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What is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)?

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Automation is being used by businesses all over the world in some capacity or the other. The main reason for this is because it can help simplify and take care of mundane processes, giving employees more room to be productive. In this post, we will discuss automatic call distribution (ACD), a type of phone system. We will also look at different routing strategies and the overall benefit of such a system.

Automatic Call Distribution: Definition

Automatic call distribution or ACD is a telephony system that receives calls and transfers them to the appropriate agent based on predetermined rules. These rules can be based on the area code of the incoming call or the time the call is being made, and so on.

Why Use an Automatic Call Distribution System?

An automatic call distributor system helps companies handle call traffic by effectively distributing calls. Common uses of an ACD system include:

  1. Managing calls during high traffic periods.
  2. Providing service after-hours or when agents/employees are unavailable.
  3. Automating basic information about the company and its services, troubleshooting solutions, FAQs for common queries, etc.
  4. Routing calls to specific departments, teams, agents based on rules and conditions that work best for your business.
  5. Optimizing agent and employee productivity.
  6. Connecting remote agents or employees in different offices across the globe through virtual phone systems.
  7. Reducing wait times yet at the same time increasing the rate of first-call resolution.

How Does an Automatic Call Distributor Work?

An automatic call distribution system is designed to distribute calls effectively and not just randomly. To do so, it uses predetermined rules and conditions. ACD routing is determined by several factors such as call traffic, time of day, location of the incoming call, skills required, and so on. Here are a few common ACD routing options:

1. Round-robin distribution
This routing strategy ensures that calls are distributed equally among your team so no agents are overburdened or remain idle for too long. Calls go down a list of agents and after the last agent answers the call, the loop starts with the first agent again.

2. Least-occupied agent
In this ACD routing option, calls are sent to agents who have been least occupied; in other words, agents who have been serving less call handling time. This ensures that every agent is putting in the necessary hours of work.

3. Programmed distribution
Here, the account or call center manager determines beforehand how calls will be spread across agents. These rules are based on factors such as agent experience, language skills, location, and so on.

4. Simultaneous ringing
With simultaneous ringing, incoming calls ring on multiple devices and phones at the same time. This way, an available agent or employee can quickly answer the phone and assist the caller.

Difference Between ACD and IVR

Most often, the terms ACD and IVR are used interchangeably. However, these two systems are slightly different. In fact, IVR is considered a part of ACD.

An interactive voice response or IVR system is an automated voice response system. It answers calls — like an automatic call distribution system — and provides callers with menu options. Unlike ACD, IVR requires caller input such as pressing a key or number on the dial pad or saying the number of the option they want. For example, “Press 1 for [], Press 2 for [].” Based on what the caller needs, they are transferred to an employee or to the next set of menu options. IVR systems can also provide self-serving options such as “Press 1 to activate your account. Press 2 to make a payment. Press 3 to learn about our services,” and so on.

ACD, on the other hand, identifies callers based on the number they are calling from and connects them to the most appropriate agent instantly. This routing can be based on a variety of factors such as time of the call, location of the call, agent skills, etc.

Is ACD Right for You?

If you want to streamline your incoming calls and create a system that is effective and efficient, then an ACD or IVR system can help. These systems use automation to make simple processes move faster, thereby giving your team more time to provide better customer service. To learn more about these systems, reach out to one of our experts today!

Designing Business Cards? Use a Virtual Phone Number

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As the world goes more and more virtual, one thing is still consistent: business cards. If you do not have a business card that you can bring with you to networking events, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities and new contacts. So if everyone has a business card, how are yours supposed to stand out among the masses? Whether you are designing business cards for the first time or looking to revamp your old business cards, check out these eight tips to creating a better business card.

Tips for Designing Business Cards

Adhere to basic design standards

The standards for designing business cards as follows:

    • 300dpi has the best image reproduction
    • Typography should be minimal but not so small that it is illegible
    • Use CMYK to design your cards
    • Make sure that your copy is 5mm or more away from the edge
    • When it comes to choosing a font, be sure to find one that is easy to read and stand out. Stay away from script type, unless you’re a calligraphy business showing off your original work. (However, even then it should be very legible.)

Start with the most important information

Different standard business card sizes vary depending on the country that you are in. This is probably because wallet sizes differ from place to place. Either way, a business card will be easy to hold onto and store. You will be working with a small canvas for creativity, but you must make sure that you include your most relevant contact information. After all of the crucial information is stated on the card then you can begin to get creative with your design around the type.

Avoid simple mistakes

Before printing your business card, be sure that you provide a bleed that is stated on your printer. Also, level borders around the card should be avoided in case the card isn’t cut perfectly. Misaligned borders are glaringly obvious to anyone you will be giving your card out to. It is like having a stain on your t-shirt on a first date; it’s all the other person will notice.

Designing Business Cards Woman on Phone
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Use a virtual phone number

Highlight your virtual phone number on your business card. Business cards provide an easy way to exchange contact information with prospective clients and collaborators. Business cards are a great way to get people to call your business.

Think outside of the box

Most business cards are printed on the same type of material. This is usually because it is the most affordable option, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, you can take a bold design stance with your business cards using more creative options. Formats like wood, plastics, metals, and slate are all options for printing your cards. The business card still needs to be compact and portable, but as long as you keep that in mind when choosing an alternative material, you can’t go wrong with a card that stands out from other business cards.

Opt for a special finish

There are places to cut costs, but when choosing business cards, you shouldn’t be cutting costs on the finish. You can choose from metallic inks, foil blocking, and more specialized finishes. These finishes make your business cards look more expensive and visually appealing. Because of this, people will be more likely to remember your business card.

Create a business card with multiple uses

You can get creative here. When your business card doubles as something like a seed bag you can plant, a treat for a dog, or a phone holder, then your business card is less likely to end up in the recycling bin.

Recycle old Business Card designs

If you have a stack of old business cards that you don’t want to use anymore (most people do!), you don’t have to throw them out. You can recycle them. And this applies not just to old business cards either, you can reuse old birthday cards or destination postcards. If you want an easy way to recycle, merely print out some stickers to stick over the old cards. Or if you’re artistic, then you can take your old cards and illustrate something by hand over the top.

Whether you decide to go to someone to have your cards created professionally or if you choose to create your own, remember to double and triple-check your work before printing. The worst outcome could be that you end up with thousands of useless cards that display the wrong phone number on them, or some other mishap! A keen eye for detail is a must; business cards are one of the key points of marketing and business communication, so the little things matter a whole lot.