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Winning strategies for automatic call distribution in a high-volume call center

Автоматичний розподіл дзвінків ACD

Have you ever called a customer service center only to hear, “Sorry, all our operators are busy”? This frustrating experience is often the result of a flawed automatic call distribution strategy. For companies committed to delivering top-notch service, it’s crucial to avoid keeping customers waiting excessively to speak with an operator. Today, we’ll explore the best strategies for configuring the Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system to ensure efficiency in high-volume call centers.

What is the ACD System?

In a perfect scenario, callers would always reach an available contact center agent. However, reality doesn’t always align. Sometimes it feels like customers conspire to call all at once with the same issue, making things harder for operators and increasing the risk of leaving someone unanswered. This challenge is tackled by the Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system. It aids busy call centers in handling high call volumes and ensures that everyone who calls gets assistance from a call center agent.

The ACD works by efficiently distributing incoming calls based on predefined rules for waiting queues. These rules might include:

  • agents’ qualifications and skills
  • customer segmentation
  • preferred l
  • anguage for service
  • nature of the customer’s problem
  • inbound line workload
  • KPIs for the contact center, and more.

Following these rules, the ACD system employs a clearly defined algorithm to “route” calls to available agents in order to:

  • equitably distribute the workload among agents
  • promptly address customer calls
  • enhance customer service quality by directing calls to the most suitable agents.

Advantages of Automatic Call Distribution System

For a contact center with a large number of incoming inquiries across various communication channels, the ACD system is critically important. By automating call distribution, ACD can significantly enhance the performance of your call center, offering a range of benefits such as:

Efficient Handling of Inquiries

ACD systems ensure fast and accurate routing of incoming calls to the appropriate call center agent, reducing wait times and increasing customer satisfaction.

Workforce Management Optimization

Automatic call distribution (ACD) helps evenly distribute workload call center agents, avoiding overload and workforce downtime. This leads to increased productivity and maximum operational efficiency of the contact center.

Enhancement of Customer Experience

With ACD, wait times in call queues are reduced. Additionally, automatic distribution directs calls to agents best suited to address customer needs, leading to increased CSAT satisfaction scores and improved NPS loyalty metrics.

Data-driven Analytics

ACD systems provide valuable information on call volumes, agent productivity, and customer interactions, enabling data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement of call center operations.

ACD System Strategies: Insights from Global Bilgi Contact Center

Global Bilgi Contact Center stands as a leading Ukrainian firm offering call center outsourcing services to both domestic and international businesses. With a wealth of experience in customer service management, Global Bilgi has developed proprietary software solutions to streamline contact center operations and optimize resource utilization. One such solution is the Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system, integrated into the Sirius cloud platform software designed for contact centers.

Global Bilgi effectively employs the ACD system in its largest project – providing service to subscribers of a major mobile operator. This project involves handling a continuous stream of inquiries, placing a consistent workload on operators.

Drawing on our extensive experience, we aim to share with our readers the successful strategies for utilizing the ACD system in projects featuring over 200 agents, millions of subscribers, and thousands of incoming calls daily.

Strategy 1: Integrating ACD with IVR and CRM Systems

In this strategy, the ACD system distributes calls based on data from the CRM system or the reason selected by the customer in the IVR menu when contacting the call center. Successful call routing relies on a holistic approach to utilizing these systems.

By integrating ACD and IVR, not only can call distribution be expedited based on requests, but also the overall service process can be accelerated. Additionally, integrating the distribution system with CRM enables the collection of data essential for evaluating service quality and enhancing processes in the contact center.

Strategy 2: Customer Segmentation

When handling a large client base, maximizing ACD efficiency depends on segmentation. Corporate clients, contract subscribers, and users with varying levels of usage all offer opportunities for creating distinct segments. Each phone number contacting the contact center can be categorized into a segment. This simplifies the establishment of routing rules or algorithms in the call distribution system.

In projects involving a large mobile operator, client segmentation enables calls to be routed to the appropriate groups of operators. Experienced staff typically handle high-profit corporate clients, while routine inquiries may be directed to newer team members. Moreover, specific lines are designated for partners and other purposes.

Strategy 3: Flexibility in ACD System Settings

A large client base entails the possibility of sudden load changes. Seasonality, holidays, marketing campaigns, technical issues, and crisis situations can lead to increased call volumes in the call center. It’s the flexibility in the settings of the Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system that can mitigate this load by quickly adjusting routing algorithms.

For example, in normal operation, a certain group of agents only handles calls from their assigned client segment. However, during peak loads, when minimizing call response time is more critical than having an experienced agent take the call, the ACD system switches to a “simultaneous distribution to all operators” algorithm.

Flexibility in ACD system settings also extends to the ability to change the priority of call queues according to customer needs. For instance, if the service department manager notices a decline in KPIs for a specific client segment, they can adjust the distribution algorithm to allocate more available agents to that queue.

Strategy 4: Call Routing Based on Agent Skills

The strategy of call routing in ACD, based on agent skills, involves automatically directing incoming calls to the appropriate agents based on their skills, expertise, and experience. The main goal is to streamline the call handling process by connecting callers with the most suitable agents to address specific issues.

In a contact center with a large number of agents and significant workloads, there can be turnover in personnel over time. The skill-based routing strategy helps optimize training and development of new groups based on the skills and competencies of each agent, including their experience, product or service knowledge, language abilities, and other important factors. Implementing a call routing algorithm based on skills ensures an equitable distribution of workload among operators and boosts overall productivity.

Conclusions

The ACD (Automatic Call Distribution) system is crucial for contact centers dealing with a high volume of incoming calls. This technology facilitates the effective management and distribution of call traffic, ensuring swift and efficient customer service.

The main goal of the ACD system is to streamline customer wait times, assign calls to the most suitable agents, and boost the overall productivity of the contact center.

During periods of heavy workload in the contact center, it’s essential to identify which ACD strategies will offer the most benefits and aid in achieving desired efficiency goals. The contact center outsourcing practices of Global Bilgi’s  indicate that when managing a large volume of inquiries, it’s beneficial to employ client segmentation strategies, maintain flexible ACD settings, evenly distribute workload among contact center agents, and integrate automatic call distribution with CRM and IVR menus.

About author

Фахівець з маркетингу компанії Global Bilgi
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