If call center efficiency were a matter of bootstraps alone, many fantastic call center operations would be outpacing their competition – it’s an industry known for setting goals and achieving them. Heightened efficiency in a world of metrics and analytics, however, is not about sheer effort. The real trick is in finding the levers that create substantial changes. Modern call center technology makes it possible to increase both agent and call center efficiency through automatic call distribution (ACD).
Call Center Efficiency and Dynamic Call Handling
The calls agents receive are more complex than they used to be. But that’s because customers often “self-serve,” finding the answers to simple questions themselves using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menus.
If customers use IVR to find what they’re looking for, all is well and good. If they don’t, they call in, which is where the problems can arise: calls get put on hold, connected to wrong departments, hang up in frustration, or worse.
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) prevents situations like the above. Organizations and businesses create call distribution plans that focus on quickly resolving common customer issues and preventing communications pain points in combination with reaching desired business outcomes and matching caller issues to agents with the relevant skills and talents to solve them.
Once the distribution plans are set, ACD starts responding to customers’ needs and call center volume in real time. This real-time, dynamic capability ensures complex calls automatically route to the agent best able to resolve the customer’s question in the least amount of time.
Companies wishing to heighten security and regulatory compliance may want to complement ACD with another tool: manually approved calling. This tool helps organizations build safeguards for common regulations like the TCPA, FDCPA, etc. by creating highly efficient yet manually approved call flows.
The Role of Data Unification
Automated call distribution plans can be handled through customer input or existing customer data – but they won’t function if that data isn’t tied to a customer profile, or goes missing. ACD software should ensure incoming calls go to a centralized location which connects the call to existing customer info—before being automatically dispersed to a suitable agent. This increases first call resolution and decreasing downtime. Also, calls tied to previous interactions make for a seamless customer experience.
Who Has the Most to Gain?
ACD will have the most tangible gains for high-volume, high-occupancy call centers. Customer service departments can create self-serve menus for common, time-consuming activities like payments, address changes, or send them to agents selected for their productivity in these roles (or better yet, agents whose only job is to solve a few specific problems throughout the day).
Other winners from ACD are call centers with multiple locations. ACD will perform the inhuman feat of managing customer inputs, hold times and agent skill sets—regardless of the distance or number of agents and locations. That means hold times will be reduced across the entire business and that customers will have access to the best pool of company resources and agents.
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