With ACDs, you can certainly go beyond the most challenging volume of inbound and outbound calls, as even the simplest ACD operates far beyond human capacity. To a large extent, ACDs also operate beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced telecom switches. This is why ACDs can be hardly compared to a telecom switch. Today, they exemplify complex systems providing call centers and virtual office systems with unbelievable processing capacities. The call processing horsepower of ACD-based call centers is simply tremendous. With an ACD you will be able to optimize your staff and raise the efficiency of their operations. With an ACD you can redefine the meaning of your efficiency and create an entirely new system of making and receiving calls. Any call center can benefit from having a valuable ACD resource. With an ACD, your call center acquires another, unique capacity to manage complex operations and reduce their costs to a minimum.
In light of these benefits, it seems extremely surprising and unusual that many call centers and virtual office receptionists will still choose to use standalone ACD systems. These systems are extremely expensive and can burden even the most sophisticated call center.
Two main reasons why standalone ACDs are still popular among call centers
First, standalone expensive ACD systems have power needed to operate as part of huge call centers. No other system has more processing horsepower than a standalone ACD. Moreover, no other system or processing mechanism is suited to the needs of emerging call centers and megacenters better than a standalone ACD.
Second, the question of technology is still open for many systems and applications. Integrating ACDs with the existing software and hardware systems is not an easy task. A standalone ACD is the most flexible, advanced, and appropriate system for the call centers and virtual office applications that need perfect integration and seek to create a unique technological synergy. Modern call centers run numerous systems and applications, such as data warehouses, IVR, and intranets, and nothing has ever been able to beat the power of a standalone ACD. ACDs are invaluable in skills-based routing and multi-site networking: just use it and you will see the difference!
Certainly, there are solid options that can help you to run your system effectively and smoothly. You can easily integrate your PC applications with ACD systems, or develop relevant PBX/ACD hybrids. The latter have already become the principal driver of dramatic growth in the call center industry. Even then, you cannot easily dismiss the power and capabilities offered by a standalone ACD. Until present, no one has ever succeeded to develop a relevant substitute to a high-volume standalone ACD application.
However, nothing is stable, including ACDs, and the most recent trends in the call center industry greatly influence the evolution of standalone ACDs. First, today’s ACDs are required to process more information and re-channel it in more directions. Just 10 years ago, ACDs were designed to process the call itself and the information related to this call. Call centers and virtual office systems did not need anything else, and consumers had fewer demands. If customers still needed additional services or call center operators demanded more information, they could easily analyze it through their PCs. Numerous third-party tools were available and could be used to analyze the raw data.
Today, everything is different. Call center agents and virtual office receptionists need more information, and they need it fast. All information should be presented in an easy-to-understand format. As a result, new ACDs are being developed with sophisticated data management tools added to them. The number of outside programs connecting ACDs to external data constantly increases. For example, call centers and virtual office receptionists can use software packages and workforce management tools to forecast and optimize the load. Moreover, these tools and software packages also allow transforming real-time data into easy-to-read reports and displays.
ACD vendors constantly improve the quality and efficiency of their data management systems. It is getting much easier for call center supervisors to manage data inflows and outflows without breaking the continuity of the ACD system. Supervisors can create groups, move personnel, and control the quality of their operations, all at once. These are just some of the many functions provided by modern ACDs.
Another important trend is the changing nature of calls coming to the ACD. At times, this new trend can be described as the emergence of alternative call delivery methods. For many years, call centers and virtual office receptionists integrated their ACDs with IVR systems, but today’s vendors seek to use the call center potentials of the Internet and Web to the fullest. Today, the most important is the quality of interactions between the call center and the customer, and even the complex systems should not interfere with the customer-call center relationship. The more invisible they are, the better.
This is where skills-based call routing comes into play. Previously, skills-based call routing was used as an additional feature of the basic switch centers, which made it difficult for call centers to satisfy their needs. The fact is that traditional skills-based call routing does not allow other software applications, especially workforce management, to operate efficiently. Today, skills-based routing is an advanced and highly functional system used to distribute calls across available agents and directing them to the most qualified agent.
In modern ACDs, the process of skills-based call routing involves two basic steps. First, technologies are used to identify callers’ needs. Second, the information obtained during the first step is used to find the most appropriate agent. No matter what type of ACDs you choose to use, you should realize that ACD vendors move the progress and can add value to your call center operations. All you need to do is to pay more attention to how your different systems are integrated. Use your applications to create a dynamic atmosphere and enjoy their call center and customer management potentials to the fullest!