Automatic Call Distribution Systems Reduce Customer Friction
If you’ve ever experienced extended hold times, dropped calls or repeated transfers when calling customer service, then you are well-acquainted with the concept of “customer friction.” The term refers to anything that gets in the way of a smooth and effortless interaction between businesses and their customers — and it is contributing to a growing sense of dissatisfaction among U.S. consumers.
Customer experience ratings for U.S. brands have declined for an unprecedented two years in a row, according to Forrester’s most recent Customer Experience Benchmark Survey. Based on data collected from 96,000 customers across 221 brands and 13 industries, the survey found that only 6 percent of brands saw significant improvements in their scores in 2023.
Automated Call Distribution Benefits
Automatic call distribution (ACD) systems play a pivotal role in reducing customer friction by streamlining and optimizing contact center call-handling processes. These systems significantly reduce wait times and enhance the overall efficiency of customer interactions by intelligently routing incoming calls to the most qualified agents based on predetermined criteria.
ACD solutions use a combination of hardware and software components to intelligently route incoming calls. Sophisticated algorithms assess various factors such as agent availability, skills and workload to determine the best destination for incoming calls. Many ACD systems integrate with interactive voice response (IVR) technology that guides callers through a series of prompts to gather information before connecting them to an agent.
Understanding Call Distribution Models
ACD systems can be configured to employ various call distribution models, which are sets of rules to ensure calls are routed to the most appropriate agent. The rules are customizable, allowing businesses to adapt them to address specific business requirements and priorities. Common call distribution models include:
Automatic call distribution (ACD) systems play a pivotal role in reducing customer friction.
- Skills-based routing directs calls to agents based on their specific skills, expertise or knowledge. For example, inquiries about specific products or services are directed to agents with comprehensive knowledge about those offerings.
- Fixed-order routing distributes calls according to a predetermined order, promoting a fair distribution of workload among agents and ensuring that calls are handled systematically.
- Idle time-based routing distributes calls to agents based on their idle time or availability. This model helps distribute calls more evenly among agents.
- Simultaneous ring routing directs calls to multiple agents to ensure quick responses and reduce waiting times. In some instances, calls can be sent to all agents within a specific department to enable a collaborative approach to problem resolution.
- Time-based routing directs calls to specific agents or teams based on the time of day. During peak hours, for example, calls may be routed to a larger team to handle the increased volume.
No matter which routing model is used, there will be times when no agent is immediately available to take a call. Queue management features address such circumstances by efficiently organizing waiting calls. When all agents are occupied, the system places incoming calls in a queue and provides real-time information about the number of callers in the queue, estimated wait times and position in line. This minimizes customer frustration and contributes to an overall positive customer experience by balancing efficiency with the timely resolution of queries.
How GDS Can Help
The ACD system at the heart of GDS’s contact center solutions features these capabilities and more. For example, our multi-queue membership feature allows agents to be assigned calls from different queues, enabling increased flexibility and more efficient use of resources. Our ACD solution also gives callers the option to “zero out” of a queue by pressing “0” and choosing other options, such as leaving a voicemail or requesting a callback. This reduces wait times and improves overall customer satisfaction.
Transform Customer Interactions with GDS's Advanced ACD Systems
GDS has a long track record of helping customers implement contact center solutions that promote meaningful customer engagement. Give us a call to discuss how to enhance customer interactions with a modern ACD system.
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