. 

ACD Vs IVR – What are the Differences?

Interactive Voice Response(IVR) allows users to interact with prerecorded voice messages called the self-service menu before their calls get connected to an agent. IVR is a telephonic call management system that automatically answers the call and provides information based on the keyboard inputs of the caller. 

As soon as the customer initiates a call to the number, it offers a set of pre-defined menus. Then, customers need to input the numbers against the voice message to get quick support with their queries.  

For example

  • Press 1 for Account-related Information
    • If you are a pre-paid customer, Press 2
    • If you are a postpaid customer, Press 3
    • To go back to the main menu, Press 4
  • Press 2 for Complaints
  • Press 3 for Value-added Services 
  • Press 9 to Talk to the Customer Support Agent
  • Press 0 to Repeat the Menu

Today, most businesses use an IVR number to respond immediately to customers and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

On the other hand, Automatic Call Distribution(ACD) distributes the calls from the customers to the agents based on the company’s predefined rules. Modern businesses allow IVR and ACD to work together to improve productivity and customer satisfaction. 

Let’s take a more detailed look and see how the system works. 

The automatic call system works in 3 steps: 

  1. Identifying the caller

As mentioned above, an IVR system helps businesses identify customers’ needs along with their language, location, etc. Eventually, it will be easier for the automatic call system to assign the call to the right agent who can handle the issue. 

  1. Call queuing

Not just one or two; companies may have to deal with hundreds of calls from their customers daily. An automatic call system automatically sorts these calls into waiting lists. The order of this queue depends on various factors, such as type of query, waiting time, status, etc. Moreover, the system can prioritize VIP callers over others. 

  1. Call routing

Finally, the automatic call system routes the incoming calls to the specific agent based on the predefined distribution rules. For example, the system can distribute calls according to the experience and skill of agents, time of the day, agent availability, etc. 

Now, it’s clear that the automatic call system and IVR are not the same; instead, they work together to enhance customer satisfaction. 

Types of Automatic Call Distribution Systems

The most common types of Automatic Call Distribution are: 

Skill-based Call Distribution

As the name suggests, in skill-based routing, the automatic call system distributes calls to the agents based on their skills, such as language proficiency, response time, experience, etc. Sometimes, this type of call distribution is also called weighted call distribution, where each agent has a specific weighted score based on their skills. Skill-based call distribution helps companies to route calls to the right agent and avoid situations where less experienced agents receive too many calls. 

Fixed Order Call Distribution

Here, the system sorts the agents in a predetermined order and routes calls to the first agent on the list. The following agent on the list attends the call only when the first agent is busy. This type of distribution is also known as linear call distribution since the ring is assigned linearly until someone answers. You can use fixed-order call distribution to prioritize particular agents over others based on their experience, skill sets, language skills, superiority, etc. 

Round Robin Call Distribution

It is one of the commonly used call distributions where each agent gets a uniform workload. Here, the system distributes calls in a circular loop where each agent can answer the call until the cycle repeats. 

Time-based Call Distribution

In time-based distribution, ACD routes the call according to the time zone and agent availability. This call distribution type is ideal for businesses where agents work remotely. Moreover, a time-based distribution system allows calls to be routed directly to voicemails if none of the agents is available.

Simultaneous Call Distribution

If you want to reduce customer waiting time, simultaneous call distribution is the right choice. Here, the automatic call system alerts all the agents to an incoming call simultaneously, and whoever picks up the call first will handle the customer. 

Talk-time Call Distribution

This type is similar to rotary call distribution, where the ACD distributes the call to the agent with the least talk time. Eventually, you spread the workload equally between agents, and no agent attends more or fewer calls than others. 

Top Benefits of Automatic Call Distribution Systems

Even though an Automatic Call Distribution system offers plenty of benefits, the following are the most important ones. 

Efficient Call Routing

Since ACD distribution works on predefined algorithms, you assign the calls to the most suitable agents. This intelligent processing improves overall efficiency and saves a lot of time. 

Immediate Response

As you know, no customer wants to wait too long to get their issues solved. Therefore, an ACD quickly routes the call to the representative without delay. Moreover, ACD distribution offers an option for customers to schedule a call back when there is a high call volume or peak hours at the company. 

Improved Customer Satisfaction

The automatic call distribution system always routes the call to the representative who is efficient enough to solve the issue. In other words, the incoming call from the customers doesn’t get transferred between agents or left unanswered. Eventually, the customer service agents can solve the issue quickly and improve customer satisfaction. 

Improved Agent Productivity

As mentioned above, ACD always routes the incoming call to the agent trained to handle the particular issue. It will give them more confidence to deal with customers and improve their productivity. 

Resource Optimization

Efficient call routing allows agents to spend time doing what they do best and focus less on things outside their domain. Furthermore, since the automatic call distribution system also collects data regarding the total number of calls, time spent on each call, waiting time etc., managers can analyze them to make crucial decisions.  

Overall Cost Reduction

It is a fact that the automatic call distribution system eliminates the costs of transferring calls across various departments or agents. Therefore, the chances of first call resolution improve, and the customer can get his query resolved without further delay. In this way, companies can save time and costs per call.

Final Thoughts

In this fast-paced world, having a system that helps you provide excellent customer service is always an advantage. Moreover, the benefits mentioned above prove that the automatic call distribution system can benefit your business in many ways. So you don’t have to think twice before getting a robust Automatic Call system to boost your business. 

Tringpartner is a comprehensive tool that helps you manage your business calls efficiently. Moreover, it offers all the valuable features like Automatic Call Distribution, Call Routing, Time-based Routing, Missed Call Management System and more at an affordable cost. So if you need a robust ACD, Tringpartner should be your first choice.