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Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

how automatic call distribution works
Home » Cloud Telephony Features » Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

Efficient communication is paramount for organizations striving to deliver exceptional customer service. This requires ensuring that each caller is promptly directed to the right agent or department for resolution. It can be a daunting task! With the power of advanced call routing features like an ACD system, your business can:

  • Automate call management
  • Distribute incoming calls strategically
  • Optimize resource allocation
  • Improve operational efficiency

What is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)?

ACD is a feature within cloud telephony systems that optimizes incoming call management. It automatically and swiftly routes calls to designated recipients according to predetermined distribution and routing rules.

For example, you can route inquiries about product order status or returns to dedicated support representatives and general inquiries to a team of frontline agents.

Tailor these rules to factors like caller’s location, time of day, agent availability, or specific team assignments. You can easily configure and modify these rules through your provider’s application or control panel to ensure seamless call routing.

You can use your ACD systems alongside your IVR. And together, the two routing mechanisms collaborate to streamline distribution of incoming calls, aiding in the efficient management of call volumes. Learn more about IVR versus ACD and how you can use these systems to improve how your business handles calls.

How Does ACD Work?

You can set up ACD rules tailored to your business communication needs.

For example, you might need to direct calls from one location to another to accommodate global customers calling from various time zones. Alternatively, you may require an IVR menu enabling callers to select their desired department. You can fine-tune all of these functionalities using an ACD system.

Typically, an ACD system operates through three main stages:

1. Gathering caller information:
The ACD system starts by identifying the caller and their location, enabling it to determine suitable language, time zone, and preferred assistance options.

2. Determining the call’s purpose:
Then, with IVR capabilities, ACD determines the reason for the call—for customer support, billing inquiries, or other specific needs.

For instance, upon receiving a call, the ACD system can prompt the caller with an IVR menu offering options “Press 1 for technical support,” “Press 2 for billing inquiries,” and “Press 3 for sales and upgrades.” The caller selects the number associated with the purpose of their call.

3. Efficient call routing:
Finally, using the gathered information, the ACD system employs preset rules to direct the call to the most suitable agent or employee based on their expertise or department.

acd routing strategies

Benefits of Using an ACD System

Wondering how your business can use the automatic call distribution? ACD systems let you tailor your call routing and distribution strategies to enhance your agents’ efficiency. Here are the advantages:

  • Efficient call volume management: Whether it’s peak hours or quiet periods, an ACD system helps your business handle call volumes effectively.
  • Automated call routing: Direct calls automatically to designated agents, employees, or offices based on predefined criteria.
  • Automated assistance: Implement an IVR system for routine inquiries like company information, troubleshooting guidance, FAQs, etc.
  • Tailored routing and management: Customize call routing and management strategies to enhance agent and employee productivity.
  • Round-the-clock support: Offer 24/7 customer service through a “follow-the-sun” support model.
  • Holiday support: Provide customer support tailored to special holiday schedules, ensuring uninterrupted service during festive seasons.
  • Unified communication: Unify local, in-office, remote, and global agents under one centralized communication platform.
  • Outsourcing support: Utilize outsourcing services for after-hours support.
  • Reduced wait times: By swiftly routing calls to the appropriate agent or department, ACD systems minimize wait times and decrease missed calls, enhancing first-call resolution rates.
  • Failover mechanisms: You can equip ACD systems with failover forwarding to handle maintenance, upgrades, and outages, maintaining uninterrupted service delivery.

ACD benefits

5 Methods for Routing Calls Using ACD

The beauty of ACD lies in its adaptability to suit your business perfectly. Below are 5 routing strategies you can implement with your ACD system:

1. Sequential Routing: Direct incoming calls down a predefined list of agents in sequential order, beginning with the same agents each time. This allows for immediate assistance from available agents.

2. Simultaneous RingRing multiple phones with one number simultaneously allowing any available agent to promptly take the call and assist the caller.

3. Round Robin Call Routing: Distribute incoming calls evenly among agents or reps in a continuous loop, starting with agent A, then B, then C, and so forth.

4. Advanced Call Routing: Implement advanced call routing strategies to route calls from one number or location to another based on specific criteria:

  • Geographic routing – Route calls based on the caller’s geographical location. This can help in providing personalized and localized support. Customers might feel more understood and valued talking to agents who are familiar with their region and its specific needs.
  • Time-based routing – Route calls based on the time of day the call comes in. This feature could help you offer 24/7 support to your customers.
  • Holiday routing – Create call routing protocols specific to holiday seasons according to your holiday schedules. For example, during the holiday season, you can route calls to a specialized holiday support team or adjust call handling based on reduced staffing levels.

5. Least-occupied agent: This feature, also known as uniform call distribution, directs calls to the agent with the least workload and shortest call handling time, ensuring equitable call distribution.

Where Can I Get Automatic Call Distribution?

An ACD call routing system is available through cloud phone service providers like United World Telecom. You can enjoy ACD along with other advanced call routing capabilities with any of our virtual phone number plans. To get started, sign up on our Pricing page or chat with our experts to learn more!

Service Features

An advanced suite of included and premium features to reliably power your business communication.

CRM Integrations

IVR/Auto Attendant

Call Recording

Virtual Voicemail

Call Flow Designer

Call Transcription

Time-of-Day Routing

Geographic Routing

Simultaneous Ringing

Sequential Routing

GCF Softphone

Outbound Calling

Outbound Caller ID

Number Masking

Failover Routing

Custom Reports

Call Blocking

Local Ringback Tones

Fax to Email

Rollover Minutes

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