Integrating Chat, Email and Twitter into ACD with Skills based Routing

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) has evolved to provide an efficient mechanism for routing and distributing incoming phone calls to the right agent in a timely manner and increase the productivity of the contact center. A sophisticated Call Center ACD offers Skills based Routing where calls are routed into separate queues based on the number dialed by the caller or the options selected through an IVR interaction after the call lands in the phone system.

Skills based routing distributes calls from queues to agents. Queues are abstractions that hold the position of the incoming calls. They are tagged with skills to associate attributes that may be required to handle the calls. The agents are contact center employees who are assigned with skills and associated skill-levels. The ACD has two scenarios to consider.
  1. When Agents are waiting and a call comes in
  2. When calls are waiting and an agent becomes available
Skill level is used as a determinant to distribute calls when multiple agents are ready and available to take calls. Queue priority is used to distribute calls when multiple calls are waiting for the agent.
Chat and Twitter integration to an ACD can be treated as a media analogous to a voice call. Therefore they can be routed into their separate queues, each with priority and skills association. This allows the Skills based Routing mechanism to treat them like any call and distribute it to the most appropriate agent.  For an Agent, handling Email is more like handling a voice call. Other text media calls like Chat and Twitter are different since the conversation need not be synchronous. This can impact productivity due to idle time between texts. The contact center software will provide mechanisms to enhance productivity and minimize idle time by,
  1. Handling multiple Chats concurrently
  2. Having Chat time-out for conversations
  3. Planning Voice to Chat and Chat to Voice transitions while distributing calls from the ACD
Q-Suite offers an integrated ACD that allows Asterisk based contact centers to integrate Chat, EMail and Twitter.