What is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)? Definition and Examples

Kixie Team
What is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)? Definition and Examples | Telephones for business

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) software has been around for decades, but it’s still one of the most effective ways to streamline and manage inbound call flows in a business setting. Whether you’re a call center, sales team, or customer service department, ACD can help you improve efficiency and deliver better customer experiences. In this article, we’ll define ACD, explore some examples of how it’s used in B2B settings, discuss how it can benefit your business, and offer tips on choosing the right ACD tools for your needs.

call center using ACD

What is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)?

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) is a type of technology used in call centers and help desks to route incoming calls to the right personnel. It works by recognizing certain characteristics of an incoming call, such as its origin, language, or the customer’s account number. It then routes the call to the most qualified agent based on these criteria. The use of ACD systems in call centers ensures that customers are connected to someone who can adequately address their issues quickly and efficiently.

At its most basic level, ACD call center software is a system that automatically routes incoming calls to the appropriate agent or department. Depending on the complexity of the system, ACD can also include features like skills-based routing, CRM-based routing, and geographic-based routing for more advanced inbound call routing.

Types of Automatic Call Distribution Systems

There are several different types of ACD systems, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few examples:

  1. Traditional ACD: This is the most common type of ACD and is typically used in call center and contact center environments. It uses a simple routing algorithm to direct calls to the next available agent. This may also be called inbound call routing.
  2. Intelligent ACD: This type of ACD is more sophisticated and can route calls based on factors like caller history, call volume, and agent availability. Intelligent ACD uses information stored in a company’s CRM to route calls with more accuracy.
  3. Skills-based ACD: This type of ACD routes calls based on an agent’s skill set. For example, if a customer calls with a technical issue, the call will be routed to an agent with technical expertise.
  4. Geographic ACD: This type of ACD routes calls based on the caller’s location. For example, if a caller is located in a different time zone, the call will be routed to an agent who is available to take calls during that time. Or, if your business operates in several states, the call can be routed to the appropriate state-based agent.
  5. CRM-based ACD: With this type of ACD, incoming calls can be routed to the appropriate department or agent based on the information your organization has about the caller stored within your customer relationship management (CRM) system. For example, a caller from a business that has a high deal value could be routed to a premier customer support agent, to ensure they are taken good care of.

Automatic Call Distribution Use Cases

Automatic Call Distribution is most applicable to sales and customer support teams. For instance, when a potential customer calls a sales team, an automatic call distributor can automatically route the call to the next available salesperson. This ensures that the customer doesn’t have to wait on hold for long periods of time and that they are able to speak with someone who can answer their questions and help them make a purchase.

There are even more use cases and examples for advanced automatic call systems. For example, businesses may use ACD to route incoming calls to their customer support agents after a deal has closed with sales. Or, if there are known “complainers” or difficult customers that call often, these calls can be routed to an experienced agent who is equipped to handle the conversation.

Another common use case for ACD is routing incoming calls based on the area code of the phone number, or based on the location of the caller as designated in the CRM. This can be especially useful for companies that have locations in multiple states or countries, as well as for businesses that have location-specific agents, such as mortgage or insurance companies.

call center agent using ACD software

Benefits of Automatic Call Distribution Software

There are several benefits to using ACD software in a B2B business setting. Here are a few of the most significant:

  1. Improved call routing: ACD software can help ensure that calls are routed to the appropriate agent or department, reducing wait times and improving the customer experience.
  2. Increased efficiency: By automating call routing and prioritization, ACD software can help teams handle more calls in less time, reducing costs and improving productivity.
  3. Better team management: Reporting on ACD software can provide managers with real-time data on call volume, call duration, and other metrics, helping them make informed decisions about staffing and training.
  4. Enhanced customer experience: By providing customers with quick and efficient access to the right agent, ACD software can help improve satisfaction and loyalty.

Choosing the Right Automatic Call Distribution Software

If you’re considering implementing ACD software in your business, there are several factors to consider. Here are a few tips for choosing the right system for your unique business:

  1. Identify your needs: Start by identifying the specific needs of your business. Do you need a simple ACD system for a small sales team, or a more complex system for a large call center?
  2. Evaluate different systems: Research different ACD software providers and evaluate the features and capabilities of each system. Look for providers that offer support and training, cloud ACD, as well as customization options for your call center’s unique needs.
  3. Consider integration: If you already use other systems like CRM software, make sure that the ACD system you choose can be integrated with these systems.
  4. Evaluate costs: ACD software can range in price from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the complexity of the system. Consider both the upfront costs and ongoing maintenance and support costs when evaluating different options.

Get Started With Automatic Call Distribution Software Today

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) software is a powerful tool for managing inbound call flows in a B2B setting. Whether you’re managing contact center agents, a sales team, or a customer service department, ACD can help you improve efficiency.

By understanding the different types of ACD systems, the benefits and challenges of using ACD software, and how to choose the right system for your needs, you can make an informed decision about whether ACD is right for your business. To learn more and try out an ACD system for free, start a free trial of Kixie today (no credit card required).