Queues are at the heart of any ACD (Automatic Call Distribution). Most of us have experienced waiting in a Queue while trying to access customer service by phone. Call distribution within a Customer Contact Center is driven by an ACD. Efficiency of the ACD is determined by its ability to manage distribution of calls from multiple queues to its customer service representatives. Skills based routing allows distribution of calls to the most appropriate customer service representative. But there are other important features within an ACD that can assist in improving the overall performance of a customer contact center. Let us examine a few:
During peak call volumes, the contact center should have the ability to allow callers to drop out of a waiting Queue and have the ability to call them back as soon as a customer service representative becomes available. Depending on the business rule, the caller could either retain their priority in the Queue or they be called when the call volume comes down.
There should be multiple ways to manage Queue overflow. Indicators like Queue wait-time and number of callers waiting in a particular Queue point to large call volume. This requires some form of process driven intervention so that the prescribed service level in the SLA is maintained. A good ACD with skills based routing and queue prioritization should also have mechanisms to route calls to other Queues or other locations so that the response time can be managed. In the case of longer than prescribed wait-time, the call can be moved to a higher priority queue or a queue where Supervisors can login and handle calls. When the number of callers exceed what can be handled, overflow call centers can be brought in to take the extra load.
Customer contact centers require advanced ACD software to increase efficiency of their operation.