An ACD answers and routes incoming calls to the right rep or department. It uses a set of algorithms and predefined criteria and usually works in tandem with other telephony systems, such as interactive voice response (IVR) and computer telephony integration (CTI) to route calls.
While ACD shares some similarities with IVR, they differ on some points. An ACD system connects callers to reps who are best suited to assist them, while IVR enables self-service for customers, and in some cases, minimizes the need for assistance.
The call distribution process begins with caller identification. Using an IVR, you’re able to gather important information about a customer, such as the reason for the call and what their needs are. Once they’ve keyed in a certain number that matches with their issue, the ACD can use the information, so the caller can be routed to the rep who is most qualified to assist them.
Next, the caller will be put into a queue or a waiting list, which sorts the caller into categories, which may include the type of issue or the caller status (Are they new customers? Are they VIPs?).
The last step is the actual call routing, which uses a predefined distribution method. Your preferred method will depend on what your enterprise’s goals are. If you want to resolve issues on the first try, then your ACD can route calls based on your reps’ skills.