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Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) is an important feature in setting up a call center. It is responsible for managing queues and responsibly allocating all incoming calls to appropriate staff agents. If you are in the customer support area, you may have already heard of ACD. In fact, the most common question in any sales team is how is the working of ACD.

Automatic call divider is a type of call forwarding on preset factors. When a customer calls, IVR first gathers the customer’s information and intentions. It then directs the customer to an agent with the appropriate skills on the information gathered.

How does automatic call distribution work?

Automatic call distribution is set up in three steps. Each step helps to direct the client to the right agents, separating this function from the usual PBX setup. The three steps involved are:

  • Caller ID collection
  • Call queue
  • Call forwarding

As the name suggests, first collection of customer’s information, then the customer is queued, and finally the call is routed to an available agent.

Caller ID collection:

As a customer of any brand, we’ve heard the word: Press 1 for product issues. Press 2 for a billing issue. This is the IVR that collects relevant information about the customer. Smart IVRs recognize a phone number and run it in a database to identify the customer and their preferred language. In other cases, customers will be asked to verify their information by entering their number or account ID.

When this is done, the IVR will ask what the customer wants and which internal department it is. ACD will play with this data to route the call to the most capable agent.

Call queue:

The volume of calls in the increased contact center is obviously high. It is possible that two or more customers need help returning money at the same time. In this case, ACD creates a queue based on the number of agents available.

This means that the order is on some other factor. That are:

  • Waiting time
  • Customer request
  • Agent status
  • Agent performance

There are many other factors a mentor can add to this when creating a campaign. Sometimes ACDs are configured to prioritize VIP clients as well. All of these micro-customizations for your campaign are possible to create the perfect queue for your contact center.

Call forwarding:

The most important step in the ACD structure is call forwarding. This is where magic happens. The automatic call distribution feature can now be used to direct calls to your agents according to your preferences. At the end of the routing, you can assign agents according to your internal parameters. For example, if your boss wants to reduce incoming calls, most calls will only be routed to experienced employees. Or, more calls can be routed to agents with shorter average handling times and so on.

What are the different types of call distribution?

Calls can be distributed according to the tutor’s preferences. In fact, some popular types of distribution modules are used. Distributing this type of call is often focused on increasing agent productivity or supporting any particular campaign.

Round-Robin distribution:

We are quite familiar with the ring-robin format. Similarly, arrangements of the agents is done in numerical order and then distributes the calls accordingly. Last agent answers the call, then the next caller redirects to the first agent. This happens in a cycle and is also called Rotary Call Distribution.

Simultaneous call distribution:

This is a circular method designed to reduce customer waiting time. ACD rings all agent phones at once until one of them answers. If the agent answers, a second call is immediately sent to the remaining available agents.

Call time allocation:

The aim of this model is a fair distribution of the workload between the agents, while also increasing their productivity. The next call is made to the agent with the lowest talk time. This is done to ensure that each agent is equally productive.

Skill-based routing:

IVR earlier asked for language preference where we have been queuing for skill-based routing. Based on your inputs, ACD will determine your needs and direct you to the most appropriate agent.

Agents evaluate proactively on the basis of a number of factors. Such as language choice, language skills, response time, expertise and average call handling time. Prior to routing, ACD prioritizes agents whose scores meet customer needs.

Each contact center manager can do an internal survey and figure out what skills are important to the brand. Based on these, prioritize important factors and evaluate your agents accordingly. This allows the customer to reach the most capable agent who can help him.

ACD manages all important call center reports, from call detail reports, logout reports, to queue reports, and more. Really, this is the heart of the call center platform.


ACDs are essential for a clogged contact center environment. Referring customers to the appropriate department saves talk time, credit and other resources. Therefore, it is recommended to study thoroughly how ACDs work. How to integrate them with multiple contact center tools, such as voicemail, callback, CTI, or CRM. For more information on ACDs, book a call back with experts of Sarv.

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