How to Build an Automatic Call Distribution System (ACD)
Automatic Call Distribution, or ACD in short, is call center software that routes incoming calls to available agents, and can be configured based on variables like schedules, departments, and caller selection in the IVR menu. Telzio’s hosted ACD software solution connects calls to endpoints in any physical location, without any hardware or programming. You're able to easily build a stronger, more customized caller experience without touching a line of code. By the end of this article, you'll know all about the tools and capabilities available to build and configure your own complete ACD system.
What is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)?
Automatic Call Distribution is a software system that routes inbound calls to people within an organization. Enterprises and call centers use ACD systems to manage customer support calls and high-volume call traffic to multiple departments and locations.
Configurations handled by the ACD system include:
- Schedule-based call routing
- Skill-based call routing
- Callback requests
- Re-directing call overflow to other queues
- Custom announcements and hold music
- Live call monitoring
ACD System Capabilities
Telzio's ACD solutions can be customized using a variety of tools. You'll find it easy to build a complete, enterprise-grade phone system through our Call Flows and modern UI. Here are some of the call routing features that are available.
The Queue feature is a powerful call routing solution for contact centers, customer support lines, and sales teams. With the Queue, callers are placed on hold when all agents are busy and routed to available agents simultaneously or via our intelligent routing pattern that maximizes agent productivity.
Telzio Queues can forward calls to globally distributed teams and handle high-volume traffic loads with no issues.
You can customize hold music while callers are in the queue and provide the option to request a callback. Maximum hold times can be set to redirect callers to an alternative option, whether that's a voicemail, an answering service, or simply an announcement.
Business Hours and Scheduling
Set and adjust your daily hours of operation with the Opening Hours feature. This allows for an easy way to manage inbound calls to team members working in different timezones or hours. This includes holidays or special hours that apply to your business. Regardless of the desired level of granularity, the ACD will route calls accordingly.
The auto-attendant acts as a virtual operator and can provide information to callers. This is typically the first thing callers hear and interact with. Based on the caller’s selection, the system will automatically route the caller to the appropriate team or person. The auto attendant enables callers to quickly connect with agents based on what they're looking for.
With flexible recording and text-to-speech options, you can easily customize menu options to cater to different languages. An excellent example of this would be Pressing 2 for Spanish, allowing callers to receive support from a group of Spanish-speaking agents.
Reconnecting to the Same Agent
A reconnect option can be added to direct any returning calls back to the same agent that handled the initial call. The ACD will automatically check incoming calls against a list of previously concluded calls. This list is derived from the maximum time period configured for 1, 3, 6, and 12 hours or up to 3 days. Useful for callers that accidentally disconnected or forgot to ask a question. This saves the caller from frustrations having to repeat their query and removes the need for a new agent to gather information. This results in a better customer experience and fewer support hours spent resolving customer service issues.
Remote Agents and Devices
Telzio's hosted ACD system allows companies to have all their agents work as one coherent unit regardless of location or time zone. The system will work to route calls to different call centers and remote agents. Users can be given the option to use the Telzio Mobile App on their personal or company mobile phones, IP phones, and computers to work from home and/or the office. The Telzio Webphone offers a seamless computer telephony integration with no download or installation required.
Blocking Unwanted Calls
Conversely, phone numbers can be filtered out of the queue altogether if you find that you are receiving too many unsolicited calls in the form of spambots, robocalls, and even in cases where you need to blacklist an individual. Automatic call blocking can be tailored based on your preferences using our free spam blocking feature.
Call Distribution Methods
The pattern that the ACD system uses to route calls can be tailored in several ways.
- Sequential – The incoming call rings each agent in the hunt group in order one-by-one. If the agent is busy or misses the call, the call will proceed to the next agent on the list until all available agents have been contacted. Ideal when you want to prioritize which specific agents will answer the call first.
- Simultaneous – The incoming call rings all agents in a group at the same time. The first agent to pick up will get the call, and when an agent answers, the call will stop ringing other agents.
- Longest Idle – Within a queue, you can set the incoming call first to ring the agent that has been idle for the longest. This helps ensure even distribution in workload between all agents in an assigned group.
- Circular – A circular routing pattern is similar to sequential, but should the caller not connect to the last agent in a group, the call restarts at the first agent and repeats down the list until someone answers the call.
Live Call Reporting
Through the Telzio dashboard, you can monitor live reports on all concurrent calls.
Reporting provides valuable information such as:
- Queue name
- Agents on call
- Callers in a queue
- Call duration
- Hold time duration
- Available agents
This is a powerful way to maintain an overview of your phone system's active queues, providing valuable insights to pin-point areas of success or improvement.
Automatic Call Distribution also allows for greater quality assurance by enabling call monitoring to help coach agents. Supervisors can monitor calls by listening in on a conversation between a caller and agent in real-time.
Should the agent, or by request of the caller, find it necessary, the call can immediately be transferred without the caller needing to repeat their query.
While in “Listen” mode, the monitoring agent is muted.
“Whisper” mode is similar to “Listen,” but only the agent being monitored will be able to hear the monitoring agent. Perfect for coaching agents over phone calls and providing training.
Lastly, you can “Barge” into a call to join the conversation to assist the caller personally. Obvious to say, both the agent and caller will hear you in this mode.
Implementing an ACD system is incredibly fast and easy with Telzio's Call Flows. Make use of pre-configured templates for a click-and-go solution with no extra setup. What you get is a complete business phone system with no extra hardware, equipment, or programming needed. Remotely register all your phones with auto-provisioning, and Telzio will take care of the rest. With the Telzio Mobile App and Telzio Webphone, remote users can be up and running instantly.
Ben is an entrepreneur and self-taught programmer.