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What is an ACD

Published on May 21, 2020 at 12:42 pm in Call center

An ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) is a call center telephony software system used in inbound contact centers.

Together with CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) it automatically answers, queues, and distributes calls to agents, plays announcements to contacts, and provides real-time and historical reports on all related activities.

Forget about long waiting times where your customers wait for so long before being connected that they actually forget why they were calling you. Call centers that have an ACD system can detect peak call volumes, agent activity, overflow to other campaigns, and provide automatic answers to simple queries or frequently asked questions.


How does Automatic Call Distribution work at the contact center?

ACD distributes calls according to the configured policies of the contact center. The most used forms of call distribution are as follows:

Idle agent – The ACD selects the agent that had been idle for the longest time or that has handled the lowest number of calls, ensuring the most efficient workforce management.

Round robin – The ACD distributes calls evenly among all agents handling calls. It starts with the first agent, then the second, third, and so on ensuring a workload balance between all agents of the call center.

Skills-based routing – The ACD distributes calls to the agents that have the required skills to handle the calls. Skills include experience, language, product knowledge, and so on to maximize the use of resources and ensure the best customer service.

Priority-based routing – The ACD distributes the calls according to the defined priority. Calls that just arrived at the queue may be distributed ahead of others that have been waiting there for some time, for example, if the caller has a high value to the business.

What are the benefits of a call center ACD?

Instant response

The ACD allows a faster response to inbound calls using the defined routing strategies, increasing call response and call handling time, and thus, the customer experience. During peak calling volumes, it can suggest a call back to keep the caller from waiting in the queue. VIP calls ca also be distributed ahead of other calls in the queue.


Greater agent productivity

An ACD enables agents to handle the calls for which they have the skills, expertise and knowledge increasing their confidence and morale and improving their performance. Access to information about the caller before the conversation starts empowers agents to define the best strategy for a successful outcome, increasing FCR (first call resolution) and improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Resource Optimization

The ACD efficiently routes inbound calls to the most appropriate call center agents, ensuring that they only handle issues for which they have the knowledge and expertise. The ACD also reports on call center indicators such as the talk time, number of calls handled, FCR rates, and others to enable inform decision making based on the operational performance.


Improved Customer Satisfaction

The ACD starts improving the customer experience right at the start by giving customers the option to be called back if the wait in the queue is too long. It pairs customers with the most knowledgeable agent to handle their issue, avoiding customers from repeating the same conversation several times.


ACD software systems can span from a very small call center with just a few agents and short number of inbound calls to large solutions with thousands of agents in multiple locations. Furthermore, even though modern contact centers handle more than calls, the objective is still the same: automatically deliver work to an agent. Work can refer to calls, emails, inbound queries, and many others that are part of today´s contact center.

Celia Cerdeira

Celia Cerdeira

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