Cloud communications

How Do Cloud ACD Capabilities Help Call Centers?

How Do Cloud ACD Capabilities Help Call Centers?
  14/10/2021 13:10

Call center professionals are under a lot of pressure these days, even more than usual. In addition to managing agents, queues, technology, quality, KPIs, budgets, and internal processes, contact centers are expected to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences (CX).

Certainly, satisfying users is not a new concept. The most established companies have focused on pleasing customers for decades. But now that most organizations compete on the basis of CX, the focus of attention has turned to call centers.

Certainly, satisfying users is not a new concept. The most established companies have focused on pleasing customers for decades. But now that most organizations compete on the basis of CX, the focus of attention has turned to call centers.

But call center professionals know that perfection is not possible. First of all, its performance depends on people, clients and agents, who sometimes have bad days, memory lapses, distractions in their personal life and everything that makes us human. Second, it is at the mercy of conditions such as natural disasters or global pandemics.

But if perfection is not possible, excellence definitely is. Today’s contact centers have more tools than ever to help them deliver satisfying customer service experiences and build loyalty. A unified, cloud-based CX platform provides the power and flexibility organizations need to address current and future customer demands. An integral part of these platforms are cloud ACDs.

Modern ACDs are the engines that power omnichannel experiences. Intelligent data-driven routing ensures that voice and digital interactions are always sent to the most qualified agent and makes personalization easy.

What Is a Cloud ACD?

An ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) in the cloud is a call center functionality whose main function is to route incoming and outgoing contacts. When an ACD is cloud-based, it is hosted by a provider and can be accessed through a browser. The vendor is responsible for maintaining the hardware, updating the software, and providing security.

How Do Cloud ACD Capabilities Help Call Centers?

ACDs in the cloud enable contact centers to be fast and agile.

1) Multiple Ways to Route Interactions

Cloud ACDs give call centers many options on how to route interactions. Intelligent data-driven routing streamlines the client-agent matching process and increases productivity by allowing agents to handle multiple interactions at the same time. Here are some of the routing methods that cloud ACDs enable.

a) Time-based Routing

Most ACDs can do time-based routing where; for example, the oldest contact in the queue is routed to the next available agent. This is routing 101, which pulls contacts out of the queue but doesn’t actually optimize CX.

b) Skills-based Routing

If a contact center manages telephone interactions, also in multiple languages; therefore, you must use skills-based routing to ensure that contacts are routed to qualified agents. For example, the appropriate cloud ACD will allow you to configure rules so that a service-related call from a French-speaking customer is directed to an agent with the appropriate skills.

c) Predictive Behavioral Routing

Industry-leading cloud ACDs leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) to match customers to agents based on their skills and preferences. Predictive behavioral routing personalizes experiences by routing customers to agents who are most likely to “get” them.

All three routing methods can be used simultaneously for optimized customer service.

2) Self-service

Cloud ACDs have voice portal capabilities that leverage AI to enable customer self-service. If the system uses natural language processing (NLP), customers can simply say what they need help with. Additionally, ACDs that can be integrated with bots can provide effective self-service experiences that guide callers in solving their own problems.

3) Simple Integrations

The self-service capabilities mentioned above are only possible if the cloud ACD can be integrated with other systems, such as knowledge bases and back-office applications. In addition, ACDs can be integrated with other call center tools, such as corporate applications (CRM). When the ACD is in the cloud, these types of CX-enhancing integrations are much simpler than trying to integrate local ACDs.

4) Unified Agent Desktops

Cloud ACDs provide agents with a unified interface that enables them to manage their interactions from all channels within a single desktop tool. Additionally, agent tools such as schedules, knowledge bases, and performance dashboards can be integrated into the desktop, making it a valuable tool for managing your work.

5) Supervisor Tools

Cloud ACDs have features that allow supervisors to participate in interactions. The least intrusive form of participation is whisper training, where a supervisor can give instructions to agents without being heard by the callers. The next level of engagement is “barging in”, that is, a supervisor can join the conversation with the agent and the customer. Finally, he can take over the call completely if the need arises.

6) Easily Accessible Operating Data

It is important to remember that ACDs are the source of many keys operational statistics, including volume, average speed of response, churn rate, handling times, wait times, and transfers, among others. Cloud ACDs make this data easily accessible in real time through reports, data sources, and integrations with other systems, such as forecasting software.

7) Easy Set-up

Older ACDs may require vendor support for configuration changes that can take several weeks to implement. This has a negative impact on the agility of the call center. In contrast, cloud ACDs allows end users to make their own configuration changes in minutes or hours rather than weeks.

According to various studies…
  • 70% of customers use self-service channels during their customer journey.
  • 84% of users are more willing to buy from companies that offer self-service options.
  • 73% of customers prefer to visit a company’s website before contacting customer service.
  • 68% of users would prefer to use self-service channels to solve simple questions or problems.

In conclusion, in these moments of struggle to achieve excellent CX, it is important to use all the tools available. The best ACDs in the cloud can help call centers improve experiences and avoid service failures through sophisticated routing, intelligent self-service, and by providing agents and supervisors with enhanced capabilities. Additionally, modern ACDs provide contact center leaders with real-time information for better decision-making and empower them to make quick and effective configuration changes.

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