What is an automatic call distributor?

From social media to live chat to phone calls, contact center teams are having conversations on a whole range of different channels. And one of the easiest ways to make life easier for contact center agents is in the phone call experience—specifically, to allow your callers to direct their own calls instead of relying on human agents to manually transfer them.

And that’s pretty much what an automatic call distributor does. It’s basically a software that answers calls and directs those calls to the right department or agent (or even a custom voicemail greeting if it’s outside of business hours).

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A more efficient way to handle inbound calls

Reduce the workload on your agents with an ACD and give your callers the ability to route themselves to the right department or person. No more manually transferring.

A better customer experience

With callers being able to distribute their own calls, your agents can spend more time on work that matters: having actual conversations with customers and solving problems.

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When our Technical Support workforce transitioned to working 100% remotely we had to act fast to ensure all mission critical systems were accessible and usable from agents’ homes. With barely any effort at all, we were able to set up our agents to service calls remotely and without any disruption to our customers thanks to Dialpad.

Marko Milakovic | Sr. Manager, Technical Support at Duomo

Monitor analytics in real time

Dialpad comes with analytics and dashboards built right in, so you don’t have to put in requests every time you want to see data about how your contact center is performing. Need to gauge how effective your ACD is? See call volume patterns, your average speed to answer, duration, and more—all in your Dialpad account.

Say goodbye to long wait times

Your customers don’t want to waste their time on hold—and Dialpad not only helps you manage an overflow of incoming phone calls, it also allows you to inform callers of their place in the queue and give them the option of requesting a callback.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What kinds of call distribution strategies are there?

Depending on what your team makeup looks like, you might use different routing strategies or distribution methods that use different algorithms. For example, there’s simultaneous call distribution, which is useful if your goal is to have quick response times. Basically, it sends calls to the first available agents. There’s also skills-based distribution, which directs calls to your most experienced agents first.

Is ACD the same as IVR (Interactive voice response)?

Nope, although you can use them together in a contact center or call center. The main difference is that ACD routes calls to teams or agents, while an IVR uses pre-recorded messages and menu options to allow a caller to find information on their own without talking to someone at all.

Is ACD the same as CTI (computer telephony integration)?

Again no, but these are also two tools that work together. CTI is the linking of your center’s telephone distribution system(s) with business apps you may use. For example, Dialpad has CTIs with CRMs and other tools like Salesforce and Zendesk.

Why should call centers use an ACD system?

One of the biggest benefits, of course, is that an ACD can take manual call routing off of your team’s plates. It also minimizes call queues and waiting for your callers, and you can use your provider’s analytics to measure performance in real time and make good business decisions (or get validation for past decisions).

Do ACD systems come with call reports?

Some do. One of the great things about Dialpad’s Contact Center platform is that not only does it have an ACD, it also includes detailed call reports that you can export and analyze to identify issues or make operational decisions. For example, you can see how many inbound calls your contact center receives at different times, call durations, and more.