Automatic Call Distributor

Definition

What is an Automatic Call Distributor?

The Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) is a system widely used in the telecommunications industry. Automatic call distributor systems are beneficial in any office that manages large volumes of inbound calls. The routing strategy is a rule-based series of instructions that informs the ACD how the machine handles the calls.

The ACD system handles calls based on the number called and the related handling instructions database. Businesses providing service support use automated call providers to verify callers, make outgoing calls, forward calls to the right person, allow callers to log communications, collect utilization data, balance the use of telephone lines and provide different services.

Why is automatic call distributor important?

The primary function of an automated call distributor is to direct incoming calls to contact center agents. The ACD system is created to accommodate common computer devices. Great features for remote routing applications include computer-telephony integration. This can increase the performance of call center agents by matching incoming calls with important PC data.

The automatic call distributor system uses a rule-based routing technique, based on a series of instructions that determine how inbound calls are managed and guided. Matching and routing thousands of calls to the right agent is a daunting job and is frequently performed in combination with an interactive voice response (IVR) device to help define customer needs.

 

What is an Automatic Call Distributor?
What is an Automatic Call Distributor?
Outsourcing FAQ

What is Computer-Telephony Integration (CTI)?

What is Computer-Telephony Integration?

Computer-Telephony Integration or CTI is a platform that allows electronic systems to communicate with phones and other means of communication. Email, live chat, fax, and text messaging are the usual CTI platforms that people use. Many call center companies utilize call center tools with CTI functionality. CTI helps these call centers achieve a strategic advantage in their business by allowing them to take a more informed approach to communicate with their telemarketers.

The right CTI system would help the agents to save time and effort during each call phase. As a result, they will be able to keep calls, queue them, and connect using the same interface in which they manage calls.

Advantages of using computer-telephony integration

Computer telephony integration can offer more than adding telephone controls to the call center agent’s interface. CTI also offers capabilities that are at the core of operating an accessible and productive call center.

Here are some of the benefits of Computer Telephony Integration:

Easily authenticate the caller. CTI aims to verify the caller by matching the contact information they called to the records in the company's database and advanced business software. Enhanced reporting. CTI increases the efficiency of reports by allowing telephone data and the inclusion of data from software systems. Call tracking. Lastly, Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) allows managers to monitor call activities. For instance, they use CTIs respond to live calls so that they can provide support when necessary.

 

What is Telephony?

What is a Telephony?

Telephony is defined as the field of technology that involves the development and application of telecommunication services between distant parties through the use of appropriate equipment, whether voice, fax, or data. It is also linked to the invention of the telephone.

Telephony, as a term, is also used to refer to any computer network systems, hardware, or software, that carry out the roles usually performed by telephones.

Types of telephony

Telephony allows people to carry out a long distance communication, and it is most commonly used to refer to telephone systems. However, there are other types of telephony:

Traditional telephony Voice Over IP (VoIP) and internet telephony Mobile telephony Faxing telephony

 

What is Voice Response Unit (VRU)?

See IVR.

What is the Voice Response Unit (VRU)?

The Voice Response Unit or VRU is an automatic telephone answering device composed of hardware and software that enables a caller to navigate across a set of pre-recorded messages. When call centers started to transition to digital in the late 1990s, businesses began investing in computer telephony integration (CTI) with VRU systems.

Today, many call center companies use voice response units to handle the front end of inbound calls. VRUs usually play recorded greetings to callers and then present them with menu options. Interactive voice response (IVR) is another term for VRU.

Importance of voice response unit (VRU)

VRUs help consumers communicate with the company's host device using a keypad or voice recognition, through which services can be accessed via its interface. VRU systems may respond to additional direct users with pre-recorded or dynamically produced audio including how to proceed.

Voice response units (VRUs) can maximize customer service and increase operational performance. VRU systems can be used for smartphone transactions, banking transfers, services, shopping orders, utilities, travel details, and weather conditions. A correctly deployed voice response unit (VRU) could be a key asset that helps both consumers and call centers.

 

What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the engagement of services from a third-party provider. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to hasten the delivery of services. The business activities could be back-office such as, but not limited to, payroll, accounting, human resources, or front office jobs like customer service, sales, and marketing, etc. In the case of content providers, these business activities could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business activities use their time on core services and competencies. With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes that may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies. Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

When a business engages an external specialist to manage and operate some of its internal processes, it's referred to as business process outsourcing. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales. It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings: significant savings of up to 70%, leveraging the lower global salaries Global market: access to a bigger employment pool of talent Global presence: having operational across the globe increases trade opportunities Flexible workforce: reduces internal local labour and employment compliance obligations Leverage skill: leveraging the skills of other specialist companies Focus: enables the client company to focus on their core functions

 

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing many millions of people worldwide. Some examples include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for hem full time, remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalist, in that they offer a full range of professional services, although some specialise in certain verticals (ie accounting, or animation).

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates form developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting: operational, technical and specialist functions Healthcare: various functions of the backend of the healthcare and health-insurance industries Creative and content: everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content Tech, IT and development: network management, web and app development and maintenance Sales & customer support: ongoing sales and customer operational support and delivery Marketing: ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities Talent and HR: externalising the management of company HR, recruitment and compliance Administration: general business administration and operational activities Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 4,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing.

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