Automatic Call Distribution
Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) allow incoming calls to connect automatically to specific splits. An ACD split is simply a hunt group that is designed to receive a high volume of similar calls. Calls to a specific split are automatically distributed among the agents, or hunt group members, assigned to that split. Calls queue to the split until an agent is available.
You can assign a supervisor to each split. The split supervisor can listen in on agent calls, monitor the split queue status, and assist agents on ACD calls. Although split supervisors can assist agents on ACD calls, the supervisors do not normally receive ACD calls unless they are also members of the split. Both supervisors and agents can have a Queue-Status Display function button on their set which provides ACD agents equipped with digital telephones a periodic update of the number of calls in queue, and the amount of time the oldest queued call has waited.
With the Call Management System (CMS) you can measure and create reports on the status of ACD agents, splits and trunks. Please contact the Telecom Help Desk at 346-NETS for further information.
Three methods for an ACD to select an available agent:
- Direct Department Calling: If you administer a split for DDC, an incoming call is routed to the first available agent extension in the administered sequence. If the agent is not available, the call routes to the next available agent, and so on. Incoming calls are always routed to the first agent in the sequence, so calls are not evenly distributed among agents.
- Uniform Call Distribution: UCD uses the Most-Idle Agent system to route calls. Which ever agent has been available the longest will receive the next call and distributes calls evenly among the agents.
- Expert Agent Distribution: EAD is like the Most Idle Agent except that each agent is assigned a skill level code. The lower the skill level code, the higher the level of expertise, so an agent with skill level 1 is the most qualified to answer a call at this skill. This is most often used in a Technical Support ACD.
Queuing and Announcements
When all agents are active on calls or in After-Call Work mode (they are on pause to finish paperwork before going to the next client), the queue allows incoming calls to wait for an idle agent. The next available agent is automatically connected to the call in the split queue.
There are three cases where calls do not queue:
- No agents are logged in (An agent must complete a full login to each split in order to receive and handle calls)
- All logged-in agents are in Auxiliary Work mode
- No queue slots are available (there are a maximum number of callers in queue already)
The caller gets a busy signal (or call coverage busy to Voice Mail). You can assign two announcements to each split and administer a second announcement to repeat. When an incoming call is directed to an ACD split, the call is either directed to an agent or is automatically connected to the first announcement. Each split can also be programmed to have calls received during non-working hours go to voice mail for either a bulletin board (they hear a message, but can not leave a message) or a voice mail box (they hear a message and can leave a message).
First announcement: after a call enters a split queue, the caller hears ringing and the first announcement. If an agent becomes available during the first announcement, the call is connected to the agent. Each call is timed and at given intervals the ACD system checks to see which call had been in queue the longest and which agent is available, until this is possible, the caller sits in queue, usually hearing "Music on hold".
At given intervals, the caller will hear the Second announcement which indicates that the agents are all busy and please "stay on the line" and this second announcement can be repeated. The second announcement can give options available for the caller including going to a voice mail box and leaving a message or saying on the line.
Priority Queuing: Priority queuing allows priority calls to be queued ahead of calls with normal priority. You can implement priority queuing in two ways:
- Assign Priority Queuing to a calling party's Class of Restriction.
- Assign Priority on Intraflow to an ACD split. This allows calls from the split, when intraflowed into another split, to be queued ahead of non-priority calls.
Maximum number of agents: If an agent is assigned to more than one split, each assignment applies to the maximum number of agents. So one agent logged into three different splits would count on the system as three agents. An agent must complete a full login to each split in order to receive and handle calls.
Maximum number of callers in queue: Given the number of agents in a given split and the time for each call to be handled, and consider how long each caller may have to wait in queue. For a small ACD with 3 or 4 agents who handle calls at an average of 1 minute per call, the maximum number of callers in queue might be 12. You do not want to leave them in queue too long and offering them the choice of a voice mail message with call back may release some stress for both callers and agents.
Most Idle Agent feature: distributes calls more equally to agents with multiple splits or skills.
Storing and retrieving messages: Leave Word Calling messages can be stored for an ACD split and retrieved by a split member, a covering user of the split or a system-wide message retriever. You can also assign a remote Automatic Message Waiting lamp to a split agent's terminal to indicate when a message has been stored for the split.
- Agents should not be used for hunt group calls and ACD split calls simultaneously. Otherwise all calls for one split (either ACD or hunt group) are answered first.
- Agents with multi-appearance voice terminals can receive only one ACD call at a time unless Multiple Call Handling is active. The agent may receive non-ACD calls while active on an ACD call or have their "personal" calls forwarding to Voice Mail.
Vector-Controlled splits: You can enhance ACD by using Call Prompting, Call Vectoring and Expert Agent Selection. Vector-controlled splits/skills should NOT be called directly via the split/skill extension (instead of via a VDN mapped to a vector). If the split/skill extension is called, the called will not receive any announcements, are not forwarded or redirected to coverage and do not Intraflow/interflow to another hunt group. The oldest-call-waiting termination, which is available with Call Vectoring, is supported for agents who are servicing ACD calls only.
ACD Interactions with Switch Features
Call Waiting: Does not work with ACDs.
Automatic Callback: Can not be activated towards an ACD split.
Call Coverage: Calls can redirect to or from an ACD split, but a vector-controlled split can not be assigned a coverage path.
For a call to an ACD split to be redirected to a call coverage Busy, one of the following conditions must exist:
All agents in the split are active on at least one call appearance and the queue, if there is one, is full.
- No agents are logged in.
- All Agents are in Auxiliary Work mode.
- If the queue is not full, a call enters the queue when at least one agent is on an ACD call or in Auxiliary Work mode. Queued calls remain in queue until the Coverage Don't Answer Interval expires before redirecting to coverage. If any split agent become available, the call is directed to the agent.
Calls to a split that are directed to an agent do not follow the agent's call coverage path. If the agent activates Send all Calls, it does not affect the distribution of ACD calls. An ACD split call directed to an agent's station follows the split's call coverage path.
Call Forwarding: Call Forwarding activated for an individual extension does not affect the extension's ACD functions. An ACD split call directed to an agent's station follows the split's call coverage path.
Data Call Setup: Voice terminal or data terminal dialing can be used on calls to or from a member of an ACD split.
Data Restriction: If the trunk group used for an ACD call has data restriction activated, agents with Automatic Answer activated do not hear the usual zip tone.
Dial Intercom: An agent with origination and termination restriction can receive ACD calls and can make and dial intercom calls.
Hold: If an agent puts an ACD call on hold, information is reported to the CMS which records the amount of time the agent actually talks on the call.
Transfer: Calls can not be transferred to a busy split. The transfer fails and the agent transferring the call is re-connected to the call. If an agent pressed the Transfer button, dials the hunt-group extension number and then disconnects while the split is busy, the call is disconnected.
Voice Terminal Display: For calls dialed directly to an ACD split extension, the identity of both the calling party and the ACD split are shown on the terminal display.