Every company needs a call center so that customers can contact the company and get their needs addressed. Call centers have their own unique terminology, and one of the most crucial terms when it comes to the call center is “ACD.”

What is an ACD?

An automatic call distributor, or ACD, is the sophisticated automated system that answers incoming calls and then routes the caller to the appropriate department. An auto dialer for call center use lets you meet customer needs more quickly and efficiently than you otherwise could.

The ACD works with an interactive voice response, or IVR, system. The IVR presents callers with a menu of choices. By analyzing what the callers choose, the system can determine the most efficient way to direct the caller.

What can you do with ACD?

Identify high-value callers

You get to set the criteria for determining which callers or issues are most important. High-value callers may be specific people. They may be callers with particular questions that are likely to lead to a sale.

A high-value caller might also be someone with an issue you know needs to be resolved immediately. Whatever is important to you, you can set the ACD to route it to the front of the line.

Get callers to the right agent

When a caller ends up with the wrong department, everyone involved gets frustrated. The customer gets upset at the waste of time and money. The agents feel ineffective and annoyed.

The ACD system routes people right where they need to be, whether that be a specific department, language, or problem. You can route callers depending on where they dial in from or based on their choices in the IVR menu.

Keep on top of agents

The ACD system makes it easy for you to monitor calls, coach your agents in training, take over if a call has problems, or conference in to talk with a customer and agent together. The system also keeps historical data that lets you see at a glance how agents are doing.

This makes it easier to coach agents and deal with other managerial tasks. It also keeps agents on the ball and allows you to easily and quickly step in whenever necessary.

Integrate and improve responses

By using an ACD system, you empower your agents to fix problems. As callers dial in, all the important information goes right to your agents’ computers. They can see at a glance what is going on before they start talking. This means customers get their questions answered more quickly and leave the interaction satisfied.

You can also integrate the ACD system with other communication software so that agents can interact on the phone, through email, or in live chat or text. This lets customers contact you the way they prefer and increases customer satisfaction.

How to use the ACD effectively

Most call center software distributors offer five different ways for you to line up your callers and distribute them to agents. You can move to a different method as necessary to deal with customers most efficiently.

  1. Circular distribution. This method routes calls to agents in a loop, always sending a caller to the agent next on the list.
  2. Linear distribution. This method routes callers to a list of agents, always starting with the same agent.
  3. Uniform distribution. This method sends calls to the agent who has had the longest downtime since their last call.
  4. Weight distribution. This method weights calls according to value and assigns them to agents accordingly.
  5. Simultaneous distribution. This method alerts every agent to an incoming call and routes the call to the first agent to respond.

You can also program your ACD caller menu to personalize it in ways that are most effective for you and useful for your customers. With an ACD system in place, you can increase customer satisfaction while improving your own efficiency at the same time.