Driving Efficiency Through Your Automatic Call Distributor

The evolution of the automatic call distributor is interesting in that technology and consumer trends have not always been on the same path. For instance, the Aspect European Contact Center Satisfaction Index found that of the 1,000 consumers interviewed across Europe, roughly 66 percent had used the traditional telephone channel to communicate with a company, compared with 33 percent by e-mail and 2 percent using chat.

The phone channel proved even more dominant in the UK as it accounted for 72 percent of customer interactions. One clear finding from this study was to help drive customer satisfaction, reduce expenses, gather market data and increase revenues, the contact center needed efficient call routing, queuing and contact management. All of these things must be considered when selecting the right automatic call distributor for your business.

When evaluating the call distributor to determine the best fit for your environment, there are truly key things to consider to be sure you are getting the best value for your investment and that the technology will actually meet your needs. First and foremost, seek an automatic call distributor that offers a user-friendly and intuitive developer interface. Your business needs are likely to change and you need the technology that can easily be created, deployed and modified according to those changing needs.

Second, look for an automatic call distributor that delivers sophisticated call routing options. A higher level of sophistication ensures that you can route contacts according to the skills of the agent, the real-time conditions within your contact center and priorities determined by your business managers or contact center supervisors. The call center software must also be able to route calls according to data captured on the network, information about the caller and data within the customer database.

An automatic call distributor that can drive true efficiency allows your center to route calls according to input provided by the caller. Whether this information is captured using DTMF, or dual-ton multi-frequency, speech input or Interactive Voice Response, any automated process that captures the information of the caller to determine the best destination of the call will make your contact center that much more efficient.

Reporting is sometimes a dirty word within the call center, yet it is an important process in order to understand true real-time performance and opportunities for improvement. A robust automatic call distributor will provide an opportunity to combine reporting with tools and templates that allow for more detailed reporting or the ability to display stats on screen or distribute them to key players.

The automatic call distributor can play a key role toward driving efficiency in the virtual contact center as well. When the solution has the ability to run a multi-site operation that may or may not involved home-based works, the same rules apply across the board. The automatic call distributor ensures the business rules of the contact center take priority while calls are distributed according to availability, type of call and needs of the center.

The flexibility of the automatic call distributor is perhaps one of the most important elements to consider before implementing. The solution must be able to scale either up or down as your contact center is one that is likely to be in a volatile market and consistency in demand is not always guaranteed. The automatic call distributor must also be able to incorporate or manage any outsourced functions within central operations to ensure consistent performance across the board.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when you are trying to drive efficiency through your automatic call distributor is that you need it to do so much more than simply answer calls. Look for the additional tools that are designed to streamline your processes and improve the experience for the customer and you are on the right track.

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